Western Arkansas’ Mountain Frontier is home to unique attractions in cities and towns throughout the region. Below are your best bets for family fun. For museums and historical sites, browse the History section. Art galleries and theaters can be found under Arts.
Alma Aquatic Park
Open Memorial Day-Labor Day. Slides, diving boards, a large swimming area, covered wading pool, water play area and walking trail. Adjacent park has a picnic area and a fire truck play station for young children. Also features 18-basket, professionally designed flying disc course.
Alma Performing Arts Center
Brings live art to the Alma area by booking top name artists and performances. The center is available to organizations by reservations; call (479) 632-2120 or visit the Website at www.almapas.org.
Eagle Crest Golf Course
Eagle Crest is an 18-hole, daily fee course with an excellent driving range. It is listed on The Natural State Golf Trail, which highlights the finest 12 courses in Arkansas. Loctated at 3926 Golf Course Dr.; call (479) 632-8857.
Locally grown fruits and vegetables, handmade crafts and more. Located in downtown Alma. Open Saturday 7 a.m. - 1 p.m., May-October.
Features a new Popeye statue, water display, three gazebos and beautiful walkways among the flowers and shrubs. Located in downtown Alma.
Altus Heritage House Museum
Original German-American Bank, circa 1800's, features early coal mining equipment, plus local history.
Altus Veterans Memorial
26-foot wide, eight-sided memorial of black granite located in Altus City Park includes space for the names of more than 3,000 veterans of U.S. military service from Franklin County and outlying areas.
Chateau Aux Arc Vineyards and Winery
World's largest planter of Cynthiana grapes and the largest Zinfandel planter in Arkansas. Open daily; offers wine tastings. Includes RV park and campgrounds. Located at 8045 Ark. 186; call (479) 468-4400.
Coal Miner's Statue & Memorial
Dedicated in October 1998, this site honors coal miners of District 21 in Franklin, Johnson, and Logan Counties.
Mount Bethel Vineyards & Winery
Historic wine cellar next to 1888 homestead. Free tastings. Mon.-Sat. 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. Large selection of fruit wines. Located on Hwy. 64 E.; call (479) 468-2444.
Founded in 1880, free tastings from a large selection of wines, including classics such as Chardonnay, many regional varietals and muscadine. Large gift shop. Open year-round, Mon. - Sat. 9:30 a.m. - 6 p.m., Sun. 10:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. Located at 1700 St. Mary's Mountain Road; call (479) 468-2741.
St. Mary's Catholic Church
Beautiful 1902 Roman Basilical style church known for its paintings and ornate goldleaf work. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Half-million-dollar renovation completed in 1999.
Arkansas Tuberculosis Sanitarium Historic Site
Operated from 1910-1973. Arkansas' largest Historic District and on the National Registry. During its 63 years of operation, 100,000 patients were treated on the grounds of this self-contained hospital facility. Architecture and history abound still today. Self-guided driving tour brochures are available at the Çhamber of Commerce.
Blue Mountain Wildlife Management Demostration Area
Headquarters for Sporting Dog Championship Field Trials held each year March-December, including the National German Shorthaired Association in early March, the Irish Setter Club of America National Field Championship in late October, the Southland Pointer Field Trial Championship in early November and the American Brittany Club National Field Trials in late November.
Booneville City Library
(General John Paul McConnell Memorabilia Room). Displays of momentoes of Booneville native John Paul McConnell, Air Force Chief of Staff from 1965-1969. Collection includes medals, photos and other souvinirs.
Mount Magazine State Park
Located atop Mount Magazine, it offers breathtaking views of the valley and Blue Mountain Lake. Campsites are available all year. The new State Park Lodge opened in May 2006. Mount Magazine is northeast of Booneville, soaring to 2,753 feet above sea level.
National Commemorative Site
Located in front of Charleston Middle School on Main Street, the site honors the district's role as the first public school in the South to integrate.
Bass Reeves Statue
The only equestrian statue with mount in Arkansas, this 25-foot work of art honors the illustrious lawman Bass Reeves. Reeves was the first African-American Deputy U.S. Marshal west of the Mississippi and served under Federal Judge Isaac C. Parker. Over a 30-year career, he brought approximately 3,000 outlaws to justice. Statue located in Ross Pendergraft Park in downtown Fort Smith. 479-783-8888.
