Known as The Natural State, Arkansas lives up to its name with rugged mountain trails, natural springs, waterfalls, and thick forests covering the state. From breathtaking hikes with sweeping nature views to historic towns with beautiful architecture, Arkansas offers up diverse itinerary options for your next vacation. Secure one of many Arkansas cabin rentals in the midst of all the natural beauty for an immersive experience.

1. Hot Springs

Tucked in the Ouachita Mountains in central Arkansas, Hot Springs is a quaint, historic town known for its natural hot springs. Those springs heat the thermal baths along Bathhouse Row, with one of those bathhouses serving as the visitor center for Hot Springs National Park. The free national park is the nation’s oldest formed to protect 47 thermal springs in the area. Climb to the top of Hot Springs Mountain Tower for a chance to see the surrounding area — and possibly your vacation rental. Garvan Woodland Gardens located along Lake Hamilton lets you embrace more of nature, while National Park Aquarium and Arkansas Alligator Farm and Petting Zoo satisfy the animal lovers in the family. Museums, riverboats, live shows, and family entertainment like go-karting and mini-golf give your family plenty of ways to stay busy in Hot Springs year round. Opt for indoor venues during the cooler winter months.

2. Mountain View

Mountain View in the Ozarks area of northern Arkansas lives up to its name with its gorgeous natural views, but the town is also known for something else: folk music. The town puts a lot of heart into maintaining its music roots with frequent live music and program to encourage youth to learn those traditional music techniques. Beyond the musical soul of the area, Mountain View offers a deep connection to nature. Head out on one of many hiking and mountain biking trails in the area. The White River is a great place for fishing and canoeing. Blanchard Springs Caverns takes you underground with one of four different tours. Take your adventures upward with a ziplining or ropes course just outside Mountain View.

3. Heber Springs

Originally designed as a health resort called Sugar Loaf, Heber Springs is now a central Arkansas favorite for water activities and natural beauty. Greers Ferry Lake and the Little Red River are at the heart of those activities in the Ozark foothills, providing the location for fishing, boating, and other water-based recreation. Secure a cabin along the lake for easy access to the water. Hiking is also popular in the area with miles of trails crossing the land. Take a hike to see Collin Creek Falls or Bridal Veil Falls for amazing photo ops. Back in town, Heber Springs offers a historic downtown area full of stunning architecture with a town square anchored by the county courthouse. The area also has mineral springs and a museum ideal for winter trips. An annual Christmas parade and town lighting also add to winter trips to Heber Springs.

4. Eureka Springs

Eureka Springs sits along the Northwestern border of Arkansas in the Ozark Mountain region. This resort town offers up a wide range of activities with convenient vacation rentals to serve as your home base between stops. The springs that give the town its name are a major draw, as is the Victorian architecture and rich history of the area. A popular spot for artists, Eureka Springs has several galleries, theaters, and museums for year-round entertainment options. Caverns, lakes, and rivers offer outdoor recreation outside the city limits. The Christ of the Ozarks statue on top of Magnetic Mountain is an iconic image of the area.

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5. Jasper

Another Ozark Mountain town, Jasper has that quaint small-town charm that helps you achieve a relaxing vacation destination. Outdoor activities are popular in this area, with hiking, canoeing, rock climbing, caving, and fishing topping the list. Hunting is a year-round option for visitors. Horseback riding and hiking are popular ways to get around and see the natural beauty of the Jasper area. The Buffalo River corridor serves as home to an elk herd numbering 450. The town even hosts an annual Buffalo River Elk Festival to celebrate the herd. Jasper offers plenty of entertainment on its own, but it’s location near Branson, Eureka Springs, and other towns give you even more options with your Jasper vacation rental as your home base.

6. Hardy

What once was a railroad construction camp is now a thriving Northern Arkansas vacation location full of scenic views and historic buildings. Hardy’s downtown area is reminiscent of the early Model T days with historic buildings that land it on the National Register of Historic Places. The Spring River fed by Mammoth Spring is an ideal spot for enjoying time in nature. The cool river water makes it ideal for hot summer days, but visitors enjoy river activities year round. Head to Mammoth Spring State Park for more water fun, including fishing.

7. Fayetteville

As the third largest city in Arkansas, Fayetteville offers big city attractions with beautiful natural scenery surrounding the city. The University of Arkansas campus provides sporting events and other entertainment along with beautiful buildings for city walks. Wander the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks for more nature within the city. The Arkansas Air and Military Museum adds a historical option for your vacation entertainment. Several other museums and attractions offer even more options. Head to Lake Fayetteville for boating, hiking, fishing, and other outdoor activities.

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