Why Eureka Springs is famous and why you do not what to miss it! Eureka Springs is famous for a multitude of reasons many of which give it all of it’s quirky names, including the name quirky.

You may ask – Is Eureka Springs Worth Visiting?

Are you searching for a unique vacation getaway destination? Look no further than Eureka Springs, lovingly referred to as Little Switzerland and another reason Eureka Springs is famous! Spend a week indulging in the breathtaking beauty of Eureka Springs, a charming historical locale that is home to writers, musicians, and artists.  

This quaint hamlet of almost 2,500 people is a beautifully preserved 19th-century community. Nestled into the Ozark Mountains and surrounded by two beautiful lakes, the city offers numerous historic attractions.  

In Eureka Springs, you can enjoy simple pleasures while also having the opportunity to shop at a variety of specialty boutiques, dine at dozens of restaurants, and take part in many recreational opportunities.

Beaver bridge in Beaver, Arkansas is an one-lane suspension bridge over the White River over Table Rock Lake.
Beaver bridge in Beaver, Arkansas is an historic one-lane suspension bridge over the White River over Table Rock Lake.
Statue of Jesus of the Ozarks against a bright blue sky
Statue of Christ of the Ozarks against a bright blue sky
St. Elizabeth's Catholic Church in Eureka Springs, Arkansas
St. Elizabeth’s Catholic Church in Eureka Springs, Arkansas is an historical landmark.
Ride or Walk the Hills

The appeal of this famous community location extends far beyond the creative types because Eureka Springs is renowned for its diverse interests. Northwest Arkansas is a paradise for motorcycle enthusiasts. The Ozark hills of Eureka Springs are a treasure trove of miles of hiking and biking trails and majestic forests. Check out Eureka Springs Parks and Recreation for local recreational information. We would be remiss, not to mention the endless paved roads perfect for cruising and viewing nature. The Pig Trail, Eureka Springs famous rides, one of America’s, is one of the many thrilling routes you can explore. Don’t miss out on this fantastic vacation opportunity!

Woman biker travel by motorbike in fall. Motorcyclist enjoys autumn landscape in mountains having rest by forest. Traveler sitting on motorcycle wearing helmet, jacket
Meander the Town

Eureka Springs has historically received the honored name of “The Little Switzerland of the Ozarks/America” and a lesser-known name of “The Stairstep Town.” However, you only need to visit this charming little town; you’ll understand why Eureka Springs is famous. Eureka Springs’s mountainous terrain, combined with the winding, unrelenting up-and-down pathways of its streets and walkways, proves its point. The historic streets wind around the town, and no two streets intersect at 90 degrees. In addition, there are no traffic lights anywhere in town. These nicknames are easily understood when you consider that the buildings of the Historic District are built on twenty steep hills, contributing to the names “The Town That Climbs The Mountain”, “Little Switzerland”, and “The Stairstep Town”.

Eureka Springs’ historic downtown has an artsy aura that lends itself to its unique surroundings, making it an unique shopping delight unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. This whimsical little community provides a safe and all-inclusive atmosphere, where you find a perfect place to “window shop”, at your leisure.  Eureka Springs is the ideal place to explore, and go where your curiosity guides you. Relax, slow down the clock, and try a myriad of delicious homecooked food. Don’t forget there is plenty for activities for kids of all ages, downtown and in the greater Eureka Springs area.

Eureka Springs, Arkansas is tucked into the Ozark Mountains of Northwest Arkansas and is rich with history and culture. Interestingly, the entire town boasts the honor of appearing on the National Register of Historic Places. The community’s Victorian-style buildings, cottages, and manors are a bygone era among mountainous terrain and winding streets. See Eureka Springs and experience all this community has to offer.

EUREKA SPRINGS< AR - September 12, 2022 The Basin Park Hotel and Flatiron Flats buildings are iconic architecture to the historic downtown.
Natural Flowing Fresh Springs

Eureka Springs gained fame in the 1800s for its fresh springs, believed to possess healing properties that could alleviate aches, pains, and even restore sight. Each spring received its named based on its location in the community. The Basin Spring, for example, became a sacred site where only peaceful gatherings were permitted, and all Indian bands held this tradition in high regard.

