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The Group Travel Leader Going on Faith Select Traveler

Eureka Springs: An Ozark

A Victorian paradise and thriving artistic community, Eureka is a great cultural destination for meetings in Arkansas.

Located in the northwest corner of Arkansas and completely surrounded by the Ozark Mountains, Eureka Springs is home to more than 100 structures on the National Register of Historic Buildings and one of the country’s most notable concentrations of Victorian architecture. It has been recognized by the National Trust for Historic Preservation as one of America’s Dozen Most Distinctive Destinations. The vibrant artistic community includes close to 300 local and regional artists that live and work in the area.

Attractions include the “Great Passion Play,” which will be in its 48th year in 2015. Thorncrown Chapel, an architectural masterpiece of wood and glass, was designed by E. Fay Jones, apprentice of Frank Lloyd Wright, and was voted the No. 4 top building of 20th-century design by the American Institute of Architects..

The outdoors are a top attraction. Eureka Springs has three lakes — Lake Leatherwood, Beaver Lake and Tabletop Lake — and two rivers. Visitors can take the Belle of the Ozarks’ Beaver Lake Cruise or swim, camp, boat and scuba dive. Turpentine Wildlife Refuge is the largest rescue organization for big cats in the nation, and it has also played host to bears. There are also many caves and caverns to explore, such as Cosmic Cavern, where visitors can see underground lakes and go gemstone panning.

Most dining establishments in Eureka Springs are locally owned, and many double as off-site meeting venues. Two are particularly close to nature: the Cottage Inn Restaurant features windows on all sides in a wooded area, and the Mud Street Cafe is a popular underground eatery decorated with natural rock.

“Eating your way through Eureka Springs is an attraction in and of itself,” said Karen Pryor, director of sales of the City Advertising and Promotion Commission in Eureka Springs.

Additionally, the Crescent Hotel and the Blue Springs Heritage Center are must-see sites that double as meeting venues. The Crescent Hotel is known as a “symbol of hospitality” for the region and retains its 19th-century charm with its Crystal Ballroom and spacious verandas. Blue Springs pumps about 38 million gallons of water a day and has beautifully manicured gardens and walking trails, as well as meeting space.


Spotlight on Eureka

Primary meeting facilities: Inn of the Ozarks Resort and Convention Center

Other meeting properties: Eureka Springs City Auditorium

Largest meeting space: Inn of the Ozarks Resort and Convention Center (18,000 square feet of meeting space)

Total hotel rooms: 2,700

CVB website: