Highway 65 is many Arkansans’ traditional route to summer vacation destinations throughout the southeast. But rather than speeding through in the dark of night, set aside plenty of time to enjoy the towns along this highway between Little Rock and the Mississippi state line. Not only do these south Arkansas towns offer plenty of history to explore, they’re also home to hidden gems for those who love off-the-beaten path shopping and dining.
Highway 65 is many Arkansans’ traditional route to summer vacation destinations throughout the southeast. But rather than speeding through in the dark of night, set aside plenty of time to enjoy the towns along this highway between Little Rock and the Mississippi state line. Not only do these south Arkansas towns offer plenty of history to explore, they’re also home to hidden gems for those who love off-the-beaten path shopping and dining. You’re sure to find something amazing, whether you’re looking for unusual gifts, unexpected home décor or just a little something for yourself.
Hwy. 65 S., 870-479-3978
An amazing first stop year-round, Hardin Farms boasts a pumpkin patch in the fall and strawberries and other homegrown goodies in the summer. The shop is filled with local jams and other delicacies, while the adjacent restaurant boasts daily specials and homemade strawberry shortcake that is without equal.
Flowers & Gifts by William
168 Main St., 870-382-5519, www.flowersandgiftsbywilliam.com
Since relocating to downtown Dumas, Flowers & Gifts by William offers an expanded showroom filled with beautiful gifts and home décor items. But they still love creating one-of-a-kind floral arrangements for a variety of occasions, with a friendly, knowledgeable staff to help you every step of the way.
The Gift Shop
535 E. Farmer St., 870-382-6907, www.thegiftshopofdumas.com
There’s lots to see at The Gift Shop, where every room features a different genre, from gourmet foods, to ladies’ apparel and accessories to children’s gifts and a complete bridal registry. Customers enjoy brands as diverse as Hobo bags, Pine Cone Hill pajamas, Elizabeth W bath products and Vietri dishware.
Miller’s Mud Mill
Hwy. 65 S., 870-382-5277, www.millersmudmill.com
Artist Gail Miller and her family create a wide variety of handmade pottery with custom glazes in their Dumas shop. Mugs and plates join enormous freeform bowls, vases and serving pieces. We especially love the platters adorned with fish and lobsters.
The Wash House
660 Hwy. 65 S., 870-382-4217
Beautiful plants for inside and out are the specialty at this spot on the highway. You’ll also find a selection of gifts and Life is Good merchandise.
Kelley Drug & Selections
Kelley Drug & Selections
300 N. 2nd Street, 870-222-5071
You’ll find the best of everything at this classic small town drug store. The soda fountain is the place to be at lunchtime, where they serve up sandwiches and a variety of specials, along with delicious ice cream treats and flavored sodas. In addition, the shop stocks china, crystal, flatware, serving pieces and lots of other goodies for entertaining, plus candles and linens.
310 N. 2nd St., 870-222-6218
Inside a pair of blue cottages connected by a breezeway, Periwinkle Place has a wide selection of unique items, for yourself or a gift. Owner Alcinda Smith is a woman of impeccable taste, and her selections show it. You’ll find Pandora Jewelry, accessories by Fossil and Hobo, bake ware, gourmet foods, pewter pieces and home décor. She also offers men’s golf, hunting and barbecue gifts, baby clothing and toys from Klutz and Brio.
900 Holly St., 870-222-6418
Stylish ladies will love the Yellow Butterfly, where classic sportswear is joined by beautiful jewelry and fun bags and accessories.
Dee’s Treasure Chest
625 Hwy. 65, 870-265-3053
A huge selection of hand-hewn Amish furniture, including swings and other outdoor pieces are a unique offering at Dee’s Treasure Chest. Inside, gifts of all kinds fill the shop, like soaps from Daub and Bauble and jewelry.
401 Main St., 870-265-2220
There are gifts galore at Hunter’s, along with seasonal items, books and stationery, pottery and serving pieces.
2315 Hwy. 65, 870-265-5006, www.noniesantiques.com
There are several buildings filled with wonderful antique furnishings, from large dining room pieces to delicate end tables.
601 Hwy. 142, 870-265-6031, lakeport.astate.edu
Arkansas’ last remaining plantation home on the Mississippi River, Lakeport Plantation was built in 1859, and has been meticulously restored as a museum and educational center operated by Arkansas State University, which opened to the public this past September.
4431 Hwy. 82 E., 870-265-0027, www.lakeshorecafe.com
On the banks of Lake Chicot, Lakeshore Café is a friendly spot with great service, as well as live music on Friday and Saturday nights. The sandwiches and burgers rival the mouth-watering steaks and shrimp, but every meal should end with their delicious bread pudding.
3696 Hwy. 65, 870-265-3872
The warehouse full of delights that is Paul Michael is simply not to be missed. High-end home furnishings and accessories are available at fantastic prices, and whether you’re looking for outdoor furnishings, glassware, pottery or rustic wooden pieces, something is sure to strike your fancy.
Plantation Bed and Breakfast
4236 Hwy. 82, 870-265-5426, www.plantationbb.com
Located in a historic home built in 1842, this beautiful bed and breakfast is filled with lovely antiques and modern luxuries in a picturesque, waterfront location.
Rhoda’s Famous Hot Tamales
714 Saint Mary St., 870-265-3108
Whether you stop in for a snack or buy in bulk to treat the folks back home, Rhoda’s tamales are the best around. Don’t forget to try the delicious sides, like macaroni and cheese and their homemade pies.