Belle Grove Historic District
Restored homes and buildings line the streets of this 22-block area, reflecting a variety of architectural styles of the past 130 years. The district is on the National Register of Historic Places. Located at N. Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth from N. "C" to N. "H" Streets.
Chaffee Crossing Historic District
A walkable, authentic WWII-era district features museums, an Enchanted Wedding Chapel and other amenities. The District hosts the annual Elvis Hair Cut Day Spring Festival in April and Veterans Day Parade the second Saturday in November. Barbershop and History museums are open Mon-Sat., 9am-4pm, 7313 Terry Street, (479) 434-6774.
Chaffee Crossing Museums:
Chaffee Barbershop Museum
This restored WWII army barbershop where thousands of U.S. soldiers received their signature G.I. buzz cuts looks just like it did the day Elvis Presley reported for duty in 1958. Period memorabilia and photographs document the “hair cut heard ‘round the world.”
The Museum of Chaffee History
Located next to the Chaffee Barbershop, this museum houses the largest collection of artifacts, photos and documents that chronicle the impact of the Fort Chaffee military training facility on Fort Smith and the state of Arkansas.
Vietnam Veterans Museum
A tribute to those who served in the Vietnam War with collections donated by local Vietnam Veterans as well as static displays. Open by appointment only.
The restored amphitheater located near the Historic District overlooks the beautiful scenery of Ben Geren Park and south Fort Smith. Constructed of native stone in 1953 and rebuilt in 2011, it is available for weddings, parties and events.
Built in 1882, this mansion was the home of Judge William H.H. Clayton, the U.S. District Attorney in Judge Parker's Court. Period durnishings and Clayton family belongings. Located at 514 N. Sixth St.; call (479) 783-3000 or visit the Website at www.claytonhouse.org.
Ride the mini train at the expansive Creeknmore Park for 25 cents. Park includes playgrounds, a train, mini-golf, swimming, tennis, pavilions, an exercise trail and a community center. Call (479) 784-2368 or visit the Website at www.fortsmithparks.com.
The boyhood home of General William O. Darby, leader of Darby's Rangers in World War II; contains tributes to Darby and artifacts from Cisterna, Italy, Fort Smith's sister city. Located at 311 General Darby St.; call (479) 782-3388 or visit the Website at www.darbyrangerfoundation.com.
Darby Legacy Monument
A monument to General Darby was dedicated during the Steel Horse Rally in April 2016. It is located at Cisterna Park at North 10th St. and Garrison Ave.
Original basic training facility built in early 1940's. Currently used in training National Guard troops and as site available to military reunions. Visit the Website at www.chaffeecrossing.com.
Fort Smith Air Museum
A wide variety of displays honoring the pioneer and military aviators from the area, and chronicling the history of airline service to Fort Smith. Self-guided tour. Located at the Fort Smith Regional Airport. Call 479-785-1839 or visit the Website at http://biz.mynewroads.com/fsairmuseum/
Fort Smith Convention Center
State-of-the-art center offers 140,000 square feet of exhibition and banquet space, 5,400 square feet of meeting room space (up to eight break-out rooms), 23,000 square feet of support areas and a performing arts center; call (479) 788-8932 or visit the Website at www.fortsmithconventioncenter.org.
Fort Smith Museum of History
The museum houses permanent exhibits and collections including memorabilia and papers of WWII hero General William O. Darby. Working old-fashioned soda fountain and gift shop on-site. Open June-Aug.: Tue.-Sat. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., Sun. 1 - 5 p.m. Admission charged. Located at 320 Rogers Ave.; call (479) 783-7841 or visit the Website at www.fortsmithmuseum.com.
Fort Smith Historic Sites:
Fort Smith National Historic Site
This nearly 200-year-old National Historic Site includes the remains of two frontier forts and the 19th-century Federal Court for the Western District of Arkansas. Exhibits interpret a significant phase of America's western expansion, including the Trail of Tears. Open daily 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. (closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day). Admission charged. Located at 301 Parker Ave.; call (479) 783-3961 or visit the Website at www.nps.gov/fosm. Sites include: Barracks/Courthouse/Jail, Belle Point, Commissary Storehouse and the Gallows.
