Arkansas Bucket List: 100 Things to Do in the Natural State


Move over New Year’s Resolutions. Here are 100 things you should do around the Natural State in 2019, instead.

Each January, millions of Americans attempt to chart a new course in life by setting a handful of New Year’s Resolutions. But for all the good intentions, seldom are they ever achieved. In fact, according to U.S. News & World Report, 80 percent of all resolutions fail by February and only 8 percent of people ever achieve their goals.

This year, we’re going to try something different. Rather than make a few lofty resolutions that will be out the window before Groundhog’s Day, we’ve decided to spend 2019 marking off things on AY’s first-ever Arkansas Bucket List.

Let’s face it: our resolutions often fail because they are rooted in something negative. We’re unhappy with our weight, how much time we spend on our phones, how much money we waste. And setting a resolution means depriving ourselves of something we want. Life is short. How would you rather be spending the year?

We’re here to help by providing you with a great start. The following list is comprised of 100 things you can do and see in every corner of our great state. We’re certain we didn’t include everything there is to do – you might not see something that would have made it on your bucket list. But it’s a start! Take these 100 opportunities and add your own. And most of all, have fun and make the most of your year.

Attend a Battle of the Ravine college football game played annually by Henderson State University and Ouachita Baptist University.

Bike the Iron Mountain Trail, an exciting singletrack mountain bike trail.

Visit Arkansas Post, the state’s first capital.
Arkansas Post

Pick cotton in the Delta at Peebles Farm.

Explore the Mark Martin Museum, home of Arkansas’ NASCAR legend.

Catch a movie at the Ozark Foothills Filmfest.

Wear a kilt to the Scottish festival at Lyon College.

Marvel at the Mildred B. Cooper Memorial Chapel, designed by E. Fay Jones.
Bella Vista

Admire art at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

Visit the Walmart Museum and 5&10, a store designed to remind us of the Walmarts of old.

Visit the DeGray Lake Resort State Park.

Buy a book from The Blytheville Book Company, formerly That Bookstore in Blytheville.

Fish for smallmouth bass on the Kings River.
Boston Mountains

Scout for elk in the Ozarks.

Find the Louisiana Purchase monument in the Arkansas Delta swamplands.

Experience the toad races at Toad Suck Daze during the summer festival.

Tour the Lower White River Museum.
Des Arc

Step back in time at the Johnny Cash Boyhood Home, where the country legend grew up.

Drive the Great River Road, a 362-mile stretch of road along the Delta.
East Arkansas

Walk the historic courthouse square in El Dorado.
El Dorado

Rock out at the El Dorado Music Fest in the Murphy Arts District.
El Dorado

Pray at the Christ of the Ozarks statue, which stands seven stories high.
Eureka Springs

Stay at the historic, and possibly haunted, 1886 Crescent Hotel and Spa.
Eureka Springs

Sleep in an old gas station at the Texaco Bungalow.
Eureka Springs

Look for alligators in Grassy Lake.
Faulkner County

See a drive in movie at 112 Drive In, one of the state’s last remaining drive-in theaters.


Call the Hogs at Razorback Stadium on gameday.

Buy a book from the maze of literature at the Dickson Street Bookstore.

Wander through the Botanical Gardens of the Ozarks.

Go on a wild cave tour at Blanchard Springs Caverns.

See The Unexpected, an annual public arts festival.
Fort Smith

See Elvis at the Chaffee Barbershop Museum, where the King of Rock received his military haircut.
Fort Smith

Visit the courtroom of Judge Parker, known as the “hanging judge.”
Fort Smith

Watch the water roll at Mammoth Springs, the state’s largest spring.
Fulton County

Find the Gurdon Light along the railroad tracks, believed to be a wandering spirit.

Float the Spring River.

Take a guided fishing trip at Lindsey’s Resort.
Heber Springs

Watch the World Championship Cardboard Boat Races on Greers Ferry Lake.
Heber Springs

Listen to the King Biscuit Hour, the country’s longest-running radio station, at the Delta Cultural Center.
Helena-West Helena

Buy a record at Bubba’s Blues Corner, one of Helena’s oldest record stores.
Helena-West Helena

Enjoy the sounds of the King Biscuit Blues Festival, which always features legendary blues musicians.
Helena-West Helena

Visit the President William Jefferson Clinton Birthplace Home National Historic Site.

