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Mount Magazine State Park, Bild: Eric Urquhart / shutterstock

Arkansas: Diamond-hunting and experiencing untouched nature

Arkansas in the center of the United States is one of the southern states of the United States. Arkansas is best known for its more than overwhelming nature, which is still unspoilt and authentic. This is why Arkansas is also known as The Natural State. So if you like hiking and love massive mountain ranges, or want to swim in cool lakes of incredible cleanliness and clarity, Arkansas is the place to be. Arkansas is also known for its musical heritage – the state is also called the cradle of the blues. Johnny Cash was one of Arkansas’ most famous residents for a long time. Bill Clinton also started his career as a politician from here.

Visiting the capital Little Rock

Little Rock, capital of Arkansas
Little Rock, Arkansas Capital, Image: Sean Pavone / shutterstock

Little Rock is undisputedly one of the most interesting cities in Arkansas and at the same time the capital of this state. A good 200,000 inhabitants live here. Little Rock is idyllically located on the south bank of the Arkansas River and is also surrounded by majestic mountain ranges, such as Pinnacle Mountain and the foothills of the Ouachita Mountains. There are some interesting buildings to see in Little Rock. Above all, an exact copy of the American Capitol in Washington D.C. is impressive. The version, which can be found in Little Rock, where it serves as the Arkansas state parliament building, is only a little smaller than the original. The William J. Clinton Presidential Center & Park pays tribute to the city’s famous son, Bill Clinton.

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Here you will find an extensive library and also a museum. In both departments, everything revolves around Bill Clinton and his time as president of the USA. But that’s not all there is to museums, Little Rock has a lot of them. The Museum of Discovery is a science museum that is especially popular with families with children. The Old State House Museum explores the history of Little Rock and Arkansas. Particular attention is paid to the time of the Civil Wars. More in-depth information on these topics is also available at the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History. In the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum, all water rats get their money’s worth, because here different types of ships can be viewed from the inside and outside.

Enjoy a bath in hot springs in Hot Springs National Park

Only about an hour’s drive from Little Rock is the entrance to Hot Springs National Park. Hot Springs National Park owes its name to the fact that there are no less than 47 hot springs on its grounds. In the town of Hot Springs, there are some modern bathhouses where you can frolic in the hot springs to your heart’s content. In addition, the Hot Springs National Park impresses with its enchanting nature, which can be easily accessed on foot via well-signposted hiking and walking trails.

Nothing but sporting challenges and untouched nature in the Ozark Mountains

If you want to go high in Arkansas, you can visit the Ozark Mountains plateau. The leisure activities there are almost endless. On hikes or mountain bike tours, the magnificent landscape of the Ozark Plateau can be completely absorbed. The region is sparsely populated, only here and there are a few isolated farmsteads to be seen. Otherwise, there is nothing here but mountains, forests, river landscapes and lakes. In late summer and autumn, many locals and tourists come here to dedicate themselves to mushroom picking. Fishing is very extensive all year round, for example in Norfolk Lake and the White River. There are also opportunities for guided rides. No matter how you get around, you will always encounter a whole lot of interesting plants along the way, such as the honey apple and wild wild strawberries. And if you like it exciting, or if you are traveling with the whole family, you can also cross deep valleys in the Ozark Mountains via ziplines and marvel at the breathtaking gorges and rock formations during the ziplining.

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Once-in-a-lifetime diamond digging at Crater of Diamonds State Park

Crater of Diamonds State Park, Arkansas
Digging for gold in Crater of Diamonds State Park, Image: Kimberly Boyles / shutterstock

For many, Crater of Diamonds State Park is a dream come true because it is possible to dig for diamonds here. Because in the almost 3.7 square kilometer Crater of Diamonds State Park, the eighth largest diamond mine in the whole world is located and awaits visitors there. The mine is open to the public and has an unbeatable advantage: Whatever stones you find there, whether worthless or a real gem – you can keep them all and take them home with you. There is still a volcanic vent in the Crater of Diamonds State Park, but it has not been active for 95 million years. However, this is the basis for the fact that diamonds and other precious and semi-precious stones are still found here. No less than around 600 pieces per year. For a small fee, visitors can get to work with excavation equipment that can be borrowed there and hope for their luck. If you are more interested in the geology of the Crater of Diamonds State Park, you will be provided with a small exhibition and information about it in the visitor center.