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7 Cool Vacation Spots in Arkansas

Our Picks for Cool Air BnB Vacation Rentals in Hot Springs

There are some awesome and unique Air BnB places you can rent as a base to explore all that Arkansas has to offer, within a 6 hour drive from Dallas Fort Worth. Many are based around Hot Springs and Eureka Springs and many are waterfront or close to Lakes.

For your Road Trip, you can stop Stop at Crater of Diamonds State Park on the way to Hot Springs, AK and dig for diamonds. Lake Greeson and Daisy State Park is also a gorgeous clean lake! 

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Hot Springs, Lake Hamilton and Lake Ouachita

Head North to Arkansas and due East and you’ll reach the super quaint Hot Springs, with it’s old-world architecture and of course – Hot Springs in their famous bathhouses.

Nestled in a valley and close to Lake Hamilton and local river areas, the hiking is great as well as the amount of outdoor activities available. Lake Ouachita is also a popular destination to stay at – the water is clear at both lakes and they have a variety of Marinas where you can rent boats and lake toys for the day!

Lake Ouachita is beautiful and the edge is in Hot Springs, but going West out of Hot Springs towards Mt. Ida has better camping and parts of the lake (Mountain Harbor or Crystal Springs).

Floating the rivers are also fun (Ouachita and Buffalo are favorites).

Lake Hamilton is in Hot Springs but much busier and not as beautiful as Lake Ouachita which is in a national forest.

Cabins and Places to stay around Hot Springs

Hot Springs has a number of great Hotels, B&B’s, Cabins, Cottages and great Air BnB and Vrbo properties to rent

Things to do in Hot Springs

Our Local Moms all recommend:

  • The Mid America Science Museum – one of the best Children’s museums around
  • Garvin Garden’s and The Anthony Chapel
  • Rent a boat and go out on the lake
  • Tour the Bath Houses on Bathhouse Row (you have to be 14+ to use them)
  • Check out the Casino (age limits apply
  • Walk the Promenade
  • Go to the Observation Mountain
  • Check out the Gangster Museum of America
  • Play Mini Golf on Pirates Cove
  • Do a Duckboat Tour
  • Check out Maxwell Magic and see a show

We hear great things about Happy Hollow Motel, a cute small hotel owned by some previous North Texas-ites who have moved there from here. It is right on the strip with walking distance to pretty much everything.

If you love to Hike, we recommend Hot Springs National Park which has a good Jr Ranger program if you have kids over 5. It gets them looking around and learning things about the area. They get to be sworn in by a Ranger and get a badge and certificate when they finish the booklet

Hot Springs AK

The two closest lakes are Lake Hamilton and Lake Catherine. Lake Catherine has a Stunning waterfall! Lake Hamilton has a bunch of Air BnB and Vrbo Places .

You might also want to consider an RV Rental to road trip your way to Arkansas too.

South of Hot Springs, a popular places to stay is Ouachita River Haven Resort.

In the middle of the forest, there is a quartz mining place just a little bit away and the Mountain Harbor Resort Area.

Eureka Springs, Beaver Lake and North West Arkansas

Beaver Lake is in NW Arkansas, close to Fayetteville, Bentonville and about 3 hours from Little Rock.

Most Arkansas lakes have rock bottoms so the water is pretty clear.

If you are more into canoeing definitely check out the Buffalo River. Eureka Springs is a great place to stay with lots of hiking, water canoes, caverns, fishing and a ton of great cabins!

Here are our favorites !

Heading along White River where you can check out White River Cabins, Can-U-Canoe Riverview Cabins, Ozark Spring Cabins as you follow the route of the River.

If you are looking for an atmosphere similar to Hot Springs but a smaller vibe, Eureka Springs could check those boxes for you. Breathing the fresh air surrounded by huge trees is great for the soul.

Eureka Springs is in a valley but very hilly as it cuts into mountains on both sides. Filled with cutesy stores, restaurants and cafes and tons of art galleries, it’s a great place to explore. Parking lots are $5 each – look out for static staircases which are steep, but there are some other spots where you can across a bridge.

Just outside of Eureka Springs, check out Turpentine Creek refuge- it’s for Big Cat Rehabilitation but they also house a Black Bear. It has some accommodation onsite – you can stay overnight at spring break and was so cool to hear the tigers and lions at night and early morning. They are doing tours – we recommend you pre-book.

If you enjoy being out on the Water, a 40 minute drive away is Beavers Lake, a huge lake with really clear water leading out to the Beavers Dam. You’ll see Turtles and Fish clearly.

We rented a boat and tube from Lost Bridge Marina – it was easy to book and their deckhands were very helpful.

More: River Tubing Near Me: the Best Places to Float a River

You can also take the Ghost Tour which was great – 90 minutes of evening tour (not much walking). It’s a combo of entertaining stories of real life sightings mixed with a history of Eureka Springs.

You stop at 3 or 4 places along the way with a final stop in their own underground caverns. It’s ideal for Kids aged 7 or 8 upwards but babies and toddlers can be taken in a stroller. 

It can rain suddenly in Eureka Springs, so don’t forget to pack your umbrella! 

You can always extend your road trip and head back via Oklahoma City on your way back to Dallas Fort Worth.

Related Links

45 Lakes and Beaches you can drive to from DFW