ARKANSAS’S STATE PARK LODGES are ideal sites for meetings, welcoming planners and guests to striking landscapes and spacious facilities serving delicious meals. The architects who designed the lodges at these parks built structures of wood and stone that harmonize with their natural settings, with magnificent walls of glass in lobbies and restaurants to showcase scenic views.
Mount Magazine State Park
The state capitalized on its natural beauty by choosing remarkable locations. At PETIT JEAN, the state’s first mountain resort park, guests can stay either in a 24-room lodge or in one of 33 cabins. MOUNT MAGAZINE’S RESORT offers a 60-room lodge and 13 cabins that stretch across a bluff on the state’s highest mountain.
Petit Jean State Park
At QUEEN WILHELMINA STATE PARK, the 40-room lodge perches on Rich Mountain, the state’s second-highest peak. For those who prefer an island getaway, there’s DEGRAY LAKE RESORT STATE PARK, featuring a 96-room lodge that faces the clear and tranquil lake.
Two unique twists on traditional state park resorts are the state’s mountain cultural center and a historic bed-and-breakfast. OZARK FOLK CENTER celebrates cultural exploration, with live music, a craft center where 20 artisans work, and gardens that offer fresh produce for its restaurant. This park welcomes overnight guests in 60 duplex-style rooms with a friendly village feel. THE JAILHOUSE BED AND BREAKFAST at Historic Washington State Park surrounds visitors with living history in a 1918 jailhouse, now renovated with eight guest rooms with charm and all modern amenities. The Jailhouse is part of a full historic village including the 1832 Williams Tavern restaurant.
Cabins at the Ozark Folk Center
Each park has meeting spaces of varying sizes and styles. DeGray attracts large groups with a convention center for 300. Mount Magazine and Ozark Folk Center have flexible spaces for under 200 people. The Jailhouse offers ample meeting space for up to 250 in the surrounding historic village, including an auditorium, meeting rooms and a large WPA gym. Queen Wilhelmina’s 75-person meeting room has the bonus of a balcony with mountain views. Petit Jean’s smaller meeting rooms are perfect for retreats and board meetings.
As resorts, the parks pack in plenty of amenities that may include mountain trails for hiking, pools for swimming, and lakes for fishing, boating and water sports. Guests can enjoy bicycles, horseback riding and outdoor pavilions. DeGray has a championship golf course, a disc golf course and a marina for boat rentals.
No two menus are alike at any of the parks’ full-service restaurants. Diners will find surprises like lamb souvlaki or spring duck salad alongside more traditional fare. All of the restaurants offer catering services, using farm-to-table ingredients from local producers as much as possible.