From the Editor: Perplexing rank

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

USA Today recently released its 10 Best Readersí

Choice Awards list with the top travel attractions

in the state of Arkansas, and downtown Eureka

Springs landed at number eight on the list. Of course

itís good news for our little city to be featured, but

I believe it should have been placed much, much

higher, especially looking at some of the top five


For reference, here is the full list:

1. Buffalo National River

2. Old Mill at T.R. Pugh Memorial Park in North

Little Rock

3. Mount Magazine State Park in Paris

4. Museum of Native American History in Bentonville

5. Garvan Woodland Gardens in Hot Springs

6. Little Rock Central High School in Little Rock

7. Petit Jean State Park in Morrilton

8. Downtown Eureka Springs

9. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in


10. Blanchard Springs Caverns in Mountain View

According to USA Today, the nominees were

chosen by a panel of relevant experts including a

combination of editors from the magazine, editors

from and relevant expert contributors.

Iím wondering what kind of experts would rank

downtown Eureka Springs and Crystal Bridges Museum

of American Art below the Old Mill, which is

really just a photo opportunity. You go there, admire

the water mill, smile for the camera and leave.

How is that attraction better than everything

downtown Eureka Springs has to offer? There are

more than 30 restaurants and bars in that stretch

alone, featuring American, Italian and Mexican cuisine,

coffee, cupcakes, fine dining, pizza, pubs and

wine bars. You can throw a stone and hit something

delicious no matter where youíre standing. Iím a bit

of a foodie, so that already makes downtown Eureka

Springs my top attraction

in Arkansas.

But thatís not all you

can do downtown. The

whole area is riddled with

walking, hiking and biking

trails. My favorite trail is

the Crescent Trail, which

sits right above Spring

Street. I love hiking up

there around nightfall and

listening to the people and

cars pass by down below. Itís my own little solitude

in the midst of so much action. It feels peaceful, and

I wouldnít trade those evenings for anything in the


Of course, I canít forget all the shopping opportunities

downtown. I love buying gifts for my family

at the shops, because those items have a story behind

them. I can find one-of-a-kind jewelry for my

nana and locally-made dog treats for her two pups.

I got my mom a piece of mixed media artwork last

year, and she loved it.

Thereís just so much to do downtown, so much

that I canít imagine how downtown Eureka Springs

isnít at least in the top five of USA Todayís list. I

take solace in knowing downtown made the list at

all. That might mean more visitors coming to town.

And with such a rich downtown district, Iím certain

theyíll be back.