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Arkansas Staycation: 7 Fun Things to Do While Staying Close to Home

Image: Arkansas Staycation: 7 Fun Things to Do While Staying Close to Home
The Native American cliff shelter found at Blue Spring Heritage Center near Eureka Springs, Arkansas. (wikimedia/commons)

By    |   Monday, 23 Feb 2015 11:31 PM

The Ozark Mountain country of Northern Arkansas has beautiful vistas, lakes and natural springs that make it a great place for family vacation or staycation.

If you have never visited the Natural State, here are 7 great family friendly places to visit:

1. Hot Springs: In Hot Springs, visitors can tour historical spas on bathhouse row, enjoy quaint shopping and take a dip in the waters that made Hot Springs America's original spa town. The history of this town goes back to the 1830s, when people came from across the country to bathe in what they believed to be healing waters. Now, it is an urban national park. Note: There are minimum age requirements for taking baths or swimming in the waters.

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2. Eureka Springs: This is a fun town filled with shops, spas and plenty of whimsical places to stay, eat and play. For great family vacation or staycation, try renting a local cabin. Nearby, you can tour caves, go horseback riding and even try out your driving skills at a 4x4 adventure park.

3. The Great Passion Play: While in Eureka Springs, don't forget to book tickets for The Great Passion Play. This outside event is "America's number 1 attended outdoor drama." The play has featured the story of the last days of Jesus continually since 1968. The large grounds where the play is performed is also home to several other Biblical-themed attractions including a huge statue of Jesus, replicas of Holy-Land sites and Sacred Arts Museum.

4. Go Caving: While the adventurous family might try wild caving, there are many more controlled experiences in Arkansas for a great family staycation or vacation experience. Try the Blanchard Springs Cavern which is operated by the U.S. Forest Service. The lighted rooms and paved pathways make for a family friendly cave experience. Cosmic Cavern gives visitors a glimpse of a large underground lake. War Eagle Cavern offers visitors the opportunity to pan for gemstones.

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5. Look for Diamonds: Your trip to Arkansas could include hitting it big in a diamond mine. Crater of Diamonds State Park http://www.craterofdiamondsstatepark.com/ actually allows visitors to mine for diamonds, and many people find them. This spot is the only diamond mining spot in the world where you are allowed to keep what you find. The park also has campgrounds and a water park which make it a great option for family vacation travel.

6. William J. Clinton Library and Museum: Give your kids the chance to see what it feels like to sit in the Oval Office at the William J. Clinton Library and Museum in Little Rock. The museum at this site takes visitors through the events of President Clinton's two terms in office. For a fun family experience, try the third floor exhibits that show what family life was like in the White House for the Clintons. The complex includes a large park.

7. Follow the Civil War: History buffs can follow the Civil War History of Arkansas. The trail and a series of podcasts describing the war in this border state are available at the state's travel and tourism website.

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The Ozark Mountain country of Northern Arkansas has beautiful vistas, lakes and natural springs that make it a great place for family vacation or staycation.
Arkansas Staycation, Family, Fun, Travel
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2015-31-23
Monday, 23 Feb 2015 11:31 PM
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