Lake Ouachita, Arkansas, is a beautiful 40,000-acre lake surrounded by the Ouachita Forest in Arkansas, with over 200 separate islands that provide the perfect backdrop for fishing, swimming, canoeing, and more. If you’re planning a holiday at Lake Ouachita, there are plenty of vacation rental options to choose from, ranging from cabins overlooking the water to rental homes that offer amazing panoramic views of the Ouachita Mountains. To find an ideal spot for your vacation, check out this top 10 list of the best places to look for a Lake Ouachita vacation rental.

1. Crystal Springs

lake water
Source: Flickr / Logan Ingalls

Choosing a vacation rental in Crystal Springs puts you just three miles away from the main channel of Lake Ouachita, and just a few minutes away from the beach. Lake Ouachita is known as the “Cleanest Lake in Arkansas,” so make sure to take advantage of your time on the water. Rent a fishing boat and catch some crappie and world-class striped bass, take a swim with the family or get the adrenaline pumping with some water-skiing or tubing.

2. Mountain Pine

lake fishing
Source: Flickr / Sean Maurik

The Mountain Pine area is within close proximity of Lake Ouachita State Park and several camping areas, making this spot a good choice for families and groups who love to trek through the wilderness and enjoy the great outdoors. Take a short walk from your vacation rental to visit the park to fish, swim, or relax on one of the beaches, or rent a camper cabin at one of the nearby campgrounds to get back to nature for a few nights.

3. Lake Hamilton

view of sunset on the lake
Source: Flickr / Ben Onken

Lodging in the Lake Hamilton area gives you convenient access to Lake Ouachita, Lake Catherine, and the Lake Ouachita Vista Trail. Spend the day on the water with your fishing poles, or rent a pontoon and take a slow cruise around the lakes. For a fun family adventure, pack a lunch and hit the 36-mile trail and enjoy amazing views of Lake Ouachita’s southern shore.

4. Washita

lake shore restaurants
Source: Flickr / Gayle Nicholson

Washita sits on the west end of Lake Ouachita, offering vacation rental options just minutes from the Washita campsite and public boat ramp for convenient access to the waters. Staying in Washita also puts you in close vicinity of the Mount Ida quartz crystal mines, where visitors can hunt and dig for loose crystals and take home their treasures. The area also houses several crystal rock shops if you don’t feel like getting your hands dirty.

5. East Shore

three persons kayaking
Source: Flickr / 3D OutDoor Rentals Kayak & Bike

If you want to get in some kayaking or canoeing on your holiday, consider staying in the East Shore vicinity. Located on Lake Ouachita’s eastern end, many lodging options are just a short jaunt away from Lake Ouachita State Park, where skilled guides offer group kayak lessons and tours. Kayak and canoe rentals are also available at the park, so there’s no need to haul your equipment from your vacation rental.

6. Avant Landing

Island on lake
Source: Flickr / Granger Meador

The Avant Landing area offers visitors gorgeous views of the islands around Lake Ouachita, and provides easy access to the Avant campgrounds and swimming beach. Head over to the beach for a relaxing swim, or take the family to the nearby fishing pier to catch some bass. Guided fishing tours are also available in the area if you want some tips on reeling in a winner.

7. Tompkin’s Bend

outdoor landscape
Source: Flickr / Granger Meador

Tompkin’s Bend sits on the western shoreline of Lake Ouachita, just a few steps away from the Tompkin’s Bend Recreation Area and Campground, making this location an ideal match for active families or groups. Get some recreational time in by hiking one of the recreation area’s 50 trails, or take advantage of the ground grills and cook up your catch of the day while mingling with campers and fellow vacationers.

8. Hot Springs

blue lake scenery
Source: Flickr / xtaxta

Known for its healing waters, Hot Springs, Arkansas is just a few miles away from Lake Ouachita’s eastern shore and offers vacation rental options ranging from deluxe cabins to resort accommodations. Located on a slope of Hot Springs mountain, springs gush up to 143 gallons of water per day and are truly a sight to behold. Visit the springs and take in the atmosphere, or test the waters yourself at one of the spas located in the downtown area.

9. Lake Ouachita State Park

mountain hiking view
Source: Flickr / Doc Gibson

Vacation rentals in the Lake Ouachita State Park vicinity offer travelers an abundance of options when it comes to outdoor recreation. Hike the park’s Caddo trail and take in breathtaking views of the lake, or visit the historic Three Sisters Springs located on the grounds. If you feel like sleeping under the stars for a night or two during your vacation, rent a cabin in the woods, or pitch a family tent on one of the park’s 93 campsites.

10. Mount Tabor

parked canoes
Source: Flickr / Gayle Nicholson

Mount Tabor is in close proximity to Iron Fork boat ramp and the shorelines of both Lake Catherine Lake Ouachita, giving travelers convenient access to the water while offering lovely panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. Rent some canoes for the day and explore the lakes, or get some fishing in at nearby Cedar Creek.