If Visiting Branson This Holiday Season, Capture The Sparkling Gem Just Minutes Away: Eureka Springs, Arkansas

ChristOfTheOzarks _ wNativity _ 2016 _ Jill Rohrbach _ 300

(EUREKA SPRINGS, AR) — You’ve loaded up the family car and are heading to Branson, Missouri to take in all the glitz and glamour this Ozark community has to offer.  But there is also an authentic, nineteenth century community just 45 minutes to the southwest all dressed up for the holidays, too.  Eureka Springs, Arkansas.

Eureka Springs has the distinction of practically the entire city being on the National Registry of Historic Places.  This village, crafted out of limestone, has maintained its 150-year-old charm yet it loves to dress up during holiday time.

“The shop owners, the hotels, the restaurants really do dress up their businesses and residents their homes for the holidays,” noted former chairman of the Greater Eureka Springs Chamber of Commerce, Jack Moyer, “while our city’s parks department fills in all the gaps with some of the most creative and beautiful holiday displays one could find anywhere.

“Another nice thing is that our decorations stay up and illuminated through the second of January.  For that reason, many hotels offer special rates between Christmas and New Years.”

One particular enjoyable endeavor is walking through downtown at night to see shop windows up close and personal.  The highlight of such a sojourn will be a visit to Basin Spring Park, located in the center of downtown.  Besides the bright, festive aura of the park and its fountain, it displays a full-sized nativity scene in its band shell that makes the perfect framing for this gorgeous representation of “the reason for the season”.  Strolling through downtown at night also allows for a stop in an area restaurant for something hot to drink or that ever so tasty nibble of nourishment.

On the edge of town is one of the nation’s most loved light displays.  It is located on the grounds of The Great Passion Play.  People drive through this trail of lights with the opportunity to get an up close, breathtaking view as they walk to the base of the newly refurbished Christ of the Ozarks that just celebrated its golden anniversary as it sits atop East Mountain.

“And as if the Passion Play lights and the 66-foot statue were not reason enough to visit the grounds,” explained Moyer, “the vista of the city from the lookout at opposite the statue’s base would be.  All the lights of the city below look like mosaic of holiday spirit.”

Moyer concluded, “So many people plan a side trip to Eureka Springs while visiting Branson during the year.  But during the Christmas season, that short shuttle down the trail is enhanced.”

For more information, one should visit Arkansas.com/travel-tools/seasons/winter/trail-of-lights/northwest/itinerary-c/


Submitted by

                  Bill Ott