Arkansas is home to more than three million people, and it’s a must-see state for people who love beautiful nature and an outdoor lifestyle.
Nicknamed “The Natural State,” Arkansas may not come close to attracting as many annual visitors as states like New York, Florida or California, but it offers plenty of affordable exciting adventures and experiences for outdoor enthusiasts.
Here are five reasons why the state of Arkansas should be next on your vacation destination wish list:
College Sporting Events Life
Arkansas doesn’t have any professional sports franchises (NHL, NBA, MLB or NFL), but fans in the Natural State live and breathe their college teams.
Arkansas became one of the first U.S. states to legalize sports betting, having launched it in 2019. The BetMGM Arkansas sportsbook is currently offering new customers risk-free bets of up to $1,000, and you can bet on popular sports such as hockey, baseball, basketball and football.
You’ll have the option to bet on Razorbacks games when the 2022 season launches, and they carry +10000 odds of winning next year’s National Championship at BetMGM.
The football team’s outdoor home venue Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium (in Fayetteville) and the men’s and women’s basketball venue of Bud Walton Arena (also in Fayetteville) always have energy-filled atmospheres and never leave visitors disappointed as far as entertainment value.
Their are also hundreds of miles of trails around Fayetteville and 70 parks in this Ozark Mountain region.
Little Rock History
The capital city of Arkansas is relatively cheap to visit compared to many other capital cities across the country.
It’s easy to find cheap flights into Little Rock from other nearby states. Furthermore, the city has many hotels at or near downtown with view of the Arkansas River for affordable prices. If you’re carefully trying to manage your budget while traveling, you can easily maximize your experience in Little Rock without spending too much.
There is a wide range of different activities to check out in the surprisingly diverse capital of Arkansas. These include the William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum. The library opened in 2004 and provides visitors with the best possible learning experience about the Clinton presidency.
Born in Hope, Arkansas, Clinton served as president of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Before he was elected president, he served as the governor of Arkansas twice (from 1971 to 1981 and 1983 to 1992).
There are also plenty of cool museums for history fanatics to check out in Little Rock. This includes the Esse Purse Museum & Store, Old State House Museum, Central Arkansas Nature Center, Riverfront Park, the Little Rock Zoo and much more.
Nature, Nature, Nature
Folks who love spending a great amount of time outdoors—especially during the spring and summer—need to prioritize a trip to Arkansas.
Why? The state is home to so many jaw-dropping and gorgeous hiking trails, state parks and waterfalls.
The Crooked Creek Falls (Caddo Gap) and Richland Falls (Sand Gap) are just some of the many beautiful waterfall locations to check out.
The Buffalo National River is one of the state’s most popular tourist attractions, having brought in 1.5 million visitors in 2020. Hot Springs National Park (in Garland County) is another widely visited park that brought in more than 2.162 million (an all-time record for the venue) visitors last year.
One of the newest water trails is the St. Francis Sunken Lands through 10 miles of forested river bottoms. An earthquake rocked that area more than 200 years ago and caused vast tracks of land to sink. The river dropped about eight feet, creating this landscape of bald-cypress lined channels and open water.
This too applies to outdoor lifestyle enthusiasts and especially the ones who want to manage their travel budgets.
The state of Arkansas has plenty of ideal locations to set up camp where you’re surrounded by nature. The aforementioned Buffalo National River and Hot Springs National Park offer plenty of camping areas at reasonable rates.
The Horseshoe Bend Campground (in Rogers), Daisy State Park (Pike County) and DeGray Lake (located on the Caddo River) are some of the other popular nature spots that allow visitors to camp overnight.
Camping is especially ideal for those traveling to Arkansas via road trip.
Road Trip To Major Nearby Cities
Arkansas is an ideal state and location to visit if you’re planning to see multiple Southern states during your travels.
Arkansas borders the states of Louisiana, Texas, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Missouri and Mississippi. There are plenty of other popular cities for tourists to visit in these states.
New Orleans, Nashville and Dallas are among the busiest cities in the U.S. when it comes to tourists. If you are experiencing a vacation down South, you can rent a vehicle and enjoy a beautiful road trip through these nearby states.
Nashville is about a five-hour drive from Little Rock, and Memphis is only two hours. There’s also the Mississippi Delta, which is a little over two hours away and an unforgettable road trip.
As you can tell, it’s very doable to do a road trip through the plethora of must-see cities in the South. Again, if you’re working on a tight budget, you can mostly stay in Arkansas but still get the opportunity to see other widely-visited cities in the Southern U.S.