NEAT THINGS TO DO IN & AROUND EUREKA SPRINGS
The inn’s resident elf thought you might like to have some handy links to information about what fun activities there are to do and see while you are in Eureka Springs. These are just a few of the fascinating attractions you can explore while you are here. Before you arrive, with your detailed confirmation, the elf will share with you all the other neat events going on during your stay! Here are a few links, not in any special order:
www.intriguetheater.com The Intrigue Theater, performing in the historic Gavioli (a former church) on the Historic Loop, takes guests back to the Victorian era where they will witness a series of inexplicable mysteries by a very talented illusionist.
www.ozarkmountainhoedown.com Ozark Mountain Hoe-Down AND www.pinemountaintheater.com Pine Mountain Theater. Both of these fun shows up on Hwy. 62 are just a few minutes’ drive from Cliff Cottage Inn. The innkeeper will send you schedule info when you book a suite or cottage at the inn.
A note from the Cliff Cottage Inn’s innkeeper about the two music shows (above) in town:
“When an innkeeper is exhausted and totally worn out from making muffins, beds and trying to keep up with all the daily email requests for info about the inn, she might just want to run away from inn. Me? I hop in my car and drive as fast as I can maneuver our curvy streets directly to one of the music shows. I don’t pass “GO”, I don’t collect $200, I don’t end up in jail….I end up at the most wonderful “therapy session” known to woman (and man, too!) After sitting in the audience and listening to a show with the lifting music, the funny jokes, the great banjos and guitars, the patriotic songs…..I walk out the door, clicking my heels, snapping my fingers and even laughing…and knowing that I can make it for a while longer back at the inn…well, at least I know I can make it until the next time I hit the music show and am hugged by the ticket seller and warmly greeted by the hosts! Those are two great places for some good-old fashioned natural therapy and definitely for a well-needed giggle!”
www.BlueSpringHeritage.com A historical site where the Cherokee wintered over during their historic Trail of Tears exodus. Every day, 38 million gallons of water find their way through the aquifer system into its trout-filled lagoon. The visitor center offers fascinating information about the Cherokee and that fateful winter of 1837.
www.estc.net/belle Enjoy a 90-minute cruise around the second cleanest lake in America, Beaver Lake, where you can see almost 30 feet down! With 500 miles of shoreline and 33,000 acres of water, this lake offers incredible fishing (wide-mouth bass, stripers, trout) and swimming in pristine waters. The lake is just 20 minutes’ drive from Cliff Cottage Inn and you can spend the day at Starkey Park or rent a pontoon boat at Starkey Marina. Belle of the Ozarks (located next to Starkey Marina) offers an afternoon cruise that passes by the 200-acre game preserve island and you can often see the deer swimming back and forth from the mainland to the island! You’ll also have great views of Whitney Mountain, Whitehouse Bluffs (where all the locals go to sun and swim), and Beaver Dam. The skipper will even point out the submerged town that was flooded when the lake was created and if you take SCUBA diving lessons at the lake, for the final exam, the instructor hides something in someone’s watery bedroom!
www.esnarailway.com The Eureka Springs & North Arkansas Railroad offers excursion trips or a lunch or dinner dining car. You’ll feel like you’ve entered the Gilded Age as you enjoy dinner aboard the train powered by a 1940s era diesel engine. Back in the days when the steam engine was running, this very same train brought into town the 40 boxes that contained all the lumber, doors, windows and even screws for the building of Cliff Cottage, an Eastlake design used later for one of Sears’ first kit homes. You can also take a daytime excursion aboard the train and then watch its turntable in operation! The conductor will regale you with tales of ridin’ the rails of long ago.
www.opera.org For more than 50 years, the Opera in the Ozarks has offered a venue just a short drive out of town for the world’s finest young singers to train under mentors and then to present full-stage operas in its semi-outdoor setting. Here’s your chance to hear those singers that will soon go on to the NY City Opera, the Met and other great houses….at a fraction of the cost. Plus, the orchestra is also made up of some of the finest young musicians who audition from around the world to spend the better part of the summer making music right here in Eureka Springs. Enjoy a memorable evening under the stars!
www.turpentinecreek.org Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge, about 10 miles outside Eureka Springs, is home to over 150 large rescued animals including lions, ligers, tigers, cougars, leopards, bears, monkeys and deer. The 450-acre refuge is one of very few U.S.D.A. licensed places for these large animals in the United States. Many of these animals have either been neglected or their owners thought them cute as babies but not as cute when they became full-grown. If you go around feeding time, you can get some great photos!
www.cosmiccavern.com You will see two bottomless lakes during your 90-minute tour. The first lake has had trout in it for nearly 50 years and some offspring are blind and most have lost their color. The bottom or end of these lakes is yet to be found. You’ll also enjoy seeing one of the longest stalactite formations in the Ozarks measuring almost 10 feet!
