Harrison Arkansas is located in the north-central part of the state, a few miles south of the Missouri border.
It is the county seat of Boone County, with just under 14,000 residents at the last census.
With a wide variety of natural and historical sites nearby, finding activities during your trip will not be a problem. If you’re a country music lover, a drive to nearby Branson, Missouri would be a smart way to spend the day.
Here are 14 of the best things to see and do in and around Harrison.
1. Boone County Heritage Museum
For those new to the area and interested in learning about the area’s past, the Boone County Heritage Museum may be a good place to start.
Admission is very reasonable and the museum is filled with artifacts, exhibits and objects of interest from bygone eras.
Much of what you’ll see includes first-hand accounts of the lives of the strong and determined people who settled the area nearly a century ago.
The museum is located on Cherry Street in Harrison; if you have time, consider taking an hour or more to see all the sights.
2. Buffalo National River Park
Arkansas’ Buffalo River National Park is one of the top destinations for fishermen, hikers, campers and all kinds of outdoor enthusiasts in the area.
It is managed by the National Park Service and includes thousands of acres of well-preserved pristine mountains, forests, and rivers.
When you consider that the park has more than 100 miles of trails, you understand how vast it is.
With so much to see and do, and so much more, it’s best to check their website before traveling to get a rough idea of which sections you’ll be visiting and what you’ll be doing.
3. Mysterious Cave
If you want to escape the outdoors and get a glimpse of Arkansas’ geological history, Mystery Caves, located on Harrison’s Cavern Drive, is a great destination.
Guided tours are the best option; they are affordable and your guide will provide you with great tidbits of local lore, legend and history, as well as your geology crash course.
The caves maintain lovely, comfortable temperatures no matter the weather outside, so it’s nice to see them on the dog days of summer.
During peak times, especially during the summer holidays, tours can fill up quickly, so plan accordingly.
4. Lyric Theatre
Harrison’s Lyric Theatre is a gem of history and entertainment, and it’s worth a precious hour or two of your vacation.
The theater is located on West Rush Avenue near downtown Harrison; even though they don’t have a lot of shows, what they do is a real crowd-pleaser.
Previous guests commented on the professionalism of the show and how the modest size of the theatre added a quaint and intimate atmosphere that might be lost in larger venues.
Most of the performers are local high school and college students. Besides getting some family-friendly entertainment, traveling here is a great way to support the local economy.
5. Collier Homestead by Tyler Bend
The Collier Homestead at Tyler Bend is a short walk along an easy trail leading from the parking area.
The cottage is a well-preserved example of the type of house that settlers built and lived in nearly a century ago. It’s easy to feel the lives of brave, rugged people who carve out lives for themselves in the face of nature, hostile Native Americans, and wildlife.
The homestead is close to the Buffalo River; nearby elevated points offer some of the most scenic, unobstructed views you can find, so consider checking it out while you’re near.
6. Lovejoy Collectibles
Antique stores, flea markets, and collectibles stores are great places to visit while exploring the new area.
You’ll often find regional-specific bits and pieces that you won’t find anywhere else. They make great gifts, or if you want to keep them for yourself, they will bring back happy memories of your trip.
Lovejoy Collectibles sells a variety of vintage items; if you don’t mind combing through a lot, you might find a well-known gem or two.
They have helpful staff, clean restrooms, and items from many different vendors, so grab a coffee, put on comfy shoes, and go check it out.
7. Rust, Dust and Wanderlust
Part flea market, part antique store, and part antique store, Rust, Dust and Wanderlust are the perpetually focused local retail stores for those willing to take the time to find truly unique items they won’t find in the nation’s largest shopping malls.
They’re located on North Street and carry merchandise from all over the country – and even some overseas.
When you consider how an item from such a distant place ended up in Harrison Arkansas, it adds a level of depth and history you won’t find anywhere else.
8. Rebound mania
If the kids you’re traveling with can tolerate trips to cabins and antique stores without fuss, consider giving them a few hours of relaxation at Harrison’s Bounce Mania.
Located just outside of town on Highway 7, they have a safe and exciting area for children of all ages.
Admission is inexpensive, and it’s one of the indoor climate-controlled events, perfect for when the weather isn’t good outside.
These facilities are also open for birthday parties, but keep in mind that all jumpers need to have their own pair of socks.
9. Ozark Moonlight Run
Back in the days of Prohibition, the remote hills and shouts of Arkansas were home to crook bootleggers who produced a clear liquor called White Lightning that was sold on the black market like wildfire.
Along the Ozarks Moonshine Road, in addition to the natural beauty you’ll see, you’ll get a unique insight into the region’s culture.
You’ll need a good map and a set of wheels, but unlike a moonshine who is driving down the road at breakneck speeds in the middle of the night, this scenic tour is best done during the day at normal highway speeds.
10. Arkansas Grand Canyon
If, like me, you didn’t know that Arkansas had its own Grand Canyon, taking the picturesque Scenic Byway 7 to Grand Canyon would be a smart way to spend a few mornings or afternoons.
While small compared to the grandeur of its more famous cousin in northern Arizona, the Grand Canyon of Arkansas will still impress you with its size from the many high points along the road.
It’s an amazing sight no matter the season, but it’s really special if you’re lucky enough to be there when the fall foliage turns into vibrant fall colors.
11. Lake Fayetteville
With nearly six miles of shoreline, Fayetteville Lake is another of the area’s most popular outdoor attractions.
Much of the lake’s perimeter includes paved trails open to walkers, cyclists, and runners; there’s even a tackle shop, playground, and bike rentals if you want to make the most of your time on and around the water.
Keep in mind that you will need a fishing license whether you are an Arkansas resident or an out-of-state resident, so plan ahead and get your license before you go if you plan to get your line wet.
Check out their website for a full list of services and hours of operation.
12. Ozark Botanical Gardens
The Ozarks Botanical Gardens, located on Northern Cross Road next to Fayetteville Lake, are the only botanical gardens in the area and well worth a visit.
The gardens are actually 12 separate gardens, each with their own theme – a perennial favorite is the Butterfly House.
The landscaped grounds are perfect for photo ops, and facilities can be rented for weddings, birthdays, and other special events that call for a special event.
They offer a wide variety of shows, shows, exhibitions and programs throughout the year, so check their website for their calendar of events.
13. Clinton House Museum
The Clinton House Museum was Bill and Hillary Clinton’s first home after their marriage.
With guests from all over the world visiting the museum, it’s hard to imagine the dynamic duo curating their political ambitions when you visit this modest home.
They married less than 20 years before Bill entered the Oval Office. The museum is filled with items such as replicas of Hillary Clinton’s wedding dress, as well as many exhibits and photographs that marked milestones in their political careers.
The museum is located on West Clinton Avenue in Fayetteville.
14. Fayetteville Metro
The Fayetteville Metro is so named because it is located on the first floor of a historic building that was once below the street.
The first Thursday is a favorite time for locals to visit, as this is when local artists showcase their work, and local bars and restaurants are packed with festival-goers anxiously awaiting the end of the next work week.
Many artworks are reasonably priced and unique. You’ll find work in a variety of mediums, and most artists are present. You will be able to ask them about their background and work inspiration.
There are also many galleries and studios nearby.
Where to Stay: Best Hotels in Harrison, Arkansas (AR)
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