National Scenic 7 | Best Western Hotels

  

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Arkansas Scenic 7

Cruise along the National Scenic 7 Byway as you venture through central and southern Arkansas. Discover a wide range of top attractions, charming and pleasant cities, and unforgettable scenery. From Clarksville you'll head south into Texarkana on this eclectic and relaxing driving tour.

Clarksville 

Embark on this scenic Arkansas driving tour in the city of Clarksville. Intersected by I-40, and home of the University of the Ozarks, Clarksville is a charming and pleasant destination. It’s the ideal launching point for your next drive through the Natural State.

On this drive tour through central and southern Arkansas, you’ll find a wide range of exciting and fun attractions and events.

Must See

Any visit to Clarksville should include some time spent at the University of the Ozarks. Whether you have a soon-to-be graduating high school senior in the family, and you’re shopping around for potential colleges, or if you’d simply like to check out some local culture and history – visit the campus and surrounding areas.

The history of the University of the Ozarks dates back to 1834, and you’ll find exciting U of O Eagles athletics, too. Visit the Walton Fine Arts Center on campus for plays, art displays, and other works of art.

Local Guide

Enjoy a tour through the Clarksville Commercial Historic District, with building and other structures dating back to 1883. You’ll find the Clarksville Commercial Historic District near downtown, at the confluence of Cherry, Johnson, and McConnell streets.

Outdoor

Horsehead Lake will be your premier destination for an outdoor adventure in Clarksville. Open pretty much all year long, barring any extreme weather issues, Horsehead Lake features lots of fishing area, boat launching ramps, a swimming beach, a playground for the kids, and plenty of picnic spots.

Russellville

Continue the Arkansas Scenic 7 tour and venture into Russellville. Easily accessed via I-40, Russellville is home to Lake Dardanelle State Park, and features and eclectic blend of historic and modern attractions.

Find unprecedented views of the Arkansas River Valley as you explore Russellville, where you’ll find 14 different parks, including four national parks – Dardanelle, Mount Magazine, Petit Jean, and Mount Nebo.

Must See

It’s nearly impossible not to pay a visit to Lake Dardanelle State Park, one of the premier destinations in all of the Arkansas River Valley. Split in two, Pope County Side and Tell County Side, Lake Dardanelle State Park features a 34,300-acre reservoir, ideal for fishing, boating, and other aquatic adventures.

Local Guide

A popular destination amongst locals and visitors alike, the Centerville Dragway should be your main game, especially if you’re a racing fan. Featuring a 1000 foot drag strip where, in January, you can see the annual New Years Bracket Bash.

Make the drive in from nearby Conway and enjoy a night of drag races at the Centerville Dragway.

Outdoor

As you explore the depths of Russellville, break out your clubs and play a round of golf at the Galla Creek Golf Course. Only four miles from downtown Russellville, the Galla Creek Golf Course is 18 holes – rolling fairways, deep bunkers, fast greens, and always challenging water hazards.

Book a tee time soon for the Galla Creek Golf Course and enjoy an afternoon on the links in Russellville.

Benton 

As your Scenic 7 tour evolves to its next stage, be sure to spend some time in Benton. A charming and quaint city found just along I-30 and about 30 minutes southwest of downtown Little Rock, Benton is home of The Royal Theater, and the Saline County Courthouse.

Stay and play for a bit in Benton – established in 1837, it was named for one of the original settlers and Missouri Senator, Thomas Hart Benton. You’ll find a wide range of historic attractions in Benton.

Must See

Your visit to Benton should be met with some time at Tyndall Park. Discover nearly 25 acres of fun in Benton – Tyndall Park features four tennis courts, a skate park, and the Juli Busken Memorial Amphitheatre. There are also softball fields at Tyndall Park, two basketball courts, and gazebos.

Treat the family to a pleasant afternoon picnic at Tyndall Park, or visit the on-site Splash Pad, a premier spring and summer destination for families. Any of the three on-site pavilions should prove to be more than enough to your family reunion.

Local Guide

Hurricane Lake is a local favorite for fishing, boating, and even selected swimming holes. Just north of downtown Benton, Hurricane Lake yields a full day of aquatic adventures. Make plans to visit and explore Hurricane Lake on your next trek through Benton and central Arkansas.

Outdoor

Don’t forget to pack your clubs. You’ll need all 14 clubs, from the driver right down to the sand wedge, when you play 18 holes at Longhills Golf Club. 6,539 yards long, the Longhills Golf Club was designed by William T. Martin, and opened in 1955. It features a slope rating of 108, and a course rating of 69.9.

Hot Springs 

You’ll keep the drive alive as you head southwest from Benton into Hot Springs. Known as the Valley of the Vapors,Hot Springs is a charming and pleasant city, and the seat of Garland County. Those who enjoy exploring the great outdoors love visits to Hot Springs – it’s home to both the Hot Springs National Park and Lake Catherine State Park.

Must See

Treat the family to an afternoon of thrills at Magic Springs & Crystal Falls Water and Theme Park. As a top destination in Hot Springs, Magic Springs features a wide range of exciting rides for all ages, and a host of live entertainment throughout the year.

Enjoy some of the most exciting thrill rides when you explore Magic Springs – don’t miss Coaster X, the Arkansas Twister, or The Gauntlet. Some of the more family-friendly rides include the Ozark Mountain Taxi Company, Rum Runner Pirate Ship, and the Razorback Roundup Bumper Cars.

