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Eureka Springs, AR - trip report

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We live in Tulsa, OK and took a quick one night trip to Eureka Springs this weekend- just 2.5 hours away, and a very pretty drive. My husband had been before, but only for motorcycle trips, where they usually stay at a hotel on Hwy 62, and venture into the downtown area only to eat and have a drink or two.

Our hotel was the Basin Park Hotel in the heart of the downtown area. If you appreciate historic structures, you’ll love this hotel, built in 1905. There have been some updates, but be aware it is not fully modernized or what I would call upscale. There is one small elevator that can hold no more than 5 people at a time (we used the stairs most of the time and our room was on the 5th floor). The “pool” is an above ground pool, not much bigger than a large hot tub. Some walls could use a fresh coat of paint, but overall it is very charming and you can’t beat the location. The balcony restaurant has a nice view, but the food is nothing special, mostly bar/grill type.

We had a great lunch at the Local Flavor Café, sitting on their deck overlooking Spring Street. Lots of vegetarian options. Dinner was at Rogue’s Manor- excellent! A nice stroll all the way down Spring Street, it is tucked back a little off the main path. Great wine list, and nice offerings of steak and seafood. Cozy and inviting, it is in an old house and like most things in the area, has a unique history. Their bar is nice also and allows cigar smoking. Charming and romantic.

Breakfast was at the Mud Street Café- lots of yummy options, whether you prefer a larger breakfast or smaller. Several couches and large chairs we thought were waiting areas, although we also saw people eating and reading the paper as if they were in their own living room. Comfortable spot, obviously.

The highlight of the shopping for us was all the art galleries. Any kind of art can be found- paintings, pottery, jewelry, whatever. The area has turned into quite the artists’ colony. There is also a nice assortment of clothing and home accessory stores. The gallery attached to the Basin Park Hotel- the Iris, I think- was great as it had art from 90 or so different local artists.

The Basin Park Hotel has a sister property, the Crescent Hotel, a little further from the downtown area, but still walkable. Beautiful views of the area and very nice gardens. I can’t speak to what the rooms are like, but the lobby area was very nice, and I’m guessing this property is slightly more upscale than the other. The restaurant has a more extensive and expensive menu. The pool is a true in-ground version, and there seemed to be more kids at this property (just an observation, as we hope to return with our little one sometime).

There are other things to do if you want to venture from town- trails in the area, some water sport activities, etc. We did not, given our short time frame. On our way out of town, we did drive around some of the residential areas, which are full of wonderful Victorian style homes. There are also lots of small bed and breakfasts and cottages for rent throughout.

A very enjoyable weekend and a pretty easy, quick getaway for anyone who lives within a few hours of Eureka Springs. We hope to go back soon- maybe for one of the many festivals they offer through the year.

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