Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Earlier this week Harland celebrated his 29th birthday….again, and he wanted to go somewhere for the weekend. He originally wanted to go to western Kansas, but the forecast was calling for temps of 105 degrees F and winds of 30 mph.  He stressed to me that it was a dry heat though.

I said, “So that means it will feel like only 100 degrees with 30 mph winds.”  Nice.

Then I suggested we go someplace cooler and save western Kansas for later. So he pondered for a bit and then decided he wanted to go to the Arkansas Ozarks where there is shade, water and no wind. We decided to visit Eureka Springs, a town founded in the late 19th century due to its abundance of cool mineral water springs.

The springs were thought to have health benefits and so in the 1880s the town grew in popularity as a health resort and place of retirement for the wealthy. Many bathhouses, hotels, and large gracious houses were built. In 1882, the railroad came to town boosting the numbers of visitors but also encouraging commercial industry as well. By the turn of the century, Eureka Springs had reached the apex of its popularity.

But in the early 1900s, advances in modern medicine meant a decline in the popularity of the mineral springs. Then the Depression took a heavy toll as well. But in the mid 1900s, auto-tourism began to bring visitors back to enjoy the fresh air of the Ozarks, and live a simpler, less expensive way of life. The town also became a favorite of artists and writers. And in 1970, the entire town was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Last Sunday, we spent the day wandering the narrow streets. We left our car at a park and ride and hopped on and off the “trolley” all afternoon.

The area is very hilly so the streets wind around and over the hills. The buildings, most of them built around the turn of the century are made of limestone or brick. The sidewalks are made of large well-worn limestone slabs.

Atop the highest hill in town sits a large luxury hotel, the Crescent, built in 1886.

Check out the underside of the awning at the front door:

Harland stopped to rest and check out the map before we hopped back on the trolley.

Just down the hill from the Crescent is St. Elizabeth of Hungary Catholic church, built in 1909.

Because the church, like many of the buildings in town, is built into a hillside, visitors enter the church through the belltower looking down on the church roof, and as they walk down the sidewalk alongside the church, they gradually reach the front door at ground level. You can view more pics of the church by clicking the link above.

Next, we walked up and down the town’s streets admiring the quaint buildings and shops.

In the picture below is my favorite building. The road forks, and in between sits a narrow tall brick and stone building, just the right size to fit the narrow space.

Where to next Harland?

No no…it’s too hot for coffee.

Oh, that’s pretty. We could paint our staircase at home like that. Except for the purple.

No Harland, you’re already married.

Decide what you want yet?

Mmmmmmm…..two scoops of banana ice cream in a homemade waffle cone. And I’ll have a chocolate peanut butter malt.

Perfect way to finish off our visit to Eureka Springs.

For more information about this lovely town and its history, click HERE.



Cattle, corn, wheat, beans, mud, snow, ice, and drought. Plenty of fresh air and quiet. Our life is sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes joyous, but never boring.

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12 Responses

  1. Nancy says:

    You were in my home state! And my favorite place in Arkansas! Thanks for doing the post. Wish I had known you were going to be there. Would love to meet you two!

  2. Alica says:

    That first building looks like a mini version of Times Square in NY City! But Eureka Springs looks much more appealing to me than the Big Apple. I like the slower pace. Happy Birthday to Harland!

  3. Lee Ann L. says:

    I LOVE that place! Been there three times already. 🙂

  4. Kathy says:

    What a great mini-vacation! Thanks for taking us along. I love seeing places I’ll probably never get to through your blog.

  5. Carol says:

    Loved the tour, Suzanne! I have been thinking about you and your hubby, I hope you are not melting in this heat! Cool thoughts, everybody! Great pictures,thanks.

  6. Julie R says:

    What a sweet little town!! I never thought I’d want to go to Arkansas before, but you just never know. LOL

    Thanks for the great pics.


  7. Louise S says:

    I love the “Legal Marriages Performed” sign. I guess that’s as opposed to “Illegal Marriages Performed”……………… 🙂

    Harland married a pretty smart woman who guided him to Eureka Springs over western Kansas on a hot summer day!

  8. Glenda says:

    Thanks for the money saving tour with your photos and captions! This town looks to have more hills than Glasgow MO! Beautiful architecture and cute shops. Loved the Romance sign and the coffee shop one as well.
    If you painted your steps that brightly I’d never get back to sleep after a trip to the bathroom!
    Happy belated birthday Harland! So glad you have Suzanne in your life!

  9. Becky L says:

    I really enjoyed this post. Looked like you and Harland had a fun birthday trip. Ending a trip with ice cream is fun! We always seem to get ice cream when we are out on a trip. Just Thurs. afternoon, in Seaside, Or, where my daughter and I were, we had ice cream b4 we left and then we had a Subway sandwich an hour later, due to timing of drive home. Life’s short eat dessert first. We had a fun time the earlier hours of the day in Astoria looking at old houses….found one for sale…only a million dollars with a view of the Columbia River. Sigh! Happy Birthday belatedly, to Harland.

  10. Glyndalyn says:

    I have visited there. I had a friend that lived in Berryville and we went together. Very quaint and beautiful.

  11. Eureka Springs is such a beautiful place to visit, and I love the quirky little places and buildings. I’m only a few hours away myself, and I do enjoy going there. Glad you had a good time in our home state. Thanks for sharing. – Karen

  12. Oh my gosh! What a charming town! I especially love that it is hilly…and how you entered the bell tower of the church…so very cool! I would definitely love visiting here. Everything appears to have so much charm. I absolutely love that coffee shop sign!!

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