Mostly travel but might be others too
This summer (and probably into the fall), I'm going to be visiting all the Arkansas attractions on the Roadside America website (click here for the whole list). I've lived in Arkansas since I was a toddler. My family is from Flint, Michigan and I love the state but I was raised here and absolutely carry a southern accent. Anyway, having lived here my entire life I've not really explored the state like it deserves. It's a beautiful state that can be seen as backward (socially) but it's got loads of charm and is definitely underappreciated. This led me to the Roadside America site. It has an extensive list of locations to visit and this journey may lead me to some other Arkansas sites that didn't make the list that I will write about on my site.
I was originally going to start alphabetically with the list but it's more efficient for me to hit them by geographic location. I decided to start with Little Rock because it's most convenient for me. Sorry, I'm adventurous but also slightly lazy and work full-time.
One of the Little Rock roadside attractions is the Esse Purse Museum which I, coincidentally, covered in my Fashion page. Check that out here.
The first Roadside attraction for Little Rock will officially be.....(drum roll).....the monument to the first human dissection in Arkansas.
Located in the McArthur Park in Little Rock. It's situated near the Arkansas Arts Center and the McArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History. This baby marks a major blow to the religious choke hold on science and modern medicine. Prior to 1874, religious beliefs prohibited the dissection of human remains because it was believed to prevent the deceased's ability to move on to the afterlife.
This one is a bit tricky to find. I added an image of the Maps view of my exact position in McArthur Park. When you turn into McArthur Park, there is a playground on the left and the military museum on your right. The road forks, stay to the left and that will lead you to a parking lot. Park there and you'll be able to see the monument in front of a brick building (that's the bathrooms for the park) and next to a garden.
Arkansas has a lot to offer besides some good joke material for the rest of the country. It's teeming with natural beauty that is worth exploring in spite of the heat and high humidity. The state is full of friendly people, historic sites, and a little bit of nightlife for the party-goers out there.
If you're ever planning a stay in Arkansas or just traveling through, Airbnb has oodles (that's right, oodles) of places to stay if you're not into the hotel vibe. I live here but I was curious what we had to offer in quirky accommodations, if any. And lo and behold, I found a few potential gems. Check them out:
Stay on the River
Little Rock/North Little Rock, AR
The Arkansas River runs right through downtown Little Rock. On the Little Rock side of the river, we have the River Market area which features a farmers market on Saturdays during the summer. It's also close to the Clinton Library and while it looks like a giant trailer, it's pretty remarkable inside and has a cafe and hosts a permanent and temporary exhibit.
On the other side of the river is North Little Rock which is home to Verizon Arena if you're looking for some big name concerts as well as a quaint downtown area called the Argenta District. Staying on the river in this boat listed on Airbnb would make accessing these spots extremely convenient. Plus look how cute!
If you're here for the outdoors, we've got walking and biking trails close to the river as well as kayaking.
To view this listing on Airbnb, click here. (Photos from the Airbnb listing)
Farmhouse Country Feel
If you're looking for peace and quiet, you might like this farmhouse out in Austin, AR. Austin is roughly 30 minutes from Little Rock.
All photos from Airbnb listing. To view listing, click here.
Get That Cabin Fever (but in a good way)
Roland is another town that's about 30 minutes from Little Rock. If you don't mind driving, you can hit up Pinnacle Mountain or the Arkansas River.
All photos from Airbnb listing. To view the listing, click here.
Glamping in a Luxury Tipi
Hot Springs, AR
Hot Springs is a pretty popular Arkansas tourist destination. It used to be well-loved by gangsters such as Al Capone and John Dillinger. It's bathhouses, lakes, parks, and bars.
All photos from Airbnb listing. To view the listing, click here.
Mini Castle in the Woods
Eureka Springs, AR
In Arkansas, Eureka Springs is known for its off-beat vibe. They're known for their haunted hotel, tree house rentals, and funky, local shops.
