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Old 06-21-2004, 08:32 PM   #1
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Too many Springs, So little time

Okay, we are planning a summer vacation in Arkansas and it sounds like we may be opting for either Eureka Springs or Hot Springs. Surely, somebody out there has been to one of those two areas and can give some advice on which place is more desirable. Moreover, if you have a campground of choice, I would be interested in hearing about that, as well.

The word on the street is that Eureka is the place to be and either Wanderlust or the Kettle campground would be preferable.

Towhead
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Old 06-21-2004, 08:46 PM   #2
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Been to both many times. What do you want to do? Crafts? Hike? Fish? Boat? Shop? Swat mosquitoes?

You are aware it is hot AND humid during the summer?

Mark
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Old 06-21-2004, 09:00 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j54mark
Been to both many times. What do you want to do? Crafts? Hike? Fish? Boat? Shop? Swat mosquitoes?

You are aware it is hot AND humid during the summer?

Mark
Mark,

We have 2 little ones, so we are more inclinded to swim, hike, relax, hit the town, etc. In terms of the heat/humidity, we are coming up from Dallas so I don't know if it is an issue, but point well taken.

Jim
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Old 06-21-2004, 10:50 PM   #4
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I go to Eureka Springs a lot of Labor Days for a banjo rally.

Eureka Springs is a bit cooler because it is wrapped around a mountain top. I stay at Green Tree Lodge & RV Park, a little west of town, but it is just a place to sleep and that is all. if I were on a vacation, I would try to stay at Beaver Lake which is an easy drive from Eureka Springs and is a really pretty place.

My wife loves Eureka Springs because of all the shops. I enjoy it because it is a unique city with a lot to see. You can ride on the tram or see much of it by foot.
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Old 06-21-2004, 11:37 PM   #5
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My opinion is that Hot Springs has more of interest for small children. Lake Hamilton backs up on the south side of the city and they have everything imaginable for watersports. There are also a water park and a theme park. And you can always "ride the ducks". You or they may or may not be interested in the zoos/aquariums/museums. I do remember our kids liked the Mid-America Science museum at a certain age - 10 or so. Both Scenic drives up the mountains are well worth the time. The Highway Patrol will check anyone leaving town to verify that you did, in fact, have ribs at McClard's.

DeGray reservoir is just 20 miles or so south and has excellent fishing.

Eureka Springs likes to think of itself as an "art" community. It is really more of a gentrified craft community. But the architecture is interesting, there are good eats, and the lakes are nearby. Beaver Lake does have arms that come quite close to Eureka Springs, but equipment rentals are not really concentrated on that side. I am sure you can get what you want, I just don't know how close it might be to Eureka Springs. There are an amazing number of Corps of Engineers campgrounds around the lake. I know of none with full hookups. Many have electric service. If I remember, the trolley stops at Wanderlust RV park. We enjoy Ermillios and DeVitos for dining. Lost Valley and Hawksbill Crag (watch the kids!!!) are unique hiking experiences maybe 30 miles or so from town. And don't miss Thorncrown Chapel.

One advantage Eureka Springs offers: if you don't like it, Branson is less than an hour away.

Right in between the two cities are my favorite locations in Ark, Petite Jean (electic only) and Mt. Magazine (full hookups) State Parks. Both will be somewhat cooler because of the "mountains".

Mark
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Old 06-22-2004, 05:11 AM   #6
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I have been to both places several times. Eureka Springs is my favorite. Wanderlust Campground is my choice of campgrounds because of its convenient location as well as being very nice. I recommend reservations just to be sure. Myrtie Mae's rest. at one of the Best Westerns is an excellent place to eat. The bus tour of town is worthwhile. Visit Thorncrown Chapel and the Passion Play as well. Branson is close by and another option. If you are there in the fall, local apple orchards sell some of the best apples around. We will be up that way in September-go eveyyear!

Should you pick Hot Springs, Degray state Park is a good place to stay with a good rest. in the park. It has boat rental and fishing available. Hot baths and racing is available in Hot Springs.

good luck,
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Old 06-22-2004, 06:09 AM   #7
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On the way up -

You may want to consider US 59/259 in Eastern Oklahoma. Great scenery, good roads (but only two lanes). Make sure you stop at the "Three Sticks" marker - surprisingly cool at the pass.

Lake Wister SP is a great place to camp - lots of lakeside campsites.
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Old 06-22-2004, 09:22 AM   #8
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You may want to consider US 59/259 in Eastern Oklahoma. Great scenery, good roads (but only two lanes). Make sure you stop at the "Three Sticks" marker - surprisingly cool at the pass.

Lake Wister SP is a great place to camp - lots of lakeside campsites.
59/259 is one of my favorite drives, but don't be discouraged by the fiirst 20 miles or so after you hit the Oklahoma line. The road there is very narrow with a series of 90-degree turns. Once past that, the road is really smooth and wide and the mountains are sinply beautiful. Traffic is about nonexistant through the mountains, but be aware that so are gas stations on that stretch.

I posted a photo of the Three Sticks elsewhere on the forum.
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