National Trust Names Eureka Springs Distinctive

EUREKA SPRINGS – Winding mountainside streets that don't meet at right angles are the first clue that Eureka Springs has a flair all its own. Then its Victorian architecture lures visitors on "Sunday" drives. On street after street, old homes in colors of summer flower bouquets hug steep mountainsides. Its downtown shops sell everything from frogs to classic art, funky hats to leather purses.

Secluded and peaceful, Eureka Springs' entire downtown area is on the National Register of Historic Places. It is no wonder, then, that the National Trust for Historic Preservation has honored Eureka Springs for its character. The trust, the country's largest private, nonprofit preservation organization, has named Eureka Springs one of its Dozen Distinctive Destinations on this year's list of the best-preserved and unique communities in the United States.

The other 11 cities and towns are: Calistoga, California; Silverton, Colorado; Madison, Indiana; Bonaparte, Iowa; Northampton, Massachusetts; Red Log, Montana; Las Vegas, New Mexico; Jacksonville, Oregon; Doylestown, Pennsylvania; Beaufort, South Carolina; Staunton, Virginia

"We are tremendously honored by this national recognition of our historic city and the efforts we have made through the decades to preserve, protect and restore our historic integrity," said Mayor Beau Satori of Eureka Springs.

More than 150 independent and unique stores and restaurants fill the elaborate gingerbread Victorian storefronts in Eureka Springs. Amazingly, no national chain stores or restaurants are present in its historic district. Local restaurants offer meals worth talking about for months. The food also spans cultures, including Bavarian, American, Italian, and Mexican.

"Americans are fortunate indeed to be able to visit these 12 communities," said National Trust President Richard Moe. "These are marvelously American locations that typify our country's small towns, close communities, and celebrated heritage. They are committed to preserving their historic landmarks, maintaining their unique character, and supporting locally owned business entrepreneurs. They are not only historically distinctive vacation spots -- they are also fun places for families and visitors of all ages. We can all learn from their past and contribute to their future."

This is the second year the trust has compiled a list of A Dozen Distinct Destinations. The 12 communities met these criteria: well-managed growth, a dynamic downtown, a commitment to historic preservation with a protected historic core and meaningful context, interesting and attractive architecture, cultural diversity, an economic base of locally owned small businesses, and "walkability" for residents and visitors.

"We are most pleased that this acknowledgement will encourage more Americans to visit our historic city and discover the magical qualities that make Eureka Springs 'America's Most Romantic City,'" said Satori.

With more than a quarter million members nationwide, the trust provides leadership, education and advocacy to save America's diverse historic places and revitalize communities. For more information on Eureka Springs' selection as a "Distinctive Destination", visit the trust's web site at

Eureka Springs has block after block of one-of-a-kind shops, boutiques, fine art galleries, craft emporiums and restaurants. The influence of the community's artists is obvious with a drive or walk through the town. Stores offer funky, casual or elegant clothes for all ages and genders. Area festivals and events span such musical genres as classical, opera, blues and jazz, as well as UFO's, antiques and the arts.

Visitors can rent vacation dwellings on nearby Beaver Lake, in the woods of the Ozark Mountains, or in the middle of the downtown district. There are numerous bed and breakfast inns, retreat homes and hotels.

The Crescent Hotel, long a registered National Trust Landmark, has been inducted into the National Trust Historic Hotels of America. The hotel is surrounded by its own 12 acres of formal gardens, fountains, a babbling brook and walking trails. The gardens are planted with varieties of plant materials that would have been on the grounds in 1886.

Visitors to Eureka Springs can relax in one of the town's numerous spas. It was the springs of Eureka that first attracted settlers to the area and made the town renowned as a travel destination.

For more information about historic Eureka Springs, visit or call toll-free, 1-866-947-4387 (WISH EUREKA).


Submitted by the Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism
One Capitol Mall, Little Rock, AR 72201, 501-682-7606
E-mail: [email protected]

May be used without permission. Credit line is appreciated:
"Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism"