Looking for something fun (and inexpensive) to do this weekend?
Luckily, there are places in and around central Arkansas that can make for a super-fun day (or half-day) trip this weekend or another this spring.
Here is a look at three trips that should guarantee one tank to get there and back:
- Scott/Keo: These side-by-side towns have become a favorite place to head to on Saturday! It's not too far-- about 20 to 30 minutes away from Little Rock-- and there are a few excellent food options, shopping and state parks to check out. Of course, Cotham's Mercantile, 5301 Highway 161, Scott, is the place to go if you're hankering for a delicious burger-- they're famous for their Hubcap Burger. You can also cruise a few minutes down the road to Keo and get some of the best pie around at Charlotte's Eats and Sweets, 290 Main St., Keo. The hot spot is known for the coconut meringue, but I absolutely love the apple pie a la mode. When it comes to antique shopping, Keo is the place to go. Morris Antiques, 306 Hwy 232 W., offers just about every kind of antique of you can imagine! And also check out the Plantation Agriculture Museum in Scott, which provides a glimpse into the history of cotton agriculture in Arkansas from statehood in 1836 through World War II, as well as the Toltec Mounds Archaeological State Park, a place where the Arkansas's tallest American Indian mounds are preserved. It is cool! See what other things in Scott and Keo you can get into here.
- Hot Springs: There are so many things to do and see in the "Spa City," it definitely is worthy of a day-long excursion. A major hot spot during the winter and spring months is Oaklawn, the state's only horse race track. Before the races, eat at one of many delicious eateries in town, including Rolando's Nuevo Latino Restaurante, JavaPrimo Coffee House, Cafe & More and Central Park Fusion Cuisine (both Little Rock Family Managing Editor Blair Tidwell's favorite spots), and walk around downtown and take in the nature at Hot Springs National Park, the country's first resort. Other things to do include perusing the various art galleries scattered around downtown, as well as the Gangster Museum of America, Hot Springs Mountain Tower and Bathhouse Row. Also, if you get a chance, a must-see attraction is the Garvan Woodland Gardens on the outskirts of the city. Right now, check out Daffodil Days, going on all of February. Check out what else there is to do here.
- Petit Jean Mountain, Morrilton: About an hour north of Little Rock, you'll find the very popular Petit Jean Mountain in Morrilton. If you love nature, this is a go-to place! Petit Jean State Park, named by Camping Life magazine as No. 1 on their list of the nation's Top 10 State Parks, has tons of trails for all skill levels-- at least 20 miles, altogether-- as well as fishing and boating on Lake Bailey, and cool visitor center exhibits. For some grub during the day, try the Mather Lodge's restaurant at the park for lunch and check out the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute’s River Rock Grill for dinner. If you're wanting to have an all-day cooking adventure, the institute, nestled right on Petit Jean Mountain, offers cool culinary programs, including Saturday workshops called "Made from Scratch," which cover different types of cuisine. Reservations are required. Click here for the full list of upcoming workshops and see what else you can do atop the mountain here.