It is time for a detour to one of the more well-known gems of Arkansas, Eureka Springs. Eureka is probably most featured on TV shows like “Ghost Adventures” and articles about “America’s Most Haunted Hotels” for the infamous Crescent Hotel. This quirky town is full of haunts and history, making it the perfect trip for the Halloween enthusiast. For those that aren’t into the frights, there is plenty to discover in this little hideaway that was once thought to be the home of a magic healing spring. This may be part of what draws all sorts to the town today.
To start, check out the historic downtown shopping areas. These are some of the best shops for local arts and goods. Eureka Springs is home to over 600 local artists. Eureka’s downtown shops are the place to find a plethora of works. They are also available in stores outside of the downtown district and online. If art isn’t your fancy, there is much more to shop for here downtown. One shop to check out is Eureka Springs Soap Stop which is home to all sorts of self-care items. All of these homemade natural products are meant for self-indulgence and overall well-being.
Once you are done making your way through the more conventional shopping stops check in with the working bunnies at East By West. You read that right working bunnies. These adorable critters will help finalize your purchase of unique souvenirs from this one-of-a-kind store. Don’t believe us, click here to go to the working bunnies’ Facebook Page and see them in action!
Next, check out some local historic landmarks on the trolley that runs through the entire historic loop and beyond. Several notable places are available as stops including Thorncrown Chapel. This is one of the most beautiful chapels in the state of Arkansas and possibly the United States. This chapel does not have solid walls and instead uses hundreds of glass panels to highlight the beauty of the Ozark mountains around you. All that enter fall to the hush that surrounds upon entering this majestic building. The views are especially spectacular in the fall as you watch the colors change nearly before your eyes. The trolley also continues to many other historic and iconic spots in Eureka such as the Passion Play and the Blue Springs Heritage Center.
This is the part that fits in with the spooky aesthetic of October. Eureka Springs is known to be haunted in more than one location. First up is the historic bank robbery in 1922. This was the first armed robbery to use a getaway car in the United States. All of the potential robbers were killed by townspeople before the car was used. Every year the city does a reenactment of this and tune in next year for a blowout party for the 100th anniversary in September. Next, you walk down the street to the Basin Park Hotel. This hotel has its sketchy history as a casino. The owner broke prohibition laws and is rumored to still inhabit the hotel today.
Our next hotel is reportedly one of the most haunted in America, the grand Crescent Hotel. This beautiful historic hotel is popular for multiple reasons. One is the iconic views that can be seen from every room. The hotel includes a spa, ballroom, and 4 cottages on the property for those that need a little extra room. This hotel has a unique history with the building being used as a women’s college, a hospital, and an exclusive invite-only resort when it first opened. However, possibly the most enticing draw of this hotel is the rumor that it is haunted. Multiple Nationally syndicated paranormal shows have featured this Northwest Arkansas icon.
At one point the Crescent was a “cancer-curing hospital” used by inventor and conman Norman Baker and many of his patients passed away during their stay at the hotel. That being said the supposed hauntings go back further than that. While the hotel was being used as a women’s college, one student wrote home asking for her ouija board to contact someone “on the other side.” Many of these landmarks can be explored through their tours, both haunted and historic.
As usual, we couldn’t wrap this up without mentioning some great places to eat. For lunch or dinner check out Cathouse Lounge. As you enter historic downtown you will find this awesome pub but don’t let the biker bar reputation dissuade you from entering. All are welcome in this pub, and the staff is incredible! This is some of the best bar food in the area with a notable mention for their fish and chips, which are always fresh and crispy.
Finish off your haunted happenings with a sweet treat from Colossal Cupcakes and Cones. These cupcakes are four times the size of your average cupcake and equally as sweet. These are just two mentions among many interesting and delicious options. Other honorable mentions include Ermillio’s Italian Eatery and Local Flavor Cafe. However, if you want to stick with the spooky theme check out the Outer Limits food truck which features a quirky alien theme befitting of such a unique little town.
Don’t let Eureka Springs’ haunted history scare you off. This quirky city is perfect for anyone looking to buy a home supporting their version of bohemia.