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Old 01-24-2019, 03:36 PM
 
286 posts, read 140,187 times
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Our vacation this year will be in Arkansas. We'll be driving up from Texas and will start in Eureka Springs. Two nights there and then two nights in Mt. Ida before returning home. (Two adults, no kids)

Here's a few things we had down as interests:

Drive up through Gainesville in Texas, north to Marietta, OK and then cross over to Durant. North to Checotah, cut across on 40 - Fort Smith, Fayetteville, etc.

Eurkea Springs:
Visit town
Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge (must go)

Route from Eureka Springs to Mt Ida would be down 21, and then I think hit I-40 and then go south on 7/27 through Plainview. Maybe do these little hikes?

Hawk's Bill Crag/Whitaker Point
Glory Hole Falls

Mt Ida area:
Crater of Diamonds
Twin Creek Crystal Mine?
Hot Springs Tower?
Peace Valley Blue Hole in Harper

Route home:
Take 270 over to Mena
Do Talimena Scenic Dr to Talihina OK
(then down through Paris and over to DFW)

Any points of interest that we might want to consider? We're doing the third week of April.
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Old 01-24-2019, 09:13 PM
 
Location: Hot Springs Village, AR
277 posts, read 282,830 times
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Visit the Arkansas wine country around Altus. Be sure to eat at the German restaurant at the weiderkehr Win Cellar.

Crater is dopamines state park is quite a ways from Mt Ida. So is Hot Springs.

In a Hot Springs...

Horse racing starts his weekend and runs thru May.
The Mountain Tower is worth the price of admission.
Wander around downtown, see Bathhouse row, and lots of small shops, art galleries, and craft breweries.
The Arkansas Alligator Farm is just west of the downtown area.
Garvan Gardens.

Fort Smith has a lot of old west history.

North of Ft Smith across the river is Van Buren. It has a nice little downtown area, and an excursion train that goes north into the Boston Mountains.
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Old 01-25-2019, 07:32 AM
 
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Thanks for the suggestions.

We aren't into wine or German food - we spent part of our last vacation at Fredericksburg, TX and it seems like that was all we saw there, so no need to revisit.

I'll have to look again at Crater. I think it was about 1.5 hours away on the map when I did directions. Hot Spring was 45 minutes away (hotel is actually east of Mt. Ida on the lake).

We do not like crowds or shopping or galleries/museums, but we did have the Tower down as a place to go and the alligator farm and garvan gardens are things I will need to look into.

Thank you again for the suggestions.
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Old 01-25-2019, 07:43 AM
 
Location: Hot Springs Village, Ark
374 posts, read 906,210 times
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Eurkea Springs:
Visit town
Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge (must go)

If you do nothing else, go to TCWF. We went last May and spent 3 nights in one of their cabins and what an experience. The cabin was adjacent to one of the tiger habitats and the 2 tigers were just outside our window. If you have the time pay the extra money (last year it was $100 per person but goes to a good cause) and take a private guided tour, about 1.5 hours. You get to see parts of the refuge that the general public does not see. Also, last week they rescued 6 more tigers from a petting facility in Oklahoma that was going to euthanize them because they had gotten too large for petting. Unbelievable!!

Hawksbill crag is in the Jasper area so stop at the Cliff House restaurant for a meal and enjoy the view.

While you are in the Mt. Ida area, take the road off highway 270 and drive up to the top of Hickory Nut mountain. There is a vista area there where you can see a lot of Lake Ouachita.

Safe travels and enjoy your stay.
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Old 01-25-2019, 08:07 AM
 
286 posts, read 140,187 times
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Okay, based on suggestions... I have also booked a room at Hot Springs. So, now I am booked both places and will cancel one soon. Although the touristy small shop stuff does not interest me, we may need a day off from so much travelling.

Btoverdrive - thank you for confirming Turpentine is a good place to go. The entire trip was actually based off of it. The private tour and accommodations sound great, but out of our budget. Tour is now $150 per person and rooms start at $175 per night. Tours are also only on Saturday's and we will be there during the week.

Good suggestions about the Cliff House in Jasper. We were going to do Hawksbill that morning and that would be a good stop for lunch. From there it looks like a nice drive down 7 to Hot Springs.
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Old 01-25-2019, 08:12 AM
 
Location: Hot Springs Village, Ark
374 posts, read 906,210 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aa6660 View Post
Okay, based on suggestions... I have also booked a room at Hot Springs. So, now I am booked both places and will cancel one soon. Although the touristy small shop stuff does not interest me, we may need a day off from so much travelling.

Btoverdrive - thank you for confirming Turpentine is a good place to go. The entire trip was actually based off of it. The private tour and accommodations sound great, but out of our budget. Tour is now $150 per person and rooms start at $175 per night. Tours are also only on Saturday's and we will be there during the week.

