Happening Now

Postcard from Winston-Salem, North Carolina (September 2017)

Go, See, Do, Stay: Exploring Three Destinations in the Ozark Mountains (August 2017)

Edgar Degas and the Degas House in New Orleans (August 2017)

Find Unique Experiences in the South (and America) with "100 Things to Do in America Before You Die" (July 2017)

Dive in Gulf County, Florida with Daly's Watersports' "Discover Scuba Diving" (June 2017)

Unpacking the Unclaimed Baggage Center in Scottsboro, Alabama (June 2017)

Get Out(side) and Explore Seven of North Alabama's Natural Attractions (May 2017)

10 Things Not to Miss When Visiting Dollywood (May 2017)

Let the Concierge be Your Guide for Adventure in Gulf County, Florida (April 2017)

Discover Farmview Market in Madison, Georgia (October 2016)

Postcard from Natchitoches, Louisiana (October 2016)

Discover the Essence of the Florida Panhandle at State Parks (October 2016)

Experience Fayetteville, North Carolina (October 2016)

Nine Fun Ways to Enjoy Fall Foliage in Georgia (October 2016)

Postcard from Lexington, Kentucky (September 2016)

Get Out and Explore: Six States, 16 State Parks (September 2016)

Checking In...The Henderson in Destin, Florida (September 2016)

What to Do in Blowing Rock, North Carolina (September 2016)

Postcard from Baton Rouge, Louisiana (June 2016)

From Alligators to Whale Sharks: 10 Aquariums in the South to Explore (May 2016)

Postcard from LaGrange, Georgia (April 2016)

Nine Experiences to Enjoy in Bowling Green, Kentucky (March 2016)

Postcard from Middleburg, Virginia (February 2016)

Go, See, Do: Six Getaway-Worthy Southern Destinations (January 2016)

16 Things to Do in the South in 2016 (January 2016)

Rider or Not, There are Many Reasons to Visit Smoky Mountain Harley-Davidson (October 2015)

The Great Georgia Escape: Discovering (and Enjoying) Big Canoe (September 2015)

Quick Glimpse into Birmingham, Alabama's Growing Culinary Scene (August 2015)

Discover the Vast Musical Side of the South with the Americana Music Triangle (June 2015)

Take Grilling to the Next Level with Grillocracy.com (June 2015)

True Cajun Experience Found at Crawfish Haven/Mrs. Rose's Bed and Breakfast (May 2015)

Experience Acre in Auburn, Alabama (May 2015)

Experience the Mississippi Delta with These Four Destinations (January 2015)

Four Days, Three Destinations: Exploring Columbia County and Augusta, Ga., and Aiken, S.C. (January 2015)

Finding the Perfect Southern Destination for Your Next Getaway (January 2015)

So Many Fun Ways to Spend Your Holiday Gift Cash in the South (December 2014)

Behind the Scenes: The Personal Collection (and Memories) at the Gone With the Wind Museum: Scarlett on the Square (December 2014)

Spending a Day or Weekend in Bardstown, Kentucky (September 2014)

"Celebrate" Your Getaway to The Pearl on Rosemary Beach (September 2014)

College Football Hall of Fame Debuts in Atlanta (August 2014)

Discover Alabama's Varied Culinary Side during Alabama Restaurant Week (August 2014)

Get Out and Enjoy Scallop Season (and Scallops) on St. Joseph Bay in Gulf County, Florida (August 2014)

Bringing the Past and Present Together in Rock Hill, S.C. with "75 Years, Still One Gear" (July 2014)

Four Reasons to Plan a Getaway to Sunny Isles Beach, Florida (July 2014)

So Many Ways in the South to Make This Summer One to Remember (June 2014)

Amp Up Your Doughnut Making (and Eating) Experience with Sublime Doughnuts' Kamal Grant's Cookbook (May 2014)

Streamsong Resort: A Golfing Resort Beyond the Ordinary in Florida (April 2014)

In the Kitchen with Chef Douglas Olsen (March 2014)

Celebrating Farmers and Farm Life with the Farm Star Living Website and App (March 2014)

In the Kitchen with Chef Sam Lodovico, The Resort at Glade Springs (February 2014)

Checking Out Charleston's Culinary Scene with Charleston Culinary Tours (February 2014)

Discovering Downtown Birmingham, Ala. with Alabama Road Trips (January 2014)

Season Two of "Emeril's Florida" Highlights Culinary Gems of South Walton (January 2014)

Chatting with Barbecue Champion and Restaurateur Melissa Cookston (November 2013)

"Cast Iron Chef" Competition to Heat Up the 3rd annual Brooks County Skillet Festival (October 2013)

Crowd Pleasing Recipes to Amp Up Tailgating (September 2013)

Discovering Georgia's Lake Oconee Area (July 2013)

