It’s no secret that I love living in the Natural State.
There’s so much to see and do, from outdoor adventures to unique cultural experiences. Even as a longtime Arkansan, I’m constantly discovering new ways to experience this beautiful state.
Check out a few of my favorite spots to travel in Arkansas!
As a nature enthusiast, I never grow tired of exploring the Natural State and all the outdoor experiences it has to offer. I’m always looking for areas I haven’t seen before, and Buck Island has quickly become a new favorite of mine for outdoor adventures.
Located just outside Helena, AR along the Mississippi River, Buck Island is a public island featuring 880 acres of native forests, 620 acres of white sand beaches, five miles of hiking trails and a three-mile side channel.
Buck Island gives visitors a chance to experience the natural wonders of the Mississippi River in a whole new way. Recently conserved for public access, the island offers new opportunities for camping, hiking, paddling, swimming, fishing and more.
The island also supports numerous wildlife species, some of which are endangered, and is a stop-over site along the Mississippi Flyway, used by 65 percent of North American migratory bird species, making it a bird-watcher’s paradise!
I love exploring unique spots around Arkansas, especially those that offer a glimpse into what feels like a whole other world. Subiaco Abbey offers just that.
Located in the small town of Subiaco in the Arkansas River Valley is Subiaco Abbey, which houses a community of over forty Benedictine monks and includes a preparatory academy and retreat center.
Established in 1878, Subiaco Abbey features Old World architecture, such as the massive Romanesque-style Abbey Church. Perched on a hillside, the Abbey also offers scenic views of the surrounding area.
Subiaco Abbey isn’t just known for its breathtaking views and architecture. Since 2003, the monks at Subiaco have been making their famous hot habanero pepper sauce known as “Monk Sauce.” Made fresh from habanero peppers grown in the Subiaco gardens, “Monk Sauce” packs a fiery punch and is a favorite among visitors.
If you’re looking for an incredible cultural experience, look no further than Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.
Crystal Bridges is a state-of-the-art museum which has created a nationwide buzz since its opening in 2011. Located in Northwest Arkansas, this museum attracts visitors from all over the country.
Any art lover would be impressed by the museum’s world-class permanent collection, which spans five centuries of American masterworks. Crystal Bridges also features a year-round schedule of exciting and unique temporary exhibitions.
The architecture of Crystal Bridges is just as impressive as the artwork inside the museum. Surrounded by native forest, the exterior of Crystal Bridges was designed in a way that blends nature and art seamlessly.
The museum grounds also feature a classic “Usonian” home designed by world-renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright, which is an absolute must-see!
I love seeing how art can rejuvenate an area or space, which is exactly what the Unexpected has done for Fort Smith, Arkansas.
If you’re passing through the Arkansas River Valley, you’ll want to stop by downtown Fort Smith to catch a glimpse of the colorful, unique murals that are scattered about the area.
The Unexpected is an annual public art festival and downtown revitalization project created by the nonprofit, 64.6 Downtown, which brings renowned artists to the Fort Smith Area to create outdoor art over the course of one week.
As you explore downtown Fort Smith you’ll find that the urban murals truly are, as the name says, unexpected! The public art is a walkable experience that also allows you to explore the downtown Fort Smith area and all it has to offer. While in the area, check out some of Fort Smith’s well-known historic sites, such as Judge Isaac Parker’s courthouse and the National Historic Society.
To learn more about my favorite spots in Arkansas, check out the video below or visit Arkansas.com.