Your first stop in Eureka Springs should be the trolley depot to purchase your all day pass which will become your best friend when you tire of the steep and uneven hills of Eureka Springs. Regardless of their inarguable charm the streets of this town will give hikers a workout. Prepare for very uneven curbs and sidewalks and inclines. Fair warning.
Once again Arkansas took me by surprise with both its history and diversity. If you visit Crystal Bridges, Eureka Springs is a short detour and well worth the trip.
The healing waters of Eureka Springs have been valued since Indians inhabited the area and a little Indian princess had her sight restored by the waters of the Basin Spring. A hotel of the same name is a lovely stop when you are downtown. When Dr. Jackson's son also was cured of sight problems he established a practice there.
This town flies plenty of rainbow flag, sports a quirky sense of humor, and between the residents and the lovely Painted Ladies I wondered if Height Ashbury had time traveled. Downtown is full of shops where along with the usual tourist funk you'll find art work, unique jewelry, tempting local gourmet specialties, lots of interesting stores to browse and lots of good places to have a snack or a drink and interesting history. Take your time. The architecture is gorgeous ...and I mentioned the gingerbread painted ladies. You'll see numerous houses and B&Bs that are three and four stories tall because of the steep grades.
After you've shopped and snacked downtown you might want to continue on to visit the 1886 Crescent Hotel where some guests have supposedly stayed waaay beyond their check out time and if you are lucky you might see them on a haunted tour.
You can navigate (think lots of steep stairs) from the back of the Crescent to the lovely Catholic Chapel where the sun streams thru stained glass.
We didn't get to see the Thorncrown Chapel as it closed early the day we were there but if you have a chance this should also be on your do list.
The Basin Hotel downtown is the perfect place to stop to relax and have a drink while overlooking the bustling tourist trade or listen to live music from street musicians to porch bands.
There are tons of places to stay in the area from the romantic Crescent to B&B's with overhanging porches that will leave you a little light headed and motels, cabin rentals, and camping. We camped and made reservations the day ahead at the KOA with no problem at all.
Along with all the time you'll enjoy in town there's festivals, horseback riding, music, historical events, water activities and much more. You might want to visit http://www.eurekasprings.com/ for a starting place.