Honoring the Man in Black: Johnny Cash Museum (June 2013)

Experience Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island (June 2013)

Build Your Own Memorable Experience in Columbus, Georgia (May 2013)

South Walton’s Art Culture: People Behind the Creations (May 2013)

Louisville, Kentucky Beyond the Derby (May 2013)

City Insider: Mark Wyant, owner, The Saint Hotel in New Orleans (February 2013)

Dining Out at Osteria Tulia (January 2013)

Discover Florida's Charm with Emeril's Florida (January 2013)

Taste Nostalgia (and Fun) with Pure Sodaworks (December 2012)

Find Serenity (and More) at Red Horse Inn (December 2012)

In Tall Cotton: Chef Cory Bahr and Restaurant Cotton (November 2012)

Under the Grand Chapiteau with Cirque du Soleil’s Totem (November 2012)

Feelin’ Presidential: Presidential Sites Throughout the South (October 2012)

Eight Cool Southern College Towns (September 2012)

Mark Your Calendar... Fabulous Southern Fall Music Festivals (September 2012)

In the Kitchen with Chef Eric Fulkerson (August 2012)

Visiting The Inn at Magnolia Oaks (August 2012)

Journey to New Orleans Plantation Country (August 2012)

Turn Your Vacation into an Experience at the Plantation on Crystal River (July 2012)

Dazzle Your Summer with Fata Morgana (July 2012)

Coming Home to Hightower Creek Vineyards (July 2012)

Exploring I-95 in the South with Barbara Barnes, Author of What’s Great About I-95: Maine to Florida (July 2012)

Timeless Experiences Await You at High Hampton Inn (June 2012)

Discover Cummins Falls, Tennessee's Newest State Park (June 2012)

See Savannah on a Segway Tour (June 2012)

Newest Addition to Biloxi, Mississippi - Margaritaville Casino & Restaurant (May 2012)

Coming Home: Chef David Guas set for New Orleans Wine & Food Experience (May 2012)

Experience Southern Sweetness with South Carolina's Firefly Distillery (May 2012)

The Running of the 71st Iroquois Steeplechase (May 2012)

100 Years and Counting: Riding the African Queen (May 2012)

Get Into the Wild with Safari Wilderness Ranch (May 2012)

Discover Another Side of Spartanburg with the Underground Guide to Spartanburg (April 2012)

Get Out and Explore National Parks During National Park Week (April 2012)

Glide Through Downtown Memphis on the Segway Experience of Memphis Tour (April 2012)

Congratulations to Our "Adventure Time Getaway" Winner (April 2012)

The Tennessee Aquarium, 20 Years Later and Still Going Strong (March 2012)

Fashion Weeks Show Off Stylish South (March 2012)

What to do When You’re Not Breathing Baseball During Spring Training in Florida (March 2012)

Tables are Set for Restaurant Weeks in the South (January 2012)

Congratulations to our Couples Comedy Getaway Winner (December 2011)

Discovering South Florida’s Three Distinctively Different Kimpton Hotels (November 2011)

Congratulations to our Back To Nature Getaway Winner (November 2011)

“Fall” for the Outdoors and More in Wilmington, North Carolina (October 2011)

Festivals, Football, Foliage and Fun: The Many Reasons Fall is Great in the South (October 2011)

The New Must-Do’s in Raleigh, North Carolina (September 2011)

Culinary Delights and Cultural Gems Await You Along SW Alabama's Culinary Trail (September 2011)

Exploring Seaside with the Seaside Walking Tour (September 2011)

Ending the Summer with a Bang: Labor Day Weekend Fun in the South (September 2011)

Celebrating Food and Music at The Shed in Ocean Springs, Miss. (August 2011)

Extend Your Summer with an Outdoor Concert (August 2011)

Discover Southern Charm and Hospitality at Fairview Inn in Jackson, Mississippi (August 2011)

Living History (and More) Awaits You at Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill (August 2011)

Exploring New Orleans’ Culinary Scene During COOLinary (August 2011)

Celebrate Hampton Bear and Teddy Bears at High Hampton Inn (July 2011)

Fireworks, Parades and More: 25 Ways to Have a “Blast” This 4th of July Weekend in the South (July 2011)

Simply Southern...James Madison Inn in Madison, Ga. (June 2011)

Fun and Free (or Inexpensive) Ways to Celebrate Dad this Father's Day (June 2011)

Congratulations to Our Simply Delightful Getaway Winner (June 2011)

Discovering One of Florida’s Surprises: Paddling the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail (April 2011)

Rediscovering old Florida at the Florida House Inn (March 2011)

Sip and Taste at the 26th annual Hilton Head Island Wine & Food Festival (March 2011)

Congratulations to our "Savannah's Best" Getaway Winner (March 2011)

