Arkansas is known for its many lakes and rivers, hot springs, diamond mine and agricultural products. From its rich history and culture to its natural beauty, this is a state with a lot to offer. Whether you’re interested in the arts, outdoor adventures, or simply want to relax, there are many activities and things Arkansas is known for.
What Is Arkansas Known For?
Arkansas is famous for its natural beauty, expansive national parks, and Native American history. You can easily find places to enjoy the state’s breathtaking landscapes and pristine nature. There are also many opportunities for hiking, fishing, camping, and various outdoor activities.
In addition to its nature, Arkansas is also known for its deep history as the 25th state of the U.S. The state was once home to Native American tribes, as well as French and Spanish settlers. In fact, the name “Arkansas” is said to have originated from the Quapaw Indians.
This diverse population has resulted in a unique culture that is evident in the food, music, and art of Arkansas. If you are planning a trip to the Natural State, here are more things Arkansas is famous for that makes it an interesting destination.
Food Arkansas Is Famous For
Arkansas is well-known for its delicious and sinful fried food. There are many fried snacks that Arkansas is famous for like fried pickles and fried catfish. The state is also home to several iconic dishes, including Arkansas chili, chicken fried steak, and Arkansas pie.
Arkansas chili is a popular dish that is made with beef, beans, and a variety of spices. The dish is often served with cheese and sour cream.
This flavorful dish is known for its unique taste and texture. The beef is simmered in a chili sauce that is made with spices like cumin and chili powder. The beans add a hearty element to the dish, while the cheese and sour cream provide a rich and creamy contrast.
Chicken Fried Steak
Chicken fried steak is a Southern classic that is also popular in Arkansas. You should know that, contrary to its name, this dish doesn’t actually use Chicken but rather a tender beef steak. The name simply refers to the way the meat is breaded like Fried Chicken.
I know, it’s confusing. But this has nothing to do with the taste, as this dish is simply delish!
The steak is coated in batter and fried until it is golden brown and crispy. It is then served with a gravy made from the pan drippings. Pair it with some traditional southern sides like mashed potatoes or buttermilk biscuit for a fulfilling meal.
Arkansas Possum Pie
Arkansas pie is a popular dessert in the state that not only looks appetizing but tastes just as good.
It is essentially chocolate and cream cheese pie that is creamy and heavenly. The soft cheese and chocolate layers paired with a crunchy pecan shortbread crust give an incredible combination of taste and texture.
The pie is topped with a layer of whipped cream and is a must-try, especially for chocolate fans. A perfect desserts to conclude a meal of the famous foods in Arkansas.
History, Culture, And Traditions Arkansas Is Known For
The Natural State
Arkansas is known for its natural beauty, thus earning it the reputation as “The Natural State”. The state is blessed with a variety of landscapes, including mountains, forests, and rivers. That said, it is also home to many national parks and monuments making it a popular destination for outdoor lovers.
One of the most famous landmarks in Arkansas is Mount Magazine. This is the highest point in Arkansas and offers stunning views of the surrounding area. Other popular nature landmarks include Hot Springs National Park, Crater of Diamonds State Park, and Buffalo National River.
There are plenty of activities that take advantage of the diverse nature within the state. It’s certainly offers some of the most beautiful landscapes in North America.
Extreme Weather And Storms
Arkansas is infamous for its extreme weather and storms. The state is located in the “Tornado Alley” and is thus susceptible to tornadoes. Arkansas has also been hit by several major hurricanes, including Hurricane Gustav and Hurricane Rita.
In recent years, Arkansas has seen an increase in severe weather events. The state was also affected by the major Arkansas River flooding event that caused billions of dollars in damage in 2019. But let’s face it, the world in general is suffering from environmental issues that are affecting weather conditions.
Despite the less than ideal weather, Arkansas is still a popular place to live and visit. The state has a lot to offer, from its rich history and culture to its natural beauty.
Arkansas is known for its diamond mine. The first diamonds were discovered in Arkansas in 1906, and since then, more than 70,000 diamonds have been mined from the state. Some will even tell you that Arkansas is the only state in the U.S. to produce diamonds.
When it comes to diamonds, the most famous destination in Arkansas is the Crater of Diamonds State Park. This state park near Murfreesboro is the only public diamond mine in the world, which is also why it is a largely popular tourist destination.
For just a few dollars of entrance fee, you can go in and hunt for these precious gems. And you get to keep whatever you find! It is said that 1-2 diamonds are found on average each day. Regardless if you find any, it still makes for some good, old fashion fun.
