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What is Arkansas Known For & Famous For

Whether you are planning a trip to the state of Arkansas, planning to move there, or it has just come up in casual conversation you may be wondering, what is Arkansas known for.

 

The US state of Arkansas is known for its many fried foods, its unique diamond mine, it’s many bodies or water, and agriculture industry. Arkansas is also the home of iconic American singer/songwriter Johnny Cash. 

 

Read on to find out in more detail what Arkansas is known for.

 

 

The Natural State

Arkansas is known as the Natural State due in part to the many bodies of water in the state. These bodies of water include rivers, lakes and one very special geological formation called a Natural Bridge Caverns.

 

 

Bodies of Water

Arkansas has many bodies of water throughout the state including rivers, lakes, and one unique geological formation known as Natural Bridge Caverns.

 

The following is a list of the most popular bodies…

 

 

Lakes

Arkansas has over 200 lakes within its state borders, including Lake Ouachita, which is the largest man-made game and fish commission lake in the U.S.

 

Some of the most popular lakes in Arkansas include:

  • Lake Ouachita
  • Beaver Lake
  • Lake Hamilton
  • Norfolk Lake
  • Lake Chicot

 

 

Rivers

Arkansas also has many rivers throughout the state including the Arkansas River, the Buffalo River and the White River.

 

The following is a list of some of the most popular rivers in Arkansas:

  • Arkansas River
  • Buffalo National River
  • White River
  • Black river
  • St Francis river

 

 

Hot Springs

There are a whopping 47 hot springs located in Arkansas including some very popular locations such as Hot Springs National Park and the Myatt Bathhouse. Hot Springs were first discovered by native Americans thousands of years ago and today there are over 20,000 thermal features in the area.

 

The following is a list of some of the most famous hot springs in Arkansas:

  • Myatt Bathhouse
  • Hot Springs National Park
  • Garvan Woodland Gardens Hot Spring
  • DeValls Bluff Mineral Springs Hotel

 

 

Storms

Storms are a common occurrence in Arkansas, in 2020 alone they saw 45 tornadoes. This is due to it’s location in the United States which is right in the middle of what is called Tornado Alley.

 

On January 21 2020, Arkansas was hit by a massive tornado that caused damage up and down the state line.

Parks

Arkansas is home to many National and State Parks, some of the most popular include:

 

 

Hot Springs National Park

Hot Springs National Park is a United States National Park in central Garland County, Arkansas, adjacent to the city of Hot Springs, the county seat.

 

The park encompasses the thermal springs that gave Hot Springs their name and has been a popular attraction since Native Americans were drawn there by these healing waters more than ten thousand years ago. The flow of water continues underground at about 377 °F (173 °C). Horses are still used to haul people around or to give rides in the park, particularly along the walkways of the lower canyon.

 

 

Pinnacle Mountain State Park

Pinnacle Mountain State Park is an Arkansas State Park located near Little Rock and Maumelle, in the foothills of the Ouachita Mountains. The main feature of the park is Pinnacle Mountain.

 

The state acquired the first 465 acres of this mountain for a state park in 1969. In 1981 an additional 1,700 acres were purchased to create Pinnacle Mountain State Park as it exists today.

 

 

Mount Magazine State Park

Mount Magazine State Park is the highest point in the state of Arkansas. It is also home to a 1.2 mile long hiking trail known as the Ouachita Trail which runs along the southern face of Mount Magazine before it turns westward, crosses over Pinnacle Mountain and ends at Lake Sylvia State Park roughly 30 miles later. The Ouachita National Recreation Trail (ONRT) was established in 1993 after Forest Service land near the endpoints of the trail were transferred to that agency’s stewardship, but it has since been expanded through other acquisitions until reaching its current length; hikers can expect to find at least one water source every 6-10 miles along this well maintained backcountry footpath (depending on time of year).

 

 

Lake Ouachita State Park

Lake Ouachita State Park is located adjacent to Hot Springs State Park. Lake Ouachita is not only the largest man-made lake in Arkansas, it’s also the state’s largest body of water.