IF YOU WISH TO GO A BIT FARTHER AFIELD…
www.thorncrown.com A short drive out of town, this exquisite chapel designed by the late E. Fay Jones, was named #4 of the top ten buildings of the last century by the American Institute of Architects. It contains 6,000 square feet of glass and stunning views of the surrounding Ozarkscape. This is where Innkeeper Sandra used to go almost daily to meditate when she was constructing The Place Next Door…a Victorian replica she had designed while sailing alone in the Pacific and the building of which was a very frustrating but eventually rewarding experience.
www.crystalbridges.org In Bentonville about an hour from Eureka Springs, this world-renowned museum is home to the nation’s largest collection of artwork by American artists and is open free to the public.
www.ExploreBranson.com Just 47 miles away and about an hour’s drive through the beautiful Ozarks, Branson offers great music shows plus three discount shopping malls. Many of our guests drive over for the day and catch a few shows and then return to peaceful and charming Eureka Springs where they’ve stepped away from the malls and back in time to the days of Dickens.
Discovery Channel just named Arkansas’ Pig Trail as the #2 out of Top 10 Motorcycle Rides in North America. Eureka Springs has become the hub of many amazing motorcycle rides and the #2 ride out of 10 named by Discovery Channel starts in Ozark, just 80 fabulous riding miles down from Eureka Springs. Head south out of Eureka Springs on Hwy 23 for about two hours of incredible scenery and turns to Ozark, AR (between Little Rock and Ft. Smith) where the Pig Trail begins. Some other neat rides from Eureka Springs are: head west on Hwy 12 to Rogers via War Eagle Mill; head west on Hwy 62 to Bentonville and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art; head north towards Roaring River Canyon and Branson, and southeast to Buffalo River National Park.
Arkansas Pig Trail: The town of Ozark lies between Little Rock and Fort Smith, and after riding down Highway 23 from Eureka Springs, that’s where you’ll want to pick up this trail, so aptly named in the state that made Razorbacks famous. “The rugged and forested Boston Mountains region of the Ozark Mountains is the setting for this route, which often runs through a tunnel of foliage during spring, summer and fall. Spring wildflowers and brilliant autumn colors make the route especially popular during those seasons. The route crosses the Mulberry River and the 165-mile Ozark Highlands Trail. And you’ll encounter various hairpin turns, straightaways, and drop-offs where the cliffs seem to be right next to you. Stop by the general store halfway through the run to get a pin proclaiming that you have ridden ‘The Arkansas Dragon.’” If your ride ends in Eureka Springs, the Jacuzzi or hot tub at Cliff Cottage Inn is the perfect prescription to soak away those tired muscles!
Innkeeper Sandra spent 7 years sailing alone in the Pacific, on a three-meal-a-day fish diet, catching huge beautiful salmon off the California coast which she broiled on her stern-mounted gas barbecue, marlin and mighty skipjack tuna off the Baja coast, all kinds of reef fish in the Sea of Cortez and Tarpon farther south. When she first came to Arkansas, she took up trout-fishin’ in the White River below the dam and often would get up at 3AM to go catch some fresh ones for the guests’ breakfasts. She’ll gladly let you know where her favorite fishin’ holes are if you want to bring your rod.
If you are into fly fishing, during the warm weather, you’ll get good results with Partridge and yellow soft hackles (size 15); also, Red Ass (size 16 to 18); B.H. Woolly Buggers, black or olive (10 to 12); Johnny Flash Gomez (18); W.D.-40 Tun, olive (18-20); Griffith’s Gnat (20-22) and B.H. Pheasant Tails, olive (14-16).
If you’re looking for the mammoth striped bass or catfish, head straight for Beaver Lake where stripers swim on top in the very early morning and you can catch them from shore around the Beaver Dam and points 1 and 5 and Indian Creek for boaters. Large floating stick baits, Rattle Traps and XXXL-sized minnows will without doubt land you a photo-op biggie! Our popular catfish love chicken livers, crawfish and night crawlers and can be pulled up from the 10 to 15-foot depths at night. Lake Leatherwood Park just west on 62 a few miles from downtown has the biggest channel cats you’ll ever find anywhere! If you’re into slab crappies, check out Lake Leatherwood …they are going for minnows and jigs. Red-ear love crickets.
We are happy to report that Beaver Lake is now a very strictly-enforced “NO ALCOHOL” lake so it will be safe for every fisherman or boater. You can meander out on it from Starkey Marina — they have some fun pontoon boats to rent there and the marina has been completely renovated under new owners.
While many inns offer package options to their guests, we have found that this option actually limits the value and enjoyment benefit to our guests, as there is no way to refund unused portions of the package. No point in paying for something you’ll only use half of. It is for this reason that we have selected a number of single-activity “Optional Extras” to offer our guests and the guests pay the attraction providers directly when they arrive at the attraction. Choose one, or choose many and make all the fun your OWN choice!