Eat an Arkansas watermelon at one of the state’s great watermelon festivals.
Hope or Cave City

Bet on the ponies at Oaklawn, Arkansas’ American thoroughbred racetrack.
Hot Springs

Tour the Mid-America Science Museum.
Hot Springs

Catch a film or two at the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival.
Hot Springs

Visit the Gangster Museum of America and relive an era that defined the 1920’s and 30’s.
Hot Springs

Stroll down the Arkansas Walk of Fame.
Hot Springs

Catch beads at the world’s shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
Hot Springs

Bathe in the thermal hot spring waters or take some home from one of many fountains.
Hot Springs

Stroll through Garvan Woodland Gardens, a 210-acre botanical garden.
Hot Springs

Explore Forrest L. Wood Crowley’s Ridge Nature Center, a learning center with animals, exhibits & self-guided trails.

Howl with the Red Wolves of Arkansas State University.

Shop for fine furniture at Paul Michael Company.
Lake Village

Step back in time at Lakeport Plantation, an Antebellum plantation home.
Lake Village

Fly fish on the White River at Gaston’s.

Cross the Arkansas River on foot at the Junction Railroad Bridge.
Little Rock

Take in the history at the Arkansas State Capitol.
Little Rock

Bike across the Big Dam Bridge.
Little Rock

Admire the sculptures at Bernice Garden, a garden created to celebrate the community.
Little Rock

Have lunch along the River Market District, the centerpiece of Little Rock’s downtown.
Little Rock

See a musical hosted by Celebrity Attractions at the Ron Robinson Performance Hall.
Little Rock

Visit the Oval Office at the Clinton Presidential Center.
Little Rock

Watch Arkansas’ premier ballet company, Ballet Arkansas, perform.
Little Rock

Tailgate a college football game at War Memorial Stadium.
Little Rock

Hike Mount Magazine, the state’s highest point, in the Ouachitas.
Logan County

Zipline at Ouachita Bend, an exciting mountaintop adventure.

Dig for quartz, crystals and other gems at Mount Ida, the heart of “Crystal Country.”
Mount Ida

Experience classic folk tunes at the Ozark Folk Center.
Mountain View

Watch the sun rise over the Arkansas River Valley.
Mt. Nebo

Dig for diamonds at the Crater of Diamonds State Park.

Spend the day shopping and dining in Argenta.
North Little Rock

Tour The Old Mill, an 1880’s-style water mill with rustic outdoor sculptures.
North Little Rock

Catch a foul ball at an Arkansas Travelers baseball game.
North Little Rock

Drive the Pig Trail Scenic Byway, through the Boston and Ozark Mountains, during fall.
Northwest Arkansas

Visit Parkin Archeological State Park, where a Mississippian Period American Indian village once stood.

Learn about the Civil War at the Pea Ridge National Military Park.
Pea Ridge

Explore the Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum, once home to Ernest Hemingway.

Kayak down the Bayou Bartholomew, the world’s longest bayou.
Pine Bluff

Float the Buffalo National River, which flows freely for 135 miles.

Take a picture on Hawksbill Crag, also known as Whitaker Point.

Experience history at the Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park.
Prairie Grove

Spend the night in a themed camper trailer at Flamingo Springs Trailer Resort.
Prairie Grove

Hike Pinnacle Mountain, an iconic landmark surrounded by bottomlands.

Tour Moss Mountain Farm, the homestead of P. Allen Smith.

Pick berries or wildflowers during the summer months at Wye Mountain.

Visit the largest mound site in Arkansas at Toltec Mounds.

Call in ducks from the blind in the duck capital of the world.

Experience the World Duck Calling Championship at the annual Wings over the Prairie Festival.

Search for treasure in the Old Spanish Treasure Cave, a cave thought to be discovered by conquistadors.
Sulphur Springs

Be in two states at once at the Arkansas-Texas state line.

Explore the history of tenant farming at the Southern Tenant Farmers Museum.

Ride the Arkansas-Missouri Railroad which travels the scenic Ozark mountains.
Van Buren

Walk with the Beatles at the monument dedicated to the legendary group’s 1964 visit.
Walnut Ridge

Take a step back in time at the Historic Washington State Park, a former pioneer settlement.

Hike Devil’s Den State Park in the fall, when the leaves have changed.
West Fork

Stand over the mighty Mississippi River at the Big River Crossing pedestrian bridge.
West Memphis

Fish for bream on a south Arkansas oxbow lake.

Shop at White’s Mercantile, an old-time general store for the modern-day tastemaker.

Watch the sunset over rich Delta farmland.
Woodruff County

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