 

The beautiful clear blue waters make this a great fishing lake and boating destination. The “mountain stream” (Lake Fork Creek) that feeds Lake Ouachita begins just south of Waldron in Scott County and flows northward through Joe Wheeler State Park into DeGray Lake.

 

 

Queen Wilhelmina State park

Queen Wilhelmina State Park is located in the Ouachita Mountain range in central Arkansas. The Ouachitas are part of the larger Ozark Plateau which extends into southwest Missouri, northeast Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas. The park contains two major trails:

 

The Chip Wade Memorial Trail (1 mile) is a very short nature trail with boardwalks to protect sensitive areas.  This trail loops through pine forests with views of Lake Catherine to the west.

 

Womble Trail (2 miles) starts at the Chip Wade Memorial Trailhead on Highway 298 near Lake Catherine and traverses eastward along Beaver Creek for 2 miles to Lake Womble where it ends at State Road 1107/Cove Road just south of Queen Wilhelmina State Park’s campground.

 

 

Diamond Mining

Arkansas is home to one of the only Diamond mines in the world with public access. The mine is located in Murfreesboro, Arkansas and is known as Crater of Diamonds State Park.

The mine itself was discovered in 1906 by a farmer searching for a new home, he uncovered a large deposit of diamonds which started a diamond rush in the area. The deposits were so dense they could be found all over the immediate land surface because of to the original volcanic activity.

 

 

Agriculture

Agriculture is one of the major industries in Arkansas. The state has a total of 2.1 million acres of farmland, specifically most of the land is used for cotton growing. Over 1/3 of all U.S. cotton is grown in Arkansas, and the state is also a leading producer of rice, soybeans, cattle, dairy products, hogs and broilers.

 

 

 

Little Rock

Little Rock is the capital of Arkansas as well as the most populated city in the State. The city is home to the William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum, Little Rock Zoo, MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History and the River Market District which contains restaurants, shops and bars all centered around a long stretch of riverfront.

The Big Dam Bridge is one of the most popular attractions in Little Rock and was built over the Arkansas River. It crosses Lake Maumelle and stands at 186 feet tall with a 450 foot span that offers panoramic views for miles in either direction.

 

 

Arkansas State Capitol Building

The Arkansas State Capitol building is located in Little Rock, Arkansas at 500 Woodlane Street.

Construction started in December 1833 and was completed after nearly 5 years when President Andrew Jackson approved the building plans on April 29th 1836. You can still visit this beautiful historic building today and view the beautiful architecture, art and history it holds.

 

Arkansas State House of Representatives

The Arkansas State House of Representatives is located within the Capitol Building at 500 Woodlane Street.

The House of Representatives was established in 1836 after Arkansas became a state and is home to 100 elected representatives that serve for two year terms. The House of Representatives is the first house of any bicameral (having two separate legislative chambers) state legislature in the United States, which has led many to call it one of America’s oldest legislatures.

 

Arkansas State Judicial Building/Jefferson County Courthouse

Located on Little Rock’s River Market District on West Markham Street you will find the Arkansas State Judicial Building.

This beautiful building was built with white marble on both the exterior and interior walls; this gives off an elegant appearance while also adding some class to this historic building. The courthouse was built in 1930 and is the main location of Arkansas’ Supreme Court and Court of Appeals as well as many other courtrooms.

 

Fried Foods

The people of Arkansas sure love their fried foods, and there are plenty of delicious options to choose from.

Some popular fried foods in Arkansas include:

 

 

Fried Pickles

Fried pickles have become a popular dish in Arkansas. The name speaks for itself, they are deep fried pickles and can be found at several locations throughout the state.

 

 

Fried Catfish

Fried Catfish is another popular dish in Arkansas. There are many restaurants that offer it on their menu including Doe’s Eat Place in Greenville.

 

 

Fried Okra

Fried okra is another popular dish in Arkansas. It is also known as “fried lady” because of the way it moves when you eat it, supposedly resembling the swaying of a lady’s hips.

 

 

Fried Green Tomatoes

Fried green tomatoes are also a popular dish in Arkansas. These green tomatoes are dipped in batter and deep fried until golden brown, they can be found at several restaurants throughout the state.

 

 

Fried Chicken

The people of Arkansas love fried chicken and you will find many restaurants that offer it on the menu.

