The Best Arkansas Parks for Family Vacations

Published: June 2, 2014

When thinking about the best parks for families to visit, I considered the beauty of the park as well as things that a family might do while on a visit to that particular site.  

  1. Prairie Grove Battlefield Park




    For anyone interested in Civil War park, Prairie Grove Battlefield Park is a great one to visit.  It has buildings of the time period that you can tour.  It also has re-enactments.  That is the absolute best time to visit!

  2. Petit Jean State Park

    For a relaxing getaway, visit Petit Jea State Park near Morrilton in the Ouchita Mountains.  There is an automobile museum extablished by Winthrop Rockefeller that includes over 50 cars.  Rent paddle boats or hike the trails to see the waterfalls for a relaxing time, or search for the cave paintings!  Cabins are available as well.

  3. Bull Shoals State Park

    Excellent place to go camping!  The water is cool year round and the wildlife is abundant.  Go for a boat ride, camp and just enjoy the scenery.  

  4. Louisiana Purchase State Park

    Set in the middle of a swamp, you feel like you are going back in time as you walk the boardwalk into the park.  Thick cypress stands and the croaking of the frogs let you forget the outside world is still there.  Stay on the boardwalk though, as there are alligators in this area!

  5. Crater of Diamonds State Park

    Located just outside of Murfreesboro, this is a site for the family that loves to treasure hunt together.  Best times to go are after a rain, hopefully not long after the area has been plowed.  Several large diamonds have been found, so read up on how to spot a diamond in the rough!

  6. Hobbs State Park

    Located along the shores of Beaver Lake, Hobbs State Park is the largest park in Arkansas, with many trails, streams, and sites to see.  A great location, as it is also close to Eureka Springs, a very popular area.

  7. Mt. Nebo State Park

    A beautiful park with winding roads - don't try to pull a large RV or trailor here!  Winding trails that will take you all over the mountain to areas like Sunrise Point where the view is spectacular.  A popular wedding venue with covered pavilions, cabins, and more.

  8. Mount Magazine State Park

    Climb the trails on Arkanas's highest mountain, while staying in one of the most beautiful lodges of all the parks.  Mount Magazine is a  wonderful getaway spot.  Cove Lake provides a great venue for a family picnic and swimming excursion.  Also, don't miss the Butterfly Festival held each June!

  9. Lake Dardanelle State Park

    This park spans the reservoir on the Arkansas River in the heart of the River Valley.  Lots of campsites and wonderful fishing are available throughout the park.  A great place to bring the family for picnics, swimming, boating, and more!

  10. DeGray Lake Resort State Park

    For the family who does not want to rough it, DeGray Lake is the place for you!  If the crystal clear water isn't enough to entice you to this park, then maybe the good chance of sighting nesting bald eagles will!  

Bull Shoals would be my choice for the best park in Arkansas.  The cool water and excellent fishing draw in many visitors, but the beauty of its setting in the Ozark Mountains make it the ulitmate vacation spot.