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Arkansas travel guide

About Arkansas

You may not know exactly where Arkansas is, but once you find it, this state will wow you with its phenomenal scenery and hidden hotspots.

Not quite the Midwest, not quite the Deep South, Arkansas packs in rollercoaster mountains, thick forests, extensive plains, snaking lakes and meandering rivers. Outdoor adventurers can trek to remote cabins in the tree-swathed Ozark Mountains or paddle the Buffalo River by canoe, hurtling through white water and cooling off in natural swimming pools.

The mountain town of Eureka Springs is the stuff of postcards, where photogenic Victorian homes cling to hillsides and a raft of stores, cafés and art galleries line the streets to relieve you of your dollars.

For over a century, bathers have been taking rejuvenating dips in the thermal springs at Buckstaff Bath House in Hot Springs National Park. Neighbouring Superior Bathhouse is more watering hole than waterhole; it’s now a trendy brewery and distillery.

Arkansas has its share of contemporary cultural institutions too. The swanky Clinton Presidential Center overlooks the Arkansas River in Little Rock and houses a library, museum and replica of the Oval Office. The Moshe Safdie-designed Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville sits amid 50 hectares (120 acres) of leafy gardens, and comes with its own Frank Lloyd Wright house (moved lock, stock and barrel from New Jersey).

Arkansas also played a key role in the Civil Rights struggle, most famously in the case of the Little Rock Nine, a group of black students who enrolled in an all-white high school in 1957. Tour Little Rock Central High School to learn the full story – it may surprise you, just like Arkansas.

Key facts

Area:

137,730 sq km (53,178 sq miles).

Population:

3 million (2015).

Population density:

21.6 per sq km.

Capital:

Little Rock.