A popular fried chicken dishes in Arkansas is the fried catfish and fried chicken combo. Many restaurants in Arkansas serve “Fried Catfish and Fried Chicken combos”. These combos typically include 2 pieces of fried catfish, 3 pieces of fried chicken.

 

 

Fried Hand Pies

Yet another fried dish served in Arkansas is the fried hand pie. Fried hand pies are very popular at festivals all around the state, you can find them at just about any Holiday celebration.

 

Donuts

Honestly, donuts are popular everywhere, but this list would be complete with adding this fried food to the list!

 

 

Hushpuppies

A less common fried dish popular in Arkansas is Hushpuppies. Hushpuppies are corn meal based balls that are deep-fried.

 

Onion Rings

Another popular fried food across the country and specifically in Arkansas is onion rings. These are simply onion rings battered and deep fried, often served with hot dogs or burgers in replacement of french fries.

 

French Fries

Of course Arkansas still loves their french fries! Fries are very popular in Arkansas, much like any other state, but again, this list wouldn’t be complete without this fried food addition!

 

 

Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash was an iconic American singer and songwriter who was known for his music style blending country, rockabilly and folk. He is credited with popularizing “country-western” music.

Cash was born in Kingsland, Arkansas but moved to Dyess when he was just a year old. Cash lived on a small farm until he was about 4 years old when the family lost their farm during the Great Depression. Cash’s family then moved to Dyess, Arkansas where he spent his childhood living in a small three-room house.

Hattie Caraway – First Woman in U.S Senate

Hattie Caraway is an important woman in American history that came from Arkansas. Caraway was the first woman elected to the U.S Senate and served for nearly 10 years, making significant contributions during her time in office.

Caraway was born in Gainesville, Arkansas in 1878 and later married Thaddeus H. Caraway when she was 20 years old; he would later become a Senator. Caraway was appointed to the Senate after her husband died in office. She ran for re-election in 1932, becoming the first woman ever to win a campaign for Senate. She served in office until 1945.

 

 

Annual World Cheese Dip Championship

Arkansas is home to the annual world Cheese Dip Championship, hosted in downtown Little Rock.

The championship started in 2014 and has grown into a nationally known event that takes place every September.

This competition is meant to be fun for everyone and anyone, even if you don’t consider yourself a great cook you can still enter your cheesy creation!

 

 

Annual World Duck Calling Championship

The Annual World Duck Calling Championship is also held in Arkansas in the city of Conway.

The competition is dedicated to promoting Duck Hunting in Arkansas and lasts several days, with the finals being held on Father’s Day every year. This is a contest that people from all around travel to compete in, there are many different divisions for contestants depending on age and skill level. The winner of the World Championship receives 10 thousand dollars, a trophy and a handmade duck call created by a master craftsman!

 

 

Mount Ida – Quartz Crystal Capital of the World

Mount Ida, a city surrounded by the Ouachita National Forest, is known as the quartz crystal capital of the world.

 

Mount Ida is home to the Mount Ida College and has two museums, both of which display many quartz crystals and other minerals. The Museum of Discovery, located in downtown Mount Ida, is a hands on museum with displays that teach visitors more about the history and science behind Quartz Crystal Mining. If you’re planning your trip during Christmas time you can also take a tour of the “Quartz Crystal Wonderland”. This brightly lit display is over 3 stories tall and shows off several large crystal formations from around Arkansas as well as from all over the world!

 

The town hosts an annual QuartzFest each August including various family friendly activities such as a parade, carnival games and live music!

 

 

Mountain View – Capital of Folk Music

Mountain view is another city, located in the Ozarks, is known as the capital of folk music for their preservation of folk music tradition and culture. This may not be a title they are most proud of, but Mountain View is definitely an interesting place for music lovers.

 

 

Final Thoughts

Though it may not be the first state that comes to mind when you think of the United States, as you can see, Arkansas has a lot going for it. Especially when it comes to nature. From the beautiful mountains to the deep forest, to the charming towns and cities, it’s clear that nature has a special place in this state.

If you’re looking for a way to spend your next vacation I think that Arkansas would be a great option! And don’t forget the fried foods!

 

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