Dear Bride and Groom,
On behalf of the city of Eureka Springs, Arkansas, I would like to extend our warmest congratulations to you on your wedding. This is a momentous occasion, and we are honored that you have chosen to celebrate it in our beautiful city.
Eureka Springs, Arkansas, has long been known as a charming and romantic town, nestled in the beautiful Ozark Mountains. With Victorian architecture, natural beauty, a strong music and arts scene and a thriving diverse community with small-town charm, it is no wonder that our Eureka has become a popular destination for couples looking for that ideal location to get married. In fact, Eureka Springs has earned the nickname “the wedding capital of the south” due to the high number of weddings that take place here each year.
The National Trust, in partnership with Historic Hotels of America, has curated this list of nine dream weddings inside America's historic hotels and check it out - we're at the top of the list.
Eureka Springs has a rich and fascinating history that dates back to the 1800s. Our town was founded in 1879, after the discovery of a natural spring (Basin Spring) that was believed to have healing properties. People from all over the country came to Eureka Springs to drink the water from that spring and to bathe in it, in the hopes of curing their ailments. As a result, the town quickly grew and became a popular destination for tourists.
During the late 1800s, Eureka Springs became known as a health resort town, and many wealthy people began to build large homes and hotels in the area. The town’s Victorian architecture and beautiful surroundings made it an ideal location for those seeking rest and relaxation.
In the early 1900s, Eureka Springs suffered a decline as the popularity of the spring water began to wane. However, in the 1960s, the town experienced a resurgence as artists and musicians began to flock to the area. Today, Eureka Springs is a thriving community that celebrates its history, culture and the strength in diversity that fosters our strong community.
The Rise of Eureka Springs as a Wedding Destination
While Eureka Springs has always been a popular tourist destination, it was not until the 1990s that it began to gain a reputation as a wedding destination. The picturesque setting and historic architecture of town, combined with our laid-back and welcoming atmosphere, has made it an ideal location for couples looking to tie the knot.
The Thorncrown Chapel, one of Eureka Springs’ most iconic landmarks, has played a significant role in our town’s rise as a wedding destination. The chapel, which was built in 1980, quickly became known for its stunning architecture and beautiful surroundings. Couples from all over the country began to choose the Thorncrown Chapel as their wedding venue, and the chapel’s popularity helped to put Eureka Springs on the map as a premiere wedding destination in the South, USA.
Since the chapel opened in 1980, over six million people have visited this woodland sanctuary. Designed by renowned architect E. Fay Jones, Thorncrown has won numerous architectural awards such as the American Institute of Architects’ Design of the Year Award for 1981 and AIA’s prestigious 25 Year Award. Recently, members of the American Institute of Architects placed Thorncrown Chapel fourth on its list of the top buildings of the twentieth century.
Another important factor that contributed to Eureka Springs’ rise as a wedding destination was the town’s focus on hospitality and the rise of nightly rentals and online booking conveniences.
One of the biggest benefits of choosing Eureka Springs as your wedding destination is not only the range of venues and accommodations available but the "destination" experience that everyone attending your wedding will remember for years to come. There is so much to see and do here that guests are sure to spend time adventuring as well as celebrating your union. Aside from Thorncrown Chapel, which is on everyone's must-see list when they visit, some other best places to see while you are here include:
Eureka Springs Historic District: Our historic district is a treasure trove of Victorian architecture, unique shops, and delicious dining options. Take a stroll through the winding streets and explore the many boutiques, galleries, lounges and cafes.
Blue Spring Heritage Center: Located just a short drive from Eureka Springs, Blue Spring Heritage Center is a natural wonder that is not to be missed. The park features stunning gardens, a historic mill, and the largest spring in the Ozarks.
Crescent Hotel: Known as “America’s Most Haunted Hotel,” the Crescent Hotel is a historic landmark that has been beautifully restored to its former glory. Take a ghost tour or indulge in a spa treatment during your visit.
Lake Leatherwood: This beautiful lake is a great place to go hiking, fishing, or kayaking. There are also picnic areas and playgrounds for the kids.
Many of the hotels, bed and breakfasts, and restaurants here offer wedding packages, catering to couples who are looking for an all-inclusive wedding experience. One of the most romantic (and very freakin 'Eurekan) ways to take Eureka by storm is to rent a Treehouse.
Located on 52 serene, private acres, Enchanted Treehouses here in Eureka Springs, Arkansas is a spectacular treehouse resort! Located at the end of a dead-end street, these treehouses are nestled (and spaced-out for guest privacy) among the back half of a mountaintop and the overall experience is quite secluded!
Why Couples Choose Eureka Springs for Their Weddings
There are many reasons why couples choose Eureka Springs as their wedding destination. Here are just a few of the most popular:
Natural Beauty and Picturesque Setting: Eureka Springs is surrounded by the natural beauty of the Ozark Mountains, making it an ideal location for outdoor weddings. The town’s many parks and gardens provide the perfect backdrop for wedding photos, while the clear streams and lakes offer a serene and peaceful setting for ceremonies. Many couples choose to get married outdoors in Eureka Springs, taking advantage of the natural beauty of the surrounding area. There are several parks and gardens in town that offer beautiful settings for weddings, including Leatherwood City Park as well as Madison's Garden and Basin Spring Park both located in downtown Eureka Springs.
A Variety of Wedding Venues: Whether couples are looking for a traditional wedding venue or something more unique, Eureka Springs has options to suit a range of tastes and budgets. There are several historic hotels here that offer wedding packages and can accommodate both the ceremony and reception, including the Crescent Hotel, the Basin Park Hotel, and the 1886 Crescent Hotel and Spa.
These hotels offer elegant ballrooms, outdoor gardens, and other event spaces that can be customized to fit the couple's vision for their wedding. For couples looking for something more rustic or unconventional, there are also several unique wedding venues in Eureka Springs. Some examples include Red Bud Valley Resort which offers a picturesque setting for outdoor weddings; and Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge, which is a wildlife sanctuary that allows couples to get married surrounded by tigers, lions, and other exotic animals.
Architecture: Eureka Springs is home to many historic buildings and homes, many of which date back to the late 1800s. The town’s Victorian architecture adds a touch of elegance and sophistication to weddings, and provides a unique and memorable setting for ceremonies and receptions.
Outdoor Activities: Eureka Springs is also a popular wedding destination because of the outdoor activities available in the surrounding area. Many couples choose to make a wedding weekend out of their trip to Eureka Springs, taking advantage of the town's natural beauty and nearby attractions. Some of the most popular outdoor activities in Eureka Springs include hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding in the nearby parks and forests. Visitors can also enjoy kayaking, canoeing, and fishing in the nearby rivers and lakes, or take a scenic drive through the Ozark Mountains. For guests who prefer a more relaxed pace, Eureka Springs also offers several options for spa treatments, shopping, and dining. The town has a vibrant arts community, with many galleries and studios that showcase the work of local artists. Visitors can also enjoy live music, theater performances, and other cultural events throughout the year.
Small-Town Charm: Eureka's friendly and welcoming atmosphere also played a role in its popularity as a wedding destination over the years, as couples have always been drawn to the laid-back vibe and small-town charm. Check out one of my favorite blog-post series entitled, The Beautiful People of Eureka Springs!
Wedding Packages and Planning Services: Stop knocking heads with the Mother-In-Law, and just point-and-click your way through the following links below to get well on your way down the aisle, eating cake and happily ever after into the arms of the one you love.