The army barracks were converted in 1872 into a courthouse with a basement jail nicknamed “Hell on the Border”. The park has re-created a portion of the jail cells with exhibits on outlaws and deputy marshalls. The courtroom used by Judge Isaac C. Parker has been restored to its 1880’s appearance.
Site of the first Fort Smith ( 1817-1824 ). Visitors can see the foundation remains of the fort and walk along the paved river trail. The Trail of Tears Overlook has exhibits on the forced Indian Removal.
A reproduction of the 1886 gallows that existed at the Federal Court in Fort Smith after the Civil War. Of the more than 160 people sentenced to the Fort Smith gallows between 1872 and 1896, only 86 of those were hanged.
One of only three structures remaining from the military period, the Commissary is the oldest building I Fort Smith. Food supplies were stored here and transported to troops stationed farther west.
Fort Smith Regional Art Museum
This state-of-the-art museum opened in early 2013 is climate-controlled and equipped to facilitate nationally and internationally recognized traveling exhibits. RAM offers education programs and special events for children and adults. 701 Rogers Ave. (479) 784-2787. fsram.org.
Fort Smith River Park
New complex fronting the Arkansas River features an ampitheater, events building and a pavilion with an open-air style market, A mile-long, paved River Walk connects to the Fort Smith National Historic Site. Call (479) 784-1006 or visit the Website at www.fortsmithparks.com.
Fort Smith Trolley Museum
Two restored Birney streetcars that operated in Fort Smith until 1935, plus rail and transportation memorabilia. May 1 - Nov. 1: Mon. - Fri. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., Sun. 1-5 p.m.; Nov. 1 - May 1: Sat. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., Sun. 1-5 p.m. Admission charged. Located at 100 S. Fourth St.; call (479) 783-0205 or visit the Website at www.fstm.org.
Greg Smith River Park
A 1.6-mile trail along the Arkansas River connecting the Henry E. Kelley River Walk to the Rice Carden Levee Trail will be completed in 2016 with a grand opening set for next spring.
Janet Huckabee Arkansas River Valley Nature Center
Arkansas Game and Fish Commission nature center is packed with interactive exhibits, educational programs, natural beauty, a gift shop, multi-purpose room, wildlife viewing area, classroom and extensive trails; call (479)-452-3993 or visit the Website at www.rivervalleynaturecenter.com.
J.M. Sparks Home
The original interiors of this Romanesque-Victorian style home built in 1887 include hand-carved fireplaces and circular front windows. This building is listed on the National Register and now houses Taliano's, a popular Italian restaurant. Visit the Website at www.talianos.net.
A fieldstone structure built by German immigrant Joseph E. Knoble in 1848, now restored and on the National Register of Historic Places. Unique arched ceiling. Now houses a popular steak restaurant, Doe's Eat Place. Open for dinner Mon. - Sat. Located at 422 N. Third St.; call (479) 784-9111 or visit the Website at www.doeseatplace.com/fort_smith.html.
Miss Laura's Visitor Center
Miss Laura's, the first former bordello listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is now the unique setting for the Fort Smith Visitor Center. Open Mon.-Sat. 9 a.m. - 4 p.m., Sun. 1-4:30 p.m. Located at 2 N. "B" St.; call 1-800-637-1477, (479) 783-8888 or visit the Website at www.fortsmith.org.
One of Western Arkansas' newest and most unique dining and entertainment complexes, the MovieLounge is the only complex of its kind in the state of Arkansas. Featuring world-class dining, movies, special events and entertainment. 7601 Rogers Ave. (479) 226-3595. MovieLoungeFSM.com.