Good suggestions about the Cliff House in Jasper. We were going to do Hawksbill that morning and that would be a good stop for lunch. From there it looks like a nice drive down 7 to Hot Springs.
Based on your April time frame you should still see dogwoods in bloom and the drive down 7 to Hot Springs is beautiful. Don't get in a hurry and take some dramamine!!, especially between Ola and Jessieville.
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Old 01-25-2019, 08:43 AM
 
39,302 posts, read 23,636,616 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aa6660 View Post
Our vacation this year will be in Arkansas. We'll be driving up from Texas and will start in Eureka Springs. Two nights there and then two nights in Mt. Ida before returning home. (Two adults, no kids)

Here's a few things we had down as interests:

Drive up through Gainesville in Texas, north to Marietta, OK and then cross over to Durant. North to Checotah, cut across on 40 - Fort Smith, Fayetteville, etc.

Eurkea Springs:
Visit town
Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge (must go)

Route from Eureka Springs to Mt Ida would be down 21, and then I think hit I-40 and then go south on 7/27 through Plainview. Maybe do these little hikes?

Hawk's Bill Crag/Whitaker Point
Glory Hole Falls

Mt Ida area:
Crater of Diamonds
Twin Creek Crystal Mine?
Hot Springs Tower?
Peace Valley Blue Hole in Harper

Route home:
Take 270 over to Mena
Do Talimena Scenic Dr to Talihina OK
(then down through Paris and over to DFW)

Any points of interest that we might want to consider? We're doing the third week of April.
Eureka is mostly about shopping, but when you're exploring the town you could check out Pivot Rock, you could take a hike around Black Bass Lake which a century ago was Eureka Springs' water supply, could visit St Elizabeth's--the church where you enter through the bell tower, could check out Crescent Hotel and its ghost stories. If you were visiting in the summer I would suggest taking a dip in Lake Leatherwood, but following the trail around the lake is a nice hike anytime of the year. Besides Turpentine Creek, there is a Wild Wilderness Drive-Through Safari in Gentry.
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Old 01-25-2019, 10:03 AM
 
286 posts, read 140,187 times
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Thanks. I don't figure we will spend much time in Eureka. We'll get there late the first day. Next day will be the Refuge in the morning, only leaving that afternoon and evening free as we will head back out the next day.

I think Gentry will be too far away, but that is a good place. I have been there before on a family vacation (we stayed on Beaver Lake and did Eureka Springs and the drive-thru safari).
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Old 01-25-2019, 04:08 PM
 
286 posts, read 140,187 times
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I did some looking around at Hot Springs today in maps. I was second guessing myself about staying here, but found a few things that look like fun.

I want to do the 4-d adventures. Eat at The Pancake House. Drink a flight at Superior Bathhouse Brewery. Take a Duck Tour. Go up on the Tower. Maybe explore the park around it depending on time.

Gardens will depend on weather and how much else we are doing.

Not sure about the alligator farm - doesn't look like they get too active until May, but may look into it more as time gets closer. (We have our own goats that will start kidding in March, donkeys, llamas, miniature zebus, etc, so no real need to visit a petting zoo elsewhere!)
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Old 01-25-2019, 04:54 PM
 
10,020 posts, read 7,956,348 times
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If you've eliminated the Crater of Diamonds but would still like to dig for and find something pretty and sparkly, go on Facebook and check out Ron Coleman's Crystal Mine near Jessieville, about fifteen miles north of Hot Springs off of Scenic Seven Highway. Very cool place, where you can dig for beautiful quartz crystals (of all sizes) in the dirt brought up from the actual mine below, which you can also tour in an old army truck that's been rehabbed for passengers.

If you don't find anything worth keeping, Coleman's will let you pick a crystal from the rock shop which equates to the cost of admission. Wear old clothes (the crystals are found in red clay that stains), take small garden digging hand tools, plenty of water, perhaps an old towel or old bathroom rug to kneel or sit on, sunglasses and a sunhat if it's a hot sunny day, and if you can go the day after a rain, your chances of finding something will increase. Your chances of finding something interesting are far higher at Ron Coleman's than at the Crater of Diamonds. Of course, the value is less, but the experience can be priceless.

There's also a museum room with beautiful crystals and rocks from around the world (included on the mine tour), plus a zip line across the open pit mine several hundred feet below, if you haven't had enough excitement! Nice folks at Ron Coleman's, very clean "facilities", picnic area, snack area with vending machines and tables indoors, rock shop, and reasonable prices. Check it out!

I have some Coleman crystals on my desk beside me as I type this...pretty things.
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