Spring Break Excursion Starts In Oklahoma City

Spring Break Excursion Starts In Oklahoma City

 OklahomaCity to Eureka Springs_SummerExcursion_map_150_5x4

(EUREKA SPRINGS, AR) — Every Spring Break, hundreds of families from the Oklahoma City area travel to the Arkansas Ozarks and the nationally recognized destination of Eureka Springs.  As much fun as there is to experience once the family arrives, the journey to this Victorian village can provide a whole host of lifetime memories with exceptional points of interest (POI) along the way.

So with the kids and the family dog (yes, many Eureka Springs’ properties are pet friendly) securely and safely buckled in, here are a few POI to check out as the family heads east.  Let the excursion begin.

POI #1: Rock Café, Stroud OK (approx. 67 miles from Oklahoma City)… The Rock Café, named for its local sandstone construction, opened in 1939 and has remained a Route 66 landmark ever since.  Despite a devastating fire in 2008, the structure’s four rock walls and Betsy, the original stainless steel grill that has turned out more than 5 million burgers, survived and is back serving customers.  It is also worth noting that the café’s owner Dawn Welch provided the inspiration for ‘Sally Carrera’ in the Pixar film, “Cars”.  rockcafert66.com/

POI #2: Rock Creek Bridge, Sapulpa OK (approx. 37 miles from POI #1)… Built in 1921 to serve the Ozark Trail, ‘Bridge No. 18 at Rock Creek’ became part of Route 66 in 1926 and remained busy until 1952 when the highway was realigned to the south. The bridge, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is a 120 feet-long steel truss design and is particularly notable for the brick decking.  Although it closed as an auto traversable bridge in 2013, the bridge remains open to pedestrians.  nps.gov/nr/travel/route66/bridge18_Rock_Creek_Sapulpa.html

POI #3: Blue Whale, Catoosa OK (approx. 28 miles from POI #2)… The Blue Whale in Catoosa may be one of the most famous landmarks along this well-preserved section of Route 66 that runs through Oklahoma.  Built in 1972 by one Hugh S. Davis thousands of families stop by to explore the whale and pose for this one-of-a-kind family photo opportunity, perfect for sharing on social media.  Even though the pond has closed, adjacent picnic tables are still available.  travelok.com/listings/view.profile/id.653

POI #4: Totem Pole Park, Foyil OK (approx. 22 miles from POI #3)… Located just 3.5 miles off Route 66, the extraordinary, eccentric collection of totem poles is the work of Oklahoma folk artist Ed Galloway. The centerpiece is a spectacular 90-ft tall construction – making it the World’s Largest Concrete Totem Pole – and features brightly colored animals as well as portraits of Native Americans. travelok.com/listings/view.profile/id.13179

POI #5: Wal-Mart Visitor Center, Bentonville AR (approx. 116 miles from POI #4)… Although officially called the Wal-Mart Visitor Center, this quaint facility is a tribute to the main street entrepreneurship and rags-to-riches struggle that launched it all.  Facing the town square, this site of Sam Walton’s original “5 & 10” store still maintains its down-home facade on the outside and even its down-home feel on the inside.  Most of the facility houses a museum chronicling Walton’s extraordinary life and career, plus features his beloved 1979 red Ford pickup. corporate.walmart.com/our-story/history/the-walmart-museum

POI #6: Pea Ridge National Military Park, Garfield AR (approx. 17 miles from POI #5)… The Battle of Pea Ridge was the largest Civil War battle west of the Mississippi.  The National Park Service describes the park as “the most intact Civil War battlefield in the United States”, which includes the legendary Elkhorn Tavern.  nps.gov/peri/learn/index.htm

POI #7: Beaver Bridge, Beaver AR (approx. 16 miles from POI #6)… This historic wooden suspension bridge, built in 1949 and known as the “Little Golden Gate of Arkansas”, is a hidden delight.  A single-lane, wooden construction bridge that is 554 feet long and only 11 feet wide that spans the White River and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  exploresouthernhistory.com/beaverbridge

POI #8: City of Eureka Springs AR (approx. 7 miles from POI #7)…  This quaint village grew to prominence in the late 19th century because of the healing powers of the water -back then- from the 65 springs near the downtown area.  Now this resort community, which is entirely listed on the National Register of Historic Places, offers days and nights worth of family fun, activities and attractions including Beaver Lake; Kings and White Rivers; state’s longest and highest zip line; Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge; plus America’s Most Haunted Hotel, The 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa. eurekaspringsonline.com.

