We all know there’s plenty to do in Dallas, with sizzling barbeque joints, red hot music venues and upscale shopping everywhere you look. But if you’re yearning to expand your horizons beyond the Lone Star State this summer, why not consider an RV road trip from Dallas, Texas to Eureka Springs, Arkansas?
Your destination—the Victorian spa town of Eureka Springs—is worthy of an extended stay. There are also sights and stops along the way you won’t want to miss. We’ve collected just a few to whet your appetite for travel.
Dallas to Eureka Springs Road Trip Highlights
Let’s talk logistics before you start packing the RV for your road trip. Eureka Springs is a very popular resort town that’s much nicer to navigate midweek, especially if you go during the summer. If you plan to leave Dallas on, say, Monday morning, you could be in Eureka Springs by mid-afternoon, assuming you’re driving straight through (about six and a half hours).
But what’s the fun of that, when you can meander your way northeast in the RV, stopping to find the fun, funky and unforgettable treasures along the route? Book your spot at a campground in Eureka Springs early (remember, busy tourist season) and then allow yourself to enjoy the drive! Here’s what you’ll find as you travel north from Dallas on US-75/US-69:
- Lake Texoma, with eighty-thousand-acres to explore, is a great first stop along the way to Arkansas. Stretch your legs on one of the many trails or at least make the four-mile wildlife watching drive through the lake’s national refuge before swinging back over to US-69.
- Choctaw Casinos along US-69 include one in Durant, near Lake Texoma, and one farther north in McAlester. For RV travelers who hope to enjoy some gaming time on the road to Eureka Springs, a stop at one or both casinos is in order.
- Eufaula and Checotah, OK, on the shores of enormous Lake Eufaula, each offer several reasons for stopping along the way to Arkansas. Besides easy access to lake recreation, you’ll find antique stores, Civil War historic sites, historic downtown areas and interesting agritourism sites like Sailing Horse Vineyard to explore.
- Five Civilized Tribes Museum, Muskogee, OK is definitely worth deciding to take the northern route to join US-412 for the run into Arkansas. Housed in the historic Union Indian Agency building, the museum preserves the history, art and culture of the five tribes that populate northeastern Oklahoma.
- Springdale, Arkansas Wineries, Breweries and Cideries are welcome stops along the final stretch into Eureka Springs. North of Fayetteville on US-412, Springdale is a scenic place to enjoy local wines, hard ciders and microbrews while also visiting the Shiloh Museum of Ozark History. Lots of RV campgrounds in the Springdale/Fayetteville area if you’re planning to stop one more night before continuing into Eureka Springs.
Once you’re finished enjoying the attractions of Springdale, it’s a quick jaunt east to Hindsville and then the winding, Ozark mountain trek thirty minutes north into Eureka Springs.
What to Do in Eureka Springs
An artist’s haven in a Victorian setting, surrounded by the splendor of the Ozarks…that’s a good description of the village of Eureka Springs. Winding, hilly streets filled with turn-of-the-century architecture will greet you when you reach your destination. Get ready to relax, unwind and walk the town’s narrow streets once you’ve set up camp.
Planning to stay at a campground within the city limits? You’ll find that most Eureka Springs RV campgrounds are on one of the city’s trolley routes. Park the RV and ride the trolley to the town’s most popular attractions; at six dollars for a full day of hop-on, hop-off privileges, you can’t beat the ease of getting around Eureka Springs.
Here are five things to do and see while strolling the streets of this Victorian getaway:
- Eureka Springs Art Scene: If you’re hoping to find an eclectic art scene in the heart of the Ozarks, you’re in luck. Eureka Springs is known for its dozens of galleries in the downtown loop and an impressive calendar of art and music themed special events throughout the year.
- Eureka Springs Historic Loop: Fans of Victorian architecture will find paradise here. The mansions, hotels and municipal buildings in the Historic Loop are well-preserved, with many offering tours for a closer look. Tip for the adventurous: don’t miss Eureka Springs Underground.
- Eureka Springs Thorncrown Chapel: Just west of town on Hwy 62, Thorncrown Chapel blends magnificent architecture with its natural surroundings in a way that’s sure to stun. Four stories of glass and light nestled in a forest, the chapel is popular for weddings and special events, so check their website for early closing days before you come.
- Eureka Springs Pocket Parks and Mineral Springs: A delightful surprise for first-time visitors to the village is the collection of five ‘pocket parks’ preserving natural mineral springs along the Eureka Springs Natural Springs Trail.
- Eureka Springs Vintage Hotels and Spas: A town that began as a center of healing is just the place to indulge in a spa day. The spas and bath houses of Eureka Springs are located in historic surroundings, a favorite being found at the 1886 Crescent Hotel (stay for the ghost tour!) Another top-rated spa is in the Palace Hotel and Bath House. Book a spa date there to experience a mineral bath and eucalyptus steam in vintage splendor.
RV campers visiting Eureka Springs might also want to stay at Beaver Lake, just seven miles out of town on Highway 187. That choice will keep you close to local attractions, as well as fishing, paddling, hiking and biking.
Does this sound like the kind of road trip you could add to your summer RV camping itinerary? With so many things to see and do on the route from Dallas to Eureka Springs, you could extend your trip until you’ve run out vacation days. Book your campsites now, rent an RV in Dallas if you need one, and use these tips to plan the journey. We can’t wait to hear about your travels!