Let’s Play Ball! Spring Training in Florida (February 2011)

Getting Back to Nature: Touring Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge (February 2011)

Spotting Winter Wildlife (and Possibly Whales) in Virginia Beach, Virginia (January 2011)

Congratulations to our “Let’s Just Go” Getaway Winner (January 2011)

Finding “Treasures” on Jekyll Island, Georgia (January 2011)

Yo, Ho Ho: Exploring the Life of Pirates at the Pirate and Treasure Museum (January 2011)

It’s All About Experiences This Year in the South (January 2011)

Holidays are Hot at Hotels Across the South (December 2010)

It’s Nice on Ice–Where to Go Ice Skating in the South This Holiday Season (December 2010)

Congratulations to our Private Island Getaway Winner (December 2010)

Celebrating the Holiday Season in Williamsburg Virginia (December 2010)

Discovering Nu Wray Inn in Burnsville North Carolina (December 2010)

Thanksgiving Day Chef Competition at Ritz-Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation (November 2010)

Many Reasons to Celebrate the Holiday Season at Gaylord Opryland (November 2010)

Discover the Birdhouse Trail in Monroeville Alabama (November 2010)

Congratulations to Our Casino Giveaway Winner (November 2010)

Get Out This Saturday for VISIT FLORIDA’s Great Beach Walk (November 2010)

Nathan Beaver set to Return to Perform in Madison Georgia (November 2010)

Fall for Fishing Along North Carolina’s Coast (October 2010)

Savor the Flavor in Polk County, Florida One Bite at a Time (October 2010)

Congratulations to Our Beach Giveaway Winner! (September 2010)

Discovering Mississippi's Culinary Trail (August 2010)

Going Coastal…Now is the Perfect Time to Visit the Florida Panhandle (August 2010)

Ways You Can Support the Recovery Effort in the Gulf (June 2010)

Get Out and Go to Alabama’s Gulf Coast (June 2010)

Soak in the Sun (and Fun) Along Florida's West Coast Beaches (June 2010)

It's New - The Titanic Museum Attraction (June 2010)

Celebrate Dollywood and Dollywood's Splash Country in 2010 (June 2010)

Tell Orlando (and the World) Why the City Makes You Smile (June 2010)

Fun Awaits You Along the Mississippi Gulf Coast (June 2010)

Staying Current on the Oil Spill in the Gulf (May 2010)

Where to Go for the Latest on the Nashville Floods (May 2010)

Keeping Current with the Oil Spill (May 2010)

Published: August 2017
Go, See, Do, Stay: Exploring Three Destinations in the Ozark Mountains  

If you haven't visited the Ozark Mountains, then you're missing out.

Covering the southern part of Missouri and a large portion of northern Arkansas in the South, "The Ozarks" appeal is broad.

Where ever your interests lay (art, history, culinary, etc.), you'll discover plenty of unique (and memorable) experiences in the region.

Sample what the Ozarks offers by exploring these three distinct destinations.

Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Eureka Springs gained prominence in the 1800s for its natural springs (a little over a dozen are active EurekaSpringsArkNaturalSpring  today.) However, it's the town's peculiarities and overall Victorian village charm that continue to attract visitors.

Go: Begin your visit by learning the lay of land aboard the Eureka Springs Tram Tours. Led by longtime residents, the tour introduces you to the unique features and stories of the town. There is no doubt you'll be entertained and engaged during the 90-minute jaunt.

See: Take a stroll around the historic downtown, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Sit down to a meal at Mud Street Cafe (and save room for dessert), wander in and out of the various shops, and visit Basin Street Park.

Do: Discover Eureka Springs' many one-of-a-kind attractions like The Great Passion Play and Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge.

Located west of downtown, The Great Passion Play is recognized as the nation's number one attended outdoor drama. The performance centers around Jesus Christ's last days and uses over 150 actors and live animals in the production. The campus also features a Bible Museum, Sacred Arts Museum, Holy Land Tour and more, including Christ of the Ozarks. The statue stands 67 feet tall, with an arm span of 65 feet fingertip to fingertip.

TurpentineCreekWildlifeRefugeEurekaSpringsArkSeven miles south of Eureka Springs is the 450-acre Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge. It serves as a lifetime refuge for abandoned, abused and neglected "Big Cats" (tigers, lions, leopards and cougars) and other exotic animals. The majority of the animals on the grounds have been rescued from private owners or defunct facilities. Not only do they offer tours and talks, but also on-site lodging and RV and camp sites.

Stay: Book a room at the 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa. Much like many places in Eureka Springs, the historic property has a storied history. It also has its own ghost tour.

The resort hotel offers a full-service spa and dining options. Head to SkyBar Gourmet Pizza on the fourth floor and enjoy the views from the highest point in Carroll County. On a clear day, you can see Christ in the Ozarks in the distance.

