Commonly referred to as the Ozark Mountains, the Ozarks provide a picturesque retreat for families seeking a quiet and rustic vacation home location. Located in the northwest corner of Arkansas, the Ozarks are home to several mountain villages and towns with friendly people, rushing rivers, and towering inclines. Bring the family for hiking, spelunking, zip lining, and rafting through Mammoth Springs. Ozark vacation rentals range from beautiful lakefront condos to pet-friendly cabins in the woods. Use this guide to locate 11 Ozark rental locations.

1. Hurricane Creek Wilderness

entrance of the cave
Source: Flickr / Robert Breaux

Plan your next vacation escape to the Hurricane Creek Wilderness. Choose remote rental cabins that take you far away from the busy streets. Take a hike along the creek bank and explore the waterfalls, or go for a swim in the calm waters. Bring your dog along the Hurricane Creek Trail, and be sure to bring a picnic lunch and snacks in case the kids get hungry. The creek also allows for fishing, so be sure to bring your poles and lures.

2. Mulberry River

woman kayaking on the river
Source: Flickr / Thomas & Dianne Jones

Kayaking and whitewater rafting are some of the most popular activities along the Mulberry River. This 70-mile stretch of water is one of the state’s wildest rivers. You’ll find plenty of vacation rental options, local restaurants, and horseback riding along Mulberry Mountain. Rent an ATV and take the kids exploring along the Ozark National Forest Trails, or go fishing on one of the four stocked mini-lakes.

3. Lake Fort Smith

lake view
Source: Flickr / Tnkntx

Relax in Martinsburg near Lake Fort Smith with your ideal vacation rental. Home of the Lake Fort Smith Park, this quiet lake is ideal for boating, swimming, fishing, and canoeing. Head to Artist Point at Saddle Canyon for magnificent views and plenty of photo opportunities. There is also a small museum that highlights the history of the region.

4. Combs

people staring at the creek
Source: ytimg.com

Stretch your legs and head out on an adventure in Combs. A highlight of the area is the Mills Creek Trails where you can rent ATVs or bring your off-road vehicle and explore the national forest. Hike up to the large rocky cliffs, which is a popular place for youngsters to swim and dive, and once you are through you can head close by to Grayton Beach and explore the small shops and purchase some homemade treats at Wunderland Candy Shop.

5. Sand Gap

magnificent waterfalls
Source: Flickr / farm6

You’ll love the beautiful Falling Water Falls when you hike through the Ozark National Forest near Sand Gap. The woods are calm and peaceful and provide an excellent retreat for rustic cabin getaways. The Petit Jean State Park provides trails for all skill levels., or you can let the kids walk across the natural bridge in Clinton.

6. Witter

creek
Source: Flickr / Dan Davis

Witter is a small and quiet community in Madison County, Arkansas. You’ll find a small post office for mailing postcards, and several small shops for gifts. Take the kids and hike up to Kings River Falls where you can swim and play on the rocks. This is also an excellent location for birdwatching.

7. Jasper

people boating at the river
Source: Flickr / Mike Norton

Float your cares away when you bring you kayak to Jasper and paddle on the Buffalo River. Also referred to as the Arkansas Grand Canyon, this small town offers picturesque views that are worthy of pictures. Kids will enjoy browsing through Emma’s Museum of Junk or go zip lining down the mountains at Horseshoe Canyon Ranch.

8. Parthenon

horses at the grassland
Source: littlebuffalodotcom

Foodies will delight in the restaurants at Parthenon, Arkansas. There are many different restaurants in the area to suit all tastes. Rent rafts and set sail on the Little Buffalo River, and at the end of the day you can sip a drink on the deck of your vacation rental and let the kids make smores.

9. Arkansas River

artistic iron bridge
Source: Flickr / Thomas Hawk

Located to the south of the Ozark Mountain Range, the Arkansas River has excellent views of the ridgelines above. Vacation rentals along this long stretch of water provide plenty of activities for all ages in the family. Visit the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum to learn about the history of the state, or take the children to the Museum of Discovery for some hands-on learning activities.

10. White River

people in the boat
Source: Flickr / prettyemmy

Enjoy the beauty of the water along the White River. The Bull Shoal-White River Park offers views of the Bull Shoals Dam, and you can take a kayak tour to see the dam from a different vantage point. Head to the Blanchard Springs Caverns for a day of spelunking, or go to the White River National Wildlife Refuge and watch a variety of animals in their natural habitats.

11. Winslow

unique restaurant
Source: Flickr / Carol Von Canon

Winslow is the perfect place to rent a vacation home for viewing life like it was back in the old west. Quaint old shops line the main street and you will find friendly local shop owners and a close-knit community. Spend the day with the family on the Butterfly Hiking Trail, or stop by the Ozark Folkways for a variety of crafts.