During the 1800s, the importance of the Healing Water spawned industries such as the Water Company, medications, and specialties such as Eye Water and medical clinics. Eureka Springs remained an important commercial center until the fire of 1883 destroyed much of the business district. Eventually, stable structures started to appear, and new brick and stone buildings began to pop up where the old wooden structure once stood.

Crescent Hotel

The Crescent Hotel opened in 1886, earning its reputation as America’s most luxurious resort hotel. Offering large, majestic rooms, exquisite furnishings, and outdoor amenities, the Hotel wanted for nothing. The Hotel was unmatched at the time and attracted the well-to-do of the nation. 

Large crescent hotel front many levels showing with front entrance
Eureka Springs, Arkansas, U.S.A – June 23, 2022 – The front exterior of the historic Crescent Hotel that was built in 1886

The Crescent changed hands several times over the century. In 1902, the Hotel became a prestigious women’s college, and it closed in 1934. The Crescent, again resurrected in 1937, when Norman Baker reopened the Hotel under the name Baker Cancer Clinic, proclaiming he had the cure for cancer. The clinic closed in 1940 due to fraudulent medical practices. The Hotel suffered a tragic fire in 1967, and required major renovations. However the the “Grand Lady of The Ozarks” would rise again to its original magnificence and continues to cater to travelers today.

Basin Park Hotel

Another historical building significant to Eureka Springs’ “golden days”, The Basin Park Hotel, held its grand opening on July 1, 1905. This interesting seven-story Hotel represented an unusual form of architecture. Built against a mountainside, each of the seven floors sits on the ground floor on the backside of the Hotel. The Basin Park Hotel is still in operation today.

Eureka Springs and North Arkansas Railway

The Eureka Improvement Company recognized the need for a railroad line into Eureka Springs. Thus began the promotion and planning for the Eureka Springs Railroad. Upon completing the railway in 1882, the community saw great prosperity as it moved in. The community profited in both health trade and commercial industry. The original railway chartered at the site in 1882 and was the original Eureka Springs Railway. This railway extended from Seligman, Missouri, to Eureka Springs. However, from 1899 until it closed in 1961, the railway changed its commercial name several times.

Following the closure of the Eureka Springs & North Arkansas Railway in 1961, the preservation of the line began in 1978. The preservation led to establishing a for-profit passenger tourist railway by the late Robert Dortch, Jr. and his wife, Mary Jane, in 1981 in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.

While in Eureka Springs, take some time to experience riding a beautifully preserved railway. Sit back and truly step back in time. You can choose from a one-hour narrated excursion with snacks available for purchase or take advantage of one of the meal excursions. The luncheon train runs for 1.5 hours, and the dinner train runs for 2 hours. Sit back, enjoy the 4 miles of beautiful Ozark scenery, and savor a gourmet meal. See Eureka Springs and North Arkansas Railway for schedules and prices.

Thorncrown Chapel

In 1979, a man named Jim Reed had a dream of building a majestic glass chapel in the woods to provide a place of peace and reflection for tourists and locals. Almost 30 years later, his dream became a reality with the creation of Thorncrown Chapel, now known as “one of the finest religious spaces of modern times”.

Although Jim Reed passed away before he fully appreciated the fruits of his glass chapel in the woods, the Thorncrown Chapel has received countless awards. This architectural marvel stands 48 feet tall, has over 6,000 square feet of glass, and has 425 windows. The ridged skylight allows the surrounding woodland to filter light in. As you sit in the chapel, you can’t help but feel the awe of nature all around you and the enormity of this extraordinary glass beauty. 

The ceiling of Thorn Crown Chapel located in Eureka Springs Arkansas.
The ceiling of Thorn Crown Chapel located in Eureka Springs Arkansas.
thorncrown chapel made of glass and wood standing among the trees in green with sunshine breaking through
Caroll County, Arkansas, U.S.A – June 23, 2022 – The unique exterior architecture of the Thorncrown Chapel surrounded by green forest

Why is Eureka Springs famous? Numerous attractions put Eureka Springs on the map. If you take the time to see what makes Eureka Springs unique, you will find it is time to visit this greatest hidden secret. 

Check out historical cabin lodging just 5 minutes from downtown Tall Pines Inn.