Sunday, May 23, 2010

A day in Eureka


Eureka Springs lies just about 30 miles from home, nestled in the Ozarks. It flourished as a spa getaway back in the day and has a lovely Victorian feel. When people come to visit me, I always take them there for a day trip. I usually follow the following itinerary which takes advantage of all the stuff to and from Eureka. I’ve shown the approximate times for each activity to prove I really can fit it all in! We will usually leave right after breakfast if we want to do it all. Late spring, early summer is best—lots of daylight and the heat and humidity aren’t enough to kill you yet. Fall is gorgeous as well. Okay, we’re walking, we’re walking. . .

  1. Stop for Sonic drinks on the way out of town. (5-10 min)
  2. Drive through the Pea Ridge Military Park. Hopefully spot a few deer. "Ooo" and "Ahh" over the scenery. (30-40 min)
  3. Stop at Martin Greer’s Candies for a free sample. (10 min)
  4. Eureka! Make sure to hit Vintage Cargo on the way in—my favorite store in Eureka, run by two of the nicest men in the world. Seriously. (20-30 min)
  5. Continue to historic downtown Eureka. Walk around and window shop. (2-3 hours)
  6. Drive the 62 Highway loop. Stop at the Crescent Hotel to walk the gardens and sit on the porch to admire the views. (30 min)
  7. Hmmm…let’s talk about FOOD! I hate for my guests to go hungry. (Who are we kidding, I also hate for myself to go hungry.) Some of my favorite restaurants in the world are in Eureka.
    • The Oasis—a hole-in-the-wall known for its organic “Ark-Mex” fare, this place makes me wake up craving it. It is so good, so so good. They have a regular menu, but I usually get a daily special—some combination of their incredible enchiladas. Past enchilada delights have included couscous and curried eggplant (out of this world) and feta, tomato, spinach, and olive (ummy, ummy, ummy—am I the only one drooling?) They are only open until two so if we are early enough for brunch or are ready for lunch, I’ll stop here. I LOVE THIS PLACE.
    • Ermilio's—best Italian in Arkansas. This is the only place in Arkansas that prepares gnocchi with gorgonzola reminiscent to what I gorged on in Rome. They open at five and don’t accept reservations. Since the restaurant is soo tiny and everyone loves Ermilio’s, you are guaranteed a wait unless you show up at 4:15 ish and wait in the bar area for them to open. Don’t worry though—the wait is half the fun. You always, always, always meet the most interesting people there and you can hear everyone’s conversations, so just join in on them. Talk to your fellow stomach-growlers. And know that when you finally do get a table, you will be hungry and will fully honor and appreciate the food.
    • Bavarian Inn—what can I say? I love a good German meal, and this place serves good, hearty German food. Sauerkraut soup, schnitzel, goulash, dumplings, potato pancakes—oh, my, goodness. And you can wash it all down with a good German beer—oh, oh, my goodness.
  8. Christ of the Ozarks—Drive to the Passion Play grounds to see the big Jesus statue and admire the views. (20-30 min)
  9. Beaver Dam—Stop here on the way back home so people can see the lake and the dam. If there’s time, walk a bit on a trail near the dam. Gives you a chance to work off your supper. (30 min-1 hour)
  10. Busstop—Ice cream in Garfield! If pants have been rebuttoned from the lunch/dinner extravaganza, stop and split a big ice cream. Totally undoes what you might have walked off at Beaver Lake. (20-30 min)
  11. Back home for the night--rest your tired puppies.

Without guests, my sister, Nell, and I will usually head to Eureka at least once every other month for food and fun! Here are some pictures from our last excursion to whet your Eureka appetite.



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1 comment:

  1. That sounds like a really fun day trip. I'm sold!

    Especially the Busstop. Yum.