Arkansas is inarguably beautiful with its rivers, lakes, hot springs, and fantastic natural resources. The scenic landmarks in Arkansas create the perfect travel destination for tourists looking to soak in its beauty.
The state boasts many historical and natural landmarks, monuments, and national parks that preserve the rich history and culture of the land and provide exciting opportunities to explore these resources.
If you’re looking to explore any of these, here are 20 famous monuments and landmarks in Arkansas to visit on your next trip.
Famous Little Rock, Arkansas Landmarks
Little Rock Central High
The city’s high school is one of the most famous landmarks in Arkansas because of its history as the center of the public school desegregation crisis in 1957.
Troops were mobilized by the then President, Dwight Eisenhower, to enforce integration at Little Rock Central High school. This was because of white protesters and a troop of soldiers who refused the now-famous Little Rock Nine entrance into the school. This set the pace for it to become among the important historical landmarks in Arkansas.
Today, the high school is open to guided tours for those looking to explore the historical landmark. Out of the famous Arkansas monuments, that of the Little Rock Nine stands out, thanks to the impact the children’s courage brought to other people of color trying to fight a racially unjust system.
William J. Clinton Presidential Library
This famous landmark is located in the Clinton Presidential Center and Park. It is one of the most outstanding monuments in Arkansas, built to commemorate the past president of the United States, Bill Clinton, and his service to the nation.
The rectangular building houses artifacts, archives, exhibits, photos, and several resources for those interested in the American president’s historic service to the nation. The facility has a museum with replicas of the Oval Office and Cabinet Room during Bill Clinton’s tenure.
The archives and research facilities available are an excellent way to explore the rich historical heritage of the Presidential tenure and make it among resourceful landmarks in Arkansas.
Arkansas State Capitol
Of course, the Arkansas State Capitol is among the most important historical landmarks in Arkansas. It represents over a century-long legislative service since the building was first used in 1911.
Beyond its legislative use, the building has an exciting and rich history for several other reasons, making it among the most visited Arkansas landmarks. It boasts a giant dome that resembles Washington D.C’s, making it a popularly used filming location.
The location is a significant part of its exciting history, contributing to its popularity as a landmark. It was initially built on the state’s prison site by its prisoners and is as good a place as any to explore.
Big Dam Bridge
The Big Dam Bridge is among the famous and widely used Arkansas landmarks, known for being the longest exclusive pedestrian bridge in North America.
Its popularity is thanks to the many pedestrians and cyclists who frequently use the 4000 feet long bridge and the tourists who love the picturesque rivers and trails the bridge overlooks. The bridge spans the Arkansas river and the Murray Lock and Dam.
Aside from serving as one of the resourceful landmarks in Arkansas, the bridge provides easy access for cyclists and pedestrians to adjacent parks. You can also access museums and other significant landmarks across the two regions where it begins.
READ MORE: 20 INTERESTING AND FUN FACTS ABOUT ARKANSAS
Famous Fort Smith, Arkansas Landmarks
Fort Smith National Historic Site
The Fort Smith National Historic Site is a treasure, preserving over 80 years of history and making it one of the most important among the many landmarks in Arkansas.
The historical site represents American troops’ role in maintaining peace between clashing Indian tribes during America’s westward expansion. The original fort built in 1817 was abandoned. When the troops returned, a new fort was constructed. However, the site would transition from its use as a barracks to broader, legislative uses like a Federal courthouse.
Today, there are many historical military exhibits available for viewing. These also include the Trail of Tears, representing the forced emigration of the native Indians, and the Federal court.
If you’re looking to gain insight into the political history of the legislators at the time, this famous site in Arkansas offers a vast historical presence and information.
Fort Smith National Cemetery
The Fort Smith National Cemetery cannot be omitted when talking about the famous landmarks of Arkansas. It holds the graves of thousands of soldiers, some unknown, and some memorable officials and persons who have played essential roles throughout history.
The cemetery started as a fort in the early 19th century. Still, the fort’s cemetery eventually expanded when thousands of soldiers who died from sickness or on the battlefield were buried there. In the latter half of the century, it became a national cemetery and houses the graves of several notable figures.
