Hot Springs National Park, Petit Jean State Park, Crater of Diamonds State Park: explore the pristine landscapes and unique natural phenomena of the beautiful state of Arkansas.

Arkansas facts

Capital: Litte Rock
Area: 138,000 km²
Population: about 3 million
Location: South of the USA
Nickname: The Natural State
Hotspots: Hot Springs National Park, Petit Jean State Park
Time zone: UTC -6 (Central)

Arkansas: location & population

Arkansas is one of the southern states of the USA and has a total of six neighbors: Missouri to the North, Tennessee, and Mississippi to the East, Oklahoma to the West, Louisiana to the South, and Texas to the Southwest. The Natural State has no coastline, but the Mississippi River forms most of the Eastern state border.

With about three million inhabitants, Arkansas ranks 32nd among the 50 US states when it comes to population size. In terms of population density, it is also in the middle of the pack, ranking 34th with about 22 inhabitants per km². The largest population group living in Arkansas are whites, with a share of 73 %, followed by African Americans (16 %) and Hispanics (9 %)

The largest cities in Arkansas

The urban clusters of Arkansas are located in the center of the state in and around Pulaski County as well as in the Northwest in Benton County and Washington County. The largest cities in Arkansas are:

City Population
Little Rock 203,000
Fayetteville 94,000
Fort Smith 89,000
Springdale 84,000
Jonesboro 79,000

Nature and climate

In general, Arkansas can be divided into two landscapes: the lowlands in the Southeast and the highlands in the Northwest. The lowlands stretch along the Mississippi floodplain and across the adjoining hilly landscape in the Southeastern part of the state. The highlands include the Ozark Mountains and the Ouachita Mountains. Everywhere in Nature State Arkansas, you will find large nature parks and wilderness areas, along with a multitude of rivers, lakes, and reservoirs.

The climate in Arkansas is subtropical. Although the state is not located directly on the Gulf of Mexico, the weather is still strongly influenced by it. Summers in Arkansas are hot and humid, with daily highs above the 30 °C thresholds. Winters are mild to chilly, with the thermometer sometimes dropping to below 0 °C from December to January. As Arkansas lies within North America's Tornado Alley, extreme weather conditions such as (ice) storms, hail, and tornadoes may occur.

Best time to travel to Arkansas

Do you want to experience nature in all its glory? We recommend a journey to Arkansas in spring or autumn!

Arkansas in spring

Although the weather in April and May can still be a bit rainy at times, the temperatures are mild, and the country comes to life. Now, the wildflowers blossom, and the melting snow brings the rivers to a high water level. It's the perfect time for hiking, canoeing, and other outdoor activities! A unique spring event is the "Magnolia Blossom Festival," which is an art festival and a steak grilling competition at the same time.

Arkansas in autumn

Without a doubt, the most beautiful views of Arkansas can be enjoyed in autumn, when the trees shine in glorious colors. The summer heat has dissipated, but the skies are usually clear and bright blue. Autumn is also the time to mingle with the locals at various music festivals. Check out the "Ozark Folk Festival," the "Depot Days Music Festival," or the "Spanker Creek Farm Arts And Crafts Festival."

Traveling to Arkansas

Close to the capital Little Rock, you will find the largest airport in Arkansas, Clinton National Airport. Another important hub for air traffic in the Natural State is Northwest Arkansas National Airport near Fayetteville.

If you are traveling to Arkansas on an international flight, you will probably arrive at the airport in Little Rock. From Frankfurt am Main, you can choose between several airlines: KLM, British Airways, and American Airlines will take you to Little Rock and back for a ticket price of around € 500. Each connection includes one stopover in Charlotte, Dallas, or Atlanta.

You can also fly to Arkansas from London with American Airlines. This connection also includes a stop and costs around € 600. The cheapest flights from Tokyo in Japan can be found with United Airlines. With a stopover in Denver, you can fly to Little Rock for around € 1,200.

