Although Arkansas may not be the first place that comes to mind when you're planning a getaway vacation, there are plenty of unique accommodations in beautiful locations across this southern state. From bedding down at an authentic dude ranch to sleeping in the Ozark forests in a treehouse, these Arkansas hotels, lodges, and cabins make great additions to your trip.
Stay in the Canopy at a Treehouse
While staying in a treehouse might sound like roughing it, Arkansas offers some unique, luxury accommodations among the treetops—especially in the Ozarks. These cottage hotels come complete with rope bridges, beautiful views, and all the amenities you'd expect from a high-end hotel.
- Hot Springs Treehouses: Located near the entrance to the Ouachita National Forest in Hot Springs, these luxury cabins offer stunning views of the surrounding forests.
- The Grand Treehouse Resort: Found in the heart of the Ozarks in Eureka Springs, this resort offers a stress-free getaway in a spacious and modern treehouse complete with a whirlpool bath and fireplace.
- Treehouse Cottages: These quaint cottages in Eureka Springs boast wooden walkways, heart-shaped jacuzzis, and full kitchenettes.
- Oak Crest Cottages and Treehouses: These three chateau treehouses in Eureka Springs offer luxury amenities like king-sized beds, jacuzzis for two, and large-screen televisions.
- 87Getaway: These secluded treehouse cabins in Mountain View feature wooden walkways, outdoor fire pits and hammocks, and built-in sound systems.
The small town of Parthenon—near Jasper in northwest Arkansas—is home to a truly unique accommodation: the Beckham Creek Cave Lodge. Here, guests can rent out an entire living cave that's been converted into a four-bedroom, four-bathroom lodge. Featuring over 6,000 square feet of living space seamlessly integrated with the cave around it, this luxurious accommodation boasts a modern kitchen, a game room, satellite television, and breathtaking views of the valley below it.
Located between Mountain View and Heber Springs in Prim the Longbow Resort offers four different cabins that take full advantage of their natural surroundings. The Bushmaster Cabin, for instance, is built on a boulder overlooking a stream while the Longbow Cabin faces a waterfall and natural pool. The Bois d'Arc Cabin, on the other hand, is built in a bow shape and overlooks the Ozark forests below, and the Sovereign Cabin is built into the edge of a solid rock bluff and juts out high above its surroundings.
Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge is a big cat sanctuary in Eureka Springs that gives shelter to abused and abandoned wildcats and offers guests a number of accommodation options. At Turpentine Creek, guests can stay in adult-only safari lodges, family-friendly treehouses, or in their own tents and RVs. While not all of the rooms and lodges feature views of the big cats, you can hear the wildlife no matter where on the refuge you stay.
Located near the famous diamond mine in Murfreesboro, Arkansas, Diamond John's Riverside Retreat features a number of teepees and cabins along the Little Missouri River. Stay in one of the four teepees, which have modern interiors including queen-sized beds and air conditioning, and take part in nearby activities like picnicking, fishing, or nighttime gem hunting.
Saddle Up at Dude Ranches
Arkansas, like many other southern states, is known for its ranches and farms. If you want to experience what life is like on one of these important agricultural businesses, there are several dude ranches across the state that offer modern farmhouse accommodations and the chance to take part in the day-to-day life on the ranch. While some of these dude ranches in Arkansas are more like a bed and breakfast, others offer a more hands-on experience.
- Horseshoe Canyon Ranch: This family-operated dude ranch in Jasper offers lots of fun activities and excursions for the whole family as well as rustic log cabins for overnight guests.
- Stone Creek Ranch: Located in Mountain Home, this sprawling ranch offers horseriding lessons and cattle drives.
- Bar-J Ranch: Featuring horseback riding and a variety of other ranchhand activities, this El Dorado ranch offers comfortable accommodations.