A trip to the cemetery with the most significant number of headstones in Arkansas will open you up to more of the history of this national landmark. Also, several Arkansas monuments built there are memorials in honor of veteran Vietnam soldiers and unknown soldiers of the Confederate army.
Clayton House is among the important historical landmarks of Arkansas because of its cultural significance to those interested in exploring Victorian-era houses.
The house was built in 1882 to accommodate William Henry and his family when he moved to the city to oversee legislative affairs involving outlaws and Indians. He then converted it into an Italianate-style mansion, which has since become a popular attraction.
The house boasts coal fireplaces, vintage furniture, and antiques reminiscent of a past era. The unique structure, combined with its historical significance and unique style, makes it a site worth visiting.
Miss Laura’s Visitor Center
Miss Laura’s might be among the first landmarks in Arkansas you should consider visiting. It offers visitors valuable insights into Fort Smith’s history and makes navigating other landmarks easier.
The center is unique because of its history as a brothel, being the first to be listed as a national historic place. The building has been preserved to convey the natural looks and feel of the exuberant era where it first existed.
The center provides handy resources to foreigners and tourists looking to navigate other prominent landmarks or monuments in Arkansas. You also get to learn about the culture and history of Fort smith or explore other artifacts of historical significance in the town.
LANDMARKS IN USA
Famous Hot Springs, Arkansas Landmarks
Hot Springs Mountain Tower
Hot springs mountain tower is one of the fun Arkansas landmarks to visit if you love a sweeping view of natural scenery, lakes, and mountains.
The tower stands at 216 feet, overlooking breathtaking views of the Hot Springs mountain, part of the Ouachita mountains, and the beautiful Arkansas countryside. The tower consists of an open-air upper deck for viewing pleasure and an enclosed lower deck with resources that you can use to explore the local history.
This combination of natural, historical, and cultural resources at this site makes the mountain tower an iconic attraction and landmark in Arkansas.
Also located in the Hot Springs National Park, bathhouse row is another popular landmark in Arkansas for full-on relaxation.
It consists of a group of bathhouses, their respective buildings, and surrounding structures. They date back to the 19th century when the government set up these structures to preserve the natural hot springs.
Some bathhouses were built directly over the hot springs and have attracted people worldwide because of the springs’ therapeutic use. Since the structures were first built, there have been significant changes to each generation of bathhouses.
Bathhouse row serves as a significant historical landmark in Arkansas, even though the popularity of the bathhouses took a downturn during the 20th century when more people moved toward orthodox medicine.
The Fordyce Bathhouse is one of the eight bathhouses in a row. The structure was built early in the 20th century and is the largest bathhouse in the row.
During the latter half of the century, the bathhouse went out of business but was reopened a few years later. Today, it serves as the historical museum and visitors center for the Hot Springs National Park.
The bathhouse is open to visitors and tourists eager for a view of the famous Arkansas landmark. It offers a combination of learning, explorative and relaxation experiences.
Anthony Chapel was built in 2006 and has since become one of the trendy Arkansas landmarks that boasts an intriguing architectural design. In fact, it is frequently used for wedding celebrations.
The structure’s elegance is accentuated by the combination of native wood, glass, and stone amidst pine trees that create the perfect environmental blend.
Visits to the chapel are free for tourists. For those who appreciate architectural masterpieces, a visit to this Arkansas landmark will be worth the trip, with the 57-foot ceilings and supporting cross beams that give the structure a regal appearance.
Natural Landmarks In Arkansas
Crater of Diamonds State Park
This is a unique natural landmark in Arkansas. It is the only place the general public can visit and mine for diamonds.
The park spans 37 acres in Murfreesboro, with several other valuable visitor amenities. These amenities include a visitor center for exploring relevant historical artifacts, a Diamond Discovery Center for learning about natural resources, hiking trails, picnic grounds, campsites, and a water park that is seasonally open to the public.
