Arkansas, also known as “The Natural State,” is a place to visit if to see some of America’s greatest natural treasures. The southeastern state has a diverse terrain including mountainous regions, dense forests and valleys along both the Mississippi River and the Arkansas Delta. Arkansas has many cultural and recreational opportunities, such as museums, theaters, restaurants, and athletic-oriented events that take place across the state.
The Natural Jewels of Arkansas
Arkansas has many rivers and lakes within its borders. The Buffalo River, America’s first national river, is a popular destination for camping, canoeing, and fishing. One can see the blooming natural setting along the Buffalo River that wanders through the Ozarks mountains or the Arkansas River Valley and the White River that crosses the Ozark-St. Francis National Forest for a glimpse of the state’s natural beauty.
Arkansas is rich with caves and wilderness areas. The Blanchard Springs Caverns is the second longest cave in the state. Crater of Diamonds State Park is the only active diamond mine in the United States where tourists can mine for jewels. Big Lake, Caney Creek, and Poteau Mountain are set aside for outdoor recreation, such as hunting, hiking, and primitive camping.
The forests that cover 56 percent of the land of Arkansas are also a reason for which every traveler should visit the Natural State. Another interesting site to see is The Dover Lights, an unexplained illumination, that occurs in a valley of the Ozarks Mountain region. The locals attribute the bizarre phenomenon to restless spirits of Spanish soldiers who died while searching for treasure. In the 70s, the myth of the “Beast of the Boggy Creek” gained national attention as the cousin to Big Foot. The Southern Sasquatch is rumored to weigh 300 pounds and be seven feet tall.
Not Such a Good Place to Live
Although Arkansas is a great place to visit, according to a research study conducted by CNBC, it may not be one of the best places to live. The research considered several factors, such as environment, crime rate, health care, and local attractions.
Arkansas is the seventh worst state to live in, obtaining only 86 points out of 325 as a Quality of Life score in 2015. Despite its air quality and natural beauties, the residents of Arkansas are some of the least healthy people in the nation.
Moreover, the southern state has a crime rate higher than the national average in the matters of violent crime and property crime. One of the most dangerous places in Arkansas is the state’s capital and largest city, Little Rock.
However, despite the weaknesses, Arkansas is a beautiful place to visit. The summer and fall seasons provide many festivals and events that center around food and arts-related parties. Examples include:
- Johnson County Peach Festival – in Clarksville, on July 21-23, 2016
- Johnny Cash Music Festival – in Jonesboro, in August 2016
- Hope Watermelon Festival – in Hope, on August 11-13, 2016
- ACANSA Arts Festival – in Little Rock, in September 2016;
- King Biscuit Blues Festival – in Helena–West Helena, in October 2016
- The Color Run – in Rogers, on October 29, 2016
By Bianca-Ramona Dumitru
Edited by Jeanette Smith
Mental_Floss: 15 Things You Might Not Know About Arkansas
CNBC: America’s 10 worst states to live in
Wilderness: List Wilderness Areas by Location
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First Inline Image Courtesy of Doug Wertman’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
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Third Inline Image Courtesy of Cliff‘s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License