Before I launch into Eureka Springs, I have to note that my first stop out of Austin was actually Tulsa, Oklahoma. While I did walk a few miles along the Arkansas River, I'm embarrassed to say that I was so fried after 10 hours of driving, that I didn't even take one photo! In fact, I wish I had 2 nights in Tulsa as I enjoyed my AirBnB spot, wanted to bike the path along the River, and would have loved to visit the Woody Guthrie Center. Live and learn!
In just 3 hours, I landed in Eureka Springs, Arkansas and happily put up the homestead. I have mixed feelings about this place although I found the downtown quaint, the history and architecture interesting, and the locals friendly. However, it gets two strikes: one for not being road bike friendly, and one for an odd array of tourists!
Beginning circa 1856, the springs here were promoted for medicinal benefits (as well as bottled) for more than 20 years, but today they are simply sites to see due to bacterial contamination (I won't get started.). The entire downtown district is on the National Register of Historic Places, and has sustained a gorgeous collection of Victorian architecture and gingerbread houses. Another major attraction is The Christ of the Ozarks, built on Magnetic Mountain, which includes a Holy Land Tour, The Great Passion Play, a Bible Museum, and more. On the edge of town, I enjoyed Lake Leatherwood, one of the largest city parks in the country.
So, an interesting place for a weekend. I was just out of my comfort zone with the combination of Harley Davidson bikers ("It's all about the ride"), the mass of Bible groups heading to the Holy Land, RV campers you've seen in people of Walmart photos, and other cultural oddities that I simply did not blend in with. That said, I did find normalcy (and some great bike service) at Adventure Mountain Outfitters (thanks, Denton!).
Cyclist, writer, teacher, avid reader, bike/ped advocate, nomad, pie lover