Flights to Arkansas

Travel authorization Arkansas

Don't forget: If you are not a US citizen or Green Card holder, you will need a visa or ESTA to enter Arkansas.

ESTA – visa-free to the USA

With an ESTA, you can stay 90 days visa-free in the USA. Apply online now!

Airport transfer in Arkansas

Little Rock Airport is located five kilometers southeast of the city center. Once you arrive, you have several options to get to your accommodation:

Public transport from Little Rock

Airport Line 12 of the Rock Region Metro connects Clinton National Airport with downtown Little Rock. A one-way public transport ticket costs $ 2.70, and you can also buy a ten-ride ticket for $ 25.

Shuttle from Little Rock Airport

If you are staying at a hotel, chances are they offer a free shuttle service. It's best to check with your hotel directly. The Little Rock Airport shuttle stop is located in front of exit D.

Taxi from Little Rock Airport

Taxis are waiting for you at exit H near baggage claim. You pay the base fare of $ 5.00 and $ 1.24 for each kilometer traveled.

State Parks and natural wonders in Arkansas

Majestic mountains, vast woodlands, enchanting lakes, hot springs: Arkansas lives up to its nickname, The Natural State. Here are our tips for all adventurers and nature lovers:

Hot Springs National Park

Hot springs, wooded hiking trails, rushing streams, and a magnificent view of the peaks of the Ouachita Mountains – and all of it in the middle of the city! Hot Springs National Park stretches along the Northern end of the city of Hot Springs and impresses with its unique blend of nature and historical heritage. Take a photo tour along the green hillsides and visit the preserved buildings of Bathhouse Row. Tip: The Fordyce Bathhouse Museum has a visitor center, where you can talk to a ranger and learn about the history of this special place.

Petit Jean State Park

Rugged rock faces, extensive cave formations, thundering waterfalls, and unique viewpoints: Petit Jean State Park, West of the town of Conway, is one of the most scenic places in Arkansas. Explore the miles of pristine wilderness on the hiking trails until you reach the summit of Petit Jean Mountain. After taking in the views of Arkansas' first state park, relax on Lake Bailey while taking a boat ride or fishing trip.

Buffalo National River

What could be better than admiring the wilderness on the riverbank from a canoe? When you paddle down the crystal clear Buffalo National River in Arkansas, you'll be amazed! To your right and left rise the peaks of the Ozark Mountains and the Salem Plateau, and with a little luck, you'll spot deer, elk, bobcats, and many other wild animals on your boat trip.

Top 10 sightseeing highlights in Arkansas

It's probably no surprise that most of Arkansas' attractions can be found in nature. Did you know about these ten extraordinary places?

  • Hot Springs National Park
  • Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
  • Buffalo National River
  • Petit Jean State Park
  • William J. Clinton Presidential Center & Park
  • Garvan Woodland Gardens
  • Crater of Diamonds State Park
  • Fossil Flats Trailhead
  • Magic Springs
  • Thorncrown Chapel

City highlights in Arkansas

Amidst the beautiful landscapes of the Natural State, the cities of Little Rock and Fayetteville await you with many cultural and culinary highlights.

City Highlights Little Rock

Little Rock, the capital of Arkansas, is also its cultural center, with many interesting museums and historical sites waiting for you. Visit the arts center, the Repertory Theatre, the Arboretum, the Wildwood Parks of Arts and mingle with locals at lunchtime at the River Market, where you can sample street food from Arkansas and around the world.

These city highlights await you in Little Rock:

  • William J. Clinton Presidential Center & Park
  • Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site Visitor Center
  • Little Rock Zoo
  • Museum of Discovery
  • Arkansas Arts Center

Accomodation in Little Rock

City Highlights Fayetteville

Fayetteville is also known as the "Athens of the Ozarks" because of its first-class educational institutions and innovative ideas. As a typical college town, Fayetteville offers a pleasant lifestyle and is characterized by many restaurants, bars, clubs, cafés, and parks. Tip: If you're a bookworm, you'll be in the right place at the famous Dickson Street Bookstore, which offers more than 100,000 hard-to-find books.