Parrot Island Waterpark
Come enjoy a fun filled summer lounging in the 500 foot long lazy river “Crocodile Creek” or have fun on one of the four fast and wild water slides. Park incudes a huge wave pool, children’s play area, activity pool with basketball boats and water walk. www. Parrotislandwaterwalk.com
The Blue Lion at UAFS Downtown
A beautiful performing arts and multi-purpose space located in historic downtown Fort Smith. Perfect for hosting local and touring musical events, business meetings or dinners. (479) 788-7302. E-mail Stacy.email@example.com.
The Park at West End
Ride on a vintage carousel or Ferris wheel. Dine in an antique rail car or enjoy concessions from a classic double decker bus. A fun "retro" amusement park. Hours vary according to season. Located at 15 N. Second St., Downtown Fort Smith; call (479) 784-2368 or visit the Website at www.fortsmithparks.com.
Mural festival that took place in September 2015, spanned eight days and featured seven artists from six countries. There will be more added each September. Garrison Avenue.
U.S. Marshalls Museum
The national fundraising effort for the construction of the U.S. Marshalls Museum is in progress. The museum celebrated with a 2014 groundbreaking for this tourism and educational institution on the banks of the Arkansas River in downtown Fort Smith.
U.S. National Cemetery
Interments date from the War of 1812 and include Judge Parker, many of his deputy marshals and General William O. Darby. Located at 522 Garland & S. Sixth Streets; call (479) 783-5345 or visit the Web site at www.cem.va.gov/cems/nchp/ftsmith.asp.
Winston’s Pipe & Cigar Emporium
Cigar lounge with a wide variety of cigar brands and accessories. Includes comfortable leather seating, humidified lockers and large HDTVs for your viewing pleasure. Mon.-Thur. 10 a.m. – 7 p.m., Fri-Sat. 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. (479) 434-5627. winstonsemporium.com
Zachary Taylor’s Chimney
U.S. President Zachary Taylor, then an Army general, lived in a two-story frame house for three years while supervising the construction of Fort Smith. Artifacts found near the current St. Anne’s building at Immaculate Conception Church revealed remnants of the Zachary Taylor House, including the chimney. The chimney is now on permanent display at the church. 13th St. and Garrison Ave.
Located just off North Main Street, the park boasts a view that is second to none. Walking trails wind through the park. A new rock promenade, disc golf and playgounds make this a true family park. Ampitheater and events building designed for open-air or closed seating for 300.
Coal Miners Memorial
Recognizes those who worked in area coalmines. Mining was lifeblood of the south Sebastian County economy.
Veterans Memorial on The Square
The Greenwood Veteran’s Square phase one has been completed. The Veteran’s Square will serve the community as a lasting tribute to all who have served in the United States Armed Forces. The renovation includes custom lighting, flag poles, and personalized granite stones with veteran’s names along the sidewalks for a serene setting.
Greenwood High School Performing Arts Center
Greenwood School System boasts an auditorium that will seat 1,303 people. Also, available for use by the community to bring talent and cultural events to the area. Located at 515 Fary St.; call (479) 996-4142.
Old Jail Museum
Occupied in April 1891, the Sebastian County Quorum Court had the building constructed as a "holding jail" for drunks and rabble rousers. May 1-October 1. 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Thurs.-Sat. Special tours may be arranged through the Greenwood Chamber of Commerce. Located at Southside of the square.
The circa 1848 cabin was built by a bachelor school teacher and used as a residence and school until his marriage in 1850. Located near the Old Jail Museum.
Dedicated to the city's coal miners.
Several stone monuments honor the memory of those that have served.
Located on Hwy. 96 1.5 miles west of Mansfield. Circa 1825. Restored by the city. French Traders and Choctaw Indians established a trading post in 1819, and the first post office was established in 1852. The logs in this building are a part of the original trading post and post office. The post office was relocated to present day Mansfield in 1887.
Coop Prairie Cemetery
Only cemetery in the United States with a federal highway running through it.
This original theater, now owned by the city, is currently undergoing restoration by volunteers. 101 W. Howard St.
Antiques To Go
Variety of antiques and collectibles is fascinating - everything from "elegant junk" to vintage treasures.
Esso Gas Station
Restored 1928 Esso gas station with rare muscle cars, classic cars, antique autos, street rods and motorcycles. Esso later became Exxon. Located at 423 Mena St.