The only question that rings out is “When do we leave?”  (Remember, the kids and dog are waiting.)

END

Submitted by

Bill Ott

billott.eurekasprings@gmail.com

479-981-9313

 

Spring Break Excursion Starts In Metroplex

Spring Break Excursion Starts In Metroplex

DFW Spring Break Excursion 2017 _ 150

 

 (EUREKA SPRINGS, AR) — Every Spring Break, hundreds of families from the Dallas/Fort Worth area travel to the Arkansas Ozarks and the nationally recognized destination of Eureka Springs.  As much fun as there is to experience once the family arrives, the journey to this Victorian village can provide a whole host of lifetime memories with exceptional points of interest (POI) along the way.

So with the kids and the family dog (yes, many Eureka Springs’ properties are pet friendly) securely and safely buckled in, here are a few POI to check out as the family heads north.  Let the excursion begin.

POI #1: Endangered Ark Foundation, Hugo OK (approx. 130 miles from the Dallas/Fort Worth area)…   This refuge is home to the second largest herd of Asian elephants in America. The foundation was started in 1993 to help preserve this endangered species and tours are available with advance reservation only. < endangeredarkfoundation.org >

POI #2: Pete’s Place, Krebs OK (approx. 74 miles from POI #1)…   Located in Oklahoma’s “Little Italy”, this fourth generation, landmark restaurant opened in 1925 and continues to serve fresh, family-style Italian cuisine as well as being “the home of Choc Beer”.  They are most famous for their generous portions of lasagna, ravioli, Italian sausage, chicken Parmesan, garlic bread and more with guests being seated in various rooms throughout “the house”. < petes.org >

POI #3: USS Batfish, Muskogee OK (approx. 65 miles from POI #2)…   The USS Batfish is one of Oklahoma’s most unique attractions.  An actual World War II submarine, the Batfish sank three enemy submarines and eleven other enemy vessels during her tenure in battle.  Visitors can tour the inside of the submarine, including the torpedo room and crew cabins. In the adjacent park are an army tank, cannons, missiles, and other military memorabilia for view.  < ussbatfish.com >

POI #4: Fort Gibson, Fort Gibson OK (approx. 9 miles from POI #3)…   Oklahoma’s oldest frontier fort was established in 1824 and is steeped in colorful history along with blue lakes, sparkling rivers and green hillsides stretching over 80 acres of grounds with 29 historic buildings and numerous archeological ruins.  Nearby this National Historic Landmark and American Treasure, sits Fort Gibson National Cemetery, one of two national cemeteries in Oklahoma, honoring fallen U.S. military personnel. < okhistory.org/sites/fortgibson >

POI #5: Scenic Highway 10, Talequah to U.S. 412 (approx. 49 miles from POI #4)…   This picturesque byway runs from north of Tahlequah and follows the serene banks of the Illinois River on a relaxing jaunt through breathtaking stone bluffs and lush forests.  Remember: keep your speedometer low, as Highway 10 is known for its winding lanes and curvy turns. < okhighways.wkinsler.com/route10.htm >

POI #6: Arkansas Welcome Center, Siloam Springs AR (approx. 13 miles from POI #5)…   The center, operated by the Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism, offers visitors up-to-the minute information on attractions, regional events, and weather conditions throughout “The Natural State”.  Travelers have access to computer kiosks, Wi-Fi, and fresh coffee. < arkansas.com/travel-tools/welcome-centers/siloam-springs/ >

POI #7: Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge, Eureka Springs AR (approx. 58 miles from POI #6)…   [EDITOR’S NOTE: Since this is an attraction at which you might want to spend some serious time, you might consider visiting it tomorrow after a good night’s rest; it’s been a long day!]  With more than 450 acres and 130 big, exotic cats plus a couple bears, Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge is the largest big cat sanctuary in North America.  This non-profit organization provides lifetime homes for abandoned, abused and neglected ‘big cats’ and is one of the Top 10 Attractions in Arkansas. < turpentinecreek.org >

POI #8: City of Eureka Springs AR (approx. 9 miles from POI #7)…  This quaint village grew to prominence in the late 19th century because of the healing powers of the water -back then- from the 65 springs near the downtown area.  Now this resort community, which is entirely listed on the National Register of Historic Places, offers days and nights worth of family fun, activities and attractions including Beaver Lake; Kings and White Rivers; state’s longest and highest zip line; plus America’s Most Haunted Hotel, The 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa. < eurekaspringsonline.com >

The only question that rings out is “When do we leave?”  (Remember, the kids and dog are waiting.)

