Thursday, June 26, 2008

Something for everyone!

Okay, so you've spent a couple of days downtown melting those credit cards with a shopping spree, and you've taken a ride on the trolleys. But wait, there's more to Eureka Springs than you imagine. Maybe you visited the Great Passion Play when you were a kid, but have you seen it this year, with an all-new script? The Art Center has amazing and inspirational exhibits year round from top artists, and the new creation museum is a hit with kids of all ages. You love the scenic beauty of the Ozarks, but why see it from your car when you can experience it from horseback, and bring that inner cowboy out to play. To get up close and personal with nature, visit with some big cats at Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge, or take a tour at Cosmic Cavern to see how delicate--and how strong--the earth around us can be. Explore times long past at War Eagle Mill or Blue Spring Heritage Center. Want to see something you've never seen before? Visit Quigley's Castle, a wonderfully eccentric tour home, where Mrs. Quigley fulfilled her dream of sleeping in the treetops. In the evening, take in one of the town's excellent country music shows, where the jokes are clean and everyone has a great time. What are you waiting for? Browse the listings below and discover a new summer adventure just right for you.

* Basin Park Ghost Tour - The 1905 Basin Park Hotel has long carried the lore of spirits, haunting and unusual happenings. The "Haunting Tales of Downtown Eureka Springs & Ghosts of The Basin Park Hotel" tour is both a chance to learn more about the many tales and fascinating stories of the history of Downtown Eureka Springs as well as possibly witnessing and/or capturing on film our next ghost story. Tours are every Friday and Saturday at 6 p.m. Tickets available at the front desk $15 per person.

* Belle of the Ozarks -- Beaver Lake cruises -- a "must do" activity. Relax and enjoy over 60 miles of scenic shoreline as the captain delights passengers with his tales of Ozark history. See Beaver Dam, the Cliffs, Ozark Bluff Dweller's burial ground, and a sunken homestead, then cruise around a 200-acre game preserve island. Thrill to the sight of deer swimming, migrating birds, and happy vacationers enjoying fun and sun. Ideal for groups, a romantic getaway, and old-fashioned family fun.

Beautiful Blue Spring Heritage Center, just West of Eureka Springs.

* Blue Spring Heritage Center -- History and nature come together in a serene and beautiful setting. Blue Spring, spewing 38,000,000 gallons of cold, crystal clear water a day, has drawn tourists for 8,000 years according to an archeological dig conducted by the University of Arkansas. Blue Spring was a resting place during the Trail of Tears forced Native American relocation, and the site of an early grist mill and trading post. A lovely and meditative place to stroll, have a picnic, and feed the trout, especially when the flowers are in full bloom. Hwy 62 West.

* Cosmic Cavern -- Take a 1.25 hour tour through the warmest cave in the Ozarks, always a humid 62. The cave is well-lit, so you can see and photograph grotesque, colorful formations. This major Arkansas cave has bottomless lakes, and rare cave fish and amphibians. Spend an hour spelunking. It's fun for all ages. Hwy 21 north of Berryville.

* Eureka Springs Ghost Tours -- Nightly tours at the Crescent Hotel. Room 212, which include legends and modern clairvoyant research, brought to life by trained guides. This is the top-rated ghost tour in the country and has been featured on the Sci-Fi Channel and the Travel Channel. These talented clairvoyants also offer energy and chakra work, private readings, seminars, and ghost tours at other locations. For more information call (479) 253-6800 or see website:

Let the clickety-clack take you back to the good old days.

* Eureka Springs & North Arkansas Railroad -- Ride the rails and come back into town the way they did 100 years ago -- on an old-fashioned train. A great experience for the family. For lunch or dinner you can ride in the dining car and have a meal on board. Dining reservations required (479) 253-9623. 299 N. Main. All aboard!

* Golden Pioneer Museum -- The Ozark lake area has long been a popular area for anthropologists, Archaeologists and history buffs. From fossils dating back an estimated 275 million years, through the study of the Osage and other local Indian tribes that criss-crossed through the river areas to the Civil War era. The Golden Pioneer Museum has something of interest for everyone young and old. Thousands of Indian artifacts, a world class mineral collection, unique glass items, war relics and much much more. Located on Hwy 86 & J Hwy, Golden MO - Open April to October - Tuesday thru Saturday 10:30 am to 4:30 pm - Free Admission (417) 271-3300.

