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9 things to do in Arkansas this spring

by Nyssa Kruse | April 15, 2021 at 9:56 a.m.
Elizabeth Hampton (right) of Bentonville high-fives Kevin Cole (left) of Gravette after their horse won the sixth race on Saturday, April 10, 2021, during Arkansas Derby day at Oaklawn in Hot Springs. .More photos at www.arkansasonline.com/411derby/.(Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Thomas Metthe)

This story is a part of The Article, your guide to Arkansas news and culture, presented by the Democrat-Gazette. Sign up for The Article's twice-weekly newsletter here or to see stories that have appeared in past newsletters, go here.

Whether exploring the natural beauty of state parks or sipping a drink on a patio, spring in Arkansas offers no shortage of activities. Here are nine ways to enjoy the season.

Hike at least one trail

Arkansas isn’t called the Natural State for nothing, and the mild weather of spring is perfect for exploring hiking trails. For those unsure of which trails to try, here are recommendations from experts with the state parks service.

Buy a plant or start a garden

There’s never a better time to test if you’ve got a green thumb than spring. Plant sales are plentiful, but one to check out is the sale and spring planting workshop at the Bernice Garden on April 24.

See a roadside attraction

From a citrus-shaped cafe to the only building in the world made of bauxite, more than a dozen notable roadside attractions are within an hour or so drive of Little Rock.

Get some Arkansas strawberries

Though some berry farms are open for visits, finding Arkansas strawberries before the season ends is probably easiest at a local farmers market. (And if you need ideas for what to do with them, here are a couple recipes).

Pay homage to the state’s history

People can explore the Arkansas Civil Rights History Tour or check out “Rightfully Hers,” a trail celebrating women activists and activism in the state. There are a number of churches in Little Rock on the National Register of Historic Places.

Enjoy a drink or a bite on one of Little Rock’s patios

Before summer heat is upon us, outdoor dining is a must, and the city has a list of some of the best patios to try.

Catch a race at Oaklawn

Take part in a piece of Arkansas culture going back more than 100 years by attending a race at Oaklawn. The season runs through early May.

Go on a mural tour in one of Arkansas’ cities

Going on a mural tour has the dual benefit of creating a reason to get outside and helping locals and visitors alike explore their cities. Here is information on five mural tours in Arkansas.

Plan a weekend getaway

There’s nothing wrong with standard hotels and motels, but Arkansas also has numerous unusual and quirky places to stay, from Hobbit houses to cave lodges to train cars.

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