END

Submitted by

Bill Ott

billott.eurekasprings@gmail.com

479-981-9313

Spring Break Excursion Starts In Wichita

Spring Break Excursion Starts In Wichita

 WICHITA Spring Break Excursion 2017 _ 150

 (EUREKA SPRINGS, AR) — Every Spring Break, hundreds of families from the Wichita area travel to the Arkansas Ozarks and the nationally recognized destination of Eureka Springs.  As much fun as there is to experience once the family arrives, the journey to this Victorian village can provide a whole host of lifetime memories with exceptional points of interest (POI) along the way.

So with the kids and the family dog (yes, many Eureka Springs’ properties are pet friendly) securely and safely buckled in, here are a few POI to check out as the family heads east.  Let the excursion begin.

POI #1: Chanute-Wright Brothers Memorial, Chanute KS (approx. 109 miles from Wichita)… This memorial is so much more than mobile sculpture that moves with the wind; it replicates the Wright brothers’ flying machine and commemorates the important relationship between the town’s namesake and the birth of flight. French-born Octave Chanute never was a resident of Chanute, Kansas; however, one of the four railroads he built through Kansas made the town possible.  This memorial, like the town, is an homage to this engineer and the brothers he mentored.  kansastravel.org/chanutewrightbrothers.htm

POI #2: Fort Scott National Historic Site, Fort Scott KS (approx. 50 miles from POI #1)…More than 26,000 visitors come to this National Historic Site each year. The 20 historic structures, eleven of which are original, represent a military fort of the 1840s and focuses on the role of the U.S. Army on the frontier.  This site interprets this critical era with interpretive exhibits, period furnishings, and living history programs that include soldiers drilling on horseback and artillery demonstrations. nps.gov/fosc/index.htm

POI #3: Big Brutus, Mineral KS(approx. 52 miles from POI #2)… The second largest electric shovel in the world, Big Brutus stands 160 feet high, and is visible for miles around.  From 1962 to 1974, it was a powerful aid to the Kansas mining industry. Today, the public is invited to climb inside it, look around, and even sit in the operator’s seat. A visitors’ center next to it provides more background information. bigbrutus.org/

POI #4: Kan-O-Tex Service Station, Galena KS (approx. 31 miles from POI #3)… This restored gas station recalls the heyday of Route 66 when it was a major thoroughfare.  It’s the home of the 1951 International tow truck that was the inspiration for ‘Tow Mater’ in the Disney-Pixar movie “Cars” plus a collection of memorabilia relating to Route 66 and the “Cars” film.  kansastravel.org/4womenontheroute.htm

POI #5: Bluff Dwellers Cavern, Noel MO (approx. 58 miles from POI #4)… This bluff has significant archaeological significance having served as shelter for the native Bluff Dwellers some 12,000 years ago.  The non-strenuous tour features a musical rock formation. bluffdwellerscavern.com

POI #6: Pea Ridge National Military Park, Garfield AR (approx. 30 miles from POI #5)… The Battle of Pea Ridge was the largest Civil War battle west of the Mississippi.  The National Park Service describes the park as “the most intact Civil War battlefield in the United States”, which includes the legendary Elkhorn Tavern.  nps.gov/peri/learn/index.htm

POI #7: Beaver Bridge, Beaver AR (approx. 26 miles from POI #6)… This historic wooden suspension bridge, built in 1949 and known as the “Little Golden Gate of Arkansas”, is a hidden delight.  A single-lane, wooden construction bridge that is 554 feet long and only 11 feet wide that spans the White River and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  exploresouthernhistory.com/beaverbridge

POI #8: City of Eureka Springs AR (approx. 7 miles from POI #7)…  This quaint village grew to prominence in the late 19th century because of the healing powers of the water -back then- from the 65 springs near the downtown area.  Now this resort community, which is entirely listed on the National Register of Historic Places, offers days and nights worth of family fun, activities and attractions including Beaver Lake; Kings and White Rivers; state’s longest and highest zip line; Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge; plus America’s Most Haunted Hotel, The 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa. eurekaspringsonline.com.

The only question that rings out is “When do we leave?”  (Remember, the kids and dog are waiting.)

