Souvenirs from Arkansas
For a relaxing outdoor experience or simply a great unwinding holiday, Arkansas is an ideal state to visit. It is a mesmerizing landscape whispering the old stories of the plantation days, Hemingway's literary heritage and Southern blues with its hot springs, charming mixture of cultures displayed in local folk centers and unforgettable musical and dancing events. Arkansas's Blanchard Springs Caverns have been recognized as some of the most extraordinary cave discoveries of North America whereas the Arkansas Delta has splendid parks such as Village Creek, picturesque hill areas and parts of the Mississippi River. In South Arkansas, the beautiful old centers of El Dorado and Magnolia are reminders of a strong oil industry past with many Civil War historical venues opened to visitors whereas beyond the Diamond Lakes and crystal mines areas, the Washington State Park offers a glimpse into local legends of charming characters. Visitors can now keep Arkansas alive with fridge magnets, key-chains, souvenir plates and T-shirts available online.
Arkansas, a History Shaped by Nature
Arkansas's history and rich heritage have been shaped by its unique landscape: whether it's the Arkansas Delta, the Ozark Mountains or its forests and caves, its stories are full of South cotton life style and magical sounds and sights. The land and water trails along the Arkansas Trail of Tears or the Butterfield Overland Trail may explain why many tourists are drawn to Arkansas's natural beauties, breathtaking waterfalls and caverns, mountain hiking tours and diamond and crystal mines. But the state also offers a generous range of cultural experiences, from art galleries and theatre to sports events and mouth-watering food tasting. Colorful musical festivals, amazing spas, charming boutiques and antique shops (including the traditional quilt shops) are hugely popular tourist attractions.
Arkansas, Beyond a Civil War History
Due to its strategic location on the Mississippi River, Arkansas has often been the target of conflicts. The state was divided during the Civil War and more than 700 military battles are said to have shaped its history out of which the Civil War's biggest conflict of Pea Ridge in 1862 involved a staggering number of over 25,000 soldiers. In Eastern Arkansas, the Wiederkehr Wine Cellars in Altus and the Delta created by the Mississippi River are home to traditional folk music festivals and still preserve wonderful crafts. The Delta blues, the delicious wine produced in the Arkansas River Valley or the legendary Fort Smith, the 'Wild West' town which marked the Indian Territory border until the beginning of the 20th century are all marks of a past whose stories are yet to be told. Also don't miss your opportunity to stand in both Arkansas and Texas when visiting the Texarkana or explore the rich parks of Queen Wilhelmina, Mount Magazine and Mount Nebo.
A Secret World of Caves
Underneath the wonderful untouched wilderness of Arkansas with its splendid woods, waters, rich valleys and mountains, there is a surprisingly rich underworld of caves and caverns. In the beautiful region of Ozarks there is a complex network of limestone mazes, cave creatures and fossils, stalagmite and stalactite; for tourists, many of the caves have their own stories to tell from their discovery saga to local superstitions and legends about old tribes living inside, scary tigers and awful criminals finding shelter in the caverns. For those willing to test their physical limits by hiking the mountains and wild caves near the Buffalo River there are special tours organized in the Hurricane River Cave, War Eagle Cavern, Blanchard Springs and Cosmic Caverns.