If you're planning a trip, consider these next two listings. This one is a "castle" located on 52 acres of woods.
All photos from the Airbnb listing. To view the listing, click here.
Romani Style Wagon
Eureka Springs, AR
Another Eureka Springs cutie pie. A Romani style wagon. This one I plan to check out in real life this summer. I'll write about how my stay was so you guys can get a good idea of what it's really like. From the listing, it looks completely charming.
All photos pulled from the Airbnb listing. To view the listing, click here.
This is my first post EVER so I'll go ahead and tell you a little about myself. I'm a single mom, living in the south. I have never known what I wanted to do for a living. My professional interests as a child ranged from ballerina to spy. As an adult I've dabbled in many things - French teaching, translation, distillery tour guide, legal assistant, QA tester, barista - and haven't quite nailed down a career that I'm in love with. Then while on vacation this past week in Florida, it hit me. All my childhood dreams revolved around one theme...travel. So I decided to start a completely new endeavor and bring my bizarre interests to others via this site.
This first post will be tame just to break you guys in ;). Like I said, this past week I went on vacation with family to Panama City Beach, Florida. It's my third time vacationing there and thought I'd share some of my experiences and favorites of the area.
WHERE I'VE STAYED
I'm an avid user of Airbnb, so instead of a list of hotels or condos I'm going to tell you the area of PCB that I prefer.
I'm kind of crowd shy so I like a beach that's not bustling with humans. I'm a normal tourist though, in that, I want to be as close to the beach as possible. I always look for Airbnbs that are within walking distance of the beach off Front Beach Road.
Below is a Google Maps screenshot of the area I stayed for this past trip. The condo I rented was lovely and within walking distance of the beach, Pier Park, and a delicious Thai place, Oishi. The only drawback for this location is that since it's located across from all the really big beachfront hotels this area of the beach was packed.
Just a sling shot Northwest of location #1 is the Summer Breeze area of PCB. This spot is still super close to Pier Park and the beach but the big difference is the beach crowd itself. While this area had plenty of people so you didn't feel like you were on a deserted island it wasn't so crowded that it was difficult to find a spot to set up your beach gear.
So by now you can guess the trend, the further NW you head up the PCB coast the less crowded the beaches tend to be which brings me to my favorite area that I've stayed so far. While the house I rented for this particular trip was a longer walk to the beach, the beach itself (Kiska Beach) was beautiful and uncrowded. No fighting for a good spot to relax for the day. And while it's not walking distance to Pier Park, it's still a short short drive.
WHERE I'VE GONE
PCB is jam packed with tourist-y attractions. I usually just go for the beach and spend the rest of my time eating but there are some fun and obligatory places that should be taken into consideration.
Pier Park is tourist to the max and will give you that feeling that you really did your duty as an obnoxious visitor. You can spend way too much money on souvenirs for loved ones that they'll just shove in the next garage sale and you can eat at the ever popular Margaritaville. The pier itself is impressively long but you do have to pay a fee to walk it which bums me out.
**I don't think I ate food at Margaritaville. I did have plenty of margaritas...obviously. If you want some good food near Pier Park, there is a good burrito joint called Diego's Burrito Factory.
When you've become sunburned and ready for a little bit of respite from the beach heat, you can check out Zoo World for the kids. It is not cheap to get in at roughly $20 for adult admission and $14 for children but my son LOVED it there and it was the only other activity we did so the expense, for me, was justified.
There's a petting zoo area where you can feed various types of farm animals but the real excitement is getting to feed the giraffes! They also have a pretty impressive habitat for the alligators. My son adores reptiles so we spent quite some time just looking at the gators chilling in the water. You also have the option to feed them for a fee. Below are some pics of some highlights for us at Zoo World.
Obviously this isn't a comprehensive list of places to go and things to do but just what I've done at PCB. I'm kind of a beach lounger so I mostly just sit around and relax on the beach. If you're an adventurer, then you can count on good-ole trust TripAdvisor to have your back on some fun activities.