You have young kids and summer is approaching, which means planning a vacation is on your horizon. Frankly, it can be an overwhelming task. How do you please everyone? How do you keep everyone happy and entertained? Easy, Eureka Springs, Arkansas.
Nestled in the heart of the Ozarks, the drive to reach this town is a vacation all on its own. With hills, curves, twists, rivers and animals along the way, the kids will easily stay distracted.
You know their inquisitive little minds work a million miles a minute and between the natural springs (over a dozen around town), the hidden walkways, and brightly colored houses they will not need much convincing that the town in magical.
Things to Do & Places to Visit:
- Two Dumb Dames this fudge factory was started by a mother and daughter candy-making duo and has been passed down through the generations. They make all their own candies with family recipes in small batches to ensure they serve their customers only the freshest.
- Check out the store East By West on 9 Center Street. They adopt and rescue rabbits and train them to work at the store. After you make a purchase, these bunnies hand out receipts, cards, pens and packages. When they are not working, they are visiting with customers on the floor. Your kids will love them and you will be equally charmed.
- Of course, a vacation calls for at least one proper photoshoot. While Eureka has copious photo-ops, one of the most eye-catching backdrops is the Rainbow Staircase. This staircase connects North Main Street with Center Street. You may have even seen it on Pinterest—it is a popular pin!
- Maybe your kids are getting tired of walking or you would like to see more of the town without weaving through the streets yourself. A Tram Tour or a Trolley ride might be just the thing. With a trolley pass, you have the option of purchasing an all-day pass, which allows you to hop on the various routes that take you not only around town but also along the city limits. The open-air tram tour will give your time to view the historic district of Eureka with tour guides that are either natives or longtime residents (AKA they know everything).
- Just a short drive from Eureka is the Cosmic Cavern. This cave stays 64 degrees year-round and features two bottomless cave lakes. The cave tour lasts about an hour and fifteen minutes and is full of amazing formations— some are even transparent! After the tour let your kids pan for gems or dig for fossils.
- Another attraction a short drive from Eureka is Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge. Turpentine rescues animals throughout the U.S. and has a reputation for compassionate care. This facility is one of biggest that is open to the public. The majestic lions, tigers, bears and more will mesmerize your whole family. A little tip, go around feeding time. The animals are guaranteed to be up and moving and sounds they make are impressive.
With all these things to do and places to visit you and your kids will love nothing more than a nice dip in the pool at the end of the day. Check out the Crescent hotel to find great deals. You will not even have to leave for dinner. The Sky Bar Gourmet Pizza sits at the top of the Crescent with a panoramic view of the Ozarks and is open late.
This guide may just be your ticket to planning the best vacation with the least amount of stress.
Bonus: Eureka Springs is dog-friendly! Many stores keep water dishes supplied during the summer months and several hotels welcome your furry friends including both the Crescent and the 1905 Basin Park Hotel.