* Holiday Island Country Club -- located just 5 miles north of Eureka Springs on Hwy. 23, offers two golf courses: a champion 18 hole course and a 9 hole executive course. The club has the most unique driving range in Arkansas, a fully stocked pro shop and a grill serving breakfast and lunch daily. Rental clubs and carts are available as are lessons by a PGA professional. For more information, call (479) 253-9511 or go to

* Kings River Golf Course -- An 18-hole, par 70 public golf course and driving range nestled in the beautiful Ozark hills. Open seven days a week, it's worth the 30-minute drive from Eureka Springs to play here. Enjoy a scenic and challenging round of golf.

* Opera in the Ozarks -- located just ten minutes west of Eureka Springs on US 62, at Inspiration Point offers a chance to be entertained today by the stars of tomorrow. Opera in the Ozarks has been the catalyst for many sparkling celebrities in the opera world since 1950. Alumni from Opera in the Ozarks have worked with companies in San Francisco, New York City, the Metropolitan Opera House, Santa Fe, and many more, including several European companies. Operas are performed on a rotating schedule through July 18. Curtain time for each is 8 p.m.; admission is $20 for the first four rows, or $15 for other rows. For more info and tickets, call 479-253-8595.

* Ozark Mountain Hoe-Down -- Voted #1 in Country and Comedy, the Ozark Mountain Hoe-Down is in its 27th season in Eureka Springs. You won't want to miss this high energy family show with some of the hottest players and funniest comedians in the region. The evening kicks off with a pre-show at 7:30 p.m., followed by a visit from "P. Nutt" and "Granny" that will have you rolling! The main show begins at 8pm and features non-stop laughter and entertainment. The Hoe-Down is the place to go if you're looking for group interaction. Your group won't just be the audience...they'll be a part of the entertainment. Don't leave Eureka Springs without seeing the hottest show in the Ozarks. Go to for schedule and pricing. Located on Hwy. 62 East. (479) 253-7725.595, or visit

* Quigley Castle -- The Ozarks' strangest dwelling. Elise Quigley found a way to sleep among treetops full of blooms. Walk through perennial gardens to her home, which she beautifully covered with stones collected through her childhood. There are fossil, arrowhead, crystal and butterfly collections beyond belief. Curiouser and curiouser. Still family owned. Hwy 23 South, 4 miles.

* Rosalie Tour & Wedding Home -- "The prettiest and fanciest home on the boulevard" is available for tours by appointment and for weddings and receptions. Furnished with authentic antiques and packed with history, this beautiful example of Steamboat Gothic and Eastlake architecture will take you to another place in time. 282 Spring Street. (479) 253-7377.

* Steve's Stables located on Pond Mountain Hwy 23 South 2 miles in Eureka Springs Arkansas. Guided year round trail rides on the highest mountaintop in the county! Gentle horses, no nags, fun for all! 1 hour guided rides - $20 per person 10% for groups of 4 or more. Rides leave 10 am thru 3 pm. Call for availability & information 479-253-5877

Experience the awe of a close encounter.

* Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge -- Turpentine Creek rescues neglected and unwanted big cats and other wild animals nationwide and gives the public a chance to get up close and personal with the king of the jungle and his regal cousins. You've probably never seen this many big cats in one place. It's awesome and the kids will definitely love it. Open 9 a.m. every day; feeding time is at 5 p.m., and the animals really spring to life then. An Independence Day extravaganza is held each year on July 4th, starting at 6 p.m. Bring your own fireworks or buy them there. Hwy 23 South, 7 mi.

* War Eagle Mill -- A scenic half-hour drive from Eureka Springs, War Eagle Mill is definitely worth the trip. The historic water-powered grist mill on lovely War Eagle Creek is a step back in time. The working mill today grinds high-quality organic grains which can be purchased while you're there. Or have some delicious corn bread made from freshly milled corn in the Bean Palace restaurant. Yum! Take Hwy. 23 south to Hwy. 12 W, then left on War Eagle Rd. You can't miss it.

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