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Posted: Aug 27, 2007 4:07 pm
 
It looks like I'll probably be passing through Memphis sometime in the next few weeks, before travelling further south. I usually head down through Mississippi, which I enjoy, but I'd also like to check some places where I haven't been before.

I'm thinking about doing a bit of driving around in Arkansas, but don't know much of anything about what the state has to offer. Can anyone recommend anything worth seeing? I generally like to visit cool old towns and/or people, and try to see things that are unique to a region. If possible, I also try to stay away from the main highways, which are often pretty anonymous and don't really give a sense of place.

Any tips would be appreciated!
Posted: Aug 27, 2007 4:25 pm
 
The Ozarks are beautiful, and all the towns up there are little hick towns. Well, little hick towns with Wal-Marts now, but nevertheless.
We've spent years trout fishing in Heber Springs...the lake is Greer's Ferry and there's Greer's Ferry Dam there. The fish hatchery is interesting. We don't fish on the lake but on the Little Red River. The White River is also beautiful.

Mountain View is the site of a big folk festival every April, and there's the Ozark Folk Museum up there. Also, Blanchard Springs Caverns is near there...there's an awesome cave that does two different tours.

Eureka Springs is in the northernmost Ozarks. An "artist colony" and beautiful town. There's the exceptionally weird "Christ of the Ozarks" there too...a huge statue set on the side of a mountain.

Hot Springs is a great place to visit. A bit touristy, but really a fascinating old town. There's an huge observation tower near there.

Murphreesboro and Mt. Ida are great little towns where you can mine for crystals. Diamond Crater State Park is in Murphreesboro where you can go in a big mud field and mine for diamonds.

I love Arkansas.
Posted: Aug 27, 2007 5:58 pm
 
Eureka Springs is fucking weird.
Posted: Aug 27, 2007 6:10 pm
 
i'll second the Heber Springs tip and Jack's comment about Eureka Springs being fucking weird - i once had a gnarly moped crash there though

the only problem with going thru arkansas on your way south is all the really nice parts are in the northern part of the state (ozarks, etc) - except Heber Springs and Hot Springs shouldnt be too far out of the way
Posted: Aug 27, 2007 6:25 pm
 
Everyone knows that I love Hardy, Arkansas.
Posted: Aug 27, 2007 7:16 pm
 
Eureka Springs

My father retired up there. He's fucking weird. He has multiple caves on his property, which are pretty awesome to explore.
Posted: Aug 27, 2007 7:19 pm
 
i love eureka springs. it is weird, but awesome.

hot springs was a lot of fun. the last time i stayed there, i skipped the touristy hotel shit and went to a place that had cabins on a lake from the 1920s. they let you take one of their boats out onto the water there too and they've got grills to use and full kitchens. it wasn't too expensive either. i went around and looked at the bathhouses and the springs and all the shops though since it was a short drive from the lake cabins. and there was a great german restaurant there as well. but i think i had more fun going fishing on the lake. they have a fantastic butcher shop out there too so grilling was a good time. definitely drive around on some of the hills around the place. there are some great overlooks to the town.

i wasn't a big fan of mining for diamonds. it was too hot there and you really only find neat looking rocks. the idea is cool, but the execution of it, not so much.

greer's ferry is one of my favorite places. they have excellent places to go cliff diving. it's a lot of fun and it's beautiful.
Posted: Aug 27, 2007 7:21 pm
 
shit....i wanna go camping!
Posted: Aug 27, 2007 7:33 pm
 
If ya got a knife, ditch before you get to Fordyce.
Posted: Aug 27, 2007 7:46 pm
 
i wasn't a big fan of mining for diamonds. it was too hot there and you really only find neat looking rocks. the idea is cool, but the execution of it, not so much.

I left that part out because...you know, to each his own. But yeah, that diamond mining was a little much, and hot as hell when we went. The thing the kids talked about the most about that town though was that there was a slaughterhouse right across the street from where our hotel was!

