Things to Do in Eureka Springs
The Eureka Springs Area
During your Eureka Springs vacation you'll soon discover that your biggest worry is deciding what to do after breakfast! Spend a relaxing day strolling downtown, browse antique shops and galleries, sampling great food at local restaurants and eateries, or you may choose to take in a show or head out for an adventure in the great outdoors.
I have included here a list of things to do, places to visit or restaurants to enjoy. For a more complete list of area attractions and activities, please visit the Eureka Springs Chamber of Commerce and the Eureka Springs Tourist Bureau websites along with the Event Calendar tab on this sites home page.
- Blue Spring Heritage Center Blue Springs is an area favorite for weddings. And, who would have thought that the calm looking spring puts out 38 million gallons of water a day. Besides the spring, stroll through the gardens, feed the trout and enjoy all the sights and smells that Blue Springs has to offer.
- Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge See lions, tigers and bears (oh my!), plus cougars, panthers, monkeys, and many other animals that Turpentine Creek has rescued. They have some animals in cages you can see as well as a tour out back where the animals have their own area to roam. They post the stories behind each of the animals they have rescued which makes the visit a little more personal.
- War Eagle Mill Inc A short drive to historical War Eagle Mill, a water-powered grist mill on the War Eagle River, where the daily grind is fresh wholegrain cornmeal, flours, mixes and cereals. There is a gift shop and the Bean Palace Restaurant. If you go to War Eagle Cavern then make sure you also stop here.
- Thorncrown Chapel Nestled in a woodland setting, Thorncrown Chapel rises forty-eight feet into the Ozark sky. I love to go and just sit as it is such a peaceful place to be with its magnificent wooden structure that contains 425 windows and over 6,000 square feet of glass. Designed by E. Fay Jones, an apprentice of Frank Lloyd Wright, Thorncrown has won numerous architectural awards and has been featured on television programs and in national magazines.
Shows and Plays
- The Great Passion Play Everyone should see this at least once in their life. It’s an outdoor spectacle with hundreds of actors and animals depicting the last days of Jesus. They also have a dinner show with comedy and gospel music just before the play starts.
- Ozark Mountain Hoe-Down This live stage show has been a Eureka Springs favorite for years.
- Intrigue Theater The newest show in town, the Intrigue Theater takes you back to the Victorian age to experience an evening of Mystery & Intrigue performed by an Illusionist & a Medium Featuring Special Guests from the other side! One block walk from Heart of the Hills Inn.
Home Tours and History
- Eureka Springs Historical Museum There is a lot of history packed into this building downtown. For those visiting Eureka Springs for its history, this is the place to start.
- Crescent Hotel Ghost Tours While the tour is long, you do get some excellent history about the Crescent Hotel’s past, both historically and ghostly.
- Quigley's Castle This attraction is an area favorite. It’s not a castle or an architecturally significant structure. It’s just one of the most interesting places here in Eureka Springs. If you go we think you’ll also say, “That’s interesting!” Don’t miss the butterfly wall, it’s an incredible collage.
- Eureka Springs Tram Tour If you are looking for a quick tour of Eureka Springs, consider taking the tram tour. The tram tours are approximately 90 minutes in length and are fully narrated by a local tour guide that knows Eureka Springs inside out and upside down! If you have questions, they will be happy to answer them! The schedule varies with the seasons, so checkout their website for the latest information.
Fishing, hiking, biking, and water activities
- Lake Leatherwood The largest hand-laid, limestone dam in the nation impounds a lake 1 1/4 mile long with about 3 miles of shoreline covering 85 acres. A quiet, serene place where you can enjoy a relaxing picnic lunch or try some of the excellent hiking and biking trails. There is now a handicap hiking trail also.
- Kings River Canoe and kayak rentals, fishing.
- Beaver Lake Swimming, canoe and boat rentals, fishing.
- Steve's Horse Ride Stables Our guests love this place and always come back saying the horses are great and that Steve is a fantastic host.
- Dinner Bell Ranch & Resort Riding Stables They have trail riding, but what makes them unique is that they offer a breakfast, lunch and dinner ride.
Caves and Caverns
- Cosmic Cavern Cosmic Cavern was discovered in 1845, but wasn’t developed until 1927. The cave features a 9 foot soda straw – the longest known in the Ozarks, and two bottomless lakes. One of the lakes was discovered in 1993 in the "Silent Splendor" section which made national news. This was Arkansas’ most delicate discovery.
- War Eagle Cavern On Beaver Lake Take Cosmic Cavern and turn it on its side and you have War Eagle Cavern. Its rooms are large but not too tall (you can reach up and meet a stray bat up close, that’s if you want to of course) This was the cavern where the movie Jesse James was filmed. When you’re done, consider visiting War Eagle Mill just a short ways down the road.
