ARKANSAS, The Natural State

What to see

Evening Shade the Orzark region
Mountain View Ozark Folk Center
the Ozark Mountains Eureka Springs - Rogers
Bentonville Walmart HQ
   
article Walmart
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cover new england

This is an extract of what to see in this state, with small photos. You will find the full description, history and full-sized photos, in my e-book View America: South West

In the travel series View America, South West covers Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas. It is not a traditional travelogue, but a non-commercial and more or less objective chronicle of an in-depth exploration of these states. Each state is described with its own brief historical background and its main sights, tourist attractions and points of interest.

My book does not describe lodgings, restaurants or entertainment, except where these may interact with the narrative. It is illustrated with more than 100 full-sized photos.

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OVERVIEW

ARKANSAS is also known as The Land of Opportunity and the Natural State. The name Arkansas comes from the French name Arkansa for the Quapaw Indians and their territory. The "s" was added later to make it plural, but it is not pronounced. In 1836 Arkansas joined the U.S. as the 25th state.

Its surface is approximately 137,000 km2, and 56% is forested. The main rivers are the Arkansas and the Red river. The capital and largest city is Little Rock.

Arkansas has approximately 2.7 million inhabitants, with a density of 20 per km2. As to natural resources, the wood industry has always been important in this heavily forested state, but next to this, oil and gas are also available.

Around 1800 the cotton culture emerged, and in 1930 the benefit of crop rotation with soybeans was discovered, to restore depleted soil. Since 1970, Arkansas has become the largest producer of rice and chicken.

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THINGS TO SEE

Mountain View : Ozark Folk Center

CR 223 is a Scenic Route that leads to Mountain View. It is also a narrow and winding two-lane road, located in the middle of nowhere. To ensure that the tourists clearly understand the local situation, a road sign dutifully reminds them that this is a "Steep and Crooked Road"...

There is an old folk saying about the Ozarks: "it's not that the mountains are so high, it's just that the valleys are so deep". The region is very scarcely populated, which provides ample time to admire pure nature, with some meadows between endless seas of trees.

The Ozark Folk Center is an institution that tries to maintain the traditional Ozark craftsmanship and folk music. It contains a large theater, a restaurant, a lodge, several shops that display old crafts, and of course the inevitable Gift Shop. Unfortunately, it is closed on Sundays.

Mountain View : Ozark Folk Center 1 Mountain View : Ozark Folk Center 2

the Ozark Mountains

Eureka Springs

The touristic attraction of the Ozark Mountains has led to the emergence of vacation resorts, located in the mountains. The city of Eureka Springs is one of such local tourist attractions. It contains many restaurants and hotels, all sorts of attractions, curiosities and shows, and everything imaginable to lure tourists. Many of the buildings have been constructed in German or Bavarian style and the entire city is modern, very clean and well maintained.

Highlights are everywhere. Quigley's Castle is the home that Mrs. Quigley broke up in 1943, to rebuild it with a large interior garden. The formidable Judge Roy Bean is commemorated in a special photo shop. It will provide you with a beautiful picture, dressed up in contemporary clothing, sitting in an old saloon or a Victorian interior.

Furthermore, Eureka Springs is the place where every year a maxi-version of the Passion of Christ is brought, that includes more than 250 actors, real animals, sensational sound and lighting effects, and an enormous 560-feet wide stage (170 meters), in several levels. www.greatpassionplay.com

Eureka Springs : Quigley's Castle Eureka Springs : the Passion of Christ

Bentonville : Walmart Headquarters

Bentonville proudly sports Sam Walton's Visitor Center and Museum of Wal-Marts. It is located in what used to be his second store. WalMart is the world's largest retailer, and its headquarters is located in Bentonville, Arkansas. The group includes WalMart discount stores, WalMart Super Centers, Bud's Discount City stores and Sam's Club stores.

In 1945 Sam Walton (1918- 1992) opened a franchise store of the group Ben Franklin in Newport, AR. In 1950 he moved to Bentonville, and opened another Ben Franklin franchise, which he called "the Walton - 5 & 10 cents". In 1962, he opened his own store, the Wal-Mart Discount City in Rogers, Arkansas. The rest is history !... Read more about Sam Walton and Walmart !

Bentonville : Walmart  1 Bentonville : Walmart  2
   
Bentonville : Walmart  3 Bentonville : Walmart  4

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