Pack up the car, grab your favorite people and get to exploring the Natural State.
Buffalo National River
Go off the grid in one of the most picturesque (and Instagrammable) portions of the state. Ponca is located in the middle of nowhere, Arkansas, yet it’s only two and a half hours from Little Rock. Start your adventure at the Buffalo Outdoor Center (BOC), where you can get outfitted with gear to float the Buffalo National River or grab a map for a day hike. After your adventure, curb your hunger with one of the BOC’s mouthwatering sandwiches.
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
A summer agenda would be remiss without including Crystal Bridges in Bentonville. Not only is the museum’s permanent gallery (and the building itself) stunning enough, Crystal Bridges has a Georgia O'Keeffe exhibit on display through Sept. 3. The exhibit features luscious flowers, landscapes and feminine forms that O'Keeffe is so well known for, plus 20 other works from emerging artists with similar work.
Summertime in Arkansas means it’s hot — really hot. Cool off in one of Hot Springs’ three pristine lakes. Since Spa City is only an hour away, that gives you plenty of time on the water soaking up rays. Don’t have a boat? There are rental services available on all three lakes.
Lions and tigers and bears — oh yes. Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge opened its doors in 1992 to provide a safe sanctuary for big cats across the country. At the refuge, you’ll see big cats in their element enjoying the great Arkansas outdoors. Kids will love watching the tigers cool off in swimming pools during the hot summer months.
Mount Magazine State Park
If you’ve hiked Pinnacle one too many times, it may be time to branch out. Instead, try Mount Magazine — the state’s tallest mountain, rising 2,753 feet over the Petit Jean River valley. Not only does the mountain offer sweeping views, it’s also a prime destination for outdoor enthusiasts to hike, sightsee, rock climb, mountain bike and more.