- Onyx Cave Park Onyx Cave is the closest cave to Eureka Springs. It has a thirty minute radio headphone selfguided tour. While not as big as either Cosmic or War Eagle caverns, it offers a quick glimpse of what caves are all about.
A few of our favorite restaurants here in Eureka Springs are listed below. Enjoy!
Note: Most restaurants in town do not take reservations, but serve on a first come, first served basis. (Peak season and off-peak season hours may vary).
Hours: Open 7 days from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. (Closed during the winter)
Very good German-Czech food. Everything from sauerkraut soup to Sauerbraten, this place will certainly fill you up. Don’t forget to try their German Chocolate cake. Nice thick layers of coconut filling and then topped with a hard chocolate ganache.
Hours: Open Thursday - Sunday
Italian restaurant serving up delicious recipes made with love by Chef Katherine Zeller. I think the pizzas are fantastic and enjoy trying something new each time I visit. A must if you’re craving Italian!
Pepe Tacos at Casa Colina (formerly Casa Colina Grill & Cantina) (Mexican cuisine)
Hours: Monday through Thursday 4:30-9:00 p.m. Friday 4:30-9:00 p.m. Saturday 11 AM – 9:00 p.m. Sunday 11 AM to 8:00 p.m. (Winter hours vary)
They have great outdoor decks. The food is very good and we have a number of favorites we keep going back for. They are not a Tex-Mex restaurant, more of a Santa Fe/Mexican cuisine.
Hours: Open Thursday thru Saturday 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
The menu isn’t what we would call a true Mediterranean cuisine, but is more of a Mediterranean influence.
DeVito's Italian Restaurant (their trout dishes are A+)
Hours: Open Thursday to Tuesday 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. for lunch and 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. for dinner.
If you like trout, this is the place to go. Their trout dishes are fabulous. The DeVito family owns a trout farm only an hour from Eureka Springs so their trout is always fresh. Lots of choice Italian dishes can be found and they also have a lunch menu.
Home Cooking (Italian)
Hours: 7 days a week, 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. (Closed some nights during the winter)
It’s only three blocks from us, and I like the great tasting home-style Italian food. All their pastas are excellent, and they also cook a thick juicy pork chop dish. It’s a casual restaurant, and they do not take reservations.
Fresh (Farm to table)
Hours: Thursday-Monday 11-9 Sunday Brunch 10-2, open till 7 Closed Tuesday and Wednesday
The Mission of FRESH is focused on using seasonal ingredients to create menus that use both local and organic food whenever possible. It’s a casual restaurant with everything from pasta to beef to fish dishes. They also bake a variety of desserts daily.
Hours: Open Wednesday through Sunday 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
In an old log cabin, and the place for steaks. Prime rib, Beef Burgundy and of course steaks. If you don’t like steaks, no worry, the other half of their menu has a variety of items which will please your palate. If you’re here during the week, they also have some great specials. We always save room for their delicious chocolate bread pudding.
Hours: Open nightly from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. and open for Lunch Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
An upscale restaurant in a grand old hotel. The chef has created some exceptional dishes.
Le Stick Nouveau
Hours: Thurs. – Sat. (Winter Hours) 5 pm to close
A fabulous new restaurant in Eureka Spring, located below the New Orleans Hotel downtown. Le Stick’s chef is constantly creating new dishes that are sure to please.
Hours: Open for lunch and dinner.
A favorite of the locals in town. We have come to really enjoy Local Flavor and I always get rave reviews from my guests about this restaurant. Their menu has something for everyone.
Mud Street Cafe
Hours: Closed Wednesdays. Open from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (they now also serve dinner on Friday and Saturday evenings)
This restaurant is downstairs off of Main Street with a good variety of sandwiches and other lunch items. They have Trivial Pursuit cards on every table, so indulge yourself while waiting for lunch. If you’re looking for dessert, they have a whole case full of them.
Small in size, but big on flavor! Nibbles Eatery is a great place to enjoy lunch or coffee in the afternoon. We’ve had their quiche and several types of sandwiches. None have let us down. Located downtown at the top of Spring St.
Hours: Monday - Saturday: 11:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.; Sunday: 11:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.;
If you are looking for a great burger and rib joint, then try the Rockin’ Pig. The ribs are wet and smoky and fall off the bone. The burgers are top shelf. Also, try the Loaded Sweet Potato Fries, with white cheddar cheese, fresh BBQ pulled pork and drizzled with chipotle cream.
Hours: Open Tuesday to Saturday 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
This restaurant is open only for lunch but their soups, sandwiches and desserts are excellent.
Hours: Open Monday to Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
A little bit of everything is served here. This is another place you’ll find the locals. Good burgers and some excellent specials. You can satisfy everyone’s food liking at Sparkys.
Hours: Open Monday to Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and 4:30 to 9:00 p.m.
Excellent Thai food and a huge menu to choose from. They also opened up a patio seating area for those who want to enjoy the outdoors while indulging in their spicy food.
If you need to know or want to know ask David...............