Victorian Hotel with Therapeutic Pampering
In the mid-19th century, Eureka Springs was so named for its many local springs, which were believed at the time to cure blindness and injuries. As the city grew, charming Victorian architecture developed around the springs. Nowadays, a traveler is more likely to visit these buildings than the natural wellsprings. Grand Central Hotel and Spa is located in a restored 1880s building, one of several local hotels in town listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The hotel's lobby brims with period antiques, many imported from England or nabbed from a time traveler's basement. Vintage settees with carved wooden frames and tufted upholstery surround a grand piano, and interior windows look into the Grand Taverne, the hotel's onsite restaurant. At its open-air kitchen, you can see European-trained Chef Dave Gilderson craft French-inspired dishes such as prosciutto-sprinkled chicken or grilled salmon slathered with pistachio butter. You can use the included $10 restaurant voucher for appetizers or drinks or apply it toward entrees.
Upstairs, rooms continue the 19th-century theme with floral wallpaper, lace curtains, and old-fashioned prints of cherubs and picnickers. Modern amenities such as two-person jacuzzis and kitchenettes also furnish rooms.
For further pampering, head to the salon and spa for a waxing ($15–$30) or a manicure ($30).
Eureka Springs, Arkansas: Victorian Enclave in Ozark Mountains
The streets of Eureka Springs Historic District curve with the rolling hills of the Ozarks. With this infrastructure, there are some funky buildings; at some Victorian hotels, you can enter at ground level on two or even three separate stories.
North Main Street stretches downhill toward artists' colonies and galleries, many of which feature ceramics and jewelry. Eureka Springs hosts a number of regular cultural festivals, including gallery strolls and jazz weekends. To the northwest, you can see the seven-story Christ of the Ozarks statue, which stands out as a monumental white silhouette against surrounding peaks.
Travel deeper into the Ozark Mountains themselves at Onyx Cave, a part of the Mammoth Cave system that glitters with fantastical formations. The Thorncrown Chapel is an unusual house of worship; the tall, narrow structure tucked into the woods is made almost entirely of glass and wooden beams.
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