Arkansas is well-known for its hot springs. The most iconic place to enjoy them is at the Hot Springs National Park, where there are at least 47 hot springs stemming from the Hot Springs Mountain. This famous National Park is part of the greater Ouachita Mountains that spans to Oklahoma.
The hot springs in Arkansas are said to have medicinal properties and are popular tourist destinations for obvious reasons. Who can resists a calming dip in natural waters!? The ones in Hot Springs National Park maintain an average temperature of 143° Fahrenheit which is just perfect for some warm, comforting relaxation.
There are a number of hotels and bathhouses that are located near the hot springs in Arkansas. These hotels and resorts offer a variety of services, including spa treatments and pools.
Annual World Cheese Dip Championship
This is an event in Arkansas that Cheese lovers absolutely need to know. The World Cheese Dip Championship is held annually in Little Rock and attracts cheese dip enthuiasts from all over the world.
In fact, Little Rock, Arkansas is often considered the birthplace of the cheese dip that we know and love today. The recipe is said to be invented in 1935 by restauranteur Blackie Donnely. So this is perhaps an apt location for such a competition.
At the World Cheese Dip Championship, cheese dip makers compete to see who can make the best cheese dip. The winner of the competition is crowned the “Cheese Dip Champion”.
This event is the perfect activity for cheese dip lovers and is a great way to try some of the best cheese dips around.
World Championship Duck Calling Contest
The World’s Championship Duck Calling Contest is an event that is held each year in Arkansas. Anyone can participate as long as they can prove that they can make a duck call.
While the whole thing probably sounds amusing and peculiar to you, this contest has actually been held in Arkansas since 1936 and is one of the most popular events in the state. It is fair to say this is a tradition by now.
During the contest, participants will try to imitate the sound of a duck, as known as a duck call. The person who can make the most realistic duck call will be declared the winner.
The competition is held in Stuttgart, Arkansas, which is also known as the “Duck Hunting Capital of the World”. As you can guess from the title, Arkansas is known for being a good place for duck hunting.
Arkansas is a major producer of agricultural products. The state produces and exports a variety of crops, including soybeans, cotton, rice, and wheat.
Amongst the many fun facts about Arkansas is the states’ superior rice production capacity within the U.S. It also has a large livestock industry. Arkansas is one of the top producers of poultry in the United States.
The agriculture industry plays a significant role in the Arkansas economy and employs many Arkansans. In fact, it is their largest industry, estimated to contribute approximately $16 billion to the economy every year.
Sports And Music Arkansas Is Famous For
Fishing is a sport that Arkansas is known for. This is a credit to the state being home to many lakes and rivers that offer great fishing opportunities. Some of the most popular fish to catch in Arkansas include bass, catfish, and trout.
There are several fishing tournaments held in Arkansas each year. The most famous tournament is the Bassmaster Classic, which is held on Lake Hamilton each year.
Arkansas is also home to many professional fishing guides. These guides can help you find the best spots to fish and can teach you how to catch the different types of fish that are found in Arkansas.
Capital Of Folk Music
The city of Mountain View in Arkansas is known as the “Capital of Folk Music”.
One of the main reason is because the city houses the Ozark Folk Center State Park which serves as both a state park and folk music venue. This venue features many exciting concerts and events throughout the year.
Within the park, you will also find the Ozark Folk Center State Park Museum. This interesting museum is dedicated to the history and culture of folk music in Arkansas, preserving some of that important Native American heritage.
If you want to experience folkways and traditional music heritage, the Ozark Folk Center State Park is a great place to dive in. Mountain View is also where the Arkansas Folk Festival was founded, all the way back in the 1960s
Cities And Travel Destinations Arkansas Is Famous For
Arkansas is home to many cities, each with its own unique culture and history. Here are a few prominent cities that Arkansas is known for and popular among travelers.
Little Rock: A City Known For Its Music And Art Scene
One of the most well-known cities in Arkansas is undoubtedly Little Rock; the charming town is home to several reputable museums and galleries featuring impressive collections of works. Being the state capital, the city has a rather lively atmosphere in general.
Little Rock is also known for its political history. Famously, it was the site of the Little Rock Nine, a group of African-American students who were integrated into an all-white high school in 1957. The event made national headlines and was a major turning point in the Civil Rights Movement.
In addition, you will also find the William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum here, which is the presidential library for former president Bill Clinton. This state can be considered where he started his political career serving as the governor of Arkansas.
Today, Little Rock is a thriving city in Central Arkansas with a lot to offer. The streets are littered with many great restaurants, bars, and shops. It boasts a vibrant arts and music scene, which is one of the main reasons for travelers to visit.
Mount Ida: A City Known For Its Crystal Mines
Mount Ida is a city located in Montgomery County, Arkansas, that is best known for its crystal mines. These mines produce a variety of crystals, including quartz and amethyst.
