Arkansas borders the Mississippi River and is surrounded by the natural scenic beauty of the wilderness. Home to the sweeping Ozark Mountains, flowing rivers, and healing hot springs, the landscape of this lovely state make it a wonderful destination for nature-loving couples looking for a romantic weekend getaway. From rustic cabins overlooking the river to cozy lodging accommodations just minutes from the Ozarks, Arkansas vacation rentals are perfect if you’re hoping for quality quiet time with your sweetheart. If you’re ready to plan your weekend mini-adventure in Arkansas, here are the eight most popular destinations in the state.

1. Little Rock

Full front view of capitol building
Source: Flickr/Nicolas Henderson

Little Rock is Arkansas’s state capital and the largest city in the state, making it a great getaway option if you want a mix of bustling city life with a hint of down-home charm. Spend a day touring the city, stopping by the Capitol Building and the Clinton Presidential Center to learn about local politics and the 42nd president of the United States, then enjoy a romantic meal at Brave New Restaurant, a cozy, upscale establishment with riverfront views. For some fun couple time, head over to Magic Springs and Crystal Falls amusement park and hold each other tight while you ride the huge coasters.

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2. Fayetteville

View of park with water and trees
Source: Flickr/Clinton Steeds

Home to the first home of Bill and Hillary Clinton, Fayetteville is a charming city located in Northwest Arkansas, surrounded by the lush greenery of the Mount Sequoia Woods and views of the Ozarks in the distance. If you’re up for a bit of local history, visit Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park, a site dedicated to the 1862 Battle of Prairie Grove, which secured northwestern Arkansas for the Union. For a romantic outdoor date surrounded by the beauty of butterflies, take a stroll through the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks, a unique park with 12 separate themed gardens and an enchanting butterfly house. When you’re ready to take a break from sightseeing and enjoy an intimate meal, head over to Vetro 1925 for an Italian feast in a quaint dining room.

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3. Hot Springs

Hot spring with plants
Source: Facebook/Hot Springs National Park

If you’re hoping your romantic getaway weekend includes a fair amount of relaxation, choose a vacation rental in Hot Springs. It’s known for its natural hot springs in the center of town, as well as its abundance of therapeutic bathhouses that line Bathhouse Row, a historic street with architecture dating back to the 1800s. Today, many of the bathhouses on the row are open only for tours, but Hot Springs has plenty of options when it comes to relaxing in the therapeutic waters. Quapaw Baths and Spa offers pampering couple’s massages, mineral baths, and a variety of spa services, as well as yummy treats in its in-house cafe. For even more relaxation and some bonding time with your partner, sign up for a yoga session at Hot Springs Yoga Center.

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4. Eureka Springs

View of two streets
Source: Flickr/Alfredo Carrillo

Nestled in the beautiful Ozark Mountains is Eureka Springs, a lovely small town surrounded by mountain views. The Historic District in the center of town along Spring Street houses historic architecture and gorgeous Victorian homes, creating the perfect backdrop for a romantic stroll. For a day filled with nature and majestic animals, visit the Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge, an animal sanctuary that provides a safe home to abandoned lions, bears, and tigers. If you’re up for a little live music, take in a show at the Ozark Mountain Hoe-Down Music Theater, then pop into the Big Dipper ice cream shop down the street for a sweet nightcap.

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5. Texarkana

Road going to church
Source: Flickr/Jeff Keyzer

Located along the state line with Texas, Texarkana sits surrounded by several parks and recreation areas, including Bobby Ferguson Park, which is also home to beautiful Lake Dieffenbacher. The beautiful natural scenery and an abundance of recreational activities make Texarkana a great getaway retreat for couples who enjoy the great outdoors. Vacation rentals near the lake put you in close proximity to fishing, swimming, and water fun, and the surrounding parks provide a lovely atmosphere for romantic nature walks and great photo opportunities. When you’re ready for a little indoor ambiance, treat your special someone to a hearty steak dinner at Cattleman’s Steakhouse, a local favorite with cozy wood interior and a friendly, welcoming staff.

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6. Bentonville

View of country house from outside
Source: Flickr/Mike Norton

If you’re a couple who loves museums and history, Bentonville is the perfect spot for a romantic weekend getaway. From the Walton Museum, which houses the actual office of Sam Walton, founder of Walmart, to the Museum of Native American History and the Col. Samuel W. Peel House, Bentonville is packed with history at every turn. Spend the day museum-hopping, then get in some outdoor fun at the Lawrence Plaza Ice Rink and Splash Park. During the winter months, the park serves as an ice rink, and during the summer, the ice rink turns into a splash pad for some good old-fashioned water fun.

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7. Bella Vista

Creek flowing over rocks
Source: Flickr/bobsacks

Bella Vista is a cozy town in Benton County that was first established as a resort town where visitors flocked during the summer months. Today, Bella Vista offers a year-round oasis with beautiful scenery, golf courses, swimming lakes, parks, and the flowing waterfalls of Tanyard Creek. Seven lakes surround the town, so vacation rentals in the area put you just minutes from the water, and the Tanyard Creek Nature Trail is a great spot for romantic nature walks. After a day of outdoor indulgence, check the schedule for the Walton Theater and pick up tickets to a musical act or theater production. For a cozy meal for two, head over to Oven and Tap, known for wood-fired dishes cooked in its custom-built wood-fired oven and tap wall.

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8. Ozarks

Mountain and trees with mist
Source: Flickr/Thomas & Dianne Jones

Home of the breathtaking misty Ozark Mountains and oozing with small-town charm, the Ozarks is the perfect choice for couples looking to get away from it all and enjoy the beauty of nature. Whether you’re taking in the natural surroundings on morning nature walks and evening strolls under the stars, enjoying a live music show at the Ozark Folk Center, or surrounding yourself with art at the Crystal Bridges Museum, there’s something for everyone in this lovely mountain oasis.

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