Victorian Hotel with Onsite Spa
In the mid-19th century, Eureka Springs was so named for its many geothermal sites, 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 baths. 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 lobby brims with period antiques, many imported from England. 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. In the open kitchen, chef Dave Gilderson crafts French-inspired dishes such as prosciutto-sprinkled chicken and grilled salmon slathered with pistachio butter (this getaway includes a $10 restaurant voucher).
Upstairs, rooms continue the 19th-century theme with floral wallpaper, lace curtains, and old-fashioned prints of cherubs and picnickers. You’ll also find modern amenities such as hot tubs and kitchenettes.
Eureka Springs, Arkansas: Victorian Enclave in Ozark Mountains
The streets of the Eureka Springs Historic District curve with the rolling hills of the Ozarks. This topography supports some unusual architecture: a few buildings have ground-level entrances on two or even three separate stories.
North Main Street stretches downhill toward artists’ colonies and galleries, many of which feature ceramics and jewelry. In keeping with its artsy spirit, 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 figure against the surrounding peaks.
Travel deeper into the Ozark Mountains at Onyx Cave, a part of the Mammoth Cave system that glitters with fantastical formations. Tucked into the woods nearby, the Thorncrown Chapel is an unusual house of worship; the tall, narrow structure is made almost entirely of glass and wooden beams.