NEAT THINGS TO DO IN & AROUND EUREKA SPRINGS
The inn’s resident elves 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:
Belle of the Ozarks
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 skinnydip), 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!
Blue Spring Heritage
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.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!
The Eureka Springs & North Arkansas Railroad
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 day 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 as a prototype for 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.
GREAT PASSION PLAY and NEW HOLY LAND TOUR
www.greatpassionplay.org Just five minutes from Cliff Cottage Inn – Luxury B&B Suites and Historic Cottages is The Great Passion Play, which depicts the last week of Christ’s life. The 4,100-seat amphitheater looks down on Jerusalem authentically re-created life size, and more than 150 local actors and lots of live animals will transport you back 2,000 years with state-of-the-art sound and lighting. First opened almost 40 years ago, the Passion Play has hosted over seven million visitors to this renowned outdoor spectacle. You can also visit the famous Christ of the Ozarks statue on the Passion Play grounds. The 67-foot tall statue was completed in 1966 by Emmet Sullivan who assisted in the work at Mt. Rushmore.
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 and medium.
Opera In The Ozarks
www.opera.org For more than 65 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! Season is mid-June to mid-July.
State of Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism
www.arkansas.com The State of Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism website is a good place to look up the many enjoyable events happening across Arkansas and various parks and natural wonders you can visit while driving through our beautiful State.
Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge
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 (about 5pm), you can get some great photos!
IF YOU WISH TO GO A BIT FARTHER AFIELD…
Arkansas’ Pig Trail
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!
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.
Crystal Bridges Museum
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 a Frank Lloyd Wright home moved there and open to visitors. The main galleries are open free to the public but special travelling exhibitions have an entry fee. They also have a fabulous restaurant for lunch or dinner and beautiful grounds for picnics and surrounded with walking trails. Closed Tuesdays.
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.