According to a recent article in Travel & Leisure written by Jim Becker, senior travelers visit this historic community of 2,000 residents that is hidden away in the Arkansas Ozarks for many reasons: “great ‘Main Street’ town”, a designated “Distinctive Destination” in America by the National Trust For Historic Preservation, and the fact that it is truly a “resort village”. However, members of Eureka Springs’ tourism industry over the past several years have monitored the last few weeks of summer and have determined that it seems that “active” seniors flock here to play in, on, and with all of Eureka’s summer fun while claiming it for their own now that schools are back in session.
“Now that -age wise- the sixties and seventies are the new twenties and thirties, active seniors come to Eureka Springs in late summer not to sit in a rocker on one of our verandas and watch the clouds drift by,” explained Jack Moyer, general manager of two local historic hotels. “Rather they come here to race past the clouds while flying along on Arkansas’ largest zip line with no waiting in line behind dozens and dozens of children. These are today’s seniors.”
Moyer made an abbreviated grocery list of activities that active seniors love to enjoy during this time of year, “Boating, canoeing and kayaking on our adjacent lakes -Beaver, Table Rock and Leatherwood- and our area rivers -White, Kings and Buffalo. Our urban trail system here in Eureka can turn a shopping sojourn into a challenging hiking experience just by turning a corner. Both motorcyclists and bicyclists never stop grinning once they have accepted the challenge of some of our local and area rides like the number one biker ride in the country, ‘The Pig Trail’ which is Arkansas Highway 23.”
It has been said that active seniors enjoy Eureka Springs’ thrills and excitement by day and its relaxation and entertainment by night. More than 2,500 affordable guest rooms are ready to embrace visitors as the sun begins to sink but not before diving into a great meal, catching a great show, or giving in to the well-trained hands of a massage therapist at one Eureka’s numerous spas.
“Shows like Intrigue Theater, The Great Passion Play, Pine Mountain Theater, the Ozark Hoe-Down, or a hotel ghost tour offer outstanding evening entertainment. More than two dozen of the state’s finest restaurants are located in Eureka Springs with varying cuisines that will tickle the most discriminating palates. And local spa massage professionals work hard not to tickle but transform tired bodies into tranquil ones,” added Moyer.
Moyer was also quick to point out that seniors this time of year can really save money by discovering special package deals and money saving offers by most of Eureka’s hotels, motels and other lodging establishments. “With just a little bit of Internet investigation, seniors can save ‘the big bucks’ on room rates. Many properties offer packages that include some meals and tickets to local attractions. This time of the year is ideal for getting a lot for a little,” said Moyer.
Whether one refers to Eureka Springs as “The Little Switzerland of America” or “The Stair-Step Town” as Becker did or by the appellation adopted by the city, “The Extraordinary Escape”, it seems active seniors call it “the place to be” for a late summer vacation.