Local Guide

Like something out of the movies, the Arkansas Alligator Farm & Petting Zoo is one of the most unique attractions in Hot Springs. With more than 300 alligators on-site – ranging from babies to full grown 10 footers – the Arkansas Alligator Farm & Petting Zoo thrills and dazzles guests all year.

You’ll also find a host of other animals to pet – pygmy goats are a favorite amongst the kids, while the llamas, lambs, and ostriches also garner their share of attention.

Outdoor

Stretched across 5,550 acres, Hot Springs National Park yields a bounty of outdoor recreation opportunities. Enjoy your stay in Hot Springs with a day spent re-connecting with nature. Hot Springs National Park features the historic Fordyce Bathhouse, and eight other historic bathhouses in what’s known as Bathhouse Row National Landmark District.

You can plan a picnic near Gulpha Creek, or hike through the nearly 26 miles of trails within Hot Springs National Park. Let the kids run around at the Grand Promenade, full of open spaces, and lush grasslands.

Arkadelphia 

Make your way to Arkadelphia as your Arkansas Scenic 7 tour continues. The drive from Hot Springs to Arkadelphia should be a pleasant one, as you can take I-30 or the AR-7 – it’s less than 40 miles away, so enjoy the open road.

In total, Arkadelphia spans 7.3 square miles – but what it lacks in overall size, it makes up for in charm and pleasant attractions. It’s home to Henderson State University, and Turtle Pointe Golf Club.

Must See

On the campus of Henderson State University, be sure to enjoy a tour of the Donald W. Reynolds Science Center & Planetarium. A premier destination in Arkadelphia for school field trips, educational afternoons with the family, and generally anything to do with science and exploration, the Donald W. Reynolds Science Center & Planetarium yields fun for the whole family.

Local Guide

Maybe you’re traveling with a high school senior and it’s time to start exploring college options, or you might be in the mood for some exciting college sports action– either way, be sure to explore Henderson State University.

Established in 1890, HSU is one of the largest public universities in Arkansas. Sports fans passing through Arkadelphia won’t want to miss out on any of the exciting HSU Reddies games. In the fall, head for Carpenter-Haygood Stadium for Reddies football games, and in the spring, be sure to catch a Reddies baseball game at Clyde Berry Field.

Outdoor

Experience one of the premier golf outings in Arkansas when you play 18 holes at the Turtle Pointe Golf Club. Designed by Jim Schuemacker and Joseph S. Finger, Turtle Point Golf Club opened in 1965.

Hope

Venture into Hope as your Arkansas Scenic 7 tour is nearing its final stages. You’ll head southwest along I-30 from Arkadelphia into Hope. Hope, among other things, is widely known as the birthplace of former president Bill Clinton. You can visit and tour the Clinton Birthplace Home National Historic Site on your stay in Hope.

Hope is also known for growing some of the largest watermelons ever recorded.

Must See

Plan your stay in Hope and be sure to include a tour of the Clinton Birthplace Home National Historic Site. Built in 1917, the home house Clinton and his family until he was four years old. When you visit the Clinton home, you’ll be treated to ranger-guided tour. Tours start every 30 minutes.

Local Guide

Don’t miss out on a tour of the Hope Visitor Center & Museum, a true gem of the local tourism scene. You’ll the Hope Visitor Center & Museum within a restored 1912 railroad depot. Inside, when you embark on your tour, check out a variety of exhibits, displays, and historic markers.

Outdoor

Be sure to take the kids over to Fair Park, not far from downtown Hope. Enjoy a festive picnic, let the kids run around for a bit – there’s nearly 190 acres of wide-open spaces, to be prepared for a full day. Fair Park is one of three city parks, and was acquired in 1908.

Texarkana 

As you reach the final destination on this Arkansas Scenic 7 tour, make the most of your time in Texarkana. A pleasant and quaint city, Texarkana is on the border between Texas and Arkansas in the southwest corner of the state. One half of Texarkana is, technically, part of Texas.

You’ll find a wide range of things to do and see when you’re exploring Texarkana. From Millwood State Park to the Texarkana Regional Airport, Texarkana will prove to be a memorable backdrop to the finale of this drive tour.

Must See

Visit Texarkana during the summer and enjoy a splash-down at the Holiday Springs Water Park. The park typically opens for the season in mid-May, yielding full days of Aquatic adventures.

Some of the top water slides you’ll find at Holiday Springs include Neptune’s Revenge, the Green Monster, Texas Sky Fall, and the Ozark Cliff Hanger. There’s Holiday Waves, a very fun and popular wave pool, and the River Rapids. For smaller children, Monkeys Island Pool, and the Texarkana Splash Mountain are ideal.

Local Guide

Glean a bit of local legend and lore when you tour the Lindsey Railroad Museum. Celebrating the railroad history or Texarkana, the Lindsey Railroad Museum features a wide range of exhibits and displays surrounding the two main railroads in the area – the Cairo & Fulton Railroad (on the Arkansas side) and the Texas & Pacific Railroad on the Texas side.

The Lindsey Railroad Museum is open for tours on Saturday’s throughout the year, from 11a.m. to 4p.m.

Outdoor

Ideal for an outdoor adventure at nearly any time of year, Millwood State Park yields a bevy of recreation options. From the miles of hiking trails, boat launching areas, and bird watching areas, Millwood State Park rarely disappoints.

Visit the Millwood State Park Marina to stock up on bait and other fishing supplies, small groceries, and you can even rent a boat or kayak if you don’t have your own. Check out the Wildlife Lane Nature Trail at Millwood State Park – four miles long, and relatively flat, this trail should be OK for most members of the family. The Waterfall Way Trail is another hiking trail fit for all members of the family.