Crystal mining was still hot as hell, but more fun. You go in this little podunk store and they sell you a map that shows you how to get to the crystals. It's way the hell out in the middle of nowhere. You pull your car in, and then get out and there's a big old pile of red rock, and crystals just laying around everywhere. You can take as much as you want.
Posted: Aug 27, 2007 7:49 pm
 
You could visit Albert King's grave near Edmondson. It's only a short ways past the bridge (15-20 miles?)

http://www.roadfan.com/albert.html

There was a BBQ shack/general store right across the street when I was there. You can sit in your car, eat BBQ, and drink a tallboy while you pay tribute to Albert.
Posted: Aug 27, 2007 8:05 pm
 
i love my ma and i love my pa
and i sure do love ol\' arkansas
Posted: Aug 27, 2007 8:08 pm
 
Thanks a lot for the tips, everybody. Truth be told, I'm not really an outdoorsy guy --- more into digging for 78s than diamonds! Feel free to keep posting about that kind of stuff, though, since it sounds like lots of folks here are interested in it. This thread doesn't need to be all about me...

And yeah, the logistics of heading too far north or west of Memphis might be a little tricky, since I'm going to need to be down in the Baton Rouge area before too long. Are there any towns along the Mississippi border that are worth writing home about?
Posted: Aug 27, 2007 9:06 pm
 
Adam -- Helena and West Helena (home of the late great Frank Frost and the Jellyroll Kings) are good. also: when you get down around Greenwood MS, you'll want to check out Waterproof and Ferriday Louisiana. lots of great juke joint action down there a decade ago, might just be drive-thru daquiari bars now???
Posted: Aug 27, 2007 10:10 pm
 
The old road (Hwy 63) to Hardy always had tons of side of the road sales etc; Geoffrey Ellis and I found (in one day, at one stop) pristine copies of Doug E Fresh's The Show and some crazy Treacherous Three shit. This in the middle of nowheresville (near Portia) too. Don't skip the Hoxie Old 63--that place is bound to have some good shit since they built a bypass about 10 yrs back.
Posted: Aug 27, 2007 10:39 pm
 
shit....i wanna go camping!
They have some gawd awful voracious ticks in Arkansas so take precautions. (Like hanging up a picture of Dtrain in front of your tent)
Posted: Aug 28, 2007 1:08 pm
 
Thanks Andria (hey!) and saispas. Those are good leads for me, so I'll do some investigating. Much appreciated!
Posted: Aug 28, 2007 2:27 pm
 
It's worth a laugh to drive through Black Oak

Cave City! creepy old town

also second all the other places - hardy, eureka springs, heber etc.
Posted: Aug 28, 2007 2:28 pm
 
went to a place that had cabins on a lake from the 1920s.

Elle! what was the name of this place?
Posted: Aug 28, 2007 2:37 pm
 
ha-ha....I like that Rumple!
Posted: Aug 28, 2007 3:19 pm
 
Go to Greenwood, MS and eat at Lusco's.
Posted: Aug 29, 2007 8:37 pm
 
\\\"hot springs was a lot of fun. the last time i stayed there, i skipped the touristy hotel shit and went to a place that had cabins on a lake from the 1920s. they let you take one of their boats out onto the water there too and they\\\'ve got grills to use and full kitchens.\\\"

elle, do you remember the name of the place that rents the cabins? sounds great.
Posted: Aug 29, 2007 10:00 pm | Edited by: saispas
 
went to a place that had cabins on a lake from the 1920s.

Not the same, but our family cabin was built in the 'teens and is on the Spring River. Only a few original cabins from the camp are remaining; most are from the 50's and later due to flooding etc. It is in a little area called Rio Vista. If you try to drive back in there, you seriously might get shot. People act like you really wanna rob their "Fat Woman Bending Over" wooden lawn signs.

Wahpeton Hill just south of Rio Vista is FANTASTIC. I think everything up there is from the 20's and 30's. Drive into town in Hardy and ask how to get up there; all private but I think there is an old inn.
Posted: Sep 6, 2007 3:10 am
 
i am offering an arkansas geography course.
on-line classes start as soon as i get my dinero
Posted: Sep 6, 2007 3:15 am
 
i looked it up and the cabins are actually from the 30s, not the 20s. but at any rate, the place is called five points and it's the website is:

http://www.fivepointslakehamilton.com

they have photographs of the cabins and the surrounding buildings as well as a history of the place and an availability calendar.
Posted: Sep 6, 2007 5:08 pm
 
thanks elle!
those cabins look awesome. and really reasonable priced. i love the photos in "our history". definitely going to check it out next family vacation!
Posted: Sep 6, 2007 5:42 pm
 
Those do look amazing!
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