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I visited Arkansas a couple of years ago and left with a mixed view of the place. We spent a few days in total in the state, most of which was spent in the town and national park of Hot Springs. A strange place as the national park effectively was a town. The architecture of the place was very 'Victorian' and reminded me of British seaside resorts. Inside the houses were hot baths which were believed to improve your health...at a cost. I can't remember the exact cost but I didn't frequent any partly due to the cost.
Cold 'mineral' water was also available on request from taps in the street which was nice and I did see locals I think with great big buckets filling up at the taps so there must be something to the water!!!
Apart from the hot baths I didn't think that there was an awful lot else to the national park. I'd seen better scenery and there was nothing else to do in the town. There seemed to be a lot of poverty with the largest selection of pawn shops I've seen and many places outside the central part of the town (which presumably received national park funds) looked pretty rundown. The nicest buildings were the churches! There was plenty of places to stay though so that would not be a problem. I did taste my best united states sandwich in a little cafe on the main street....perfect!
The only other place that really sticks in my mind about Arkansas is the lunch stop we made by a meander of the River Mississippi. there were loads of jetties there so we decided to do a little fishing but since we didn't really have any proper equipment we just thought we'd try with string and bread (we did have hooks in our camping bags). Lo and behold within about 5 minutes we'd caught a catfish! It was amazing!! Felt like real hunter gatherers. We baked it up on a fire that night and it tasted so so good!!!!
I have mixed memories of Arkansas really. It was a reasonable state with some interesting parts but definitely not one of the stunning states.
Arkansas may be famous for it's politcal history, it's the home state of Bill Clinton and it's Capital Little Rock became famous in 1957 when an attempt was made to ban nine black children from the segregated Central High School and the nationalguard was called in to escort them into the school. However Arkansas has two of the most beutiful and relatively unknown national parks. Hot Springs National Park has springs of 143 degrees that mix with natural reservoirs to create an ideal temperature. The park is nestled between two peaks in the Ouachita Mountains, about an hour south of Little Rock. Lodging and bathing costs rise to match the tourist demand between february and April. Baths were priced at around $13 to $16 in 2000 with the motels moderately priced at around $25 but this apparently doubles between February and April. Camping facilites are available including at two nearby state parks. The OZARKS are another of Arkansas's little treaures. The once majestic Ozark mountains have softened into attractive wooded hills and limestone buffs with springs and rivers abundant. The area is perfect for outdoor recreation like white water canoeing, fishing, hiking, cycling and camping and offers some outstanding scenery. The Ozark National Forest is bound by the White River to the east and the Buffalo National River on the west. The forest contains Blanchard Springs Cavern, Cove Lake and Mount Magazine which is the highest point in the state. The summers in this area are very hot and litterally swarming with mosquitos. I found that the best time to vist is in august or september when it becomes cooler, drier and the mosquitos have gone. In October the autumn foilage is reputed to be outstanding. Overall this area is for people who need to get away from it all so don't expect it to be full of nightlife and entertainment. If you love the outdoors or just need to recharge than this is one of the best
places in the states.
"Also known as one of the west south central states. The term is appropriate, for west, south, and Midwest states seem to meet in Arkansas. Arkansas's natural resources are abundant water; vast forests of quick-growing pines and valuable hardwoods"