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St. Elizabeth Catholic Church

Discover the Victorian Beauty of Eureka Springs: A Guide to Arkansas’s Unique Architecture and Natural Wonders (2023)

The Victorian-Era town, the historic Eureka Springs, is located in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas. Eureka Springs is known for its Victorian architecture, vibrant art community, natural springs, and outdoor activities. Tourism is a major industry here, and this beautiful Arkansas city attracts visitors worldwide. Local, State, National, and International tourists are drawn to the Eureka Springs Historic District. This landmark in the city has so much to explore that one can make a week-long holiday out of it.

Eureka Springs also offers a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, biking, and canoeing. For a unique and more enjoyable experience, tourists often dip in one of the natural springs that give the city its name. The city is also popular for several festivals and events throughout the year. All thanks to the endless natural beauty and architectural jewels, Eureka Springs is a popular destination for weddings and romantic getaways. Here’s all you can do on your Trip to Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Have a look and plan your itinerary.

Discover the Victorian Beauty of Eureka Springs: A Guide to Arkansas’s Unique Architecture and Natural Wonders

Eureka Springs is a mid-sized city with very few people calling it their Permanent home. However, throughout the year, architectural enthusiasts keep visiting this Arkansas town giving boast to its temporary population. The architectural beauty here knows no boundaries. Eureka Springs is home to one of the largest collections of unspoiled Victorian houses in the central United States. A few examples of the same includes:

1. Thorncrown Chapel

Thorncrown Chapel is a glass chapel in Eureka Springs known for its unique design. It was designed and completed in 1980 and is the work of architect E. Fay Jones.

Thorncrown Chapel is famous for its unique design. It incorporates 425 windows and a wooden frame to create a structure that blends seamlessly with the natural surroundings. Using native materials such as local stone and wood makes it merge more beautifully with the surrounding environment. The walls of windows here provide an unobstructed view of the surrounding Ozarks.

Thorncrown Chapel, Eureka Springs

Image Source

Opening year-round, the Thorncrown Chapel is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. The Chapel is also available for weddings, private events, and guided tours.

The simplicity and minimalism of the architecture here create a peaceful and serene atmosphere. It was the award recipient for the fourth most important building of the 20th century by the American Institute of Architects. Even if you are interested in architectural masterpieces, visit Thorncrown Chapel.

2. St. Elizabeth Catholic Church

St. Elizabeth Catholic Church is a historic and architectural landmark in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. It was built in 1891 in the Gothic Revival style. Known for its Victorian architecture and its beautiful stained glass windows, it is no less than a marvel. The church architecture is characterized by its steeply pitched roofs, pointed arches, and ornate decoration. In addition, the exterior flaunts a steeply pitched gable roof, a tall bell tower, and a large rose window. The bell tower with its, with its pointed arches and ornate ornamentation, is especially striking. The front entrance, lined with the Stations of the Cross, adds more appeal to the architecture.

St. Elizabeth Catholic Church, Eureka Springs

Image Source: Flickr (Brad Holt)

The church’s interior is equally impressive, and history runs deeply here. The high ceiling, beautiful stained-glass windows, altar, intricate cravings, a large crucifix, and religious figures increase the appearance. Anyone interested in architecture or history should pay a visit to this church. Visitors can either sign up for a self-guided tour or attend scheduled masses. Before going back to shop for locally made jewelry, inspirational readings, and other religious items.

Architectural Landmarks in Eureka Springs Historic District (Downtown)

Downtown Eureka Springs, Arkansas, is home to several architectural landmarks. The beautiful buildings featured here are part of the Eureka Springs Historic District. Some of the most notable architectural landmarks in the area include:

3. The Crescent Hotel

Built-in 1886, this Victorian-era hotel is one of the most iconic buildings in Eureka Springs. Celebrating over a century of continuous operations, this historic hotel is still in use.

Its ornate decoration, turrets, and large veranda are some architectural features to enjoy. Or, guests staying here can enjoy spooky haunted tours, full moon yoga, spa treatments, and other special events throughout the year.

4. The Basin Park Hotel

This hotel was built in 1905 and is still serving guests. Ideal for an adult getaway and romantic holiday in winter, Basin Park is known for its Victorian architecture and the large central atrium.

5. The Eureka Springs City Auditorium

This building was built in 1902 and is a prime example of Victorian architecture. It features a large dome, a bell tower, and ornate decoration. Over a century has changed a lot, but those historic vibes here are still to be enjoyed.

6. The Christ of the Ozarks Statue

A monumental sculpture, the Christ of the Ozarks Statue is another architectural beauty to enjoy. Built in 1966 as a sacred project, the Christ statue stands 65.5 feet high and is soberly white. The Christ of the Ozarks Statue is minimalistic yet modernistic, with very slight facial details.

Visitors can take a trolley tour of the historic district to explore more such popular and lesser-known architectural landmarks in Eureka Springs.

A Guide to Art Galleries and Museums in Eureka Springs

7. Eureka Springs Historical Museum

For a museum enthusiast interested in learning about a lot of history in one place, the Eureka Springs Historical Museum is a must-visit. This exciting museum is located in the historic 1882 City Hall and is a popular tourist destination in Eureka Springs. The museum features exhibits that narrate the heritage story of Eureka Springs, from its founding as a resort town in the 1800s to what it is like in the present day. Visiting here allows individuals to come across artifacts from the city’s early days, including old photographs and newspapers. Visitors can also learn about the city’s role in the Civil War, the Ozark culture, and local Victorian architecture.

The museum also has a collection of artifacts from the Native American tribes, Victorian-era clothing, and accessories. Guided tours at the museum are full of information on history and architecture. The museum is open to the public and is a great way to spend an afternoon in Eureka Springs.