In particular, the quartz crystals found in Mount Ida are some of the most beautiful; which is why some refer to the city as the quartz crystal capital of the world. They have been used in jewelry and other decorative items for centuries.
Mount Ida is also home to the Museum of Earth History. This museum is dedicated to the history of the earth and its many wonders, so kids can really learn some interesting and fun facts here. The museum houses a number of fascinating exhibits, including a replica of a dinosaur skeleton.
Mount Ida is a great place to visit if you are interested in geology or crystals.
Eureka Springs: A City Known Fora Springs And Victorian Architecture
Eureka Springs is a city located in Carroll County, Arkansas. The city is known for its springs and Victorian architecture. The natural springs in Eureka Springs are thought to have healing properties.
The city is also home to several Victorian-style homes and buildings. These homes and buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places.
Eureka Springs is a great place to visit if you are interested in history or architecture. The city is also a great place to relax and enjoy the natural beauty of the Ozarks.
Fayetteville: A City Known For Its University And Sports Teams
Fayetteville is a city located in Washington County, Arkansas, known for its university and sports teams. In fact, the University of Arkansas is located in Fayetteville. This school is a member of the SEC and has a long tradition of success in athletics.
Fayetteville is also home to the Arkansas Razorbacks, a NCAA Division I college football team. The team have a long tradition of success on the gridiron. That said, this is a city brimming with youthful and lively energy, credit to the students.
But there is more to Fayetteville than the famous college. The city offers a nice blend of urban allure and natural splendor with its many landmarks. You can immerse yourself in local culture at the historic Downtown Square and Gardens or get a tranquil respite at the Ozarks Botanical Garden. For some old school nostalgia, check out the interesting Arkadia retrocade; you might just find your favorite childhood game here.
Around Fayetteville, you will also find some of the state’s beautiful nature such as Lake Fayetteville and even the Kessler Mountain Regional Park. So it can also be a great place to enjoy some of the great outdoors Arkansas is known for.
Architecture And Landmarks Arkansas Is Famous For
Arkansas is a popular tourist destination because of its many attractions. The state is home to many national parks, including Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas Post National Memorial, and Ozark National Forest. Here are a few of the many famous landmarks that Arkansas is known for.
Arkansas State Capitol Building
The Arkansas State Capitol Building is the seat of government for the state of Arkansas. The building is located right in the heart of Little Rock, Arkansas. It was completed in 1915 and is an excellent example of neoclassical architecture featuring white marble, limestone embedded with intricate details.
The grand facade gives it a magnificence that is a worthy reflection of Arkansas’ long history and culture. Interestingly, this state capital building is built as a repliac of the US Capitol itself, which kind of explains that whole grandeur. The rotunda is of course, a rather signature and striking feature.
The Arkansas State Capitol Building is home to the Arkansas General Assembly, the governor’s office, and the Arkansas Supreme Court. Best thing about this beautiful and iconic landmark in Arkansas is that you can take free tours of it at specific timings. Be sure to check out their official website for the updated schedule sine this is still an operational government building.
This is one place that has a special spot in our hearts. The beauty of the Ozarks is something that’s hard to put into words, it just has to be experienced firsthand. The region is a mosaic of rugged plateaus, sparkling rivers, and breathtaking vistas that seem to stretch out into infinity.
The Boston Plateau with its towering peaks draped in lush, hardwood forests is simply a hiker’s paradise! And the secluded cabins tucked away in the woods are just perfect for those seeking a tranquil retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life. As you can imagine, what truly sets the Ozarks apart is its sense of adventure.
From exploring awe-inspiring caverns to fishing in serene lakes, its outdoor activity galore! In addition, this is also one of the great scenic places in the United States to capture some beautiful fall foliage! When the leaves change color, the entire landscape transforms into a riot of reds, oranges, and yellows; definitely a sight for the gram. So, if you’re planning a trip to Arkansas, make sure the Ozark Mountains are at the top of your list. Trust me, you won’t regret it!
Crystal Bridges Museum Of American Art
Nestled in the heart of Bentonville, the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is more than just a museum; it’s a celebration of American art and nature. This little gem in Arkansas has a world-class collection of art that spreads across a whopping five centuries. You don’t really have to understand art to appreciate some of the beautiful pieces on display; some of them taking you back to the history of Native Americans that graced these lands.
In addition, this place also has a stunning architecture that seamlessly blend into the surrounding Ozark forest. You can spend hours exploring both the museum and the trails. This museum in nature, founded by Alice Walton (yes, the daughter of Sam Walton, Founder of Walmart), is like stepping into a different world.
