— Lakes, tigers & springs, oh my! —
Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge is the nation’s largest rescue facility for big cats; there, groups can take a guided tour to experience lions, tigers, cougars and even bears in their natural habitats. “Guardians” travel near and far to rescue abused and uncared-for animals and bring them to the refuge to live out their lives in pampered comfort.
Blue Spring Heritage Center is a natural wonder, pouring 38 million gallons of cold, clear water into its trout-stocked lagoon each day. Groups enjoy the walkways and inviting garden paths that wind through 33 acres, as well as an area where the Cherokee people stopped on the Trail of Tears. The center’s bluff shelter is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
For outdoor enthusiasts, Eureka Springs’ rivers and lakes offer a wide variety of water sports. The White River, a natural habitat for trout, is one of the finest fishing spots around. With fish topping 50 pounds, Beaver Lake is a world-class, trophy striper destination. Groups can arrange to rent fishing and recreational boats and all the necessary supplies, but for some of the best photo opportunities, take a tube or canoe down the Kings River. Local outfitters offer shuttle services for any size group.
Encompassing 1,600 acres, Lake Leatherwood is the largest “city park” in the nation. Manicured trails offer low-impact, single-track nature trails for foot and bike traffic. The 85-acre lake is continuously recharged by cold spring water and offers swimming, boating and fishing.
New in Eureka Springs
— The art of romance! —
The celebrated Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in nearby Bentonville recently opened its doors. With no cost to view the museum’s permanent collection and lush trails to stroll, it is an ideal place for groups to spend an afternoon.
Romance just might bloom between bank members when they are in Eureka Springs, just trademarked the Wedding Capital of the South. The city issued more than 4,000 marriage licenses last year.
Surprising Eureka Springs
— No hillbillies here! —
While Eureka Springs is a small, friendly town in the middle of the Ozarks with a few colorful characters, the “hillbilly” persona does not exist there. First-class lodging, dining, attractions, shopping and outdoor adventures often have guests saying, “Wow, we had no idea all this was here.”
Taste Eureka Springs
— Winning Eateries! —
Loosen your belt for the home-style cooking at Myrtie Mae’s and the five-course meals at the Grand Taverne and the Cottage Inn. Local favorites include Sparky’s Roadhouse, the Oasis, Local Flavor and the Mud Street Café. Most restaurants are owned and operated by dedicated chefs, some of whom have won numerous culinary awards.