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Arkansas is a sparkling state. Why? It’s a sparkling Diamond state with the discovery of diamonds in 1906 at the Crater of Diamonds State Park. Today visitors to the Crater of Diamonds State Park can dig for their glittering jewels under the “finders-keepers” policy

Interesting special stories

Just as significant as the sparkling gems are the state’s role in American history when in 1957, nine African American students made headlines as the first black pupils to attend Little Rock’s all-white Central High School. Today the school is on the National Historic Site, where visitors can see the history of this brave act.

Famous people from the state

Al Green

The Rock and Roll member started singing gospels as a boy in Forrest City.

Johnny Cash

The country music icon who turned into an author grew up in Dyess.

Melba Beals

The journalist who was one of the “Little Rock Nine” wrote the book “Warriors Don’t Cry” about her experiences at the all-white Central High School.

Places for the family to visit

The State bird Mockingbird recommends some of the unique places for a family visit.


The city of Hot Springs is in Arkansas’ Ouachita Mountain.

 Its geography is why it’s so rich in thermal springs. Andrew Jackson named it the first national reservation in 1832, but native peoples were journeying to the Valley of the Vapors long before explorers arrived. Today, you can visit the baths for a healing spa experience. Still, you’ll also find a wealth of family attractions, from the Magic Springs Theme and Water Park to the National Park Aquarium and Mid-America Science Museum.  It’s an excellent escape for outdoorsy families with several lakes, campsites, and hiking trails.

One of the only places in the world where the public can search for natural diamonds in their original volcanic source, Crater of Diamonds is a one-of-a-kind experience that brings people from all over the world to Murfreesboro Arkansas.

Well-preserved Victorian-style cottages line the bluffs of this town, offering a beautiful architectural experience for those interested in seeing historical architecture. Don’t let the historical nature of Eureka Springs fool you; with several music festivals, opera shows, and car showings, this town is very much still alive with plenty of things to do.


Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is Set on 120 acres of Ozark forest in Bentonville


 The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is home to a world-class collection of art that spans five centuries, from early American history to the present. Some prominently featured artists include Georgia O’Keeffe, Gilbert Stuart, and Julie Mehretu. Alice Walton, daughter of Walmart founder Sam Walton, established the museum, which is accessible to the public. After you peruse the exhibits, stop by the Eleven Restaurant and Coffee Bar, situated on a glass bridge overlooking two spring-fed ponds, for a bite to eat. You can also explore the 5 miles of walking trails, which feature various sculptures and link the museum to downtown Bentonville. The peaceful setting of the museum sets the mood early on, and visitors recommend spending some time on the walking trails to ensure you get the whole experience Crystal Bridges has to offer.

Address: 600 Museum Way, Bentonville, AR 72712

Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge is a lifetime haven for big cats – including tigers, lions, cougars, leopards, ligers, servals, and bobcats – that experience neglect or abuse. In addition to the feline inhabitants, visitors will also be able to see some other animals up close, including bears, a coatimundi, and a macaw. The 460-acre sanctuary in Eureka Springs focuses on animals that have been essentially rendered homeless due to the exotic animal trade; the refuge’s mission is to tighten regulations for significant cat ownership and render sanctuaries like Turpentine Creek unnecessary.

Address: 239 Turpentine Creek Ln., Eureka Springs, AR 722632




Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum Avid Ernest Hemingway readers may want to pilgrimage to Piggott in northeast Arkansas to visit the Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum and Educational Center. The property includes the barn studio where Hemingway wrote portions of “A Farewell to Arms” and some short stories, as well as the family home of Hemingway’s second wife, Pauline Pfeiffer. Visitors to the historic site can learn about life in the 1930s and the developments in northeast Arkansas and around the world during the Great Depression and New Deal eras. Past guests at the museum note the guides are very knowledgeable, and the museum is a must-see for fans of the renowned author.

Address: 1021 W. Cherry St., Piggott, AR 72454

For more Arkansas tourism information visit the Arkansas Bureau of Tourism and Travel


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Judy Kundert

Judy Kundert, a recipient of the Marquis Who’s Who Excellence in Authorship award, loves storytelling, from folk and fairy tales to classics for elementary school children. She authors award-winning middle-grade novels designed to inspire and intrigue children. After she left her career as a United Airlines stewardess, she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Loyola University, Chicago and a Master of Arts from DePaul University, Chicago. Most recently, she completed a master’s Certificate in Public Relations and Marketing from the University of Denver. For fun, she likes reading (usually three or four books at a time), watching movies from the oldies to the current films, traveling, biking, and hiking in vast Colorado outdoors with her husband. Learn more at www.judykundert.com.You can find me at the foot of the Colorado Rocky Mountains hiking, biking

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