For many years, I held a career as a travel and hospitality professional working for wonderful companies like: Holland America Line, Oceania Cruises, W Hotels, Luxury Collection Hotels, Four Seasons Resorts and Hotels and Westin Hotels.
It goes without saying that it wasn't too long after working in the travel and hospitality industry that I was bitten by the travel bug and wanderlust began to flow through my veins. The experiences from those jobs turned me into a dedicated traveler with an insatiable thirst for discovering hidden gem-like destinations the world over.
Some of the most amazing unique and captivating gem-like destinations that I have been to include:
Sure. Each place is very different. The culture. The charm. The people. The language. The cuisine. The community.
Amidst my travel journeys, there have been places that I've thought about again and again, but there is one place in all the world that stands out as a true embodiment of magic, charm, mystique and connection – Eureka Springs, Arkansas.
Nestled in the Ozark Mountains, this quaint and picturesque small town has captured my heart in ways I never imagined possible. If you're like me, wanderlusting for gem-like destinations, then Eureka Springs is an absolute must visit.
Eureka Springs wears its history proudly, like a tapestry woven with threads of time. The town's origins are rooted in its therapeutic natural springs, which drew visitors seeking healing in the late 1800s. Today, the entire downtown area is a National Historic District, boasting beautifully preserved Victorian architecture that transports you back to a bygone era. Strolling along our winding streets, you'll find yourself surrounded by buildings that tell stories of yesteryear, each with a unique character and charm.
One of the most captivating aspects of Eureka Springs is its thriving art scene. The town is a haven for artists and creatives, evident in the numerous galleries, studios, and art boutiques that line the streets. The Eureka Springs School of the Arts adds to the creative vibrancy, offering workshops and classes for those eager to unleash their artistic potential. The annual May Festival of the Arts is a testament to the town's commitment to celebrating creativity, featuring art exhibits, gallery strolls, and live performances that infuse the town with an extra dose of magic.
Eureka Springs is a sanctuary for nature lovers. The surrounding landscapes offer a plethora of outdoor activities, from hiking the scenic trails of Lake Leatherwood City Park to indulging in a leisurely afternoon of fishing by the serene waters. The harmonious blend of rugged wilderness and small-town charm creates an atmosphere that's both invigorating and serene – a perfect escape from the bustle of modern life.
Music weaves itself into the very fabric of Eureka Springs, enriching the town with soul-stirring melodies. The Ozark Mountain Music Festival, The Eureka Springs Blues Weekend and the various Music Festivals held at The Farm are just some of the musical celebrations that grace our calendar. It's very common to take a walk after dinner and hear harmonious notes echoing through the streets, whether from a live performance at a local café or an impromptu jam session in Basin Spring Park. The music evokes a sense of togetherness and warmth that's truly infectious.
Eureka Springs' Unique Attractions
Eureka Springs is a treasure trove of unique attractions that set it apart from other small towns. The Christ of the Ozarks statue gazes benevolently over the town, a symbol of faith and tranquility. Aza, a gorgeous mosaic statue overlooking Basin Spring Park is believed to have a link to various cosmic forces. The enchanting Thorncrown Chapel, an architectural masterpiece crafted from glass and wood, offers a serene space for reflection. And let's not forget the one-of-a-kind Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge, providing a safe haven for big cats and other exotic animals while educating visitors about conservation.
No travel experience is complete without indulging in the local culinary scene, and Eureka Springs does not disappoint. From cozy cafes serving up comfort food to upscale restaurants showcasing innovative cuisine, the town offers a diverse array of dining options. Each Thursday during season, The Eureka Springs' Farmer's Market is brimming with fresh produce and artisanal delights.
Perhaps the most enchanting aspect of Eureka Springs is the genuine warmth of its residents. The strong sense of community is palpable, as locals and visitors come together to celebrate, create, and cherish life's simple pleasures. Whether you're exchanging stories with a shop owner, partaking in a local festival, parade, convention or event, or simply admiring the colorful city springs, parks and gardens, you'll find yourself embraced by the genuine hospitality that makes Eureka Springs feel like a home away from home.
With its rich history, vibrant arts scene, breathtaking natural beauty, and welcoming community, Eureka Springs is that hidden gem of a small town that you've been wanderlusting after.
What else can I say, it's just one of those enchanting destinations in the world that beckons travelers to step off the beaten path and discover the magic that awaits around every corner.❤️