8. Bible Museum

The Bible Museum in Eureka Springs is where one can learn about the history and significance of the Bible. The museum features exhibits, including ancient Bibles, artifacts, and manuscripts. The collection here features a large collection of rare Bibles that fascinate people who visit here. You will see the Gutenberg Bible, one of the first books ever printed using movable type. In addition, visitors can come across a special exhibit dedicated to the history of the King James Version of the Bible and a replica of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Visitors can learn about the history of the Bible, its role in society, and the different translations and versions that have been created over the centuries.

The Bible Museum is a great place to visit for anyone interested in learning about Bible. One can learn Bible’s history, its role in society, and its different versions (translations) over centuries. The museum is open to the public and a great place to spend a few hours.

9. Quicksilver Gallery

The Quicksilver Gallery in Eureka Springs is where one can enjoy art and shopping simultaneously. The gallery features two shopping levels and artwork of 120 local, regional, and nationally known artists. Visitors can see and shop a variety of things, including, some limited edition printings, wildlife watercolors, photographs, , unique art, pottery, and artist-made jewelry. Vendors here are super knowledgeable and make the shopping experience an enjoyable one.

10. Susan Morrison’s Signature Gallery

Susan Morrison’s Signature Gallery is a little outside Eureka Springs, nearly 8 miles. The gallery belongs to an accomplished and passionate Artist, Susan. The owner is also an author, observer, educator, poet, environmentalist, naturalist, and wildlife artist. Some who love wildlife and paintings will fall in love with this place in no time. Susan’s work is widely known, and if you are a lucky visitor, you will get to meet her and walk along learning about her art pieces.

A Guide to Eureka Springs’ Natural Beauty

11. Blue Spring Heritage Center

The Blue Spring Heritage Center in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, is home to several beautiful gardens open to the public. It is located on the banks of the White River, and its natural beauty makes it a perfect place to enjoy the outdoors.

The gardens at the Blue Spring Heritage Center include:

  • The Heritage Gardens is a collection of plants and flowers native to the Ozarks. The plants here are used for medicinal, culinary, and other practical purposes.
  • The Pollinator and Butterfly Garden is another beautiful landmark in the Heritage Center designed to attract bees, butterflies, and other pollinators. The garden is planted with various flowers that bloom in different seasons. The plantations here provide a continuous source of food for the pollinators.
  • The Sensory Garden is designed to engage the senses. As you walk through the garden, you will come across plants and flowers featuring different textures, scents, and colors.
  • The Blue Spring Water Garden is where the water is crystal clear and provides a perfect habitat for a variety of aquatic plants and animals.

12. Basin Spring Park

Basin Spring Park is a historic park in the heart of Eureka Springs, home to the famous Basin Spring. This tourist spot has been attracting people since the late 19th century. Basin spring is known for its medicinal properties. Visitors across the United States visit here and take the water along to seek relief from various ailments. In addition to the Spring, the park also features a variety of amenities, including a playground, a gazebo, and a large open field. It is also home to several historic structures, including an 1892 original bathhouse which is now a museum.

The park is also popular for events and festivals throughout the year. Or, visitors can check out a beautiful garden with various flowers and plants ideal during the spring and summer months.

13. Quigley’s Castle

Quigley’s Castle in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, is a unique and whimsical garden attraction. This outdoor landmark features a variety of gardens and walkways, as well as a castle-like structure. The gardens on the hillside offer views of the surrounding area and allow people to soak in beauty and tranquility simultaneously. Visitors can walk through the gardens and spend a relaxing time. Or take time to observe various sculptures, fountains, and other decorative elements throughout the property. The gardens at Quigley’s Castle are open to the public and are a popular tourist destination in Eureka Springs.

14. Onyx Cave Park

Onyx Cave Park is a natural attraction featuring a limestone cave system open for tours. It is undoubtedly one of the top-rated tourist attractions in Eureka Springs. The cave is known for its unique geology and formations, including onyx. As you walk through the cave, you will witness a variety of bats, most of which can be seen flying around the cave during the summer months.

Onyx Cave Park has a small visitor center where guests can purchase tickets for the cave tour. The tours, including a guided walk through the cave, last around an hour and include a guided walk through the cave. Besides the cave, the park also features picnic areas, a playground, and a gift shop.

15. Lake Leatherwood

Lake Leatherwood is a human-made lake in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. It was back in the 1930s by constructing a dam on Leatherwood Creek. The lake is located in the Leatherwood Wilderness area and is surrounded by a park. This entire water and land spread offer a variety of recreational opportunities, including fishing, boating, and swimming. Visitors can also enjoy those several hiking trails. The popular Lake Leatherwood Trail, which winds around the lake and offers scenic views of the surrounding Ozarks, is where the crowd gathers.

Lake Leatherwood is a great spot for nature enthusiasts, families, and sportsmen. Its surrounding land is also a fine spot to enjoy afternoon picnics.

Additional Tip:

  • When In Eureka Springs, Do Not Forget To Enjoy A Train Ride At Eureka Springs & North Arkansas Railway
  • The Eureka Springs & North Arkansas Railway offers a unique, scenic ride experience. The railway operates on a historic 1900s railroad. The train ride takes visitors through the Ozark Mountains opening mesmerizing views of the surrounding landscape. Visitors can choose from a standard train ride, a dinner train, and a special event train.
  • The train cars are restored vintage cars that offer a unique and nostalgic atmosphere. The best time to enjoy these rides is during the peak winter season, especially during Christmas. It is a popular activity for families, couples, and train enthusiasts.

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