My Favorite Things About Arkansas

As a native Arkansan, I love it when folks from other places put down roots, thrive and even brag about all the good things they find here. Kyran Pittman, a transplant to Arkansas from Canada and a member of Arkansas Women Bloggers, shared her ten favorite things about our state and invited us to do the same.

Using Kyran’s suggestions, I’ve compiled my own list of favorites. As you can see, sometimes I’m hard pressed to limit myself to one thing or place. Maybe that’s because I’ve lived here so long.

  • Favorite stretch of road in Arkansas: I  love the drive on Kanis Road between Little Rock and Ferndale cutoff in the fall. But, of course, the Pig Trail is magnificent, too! I also enjoy exploring country lanes.
  • Favorite time of year in Arkansas: Spring with its fairyland of dogwood, azaleas, forsythia, and daffodils never ceases to charm me.  
  • Favorite place to eat fancy in Arkansas: We don’t get very fancy, but our favorite place for special occasions is Brave New Restaurant — always good fare and good service in a comfortable, quiet atmosphere.
  • Favorite place to eat casual in Arkansas: Right now, it’s Senor Tequila’s on Highway 10. That’s because I’ve just recently found my sensitive stomach can handle Tex-Mex again!

Favorite places to get away in Arkansas: Horseshoe Canyon Ranch, just outside of Jasper, is a beautiful place to get away, especially if you like horses, rock climbing (not me!), zip lines or just plain ole porch sittin’. (Full Disclosure: My nephew Barry Johnson and his family own and run it. They are delightful!)

Horseshoe Canyon Ranch

  • I also love Hemingway Pfeiffer Writing Retreats at Piggott (Thanks Mary) and Dairy Hollow in Eureka Springs (Thanks, Pat, for introducing me to that great writers’ retreat.) And I can’t leave out my friends, the Blairs. They have a wonderful cabin on Greer’s Ferry that they share. (Thank you, thank you!)
  • Favorite places to walk in Arkansas: Garvan Gardens and Crystal Bridges Museum in spring and fall. My street  is also a great place to walk any time of year.

Favorite things that grow in Arkansas:
Homegrown tomatoes, strawberries and
peaches, but I like honeysuckle, gardenias
and peonies, too!

  • Favorite places to swim in Arkansas: When I was young it was Greer’s Ferry Lake and that was mostly water skiing. Now it’s our neighbor’s pool next door. You can hang out there and watch the sun set behind Pinnacle Mountain. (Thank you, Steve and Cissy!)
  • Favorite colorful expression or place name in Arkansas: “Drecly” as in, “I’ll get to that directly.” However, as used in Arkansas, it means “when I get around to it.” Have you ever driven through Possum Grape?
  • Favorite fair or festival in Arkansas: We are at the point in our lives where we don’t like crowds. Over the years, we’ve taken kids to the state fair and attended Riverfest. If I were to be lured out to a festival today, it would probably be a music venue, featuring the likes of Nora Jones, Diana Krall, Adele, Michael Franks, Eric Clapton, Delbert McClinton,The Eagles and of course, our son, Erik’s band, Bombay Black.
  • Here are some more of my favorite things about our great state:

Christmas Day 2012
summer 2013

    I love that we have four seasons with none of them so long that you get worn out.

     
 
 
 
  • I love that we have such diverse topography — forests, mountains, farmland, along with a wonderful mix of rustic and sophisticated places to enjoy.
  • Last but not least, I love it that, for the most part, Arkansas people are friendly.

As another blogger mentioned, sometimes I get my feelings hurt when people who have never experienced life in our state make fun of us. But maybe it’s better to keep it a secret from rude folks!

What are your favorite things about our fair state? I’d love to hear them.

20 thoughts on “My Favorite Things About Arkansas

  1. Hey girl. Sounds like I need to take a road trip to Arkansas as I've never been there. Yikes! I'll have to think of my favorite things as they seem to have changed a bit in this chapter of my life. I love the idea of four seasons with none of them so long…

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  2. I love Arkansas. I left for college but I always come home whenever I get the opportunity! You described some of my favorite things too, Dorothy—the four seasons, driving the pig trail, friendly people. And I've eaten at Brave New Restaurant. Delicious!

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  3. I've always loved my home state, and we are among those who found our way back after an Air Force career that took us to seven states and a foreign country. We are settled in the Foothills of the Ozarks, a beautiful place where I write and blog. Would love to visit the Horseshoe Canyon Ranch that you mention. National Chuckwagon Race fans and participants are coming into Clinton this week and next for the exciting event. Lots of folks come to Arkansas to attend during the Labor Day weekend.

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  4. Somehow I missed this one last Tuesday! Beautiful post…everything you mentioned, I said to myself, Ah, yes….. I'm always looking for new spots to visit in our State, and never heard of Horseshoe Canyon Ranch. You can bet it's high on my list now!

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  5. Flamingo, I remember I learned this a LONG time ago in Arkansas State History class, but had to look it up again… I found one explanation that said it simply was a fight between two legislators about the pronunciation, but I found this which seems more logical…”The name Arkansas is taken from the Arkansas River, which is named for the Native Americans of the Arkansa tribe. The s was added as a plural, though it remains silent in the pronunciation formally adopted by the state’s legislature.”
    Thanks – it was a good question, and intrigued me enought to look it up!

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  6. I love your list! So many things I'll have to check out. That ranch sounds amazing!

    p.s. Brave New is one of our favorites, too. We had a candlelight dinner from there in our birthing suite after my third child was born, while our midwife rocked the baby. Come to think of it, we haven't had a lot of date nights since. 😉

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