Ten-acre park features an 1851 log cabin, two spring-fed ponds, two mountain howitzer cannons and a bronze fountain.
Mena Artist Gallery
Mena street gallery features local and well-known artisans and offers classes for all ages; call (479) 394-3880.
The restored 1920s Kansas City Southern Railroad Depot houses that Mena/Pilk County Chamber of Commerce, tourist information and the Depot Center, a museum featuring local history, railroad displays and memorabilia, works by local artists and a 1939 Dodge police car. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Mena First Presbyterian Church
The Bavarian stained glass windows are perhaps the most beautiful and historic of any church in western Arkansas.
Ouachita Little Theatre
Enjoy the talents of local actors and directors in productions throughout the year. Performed in the restored Lyric Theater on Mena Street.
Mini train offers panoramic views from atop Rich Mountain and Queen Wilhelmina Park. Open seasonally Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Mountainburg Area/Scenic Byway 71
Shopping, antiques, crafts, lodging, restaurants and outdoor activities from Rudy to Winslow. Former stage route. Recreation areas and many scenic views in the area.
Aux Arc Park
One of the most beautiful Corps of Engineers public parks in the state with more than 80 RV hook-ups plus primitive campsites along the tree-lined banks of the Arkansas River at Ozark Lake. (479) 667-2949.
City of Ozark
Visit the many antique stores and shops within downtown's "Historic Courthouse District," listed on the National Register of Historic Places along with six individual buildings. 800-951-2525 or (479) 667-2949.
A historic sand-carved mural depicting the history of Ozark is located at the Bank of the Ozarks at 6th and Commerce Streets.
The Ozark area is fast becoming the music festival capital of Arkansas hosting Highberry Music Festival, Byrdfest, and many other musical events throughout the year. (479) 667-2949.
The lighted Ozark Bridge spanning the Arkansas River on scenic Highway 23 is one of the 16 most beautiful long-span bridges in the country. (479) 667-2949.
Ozark Depot Museum
Built in 1911. The Iron Mountain Railroad passenger train used this station. The first train reached Ozark in 1876, and by 1888, there were four passenger trains daily. Today, the museum houses hundreds of artifacts and unique exhibits. (479) 667-2949.
Reed Mountain Park, Overlook and Nature Trail
A 7/8-mile trail with magnificent views of the city, Ozark Lake and Arkansas River. (479) 667-2949.
A few miles west of Paris is Cowie Winery and the Arkansas Historic Wine Museum, which houses the largest bell collection and the largest bell in Arkansas. 101 N. Carbon City Rd., (479)963-3990.
Eiffel Tower Park
A gift to the city in 2014, Eiffel Tower Park is a 25-foot statue and water feature, painted the same as the Eiffel Tower in France. Great photo-op located on the west side of town.
Logan County “Old Jail” Museum
Housed in the old jail where the last legally sanctioned hanging in the state took place in 1914; listed on the National Register. Call for hours of operation and group tours for live re-enactments of 1870s era hangings at the only functional hanging gallows in the U.S. 204 N. Vine St. (479)963-3936
Paris-Logan County Coal Miners Memorial
In the 1800’s, coal was discovered in Logan County, and the rest is history. Photos and artifacts pay tribute to local coal miners. Stop by the functioning blacksmith shop for a fun history lesson on how it all worked. 804 S. Elm St., for tours, call (479) 963-6463.
A must-see site is Subiaco Abbey five miles east of Paris on Hwy 22. The Benedictine monks here trace their history back to fifth-century Italy. Facilities include a church, retreat center, living quarters for the monks and a college prep school for boys. 9479) 934-1001.
Anheuser-Busch Brewing Company
The famous “A and Eagle” trademark still caps the facade of this circa 1892 building. Located at 600 Main St.
Arkansas and Missouri Railroad
Embark on a three-hour journey through the Ozark Mountains. Vintage train runs Friday and Saturday, April-end of September. Runs Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. October-mid-November. Located at Old Frisco Depot, 813 Main St.; call 1-800-687-8600.
Center for Art and Education
Housed in the Old St. Michael's Catholic Church, built in 1912, the center offers exhibits, workshops, lessons, gifts and special events. Located at 104 N. 13th St.; call (479) 474-7767.
