4. Eureka Springs, Arkansas
Nestled in the Ozark Mountains among scenic lakes, rivers, and springs, lies a Victorian village that made a name for itself through its distinctive natural splendor. Eureka Springs, Arkansas, exudes old-world wonder thanks to its dedication to preserving its past. The entire city is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation named it one of “America’s Dozen Distinctive Destinations.” Its mountainous setting results in miles of winding walkways, and the main street showcases pristine examples of Victorian-style architecture, charming shops, quaint bed-and-breakfasts and hotels, and tasty eateries—but not a single traffic light.
Fine art galleries and an eclectic shopping scene continue the city’s creative character, and you can often meet the people behind the products that catch your eye, which might be glass, woodcrafts, clothing, jewelry, or other special finds. About 1,800 acres of park land and water make outdoor exploration a breeze—from hiking to biking, swimming to paddle boating, and birding to geocaching. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Bachman-Wilson House are about an hour away in Bentonville, Arkansas, and worth a drive.