Built in 1886, the Crescent Hotel and Spa is recognized by the National Trust for Historic Preservation as one of "America's Dozen Distinctive Destinations." Located high above the town of Eureka Springs overlooking the Ozark mountain region, the Crescent Hotel features 72 rooms and four luxury cottages as well as the on-site New Moon Spa and Salon, Crystal Dining Room, SkyBar Gourmet Pizza, swimming pool, and hot tub. While some people say ghosts haunt the halls of the Crescent Hotel—especially near Room 218—staying in this beautiful, historic hotel is well worth the potential frights.
The Livingston Junction Caboose Lodge features a number of train cabooses converted into small but comfortable rooms. Nestled in the Ozark Mountains near Eureka Springs, each Livingston Junction Caboose Lodge has its own private driveway, an outdoor hot tub and deck, a grill, and a hammock. The cabooses sleep two people each, but Livingston Junction also offers a full cabin rental that sleeps up to eight guests.
As the name might suggest, Inn at the Mill is located inside the historic 1835 Johnson Mill in Springdale, Arkansas, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Guests at the Inn can choose from 46 spacious rooms, including eight specialty suites, where they'll be treated to all the amenities of a luxury hotel in a rustic country inn setting. Nearby attractions include the Walton Performing Arts Center, the Fayetteville Historic District, the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, and Arvest Stadium—home of the Arkansas Naturals Minor League Baseball team.
Located in Chester, near Lake Fort Smith, and offering views of the Boston Mountains and the Ozark National Forest, StoneWind Retreat features several yurts designed for intimate couples' getaways. The yurts are large circular rooms, dressed in modern conveniences like outdoor decks with hot tubs, in-cabin massages, and courses in meditation and Qigong to help guests relax even after they leave the resort.
Located in Eureka Springs, the Texaco Bungalow and Bungalette are two small cottage getaways designed as cute couples' retreats. Located inside a renovated 1930s Art Deco-style service station, these bungalows feature both modern and classic amenities like central air and heat, television and cable, and access to the trolley route and nearby carriage rides. Steps away from historic downtown Eureka Springs, the Texaco Bungalow is a great place for couples to stay when visiting the Ozarks.
Set Sail on Houseboats
Arkansas has many lakes, rivers, and waterways to explore, and one of the best ways to experience them is to spend the night on a houseboat. From luxurious, multi-room mini-yachts to small boats meant for couples' escapes, there are many houseboat rental options across the state.
- Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock: Stay on Bull Shoals Lake with one of these houseboat rentals, which each sleeps 10 to 14 people.
- Anchors Away: Spend the night on Lake DeGray on one of two luxury houseboats from Anchors Away, which both feature six bedrooms, two bathrooms, and plenty of comfortable furniture and other amenities.
- Almost Home: Set sail on Lake Ouachita on a 16-by-75-foot houseboat from Almost Home and you'll have access to pre-stocked fridges, six private bedrooms, and extra-large living areas.
- DreamChaser: This houseboat rental company on Lake Ouachita offers seven luxury houseboats that each feature four to six private bedrooms, two full bathrooms, a hot tub and slide, and a fully-equipped kitchen.
The Schoolhouse Lodge served the community of Bayou Meto for over 30 years (near Stuttgart, Arkansas) as its only schoolhouse before it was converted into a luxury hotel. Featuring six bedrooms each with its own private bathroom, full kitchen, boot room, and spacious deck, the Schoolhouse Lodge is a great destination if you plan to do some duck hunting in the marshes nearby. The Schoolhouse Lounge and the D.O.A. Guide Service offer a variety of duck hunts throughout the duck-hunting season, which takes place from mid-November through late January each year.
Located northwest of Little Rock in Perryville, Heifer Ranch offers a variety of overnight programs including lambing weekends, alternative breaks, and global getaways. Heifer Ranch caters to business groups and will give your team a unique experience learning about the ranch through some hands-on activities and lessons. This learning ranch retreat won't necessarily feel like a vacation, but you'll get the chance to learn about farm life not only in Arkansas but around the world as well.