Unique Vacation Ideas in Arkansas

Arkansas is a one-of-a-kind place packed with attractions and activities you won’t find anywhere else on Earth. If you’re going to visit The Natural State, check out the unique vacation ideas below to help you plan your trip.

Bathhouse Row

Bathhouse Row, Hot Springs

Hot Springs, AR

Comprised of eight bathhouses, these stately structures owned by the National Park Service were constructed between the years of 1892 and 1923. The Row, described as “the grandest collection of bathhouses of [their] kind in the nation,” along with the Grand Promenade was designated as a National Historic Landmark District in 1987. Check out these unique vacation ideas for Hot Springs:

Hale Bathhouse is the oldest with most of the current structure being completed in 1892. It is at least the fourth building to be named Hale on The Row.

Buckstaff Bathhouse is the only one that has been in constant operation since it opened in 1912.You can still experience the full thermal treatment there today.

Maurice Bathhouse started off 1912 with a bang, opening on January 1. During its heyday, it rivaled the resplendent Fordyce in luxury and offerings. It was the only structure on The Row to have a pool. Today it is closed waiting to be leased for reuse.

Fordyce Bathhouse was the grandest and largest when it opened in 1915 with three floors, two courtyards and a basement. An extensively restored jewel, it reopened in 1989 at the park’s visitor center and museum.

The Superior Bathhouse offered “no frills” service when it opened in 1916. It was the smallest and the least expensive to use. It has been renovated renovated and is now the Superior Bathhouse Brewery & Distillery.

Ozark Bathhouse was a no-frills facility when it opened in 1922. Today it has been totally renovated and houses the the Ozark Bathhouse Cultural Center.

Quapaw Bathhouse also opened in 1922 as the longest structure on the row. It has been refurbished and is now home to the family-oriented Quapaw Baths and Spa which includes a large spa pool.

The Lamar Bathhouse made its debut in 1923 as a replacement for a wooden structure also bearing the same name. It offered tubs of different lengths and had a small coed gym. It is currently where you’ll find the park store, Bathhouse Row Emporium, and offices for park employees.

Clinton Presidential Library

Clinton Presidential Library

Clinton Presidential Library

America's 12th Presidential Library, the Clinton Center is situated on the banks of the Arkansas River in the River Market District of downtown Little Rock. The library contains the largest collection of presidential papers and artifacts in U.S. history and includes an authentic replica of the Oval Office and the Cabinet Room. An exact copy of “the Resolute” desk used by Presidents John F. Kennedy, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush is center point of the room though not everything in the Oval Office is a replica. Appointments on the desk are actual items used in the Clinton White House. A video of the real office plus a virtual tour of the White House are interactive areas of the exhibit.

The center also hosts nationally and internationally famous speakers, exhibits from around the world and special events for families. Forty-two, which gets its name from Clinton's place in line of U.S. presidents, features an eclectic menu. The University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service is also located within the park in the renovated 1899 Choctaw Station. 501-370-8000. http://www.clintonpresidentialcenter.org/

Crater of Diamonds State Park

Crater of Diamonds State Park

Crater of Diamonds State Park

Talk about unique vacation ideas: Get the ultimate souvenir when you dig for diamonds at the Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro. The only diamond mine in the world that allows the public to dig for diamonds, this prolific field has been giving up gems since the first one discovered by John Huddleston in 1906. It became a state park in 1972. Diamonds of all hues are found at the Crater but the most common colors unearthed by park visitors are white, brown and yellow. Along with diamonds, more than 40 types of rocks and minerals, such as amproite, amethyst, banded agate, jasper, peridot, garnet, quartz, calcite, barite, and hematite, are found here. Other park facilities are a campground, visitor center with exhibits, interpretive programs, wildlife watching area, café and the Diamond Springs Water Park.

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

Crystal Bridges Museum

Founded by Walmart heir Alice Walton, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is a LEED project which opened November 11, 2011, in Bentonville. The museum is a premier art institution dedicated to American art and artists, learning and community gatherings. The main pavilions house a permanent collection of American art masterworks from the colonial era to modern day, and touring collections from national art institutions. Visitors can enjoy the collection within the state-of-the-art galleries and throughout the surrounding park. A dynamic temporary exhibitions program complements the holdings of the permanent collection and exemplifies the diversity of American artists.

The museum takes its name from a natural spring on the museum’s wooded site as well as the unique glass-and-wood building design created by world-renowned architect Moshe Safdie. The innovative building design – reflective of its forested creek-side home and linked by landscaped trails and paths connecting area neighborhoods – captures the interplay of nature, art and culture in the region. The museum property and grounds are within walking distance of the Bentonville town square.

Famous Arkansans

Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash

The list of Famous Arkansans never ceases to surprise people. Arkansans, whether native or adopted, have played and continue to play profound roles in arts and entertainment, sports, business, writing, politics, architecture, and history. One of our favorite unique vacation ideas: traveling the state to learn about famous Arkansans and their impacts on the world.

From Bill Clinton to Mary Steenburgen, several famous and well-known people have roots in Arkansas. The following list highlights some of the country's most prominent people who were either born in the state or lived here at some time in their lives. Follow the links on the left to find famous Arkansans categorized by the area in which they are known and listed alphabetically.

Selected Arkansans that have made a name for themselves in the entertainment world are enshrined in the Arkansas Entertainers Hall of Fame in Pine Bluff. Inductees run the gamut from Billy Bob Thornton and Johnny Cash to John Grisham and Louis Jordan.

Quartz Crystals

Quartz crystal

Quartz Crystal

According to geologists, Arkansas and Brazil have the best quality quartz in the world. In the Ouachita Mountains of west-central Arkansas, the area around Mount Ida and Hot Springs is a prospector's delight. Many dig-your-own mines are open to the public where you can hunt to your heart’s content. Numerous rock and gem shops offer crystals for sale, ranging from nominal prices to those in the thousands of dollars. For those who want to try their luck at winning some prize money, the World's Championship Quartz Crystal Dig at Mount Ida is held the second weekend in October. During the dig, contestants compete for cash prizes and trophies and can keep all the crystals they mine during the contest.

Whether you want to dig for diamonds or relax at a spa, you can put together the ultimate Arkansas trip with these unique vacation ideas.