END

Submitted by

Bill Ott

billott.eurekasprings@gmail.com

479-981-9313

Spring Break Excursion: Starts In Kansas City

 

 Spring Break Excursion: Starts In Kansas City

Kansas City Spring Break Excursion 2017 _ 150

 

(EUREKA SPRINGS, AR) — Every Spring Break, hundreds of families from the Kansas City area travel to the Arkansas Ozarks and the nationally recognized destination of Eureka Springs.  As much fun as there is to experience once the family arrives, the journey to this Victorian village can provide a whole host of lifetime memories with exceptional points of interest (POI) along the way.

So with the kids and the family dog (yes, many Eureka Springs’ properties are pet friendly) securely and safely buckled in, here are a few POI to check out as the family heads south.  Let the excursion begin.

POI #1: Precious Moments Park and Chapel, Carthage MO (approx. 140 miles from Kansas City)… A theme park and retail attraction based on Samuel Butcher’s “Precious Moments” figurines introduced in the 1970s.  A chapel is the attraction’s centerpiece.  www.preciousmoments.com/park-chapel

POI #2: Joplin Museum Complex, Joplin MO (approx. 16 miles from POI #1)… Five intriguing museums under one roof featuring everything from mineral mining to a sports hall of fame, from a historical museum to an electric company museum, and sweetened by a cookie cutter museum. www.joplinmuseum.org/collections.htm

POI #3: Kan-O-Tex Service Station, Galena KS (approx. 8 miles from POI #2)… This restored gas station recalls the heyday of Route 66 when it was a major thoroughfare.  It’s the home of the 1951 International tow truck that was the inspiration for ‘Tow Mater’ in the Disney-Pixar movie “Cars” plus a collection of memorabilia relating to Route 66 and the “Cars” film.  www.kansastravel.org/4womenontheroute.htm

POI #4: Bluff Dwellers Cavern, Noel MO (approx. 58 miles from POI #3)… This bluff has significant archaeological significance having served as shelter for the native Bluff Dwellers some 12,000 years ago.  The non-strenuous tour features a musical rock formation. http://bluffdwellerscavern.com

POI #5: Pea Ridge National Military Park, Garfield AR (approx. 40 miles from POI #4)… The Battle of Pea Ridge was the largest Civil War battle west of the Mississippi.  The National Park Service describes the park as “the most intact Civil War battlefield in the United States”, which includes the legendary Elkhorn Tavern.  www.nps.gov/peri/learn/index.htm

POI #6: Beaver Bridge, Beaver AR (approx. 16 miles from POI #5)… This historic wooden suspension bridge, built in 1949 and known as the “Little Golden Gate of Arkansas”, is a hidden delight.  A single-lane, wooden construction bridge that is 554 feet long and only 11 feet wide that spans the White River and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  www.exploresouthernhistory.com/beaverbridge

POI #7: City of Eureka Springs AR (approx. 7 miles from POI #6)…  This quaint village grew to prominence in the late 19th century because of the healing powers of the water -back then- from the 65 springs near the downtown area.  Now this resort community, which is entirely listed on the National Register of Historic Places, offers days and nights worth of family fun, activities and attractions including Beaver Lake; Kings and White Rivers; state’s longest and highest zip line; Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge; plus America’s Most Haunted Hotel, The 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa. www.eurekaspringsonline.com .

The only question that rings out is “When do we leave?”  (Remember, the kids and dog are waiting.)

END

Submitted by

Bill Ott

billott.eurekasprings@gmail.com

479-981-9313

 

Spring Break FUN in Eureka Springs

Spring Break Eureka Springs

Families all over Arkansas / Oklahoma and Missouri have had one week in March circled on their calendars since the school year started.  Inside that circle are written the words “Eureka Springs”.  Why?  Because kids’ love to spend Spring Break in a place not too far away that thrills with zip-lines, ghost hunting, lions and tigers, and so much more.  That’s why families from “SEC Country” will be traveling to the Arkansas Ozarks and the “Extraordinary Spring Break Escape”: Eureka Springs.Eureka Springs Ziplines

Here families can challenge the state’s highest zip-line as speeds through the canopy of trees high in the Ozark hills.  Ozark Mountain Zip-lines offer an extreme adventure for ages three and up.  Ten zip-lines 120- to 1800-feet long suspended 20-to 200-feet above the ground.

