Arkansas is a Southern state in the United States known as the "Natural State". Arkansas shares a border with six states, with its eastern border largely defined by the Mississippi River. Its diverse geography ranges from the mountainous regions of the Ozarks and the Ouachita Mountains to the eastern lowlands along the Mississippi River. The capital and largest city is Little Rock.
It has great state parks with wilderness comprising broadleaf forests. The northwest boasts the Ozark Mountains while the south and east of the state has flatter land and shows more of its agricultural heritage. The Mississippi River forms the eastern border of the state and gives a great blues music heritage, great country music elsewhere (Johnny Cash was an Arkansan) and folk and bluegrass everywhere. There are wonderful state parks with camping facilities and some with cabins. The Buffalo River has majestic scenery and easy canoe float trips (but go in late spring to be sure there is enough water).
The spelling and pronunciation of "Arkansas" (it is always ar-kan-saw) reflect the state's heritage. The name is a French pronunciation of a Siouxan word meaning "land of downriver people" and was prescribed by law in 1881. It is technically still illegal to mispronounce the name (the law contains a clause stating that "the variation ar-KAN-sas is an innovation to be discouraged"), so be careful!
• Savor the tastes of different wines and tour one of the vineyards including the Chateau Aux Arc Vineyards & Winery, the Mount Bethel Winery and the Post Familie Vineyards & Winery.
• Experience a drive-through safari at the Wild Wilderness Safari in Gentry, where you can view over 200 species of animals. Great for all ages!
• Southwest of Little Rock visit Hot Springs National Park, the oldest national park in the country. The area developed into a well-known resort nicknamed "The American Spa" which attracted not only the wealthy but indigent health seekers from around the world as well. People have used the hot spring water in therapeutic baths for more than two hundred years to treat ailments. Forty-seven hot springs flow from the southwestern slope of Hot Springs Mountain, at an average temperature of 143 F.
• The community of Hot Springs comprises of a variety of attractions for the whole family including Magic Springs Theme Park, Garven Woodland Gardens and the National Park Aquarium. Beautiful scenery and fishing can be found at Lake Ouachita, the largest lake in the state at over 40,000 acres.
• The state's 51 State Parks can be found across the state of Arizona where camping, hiking, fishing, boating and nature observation are a great way to enjoy your day.
Arkansas stands out with its extensive selection of campsites totaling over 16,000 across the state. It's no wonder this "Natural State" provides countless lodging options for every budget ranging from cabin rentals, cottages, houseboat vacation rentals, bed and breakfast inns to upscale hotels and resorts. Whether you're staying in one of the main cities or prefer the idea of waking up to the view of a lake, Arkansas lodging options provide a wide array of selection for the visitor.
Highlights include renting a houseboat for your stay where you are guaranteed to wake up to waterfront view, and enjoy countless activities at your own leisure. Houseboats can accommodate anywhere from 2 to 14 people. Arkansas also encompasses various specialty lodges offering services ranging from spa, golf and horses to hunting for the outdoor man and woman. Whether you're taking a road trip or looking for a memorable get-a-way, it's evident that Arkansas offers countless options to suit any taste.
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• Arkansas Ozarks
• River Valley
The summer is HOT and humid; spring and autumn are wetter but mostly from intermittent heavy rain showers. Winter brings a little snow, but this time of year can still be humid. Spring is tornado season.
Quick Facts • One of the nation's largest municipal parks is in North Little Rock
• Arkansas contains over 600,000 acres of lakes and 9,700 miles of streams and rivers.
• Bentonville is the birthplace of Wal-Mart.
• Little River County Courthouse is world famous for it's Christmas lights display.
• The Ozark National Forest covers more than one million acres.
• Arkansas contains 2.6 million acres of national forest lands, 13 major lakes, six National Parks and two mountain ranges.