Being a Tourist in My Own Backyard


I recently spent a weekend as a tourist in Arkansas.  You are probably thinking, so what? But, this is a big deal for me.  I usually travel throughout Arkansas in a work capacity, however, this weekend, I was determined to be a tourist.  On the drive, I kept saying to myself, BE A TOURIST, BE A TOURIST!  

I started out by purchasing a package for Eureka Springs.  You can find similar packages on deals or with the Arkansas Hot Deals iPhone App.  Our package included a two-night stay at the Basin Park Hotel, two massages and two meals.  It was quite late when we arrived in Eureka Springs so by the time we checked in at the hotel we had to rush to find an open restaurant. I spotted one of my favorite eateries and headed down the street.  Sadly, the glowing open sign faded to dark as I approached the building. I was elated when the server opened the door with a smile and thankfully, let us in.  DeVito’s Italian Eateryis known for fresh pasta and its fresh local trout.  We enjoyed Arkansas wine, trout fingers and for the main course, homemade ravioli and pesto trout. 
The following days and nights involved a combination of soft adventure, exquisite dining and quaint city exploration.  If you plan a quick getaway to this area you might want to try a few of locations we visited.
We drove to the Lost Valley Trail just outside of Ponca and located near the Buffalo National River.  Our trip included several caves, waterfalls and breathtaking scenery.  As a bonus, we packed a lunch and dined with a spectacular view of Eden Falls from Cobb Cave.

This was a short trip so we were only able to experience a few of Eureka Springs fantastic dining offerings.  We visited DeVitos, New Dehli Indian Buffet, Mudstreet Cafe and the Crystal Dining Room of the 1886 Crescent Hotel and Spa. The five-course meal was accompanied by the seductive voice of Frank Sinatra.  I couldnt help but find my mind wandering to the past. Years of meals, music and hospitality have filled this room.  I drifted through the nostalgia of the hotel, my imagination dancing with ghosts of the past.
After strolling through historic downtown we concluded our trip with a visit to Beaver Lake for a little fishing.  The scenic beauty of this clear lake was spectacular.

On the way home, I reflected on my experiences over the past two days.  My chest swelled with pride as I remembered that this is my home state.  If you can sneak away for a weekend, I’d recommend spending it in Arkansas.

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