The best part is that the museum is actually free admission! So budget backpackers rejoice! But really, the unique blend of art and nature is what makes this Arkansas just unique and fascinating.
If you are seeking an adventure that is both thrilling and breathtakingly beautiful, the Mount Magazine State Park proudly houses to the highest peak in Arkansas – Mount Magazine. Located in Logan County, the mountain boasting an elevation of 2,753 feet (839 meters). And you can be sure that the state’s highest point also offers one of the most beautiful scenery around.
There’s even a hang gliding launch area for true adrenaline seekers who want to feel the wind in their hair while soaring over the lush Ouachita National Forest and Arkansas river valley. Within that deep nature, there is a nice variety of plant and wildlife such as black bears, otters and flying squirrels, which makes it interesting for nature lovers.
In addition to being a hotspot for technical rock climbing and adventure, this popular Arkansas state park is a treasure trove of natural beauty. Outdoor enthusiasts come for the hiking, camping, and picnicking. You can explore the park’s history dating back to the 1850s, or take a leisurely hike along the Cameron Bluff Overlook Drive, soaking up the equally stunning vistas.
Of course, there are many other state parks in Arkansas that are also well worth exploring, such as the Mammoth Spring State Park and Lake Ouachita State Park.
Blanchard Springs Caverns
To explore a world that’s as beautiful as it is mysterious, you want to check out the Blanchard Springs Caverns. Although it’s not technically an Arkansas state park, it sits in the heart of the Ozark-St. Francis National Forest, making it a proud and integral part of the state’s natural beauty.
The caverns are like a living spectacle that constantly change and grow with time like nature’s masterpiece canvas that never gets fully completed. That said, the stunning cave formations are just captivating to look at, and the beautiful lighting certainly helped in giving those special vibes.
You can take different guided tours and trail to get a glimpse of this amazing underground “museum” that is just crafted meticulously across time by nature forces. Each of them catering to various fitness and physical levels (including for wheelchairs and strollers), so you will surely find something suitable. After which, you can also stick around the region to explore the tranquil surrounding.
The Sylamore Ranger District has streams, trails and hillsides that are just great for outdoor activities. It’s also a rather year-round spot with a unique beauty and photo frame every season.
Arkansas Post National Memorial
The Arkansas Post National Memorial is a United States national memorial located in Gillett, Arkansas. The historic site commemorates the first permanent European settlement in Arkansas.
The Arkansas Post was originally settled by the French in 1686. It later changed hands to the Spanish and then the Americans. The Arkansas Post was an important trading post and stronghold during the American Revolutionary War and the American Civil War. This is a great place to learn about Arkansas history.
Central High School National Historic Site
Central High School National Historic Site is a United States national historic site located in Little Rock, Arkansas. It commemorates the integration of Central High School in 1957.
The integration of Central High School was a pivotal moment in the Civil Rights Movement. Nine African American students, known as the Little Rock Nine, were enrolled in the school. The students were met with violent opposition but were able to desegregate the school.
As one of the meaning historic sites within the state, it is a great place to learn about this important moment in American history.
Many More Things Arkansas Is Known And Famous For
These are just a few of the things that Arkansas is known for. There are many more interesting places and things to see in this great state. Arkansas is a state with a rich history and culture.
From its Native American roots to its natural beauty, Arkansas has something to offer everyone. Whether you’re interested in the food, the music, or the history, there’s an experience waiting for you in Arkansas. Be sure to spend some time here to uncover more things that Arkansas is known and famous for.
FAQ About Arkansas
Is Arkansas a nice place to live?
Arkansas is a desirable place to live for several reasons. The state’s natural beauty is unparalleled, with its picturesque landscapes, including the Ozark Mountains, stunning lakes, and lush forests. This abundance of natural attractions offers residents opportunities for outdoor activities like hiking, fishing, and camping. Moreover, Arkansas has a relatively low cost of living compared to many other states, making it an appealing choice for individuals and families seeking affordability.
What are 5 facts about Arkansas?
Here are some quick statistics, and you can read more about fun facts about Arkansas here.
- Capital: Little Rock
- Population: 3.05 million (33rd Populous State in the U.S)
- Land Area: 53,180 sq mi / 137,733 km² (29th Largest in U.S)
- Nickname: The Natural State
- Abbreviation: AR
- Statehood: June 15, 1836 (25th U.S State)
- State Bird: Mockingbird
- State Flower: Apple Blossom
Does Arkansas get snow?
Arkansas does experience snowfall, although the amount and frequency can vary depending on the region. The higher regions and northern part of the state, particularly the Ozark Mountains, tends to receive more snowfall compared to the southern regions.