Crawford County Bank Building
Marble mantles, lavatories, waterworks and electric lights were the marvel of Van Buren's first bank, circa 1889. Located at 633 Main St.
Crawford County Courthouse
The oldest working courthouse west of the Mississippi. In 1877, arsonists destroyed this 1842 building. Later, it was rebuilt and a front porch, side and rear wings, and the clock tower with it's grand Seth Thomas Clock were added. Located on Main St.
Historic Downtown Geocache Walking Tour
Find the hidden “historic treasures” on Main Street in Van Buren by solving the questions at each stop along this self-guided tour. Pick up a brochure at the Frisco Depot or at the Chamber of Commerce.
King Opera House
Productions are still staged in this opulent structure built in the 1880's. It was remodeled into a theater at the turn of the century. Located at 427 Main St.; call (479) 474-2426.
Main Street Van Buren
Art galleries, antiques, restaurants and historical attractions. The turn-of-century architecture has appeared in films and the TV mini-series “The Blue and the Gray.” 813 Main St. 800-332-5889.
The Old Frisco Depot
Built in 1901, the depot has been restored and serves today as offices for the Van Buren Chamber of Commerce and departure site for excursions on the Arkansas & Missouri Railroad. Located at 813 Main St.
River Valley Museum Of Van Buren
Offers a glimpse of Van Buren’s past through exhibits of photos and artifacts. Located at 813 Main St.
UAFS Drennen-Scott Historical Site
The house was built in 1836 and was the home of Revolutionary War descendent John Drennen and his family. It is linked to the Trail of Tears, the Underground Railroad and the Civil War. The single-story house and its contents are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Open March-Nov., Thurs. 1-5 p.m. and Fri. - Sat. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Free admission. Located at 221 N. Third St. Call 479-262-2750.
Van Buren Walking Tour
Pick up a brochure at the Van Buren Visitors Center in the Old Frisco Depot for this self-guided tour featuring 52 interesting stops.
A large collection of Indian artifacts found around Waldron is displayed. Also, early pioneer artifacts and Scott County pictures. Located at 1205 N. Main St.
Featuring restaurants, shops and the Scott Theater, the oldest theater in Arkansas still in operation. Parsley's Antiques housed in the original Parsley's five and dime store. Many downtown buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places.
Historical Forrester Park
"The Town That Moved Away." In 1940, this town had a population of 1,306 and was self-sustaining. Area has picnic facilities with covered pavilion, photos, information and maps of the town as it once was.
Truman Baker Park
This park features an eight-acre lake and pavilions, and was voted most photogenic park in the U.S. Located on Hwy. 71 South of Waldron.
Waldron Country Club Golf Course
Lovely nine-hole open course with paved cart trails. Visitors can play Tuesday-Sunday for a nominal fee. There are tournaments April-October. Located on City Lake Road.
Gateway to Arkansas Wine Country
Look for the large Swiss Chalet at exit 41 on I-40. It houses the I-40 Wine Country Tourist Center where information and brochures from all Arkansas wineries can be acquired, plus brochures of many other things to see and do in the area. Also look for the Arkansas Wine Trail signs off I-40.
Swiss Family Vineyards, Winery and Tasting Room
This winery and gift shop is located right at Exit 41 on I-40. Call 479-667-0149 or 479-667-WINE.
Wiederkehr Village Wines and Spirits
Only liquor store open on Sunday on I-40 in Arkansas features the Tasting Room where all Arkansas Wines, as well as wines from all over the world, can be tasted and purchased.
Wiederkehr Wine Cellars
The oldest winery in mid-America offers free tours and tastings of its award-winning vintages. Wiederkehr Weinkeller Restaurant, located in the oldest original 1880 underground wine cellars dug by Johann Andreas Wiederkehr, is on the National Register of Historic Places. Award-winning Swiss cuisine is offered. Imported gifts are available in the Vintage 1880 Gift Shop. All are open seven days a week, year round. Located at 3324 Swiss Family Dr. Call 1-800-622-WINE or 479-468-WINE.