... ...

Eureka Springs Itinerary #1 – for History Buffs

Would you like an Eureka Springs itinerary with a focus on history?

Eureka Springs, Arkansas, is a charming town that is rich in history. With its many preserved Victorian homes, unique architecture, and natural beauty, it’s a popular destination for tourists, particularly for history buffs.

This itinerary is designed to help history buffs make the most of their time in Eureka Springs.

Day 1:

Start your day by visiting the Eureka Springs Historical Museum, located in the heart of downtown. It is located in the center of the Historical District at the 1889 California building.

The museum is the place to learn about the colorful past of Eureka Springs through its authentic photographs, papers and other memorabilia documenting the city since its beginning.

The museum offers a glimpse into the town’s history, including exhibits on Native American settlements, the arrival of the first white settlers, and the growth of the town during the Victorian era.

The museum also features a collection of artifacts, photographs, and documents that provide insight into the lives of the town’s early residents. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children.

After visiting the museum, take a walking tour or the Tram Tour of Eureka Springs’ historic district.

The district is home to more than 100 restored Victorian homes and buildings that date back to the late 1800s. The best way to see the district is on foot, as many of the streets are steep and winding.

Eureka is home to the largest collection of Victorian architecture in the central U.S. and the downtown district is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Highlights of the tour include the Crescent Hotel, the Basin Park Hotel, and the St. Elizabeth’s Catholic Church. Many of the homes are private residences, but several are open to the public for tours.

.Be sure to see the Downtown Cornerstone Bank, as well. The bank operates much as it did in years gone by; you can see the old brass teller cages, potbellied stove, original business machines and other working antiques.

St Elizabeth’s Catholic Church in Eureka Springs is located between the Carnegie Library and the Crescent Hotel. Richard Kerens built the church and dedicated it to his parents in 1909.

The church was built with St. Sophia’s Church in Istanbul, Turkey in mind. There are 14 Stations of the Cross made of Italian marble along the right-hand side of the walk from the bell tower.

End your day with a ghost tour of the town. Eureka Springs is known for its haunted history, and there are several companies that offer guided tours of the town’s most haunted locations.

The tours are both spooky and informative, offering insight into the town’s history and legends. Some popular tours include the Crescent Ghost Tour, the Basin Park Ghost Tour, and the Haunted Eureka Springs Tour.

Day 2:

Start your second day by visiting the Thorncrown Chapel, a stunning glass-walled chapel located just outside of town.
The chapel was designed by architect E. Fay Jones and completed in 1980. It is considered a masterpiece of modern architecture and has won numerous awards for its design.

The chapel is open to visitors year-round and offers stunning views of the surrounding Ozark Mountains.

Thorncrown Chapel

Thorncrown Chapel – Image courtesy of Arkansas Tourism

Don’t miss a chance to see the 1886 Crescent Hotel. This historic hotel has a rich and varied history, including stints as a luxury resort, a women’s college, and a hospital.

Today, the hotel has been restored to its former glory and is open to visitors for tours and overnight stays.–>> Why Not Spend The Night At The Crescent?

One of the highlights of the tour is a visit to the hotel’s famous “ghost tour.” The hotel is said to be one of the most haunted buildings in the country, and visitors can learn about the hotel’s ghostly inhabitants and the legends surrounding their presence.

The hotel’s ghost tour is a popular attraction, and visitors are encouraged to book in advance.

If you’re looking for a dining experience that combines great food with a glimpse into the past, here are some restaurants in historic buildings to check out:

  1. The Grand Taverne – Located in the historic 1880s Grand Central Hotel, this restaurant offers fine dining in an elegant setting.
  2. The Balcony Bar & Restaurant – Situated in the Basin Park Hotel, this restaurant features a balcony with a breathtaking view of downtown Eureka Springs.
  3.  Rogue’s Manor – This restaurant is housed in a 1930s English-style manor and offers upscale dining with a menu that emphasizes fresh, local ingredients.
  4. Grotto Wood Fired Grill and Wine Cave – Located in a 1930s building that once served as a speakeasy during Prohibition, this restaurant features wood-fired steaks and a wine cave.
  5. Local Flavor Café – This farm-to-table restaurant is located in a 1900s house that was once home to a prominent local family.

No matter which historic restaurant you choose, you’re sure to be transported back in time while enjoying a delicious meal in a beautiful setting.  Click here for a list of the Top 10 Restaurants.

Day 3:

Start your third day with a visit to the Eureka Springs & North Arkansas Railway. The railway offers a scenic 4-mile trip through the Ozark Mountains, with stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

The train is pulled by a vintage steam locomotive, and passengers can choose to ride in enclosed or open-air cars.

After the train ride, visit the Onyx Cave Park, located just outside of town. The park offers guided tours of the cave, which features stunning rock formations and underground waterfalls.

Visitors can learn about the cave’s history and geology, as well as the Native American legends associated with the site.

End your day with a visit to the Great Passion Play, a religious drama that brings to life the story of Jesus Christ.

The play, which has been performed annually since 1968, features a cast of over 100 actors and live animals, all set against the stunning backdrop of the Ozark Mountains.

The performance takes place in a 4,000-seat outdoor amphitheater, making for an immersive and unforgettable experience. The production is known for its elaborate costumes, beautiful music, and powerful storytelling, making it a moving tribute to one of the most enduring stories in human history.

If you’re looking for a meaningful and inspiring way to spend an evening in Eureka Springs, the Passion Play is not to be missed.

We hope you enjoy your visit to this magical Victorian Village tucked away in the Ozarks of Northwest Arkansas.