The landmark is mainly famous because its purpose extends beyond learning or exploring, attracting people worldwide. If you don’t mind getting your hands dirty for the possible reward of diamonds, this is where you want to be.
After all, diamond mining is one of the things Arkansas is known for.
Mammoth Spring State Park
Mammoth Spring holds a record for being one of the largest springs in the world. Every hour, millions of gallons of water flow through this iconic spring.
When visiting, you get the opportunity to explore the spring’s history. Other relevant historical sites in the park like a train depot and museum dating back to the 19th century make it a great landmark in Arkansas for a day trip.
In addition to the beautiful scenery and historic tales, the park also has facilities and amenities like a playground, baseball field, and a picnic ground. You can also find a gift shop here to shop for souvenirs.
Another exciting natural landmark in Arkansas to visit is the onyx cave. Despite the name, the show cave contains flowstones rather than onyx.
Its popularity dates back to the late 19th century when it was discovered and has since been an important tourist attraction center. Self-guided tours are performed with a headset, making for a unique experience. The caves also feature a gift shop with different jewelry and rocks to purchase as gift items.
The exciting thing about this destination is that the cave maintains a temperature of 57 degrees, so you don’t have to worry about the season putting a damper on your trip.
Cedar falls quickly became one of the most attractive waterfalls in Arkansas. It’s one of the famous Arkansas landmarks credited to the beautiful waterfalls, underlying caves, and stunning surroundings of the Petit Jean state park.
There are several ways to access the falls. The Cedar Falls trail leads to the base for better viewing pleasure. There’s also a boardwalk for disabled people that would provide an excellent viewing platform.
Cedar falls is a great nature getaway with nice scenery, unique geological structures that showcase native American history spanning 1000 years, and meandering creeks.
Other Famous Landmarks In Arkansas
The peel mansion is a Victorian-era 14-room mansion that dates back to the 19th century when Peel constructed the mansion for his family.
It is a famous landmark in Arkansas known for its Victorian-style architecture and historical exhibits reminiscent of the time. The mansion also has an outdoor museum of varying flowers and plants that give it an original feeling of the time it was built.
Fans of beautiful architecture would be impressed by the interior decor; fireplaces, arched windows, high ceilings, and magnificent chandeliers that create the feel of traveling back in time.
The Walmart Museum
The Walmart Museum is easily one of the most interesting places in Arkansas. This is because, like other Arkansas landmarks, the museum provides a rich history of retail stores and is an excellent place to have fun.
The Walmart museum was opened in 1990 to commemorate the retail store’s worldwide success from its early days as a small store in the city. What’s even better is that it doesn’t cost a dime to gain access.
The museum features lovely family-friendly displays, a preserved replica of Sam Walton’s office, an itinerary of returned items over the years, and opportunities to take exciting photos. Its location is the original storefront Sam Walton opened in Bentonville in 1950. This certainly makes for an exciting trip.
Museum of Native American History
The museum is set apart as a unique landmark in Arkansas because of its rich historical and cultural exhibits and resources, showing the lives of America’s first inhabitants.
It offers free entry and easy access for disabled individuals to explore the diverse art and culture of the native Americans, dating back to 14,000 years. This combination of historical and cultural exhibits makes it one of the most popular and visited attractions in the town of Bentonville.
Although the museum on native Americans is extensive, the individual distinctions between all the native tribes are not made here.
Parkin Archeological State Park
This is an important archeological site for the preservation of the culture and remains of the Parkin phase.
The site preserves artifacts from an aboriginal village over 500 years ago, which was believed to be part of the subject of exploration by the Spanish explorer, Hernando de Soto.
A trip here offers helpful insight into late Mississippian culture. Its rich cultural, archeological, and historic resources make it an essential historical landmark in Arkansas.
Discovering Famous Landmarks In Arkansas
There are many more famous landmarks in Arkansas, from natural sites to cultural and archeological museums, and a whole other network of geological treasures for those looking for an adventure.
The state is filled with breathtaking scenery, cultural and historical depth, and resources. Beautiful mountains, state parks, and historically relevant monuments in Arkansas are waiting for you to discover.