A Quick Travel Guide for Things to Do in Eureka Springs, Arkansas
Welcome to the “Little Switzerland of America!” The charming town of Eureka Springs is anything but ordinary. There’s a reason why Robert Ripley (Ripley’s Believe It or Not) said that Eureka Springs, Arkansas was “one of the 10 most unusual places [he has] ever visited in the United States.”
For example, there are no traffic lights inside the town and no two roads intersect, instead they wind around the town! It’s safe to say that these things to do in Eureka Springs are sure to spark curiosity.
Where is Eureka Springs?
Eureka Springs is a small city located in the Ozark Mountains of Northwest Arkansas. It is known for the number of preserved Victorian buildings located in the downtown Eureka Springs area and unique attractions.
Where to Stay in Eureka Springs
1886 Crescent Hotel
If you’d like to stay somewhere historic and unique, the Crescent Hotel definitely checks both boxes. It is noted as “America’s Most Haunted Hotel” with frequent ghost sightings and other paranormal activity.
The 1905 Basin Park Hotel
The 1905 Basin Park Hotel is another hotel in Eureka Springs that is full of history and charm. It also has a full-service spa and a number of other amenities.
Airbnb in Eureka Springs
If you want to look for another unique place to stay in Eureka Springs I highly recommend browsing Airbnb options! There are some really neat places to stay in or near Eureka Springs like treehouses, cute bed and breakfasts, and others!
Things to Do in Eureka Springs
Experience the Beauty of Thorncrown Chapel
This hidden chapel in the woods is made mostly of glass which makes it the perfect spot to stop, capture a photo, and take in the beauty of this sparkling crystal treasure. While Thorncrown Chapel may be off the path from the main attractions, you must add it to your list of things to do in Eureka Springs.
Location: 12968 Highway 62 W
Hours: April – November 9am-5pm, March – December 11am-4pm, closed January & February
Cost: Free to visit
Stop & See the Majestic Christ of the Ozarks Statue
If you’re wanting to see something unique in Eureka Springs, you’ll have to marvel at the Christ of the Ozarks statue in person. No, it’s not as big as Christ the Redeemer in Rio but this 67-foot tall statue sure to mesmerize you with its majestic stance and scenic views of the Ozarks nearby.
In the evening, you can also watch the Great Passion Play which takes place in the outdoor amphitheater. The Great Passion Play tells the Biblical story of Jesus’ last days on earth. There are also tours of the replicated Holy Land offered on the days of the play performances.
Hours: 12pm-4pm, on scheduled play performance days
Location: 935 Passion Play Rd
Browse the Downtown Eureka Springs Shops
The Victorian-era specialized storefronts in downtown Eureka Springs carry unique, one-of-a-kind items to make your experience in Eureka Springs complete. There is even a store that only carries socks! Since Eureka Springs is located in the hilly Ozark Mountains, the downtown shops are even pretty to view from the many lookout spots over the city.
Hours: Most stores are open from 10am-6pm daily, hours may vary
Location: Downtown Eureka Springs
Peruse Basin Spring Park
Basin Spring Park is a quaint park in the middle of downtown Eureka Springs. It is perfect for resting in after walking up and down the hills of the downtown shops. When we visited Basin Spring Park we saw a bunch of local artisans that were selling goods at tables and street performers.
Hours: Open 24 Hours
Location: 4 Spring St, Eureka Springs
Check out the Art on Every Corner
The entire town of Eureka Springs is full of art exhibits, even outdoors. There are a number of different murals that perfectly mesh with the old town charm of Eureka Springs. What was once drab concrete stairs now display a gorgeous rainbow tree.
Location: Downtown Eureka Springs
Enjoy Historical Whimsy at Quigley’s Castle
It all started in 1919 when Elise Fioravanti moved to the Ozarks and started collecting rocks as she walked along the creekbed to and from school. She developed a love of rocks, stones, and crystals and continued to collect them throughout the years. When she was 18 she married Albert Quigley who brought her rock collection to his farm and lumber mill where they soon lived in a lumber shack with their five children.
Albert told Elise that he would build her a house from the lumber but she didn’t want that, she had already designed her dream home, as she put it “a home where I felt I was living in the world instead of in a box.” Together they built the home for only $2,000 and for three years Elise covered the walls with rocks, stones, fossils, crystals, and more. Nature was brought indoors next to the big glass windows with soil, flowering, and tropical plants that have continued to grow in the house for over 65 years.
For the next 50 years, Elise collected rocks and planted more flowers, surrounding their home in nature and she continued to live in the home until she passed away in 1984. Today Quigley’s Castle is open to the public and run by Elise & Albert’s granddaughter.
Location: 274 Quigley Castle Rd, Eureka Springs // MAP
Hours: April 1-October 31 10am-4:30pm
Cost: $7/adult, cash only
Go on A Spooky Ghost Tour at 1886 Crescent Hotel
The Historic Crescent Hotel is noted as “America’s Most Haunted Hotel.” Come for a ghost tour or an overnight stay… if you dare! Famous spirits include an Irish stonemason who fell to his death while building the hotel in 1885, a cancer patient during hospital days who needs help finding her room key, and a mystery patient in a white nightgown who usually appears in the luxury suites.
Location: 75 Prospect Ave
Cost: $22.50/adult, $8/child
Support a Great Cause at Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge
Turpentine Creek has made its mission to provide refuge for abandoned, abused, and neglected exotic big cats and even some bears. Staff are passionate about this mission and educate visitors about the pet trade through guided tours!
Hours: Summer: 9am-6pm, Winter: 9am-5pm
Location: 239 Turpentine Creek Lane
Cost: $20/adults, $15/children (13-19), $10/children (4-12)
Eureka Springs is obviously full of intriguing charm and history. Which of these things to do in Eureka Springs would you like to try?