The inn’s resident “elf” (a.k.a. your innkeeper) will set up any Optional Extras upon request, with cancellation option with advance notice:
- Victorian Bouquet in Vase
- Long-stemmed Red Pillow Rose or Dozen Roses in Vase
- Special Occasion Mini-Cake (Birthday, Anniversary, etc.)
- Reservations to the Great Passion Play (May to November)
- Carriage Ride
- Dinner Train Excursion (May to end October)
- Reservations to Ozark Mountain Hoedown, Pine Mountain Theater, Intrigue Theater
- Small Elopement Weddings/Vow Renewals/Commitment Ceremonies at the Inn
- Canoe Trip on the White River
- Horseback Excursions
- Zipline Reservations
- Guided Fishing Trips on Beaver Lake (see details below)
GUIDED FISHING TRIPS
One- and two-person trips on Beaver Lake to fish for trophy striper. All sport-related gear is provided by the guide; however, you are responsible for your own clothing, rain gear, food, and beverage (no alcohol allowed). Rates may vary, but typical rates are:
1/2 Day Trip (4 hours) $250.00
3/4 Day Trip (6 hours) $300.00
Full Day Trip (8 hours) $350.00
Prices typically increase by $50.00 per person. A $100 deposit is required for all trips at the time of booking. Guide’s policy states that deposit is forfeited if cancellation occurs within 30 days of trip.
THREE TIMELESS TYPICAL DAYS AT CLIFF COTTAGE INN – LUXURY B&B SUITES AND HISTORIC COTTAGES
Day 1: Wake up and brew yourself some imported Costa Rican coffee to enjoy with your elf-provided breakfast delivered on a silver tray to your suite. Explore the one-mile Nature Loop behind the inn, where you may catch a glimpse of local plant life and wildlife near Little Lake Eureka and Carrie Nation’s last home (Hatchet Hall). Now’s the time to browse the specialty shops, antiques, and art galleries just a few paces away. Have lunch at one of our charming cafes before a short walk back to the inn. Enjoy an early afternoon Historic Tram Tour around Eureka Springs before taking the short drive to the world-famous Thorncrown Chapel (#4 on the list of top 10 buildings in the United States). Continue to Lake Leatherwood Park and enjoy the 2100-acre, second-largest city park in America: try out the masterfully-blazed hiking trails, take a paddle-boat trip on the lake, and just enjoy nature. Return to the inn and enjoy a delicious dinner at one of Eureka Springs’ great restaurants (just ask the innkeeper, a confessed foodie, where to go). Enjoy an evening show featuring local bluegrass performers and comedians then a walk around downtown to take in some local music. Return to the inn for a glass of chilled wine waiting in your refrigerator, and take a relaxing dip in the Jacuzzi or hot tub before retiring!
Day 2: After your delivered breakfast (breakfast is included to the suites but not the stand-alone cottage and studio with fully-equipped kitchens), purchase a bottle of wine or champagne from the inn’s wine cave and make the 25-minute trip to Beaver Lake, picking up some lunch along the way for a romantic picnic. Enjoy a half-day pontoon boat rental, pre-arranged by the inn’s elf in advance, or enjoy the Belle of the Ozarks cruise. Take a swim in the State Park next to Starkey Marina after your boat trip. Make the 10-minute drive to Blue Spring Heritage Center and learn about the “Trail of Tears” encampment and the Native Americans who lived in the area. The Pea Ridge Civil War landmark is just an additional short drive away: take in the history there before enjoying a leisurely drive back through the Ozarks to the inn. Rest up before dinner at another of our fine eateries. Tonight you might choose seats in the 4,000-seat amphitheater for the world-famous Great Passion Play where 150 actors portray the last week of Christ’s life – the inn’s elf is always happy to make reservations for you!
Day 3: Once you’ve finished breakfast, head across the street from the inn to the Eureka Springs Historic Museum and pick up the booklet of “Historical Walking Tours” before learning more about our beautiful town and colorful past residents. Pop into one of our cafes for lunch before heading out to Cosmic Cavern featuring two recently discovered underground lakes and beautiful formations, just 18 miles outside of town. Or make the longer trip through the beautiful Ozarks to Branson for a day of shopping the discount malls and enjoying a show or two. Partway there, explore Dogwood Canyon, a naturalist’s paradise! After your day in Branson, on the way back to the inn, stop for a fine dinner at Big Cedar Lodge, owned by Bass Pro Shop. OR, Plan B, drive the 37 scenic miles over to Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville to check out the fabulous American art exhibitions including Charles Willson Peale’s portrait of George Washington. Once back in Eureka Springs, enjoy another fine dinner followed by an evening of dancing and music at one of the many downtown clubs.