Named one of America’s 12 Distinctive Destinations by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Eureka Springs offers a bounty of history, charm, and natural beauty. Located about an hour’s drive southwest from Branson in neighboring Arkansas, this little city sits in the middle of the Ozark Mountains. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and bears the nickname “Little Switzerland of the Ozarks” for good reason. Steep, winding streets traverse the city, which is known for its Victorian architecture and alpine character. Whether you’re looking for family fun or a romantic retreat, you’ll find plenty of things to do in Eureka Springs.
Things to Do in Eureka Springs
Considered one of the biggest cat rescues in the United States, the Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge provides lifetime protection for abused and abandoned big cats, including tigers and lions. Founded in 1992, the refuge sits on a 500-acre ranch just south of Eureka Springs’ historic downtown. The refuge even has lodging for visitors.
Address: 239 Turpentine Creek Lane, Eureka Springs, AR, 72632
Beaver Lake stretches across 487 miles of shoreline that cover nearly 32,000 acres, making it the perfect destination if you’re looking to escape outdoors for the day. The lake offers a wide range of recreational activities for people of all ages. Considered among the cleanest and clearest lakes in the lower 48 states, it’s even visited for scuba diving.
Address: 4022 Mundell Rd., Eureka Springs, AR, 72631
Visiting Thorncrown Chapel is one of the most popular things to do in Eureka Springs. Surrounded by the woodlands, the structure rises 48 feet into the sky and has 425 windows, which amount to more 6,000 square feet of glass. Since 1980, more than six million people have walked through the sanctuary, which has been called “one of the finest religious spaces of modern times.”
Address: 12968 US-62, Eureka Springs, AR, 72632
Another popular religious attraction in Eureka Springs, the Christ of the Ozarks statue sits atop Magnetic Mountain and has been there since 1966. Standing at more than 65 feet high, most of the statue’s work was done by Emmet Sullivan, who also assisted in the work of Mount Rushmore. The statue is minimalist and modern, with little facial detail.
Address: 937 Passion Play Rd, Eureka Springs, AR, 72632
Established in 1981 by Robert Dortch Jr. and his wife Mary Jane, the Eureka Springs & North Arkansas Railway offers excursion tours on the restored Missouri and North Arkansas Railroad, which includes a catered lunch train and a catered dinner train. Operating on 2.5 miles of restored track, the tour takes visitors back to the North American railroad between the 1920s and 1940s. It’s a railroad ride through history that you’ll never forget.
Address: 299 Main, Ark. 23 North Eureka Springs, AR, 72632
Located in the heart of downtown Eureka Springs, the Quicksilver is an art and fine craft gallery that features works from about 120 artists from both the local community and around the country. Open since 1991, the gallery offers everything from jewelry and paintings to pottery and musical instruments. If you’re shopping for a souvenir to take back home with you for a family member or a friend, you won’t want to miss stopping in at this Eureka Springs gem.
Address: 73 Spring St, Eureka Springs, AR, 72632
Whether you’re a wine enthusiast or a self-proclaimed aficionado, the Keels Creek Winery will delight your taste buds and arouse your senses. Located on eight acres of a vineyard that contains eight varieties of grapes, the winery produces about 2,000 cases of wine every year. In additional to an exclusive retail wine store, the property is also home to a tasting room and an art gallery, which are all located in a Spanish-style building.
Address: 3185 E Van Buren, Eureka Springs, AR, 72632
There are plenty of exciting things to do in Eureka Springs, but none of these things is as magical as a trip to the town’s Intrigue Theater to see its stage show, The Illusionist and the Ghost Talker. Described by critics as “one of the best magical experiences,” the performance takes audiences back 100 years to the Age of Intrigue and the Golden Age of Magic. Once there, you will take a journey into the wonders of magic and illusion, learning about this historic art. The candles will flicker, the music will swell, the brass bells will ring, and you will experience the thrill of a magician’s skill.
Address: 80 Mountain St, Eureka Springs, AR, 72632
So if you’re visiting Branson, why not take a day trip to this one-of-a-kind city? With so many fun things to do in Eureka Springs, you might even consider staying a night or two.
And after your exciting day trip to Eureka Springs, wouldn’t it be nice to drive back to your own personal, cozy cabin in Branson and relax? Check out Branson Vacation Rentals to learn more. Instead of staying in a standard hotel, you could book a romantic getaway cabin, a condo with a lake view, or a luxury cabin in the hills of the Ozarks. Browse our cabins, condos, villas, and cottages, or give us a call at 417-832-9991 to get started.