The city of Eureka Springs can officially claim it was born on the Fourth of July. Founded and named on July 4, 1879, Eureka Springs is an ideal place to celebrate summer by soaking in history, taking in sites and cooling off in the Ozark Mountains or abundant waterways nearby (Beaver Lake and the Kings and White Rivers, to name a few). The mountainside city is chock full of charming shops, art galleries, restaurants and lodging tucked into 19th century structures, earning the entire downtown a listing on the National Register of Historic Places. To guide you in your travels, we’ve recommended a few of our favorite places to shop, eat or stay, and some highlights to check out along the way.
Where to Shop:
Owners Stan DuBois and Jeff Chapman have created a European-style marketplace full of an eclectic array of home furnishings and objets d’art, as well as personal essentials. Located in a 4,000-square-foot building that the pair painstakingly restored, Vintage Cargo’s mix of wares includes antiques and European-inspired home furnishings, French bath and body products, Italian pottery from Vietri as well as handmade items from local potters and artists.
107 E. Van Buren St.
Light, bright and full of home goods and gifts in shades of white. Owner Kaylene Shepard has filled a restored house with vintage and new furnishings, tabletop items and other housewares. The look is pure cottage charm, with rooms layered in soft shades of cream and white with occasional dark-colored elements for contrast. Shepard’s artistic approach also results in one-of-a-kind accessories and unique holiday décor items.
Regalia Handmade Clothing
128 Spring St.
Former costume designer and Arkansas native Mark Hughes’ downtown boutique features comfortably elegant clothing made from natural fibers.
Insider Tip: Ride the trolley downtown as an easier option than driving up and down the steep, narrow streets, and then walk through the main shopping district and discover hundreds of shops and galleries to enjoy.
Where to Eat:
26 White St.
A local favorite for Italian fare in a charming Victorian home.
Gaskins Cabin Steakhouse
2883 Hwy. 23 N.
Housed in an 1864 log cabin and renowned for excellent Angus steaks and prime rib.
61-B S. Main St.
Serving simply delicious Italian fare and open for lunch and dinner.
Local Flavor Cafe
71 S. Main St.
A top pick for lunch, dinner or Sunday brunch, located across from the Trolley Depot downtown.
Mud Street Café
22-G S. Main St.
A breakfast and lunchtime favorite with a back room that doubles as a gallery of local artists’ work.
Sparky’s Roadhouse Cafe
147 E. Van Buren St.
Famous for burgers, fries and vintage style.
The Grand Taverne
37 N. Main St.
Dinner at the Taverne, located in the Grand Central Hotel, offers a fresh, gourmet experience in an elegant setting.
The Stonehouse Wine Bar
89 S. Main St.
Opening in early July, this newest addition to the Main Street scene promises to be a European-style treasure, serving wine by the bottle or glass, imported beer, and a wide selection of cheeses, meats, olives and other appetizing delights from around the world.
Check out the outdoor seating area for a late afternoon respite after shopping.
Insider Tip: Beautiful Beaver Lake is a mere 15-minute drive from Eureka Springs. Take a scenic jaunt to Horizon Restaurant for spectacular views of the lake and sunsets while you dine.
304 Mundell Rd.
What to Do:
Keels Creek Winery & Art Gallery
3185 E. Van Buren St.
Spend an afternoon sipping locally produced wine and viewing regional art at this tasting room and gallery representing dozens of artists from Arkansas and surrounding states.
2nd Saturday Gallery Stroll
From April to December, on the second Saturday of each month, the galleries open their doors from 6-9 p.m. with special shows and artist receptions.
Two not-to-be-missed buildings
The Queen Anne Mansion House Museum
115 W. Van Buren St.
The fully restored and recently reopened 1891 mansion highlights Queen Anne-style architecture at its best and includes an impressive collection of 19th century decorative arts.
12968 Hwy. 62 W.
Arkansas’ beloved architectural gem, the nondenominational chapel designed by architect E. Fay Jones in the late 1970s was chosen by the American Institute of Architects as the fourth most significant structure of the 20th century. It’s open daily for visits and on Sunday for services; call ahead as the chapel closes for weddings and special events.
Where to Stay:
The 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa
75 Prospect Ave.
The Grande Dame of Eureka Springs lodging, perched on a hilltop above downtown and offering spectacular views. The New Moon Spa, Crystal Dining Room restaurant, and Dr. Baker’s Bistro and Sky Bar make this a full-service destination.
The Grand Treehouse Resort
350 W. Van Buren St.
Yes, it truly is a resort comprised of treehouses, and they are grandly unique and fun, some with trees actually growing through them. Located just minutes from downtown and near a trolley stop, the resort combines a wooded natural setting with convenient and charming accommodations.
Mount Victoria Bed & Breakfast Inn
28 Fairmount St.
Highly recommended by locals and visitors alike, the elegantly restored 1902 Colonial Revival inn has luxuriously appointed suites and two welcoming verandas.