Never expected to take a trip to the quiet state of Arkansas? You’re not alone. In fact, many travelers are quite surprised by the nature and history that this patriotic state has in store. Read more to find out how to spend seven days in Arkansas.
Day 1: Drive to Northwest Arkansas
Fortunately, due to the relatively smaller size of Arkansas in comparison to longer or wider states, only a round trip plane ticket and car rental in and out of Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport (LIT) in Little Rock, Arkansas, will be necessary for your journey. After landing in Little Rock, take a three-hour drive northwest to Bentonville, a city notorious for being the birthplace of Walmart. Avid Walmart shoppers might find that The Walmart Museum in Downtown Bentonville is worth a quick visit and self-guided tour. To start your week off on a high note, have dinner at Tusk & Trotter American Brasserie and order the restaurant’s signature pig ear nachos (yes, the dish does contain actual pig ears).
Day 2: Pea Ridge National Military Park
Only half an hour east of Bentonville sits Pea Ridge National Military Park, a superbly preserved 4,300-acre Civil War battlefield and national park. Many visitors hike the Williams Hollow Loop Hike to take in the history of the park, while others may choose to tour the park on horseback. The Visitor’s Center offers a short orientation video to provide visitors with context to some of the historical sites and monuments they will see throughout the park.
Day 3: Hobbs State Park Conservation Area
After spending a full day learning about the history of Arkansas, drive 20 miles east of Bentonville and explore Hobbs State Park Conservation Area. Packed with trails for hiking and biking, bring the family for a picnic lunch or take a guided tour of War Eagle Cavern, Arkansas’s only lakeside cavern entrance. War Eagle Cavern is fun for all ages with additional activities for children such as gemstone panning and navigating through a wooden maze.
Day 4: Head to Little Rock
Check out of your home away from home in Bentonville and make the long drive back to Little Rock for the remainder of your trip. Spend your first day in the city exploring Downtown Little Rock and take a stroll along the Arkansas River. Mosey on down to MacArthur Park, where locals and tourists can visit the Arkansas Korean War Veterans Memorial. A short drive away from MacArthur Park is Lost Forty Brewing to grab a glass of Arkansas’s finest craft beer while you snack on Hoppin’ John Black Bean Dip after a day of city strolling.
Day 5: Hot Springs National Park
Spend your fifth day in Arkansas at Hot Springs National Park, only an hour southwest of Little Rock. Bring an empty water bottle and fill it up with water from the thermal springs fountains throughout the park to drink, as the water in the park has been protected since 1832 by Congress. Dip your toes in the park’s thermal springs at the Display Spring or Hot Water Cascade, the only two locations in the park where the water has cooled enough to touch.
Day 6: Pinnacle Mountain State Park
Finish off your last full day in Arkansas with a picnic on top of Pinnacle Mountain. Just 25 minutes west of Little Rock, this hiking destination is home to the Big and Little Maumelle Rivers, and is also a certified Trail of Tears National Historic Site, where Cherokees, Choctaws, Creeks, Seminoles, and Chickasaws were uprooted and forced to travel through.
Day 7: Head Home
Enjoy your short drive to the Little Rock airport to catch your flight home, but not before stopping for a cup of Joe at Little Rock’s Fidel & Co. Coffee. Satisfy your morning sweet tooth with a piece of Fidel & Co.’s cardamom coffee cake and sip on a cappuccino before returning your rental car at the airport and fastening your seatbelt for takeoff.