At least two hotels in Eureka Springs offer top-rated ghost hunting.  The 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa has become known as “America’s most haunted hotelSpirits of the Basin Tour” because of the unparalleled paranormal discoveries, seen and/or digitally captured by those on the hotel’s nightly ghost tour as well as numerous television programs such as SyFy’s “Ghost Hunters”.  The newest venture into the past and the beyond is the 1905 Basin Park Hotel’s “Spirits of The Basin” nightly tour.  This top to bottom tour of Downtown Eureka’s only skyscraper introduces names and mental images of those who have walked –and some say still walking- the hallways of this historic seven story structure and the tales that have made them immortal.

Saved from extinction, more than 100 big cats at Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge roam their natural habitats roaring and wTurpentine Creek Wildlife Refugeaiting for families’ close-up looks.  These lions and tigers and bears, creatures that someday may be only a picture online, become stars of safe safaris daily.  These massive, beautiful animals were rescued from awful circumstances and given a new chance to live out their years here in a loving, caring natural environment.

Other family-friendly Spring Break attractions include hiking the “hills and hollers” of the urban Ozark trails, sojourning through time on the Downtown-N- Underground tour; experiencing the inspiration of The Great Passion Play’s Bible Museum and The Great Passion Playpre-arranged Holy Land Tour; holding on tight on the back deck of a vintage trolley as it traverses over Eureka’s twisty, zigzag, up and down streets; and capturing “new history” with an antique family photo at Judge Roy Bean’s.

Planning a Eureka Springs’ Spring Break is also fun and easy by finding Things To Do on EurekaSpringsOnline.com and booking tickets and securing Hot Deals on ReserveEureka.com.

 

Spring Break Getaway in Eureka Springs

THIS SPRING my FAMILy is gonna BRAKE FOR SPRING BREAK IN EUREKA SPRINGS

When we started planning for when the kids are gonna be out of school for spring break, Jane and I realized that both time and money were limited.  So we looked for a place that could offer a lot to do in a small area.  A place where there are fun activities that don’t cost a lot and a safe place for our kids to get out and explore on their own.  And since special family time is so limited these days, we wanted a place that has a proven track record of creating lifetime memories.  We wanted a family spring break that our kids might enjoy so much they would want to share it with their kids and grandkids.  Well, after a lot of research of <eurekasprings> on-line, we chose the historic Victorian village in the Arkansas Ozarks that the National Trust for Historic Preservation has named one of America’s Distinctive Destinations.

There the kids can have what they call an “exploravacation”, a time when they can go off on their own and explore the historic downtown district of Eureka Springs (making sure that they travel in pairs and carry their cell phones checking in every so often).

The kids were excited about getting to “discover” Eureka Spring’s crazy staircases, unique stories, interesting looking buildings feeling like they were on an adventure akin to a fun 19th century scavenger hunt.  (Jane and I quietly agreed that this would be much more appealing than filling spring break hours with just dropping the kids off at the mall!)

To give the kids a sense of what “discoveries” are out there, we found several walking tours like the Downtown-N-Underground Tour that traces the town’s history from its beginnings through the Civil War era, the days of Wild West outlaws, right on up to today.  The downtown’s history museum, Eureka Springs Historical Museum (hope that “m” word doesn’t scare the kids!), offers numerous maps of hidden walkways and trails of “a city that time forgot”.

Mountain resort city parks abound in Eureka Springs. The largest is the 85-acre municipal playground called Lake Leatherwood.  It has 40 miles of trails for hiking and biking.  (Guess we’d better load up the bikes!) If exploring a cave is your thing, there are lotsa caves in the area too.

A couple things that caught our eye (and should supply great photo opps) are Turpentine Creek, a refuge for wildlife and the largest collection of lions and tigers and bears in the region; and nearby Pea Ridge National Military Park, giving the kids a leg up in history class when they start studying America’s Civil War.

And when we mentioned Eureka Springs to the kids, they immediately asked, “Can we go see that haunted hotel?”  They had seen several episodes of those ghostly paranormal shows on TV that featured the 1886 Crescent Hotel and Spa, said to be America’s most haunted hotel!

So with the little bit of time and the little bit of expendable income we have, we are pretty sure that Eureka Springs is gonna be a great place to brake for spring break this year.

If you guys have any ideas or suggestions for us about Eureka Springs, the state Arkansas and The Ozarks (including the new Arkansas Art Trail), we would love for you to let us know.  Thanx.

Here is a great place to check out the latest Spring Break Hot Deals!

FREE FUN Family Activities this Spring Break!