Bentonville, Arkansas

It's no surprise that for the past few years, Bentonville has regularly appeared on various must-see travel lists. The destination possesses diverse culinary, arts and outdoor scenes. The city exudes an air of sophistication without losing its small town feel. After one visit, you'll be talking about Bentonville and recommending it to your friends.

TheWalmartMuseumBentonvilleArkGo: Tour The Walmart Museum, located at the original site of Walton's 5 & 10. The museum provides an intimate look at the life of Sam Walton and the development of Walmart. Some of the personal touches inside The Walmart Museum includes Walton's Presidential Medal of Freedom, his office and his old Ford Truck.

See: The Museum of Native American History covers 14,000 years of Native American history. The "wow" experience begins at the entrance as you're greeted by a 12,000-year-old Siberian woolly mammoth. The artifacts throughout the museum are arranged by periods, starting with the early Paleo. Pieces are varied and include the most Mississippian head pots ever displayed in one place.

Do: Even if you don't consider yourself to be an art buff, you'll enjoy visiting Crystal Bridges Museum of CrystalBridgesArtMuseumBentonvilleArkAmerican Art. Designed by architect Moshe Safdie, the museum is on 120-acres that incorporates trails, sculptures and gardens. The impressive structure houses an even more impressive art collection of American artwork that spans five centuries. The museum also hosts temporary exhibits throughout the year as well. Also on the property is the Bachman-Wilson House, designed Frank Lloyd Wright. The dwelling was moved from New Jersey to preserve it.

Stay: Art is around every corner and in every room at 21c Museum Hotel Bentonville. Guided docent-led tours are held every Wednesday and Friday at 5 p.m. Among the property's many amenities include bike rentals. Make it a point to enjoy a meal at The Hive. You never know, a green penguin might join your table.

Branson, Missouri

From live entertainment to museums to Silver Dollar City and more, there is no reason for boredom in Branson. Don't overlook the destination's many outdoor adventures, either. It isn't a stretch to say Branson offers a slice of Americana for all.

Mr. PeckTheGreatAmericanSteak&ChickenHouseBransonMoGo: Explore Highway 76, also known as Branson's Entertainment District. Tour the Titanic Museum Attraction and see the most valuable artifact on display — the life jacket of first-class passenger Madeleine Talmage Astor. Check out the 90,000-square-foot Branson Auto and Farm Museum. It showcases around 200 classic and collectible vehicles and 180 farm tractors and farm implements. Take a ride on the Branson Ferris wheel that formerly served as Chicago's Navy Pier Ferris wheel. Don't miss the nightly light and music shows. Snap a selfie or a group photo with "Mr. Peck," the 43-foot-tall rooster in front of The Great American Steak & Chicken House, or with Pasghetti's 50-foot-tall fork and 16-foot-tall meatball.

See: About 10 miles south of downtown Branson is Top of the Rock in Ridgedale. Established by Bass Pro Shops' Johnny Morris, it's destination within itself. Not only can you find a par 3 golf course, but also Osage, a fine-dining restaurant offering a breathtaking view of Table Rock Lake, Buffalo Bar and "End of the Trail" All-American Wine Cellar.

And that's not all.

Some points of interest not to miss includes the Ancient Ozarks Natural History Museum, which is said to house the largest collection of Native American artifacts in the country. The Lost Canyon Cave and Nature Trail takes you on a golf cart ride through table rock formations and more. ChapeloftheOzarksTopoftheRockRidgedaleMo

Don't miss taking a photo of the Chapel of the Ozarks. It's perhaps the most-photographed building on the property. One look and you'll understand why.

Do: Be sure to enjoy a meal The Keeter Center at the College of Ozarks in Point Lookout, less than five miles south of Branson. If it's possible, arrange your visit to take in their Sunday brunch. While there, stop at the Ralph Foster Museum. The exhibits highlight the Ozarks region. The Keeter Center and museum are just two of the many reasons you should add College of the Ozarks to your itinerary.

Dicks510BransonMoStay: You can't beat Hilton Branson Convention Center Hotel's location. Adjacent to Branson Landing, the property is also one block from the historic downtown. Don't skip visiting Dick's 5 & 10 when venturing out.

 

 

 

 

Getting here: You best bet is to fly into Springfield-Branson National Airport, about 50 minutes from Branson and rent a car. Eureka Springs is about an hour from Branson and Bentonville around two hours.

 

 

photos: Eureka Springs: (top right) natural spring, (top left) Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge; Bentonville: (mid left) The Walmart Museum, (mid right) Crystal Bridges Museum of Art; Branson, Missouri: (lower left) "Mr. Peck" at The Great American Steak & Chicken House, (lower right) Chapel of the Ozarks at Top of the Rock, (bottom right) Dick's 5&10

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