Get inspired by these city highlights in Fayetteville:

  • Botanical Garden of the Ozarks
  • Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park
  • Lake Fayetteville Park
  • Arkansas Air and Military Museum
  • Clinton House Museum

Accomodation in Fayetteville

Roadtrip in Arkansas

Our road trip through Arkansas takes us to some fascinating places. For example, Arkansas is the only US state with a diamond field. What is now Crater of Diamonds State Park is located in the Southwest of the Natural State near Murfreesboro. More than 33,100 diamonds have been discovered in the field since 1972. So if you're in the mood for a different kind of leisure activity during your Arkansas trip, you can book an appointment for "diamond mining" via the park administration's website. Everything you find is yours to keep!

You'll also make exciting discoveries at Blanchard Springs Caverns in Northern Arkansas. The caves in the Ozark-St. Francis National Forest were first explored in the 1950s and contain spectacular formations of stalagmites and stalactites. Take a guided tour to venture into the underworld of Arkansas.

Are you more interested in the cultural highlights? Then definitely pay a visit to the William Jefferson Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock. Opened in 2004, the building is a library, museum, and event venue. Learn all about the life and work of the 42nd President Bill Clinton and admire the authentic replica of the Oval Office, the presidential limousine from the 1990s, and much more.

Instagram hotspots in Arkansas

Do you want to share your adventures in beautiful Arkansas with your friends and followers? Your photos from our five Instagram hotspots are sure to leave a strong impression.

  • Whitaker Point
  • Aussichtspunkt on Mount Magazine
  • Bowers Hollow Falls
  • Lake Ouachita
  • Buffalo River near Ponca

Food and drinks in Arkansas

Whether you prefer savory or sweet, Arkansas' Southern dishes will delight your senses. Be sure to try these signature dishes:

  • Chocolate Gravy (Chocolate sauce made from cocoa powder, sugar, butter, and flour; usually served with biscuits)
  • Possum Pie (a cooled tart made of cream cheese, a crust of flour and pecans, whipped cream, and a layer of chocolate pudding)
  • Arkansas Delta Tamales (deep-fried or chili-soaked tamales made from maize flour with spiced beef, pork, or turkey)
  • Cheese Dip
  • Fried Pickles
  • Fried Catfish

Arkansas fun facts

Do you want to marvel a little more about Arkansas? You may not have heard these interesting facts about the Natural State:

  • The name Arkansas comes from the Sioux word acansa, meaning something like "downstream."
  • As Arkansas joined the United States of America as the 25th state, there are 25 stars on its flag.
  • US President Bill Clinton was born in 1946 in the town of Hope and grew up in Hot Springs. He was Governor of Arkansas from 1983 to 1992.
  • Country singer Johnny Cash was born in 1932 in Kingsland in Southern Arkansas.
  • Writer and civil rights activist Maya Angelou spent part of her childhood with her grandmother in Stamps, Arkansas.
  • The largest diamond ever found in America came from the diamond field of the Crater of Diamonds State Park. It weighed over 40 carats and was named "Uncle Sam."

Immigrate to Arkansas

Have you been so enchanted by the landscapes in Arkansas that you want to stay forever? The following tips will help you to get one step closer to your expat dream.

Working in Arkansas

Traditionally, Arkansas has been a state dominated by agriculture and forestry. To this day, it is a major producer of rice, cotton, soybeans, softwood lumber, chicken, turkey, and fish. There are also many jobs in the industrial sector, especially in the production of electrical appliances, metal products, machinery, paper products, and car parts. Another important sector is tourism. The Natural State is home to six Fortune 500 companies: Walmart, Tyson Foods, J.B. Hunt, Dillard's, Murphy USA, and Windstream.

Living in Arkansas

Life in Arkansas is pleasant – not only because you're so close to nature but also because you can live on a low budget. According to the Cost of Living Index, expenses here are a whopping 20 % below the US average! Especially in the rural areas, you can save a lot on housing and transport costs. If you're searching for the perfect city to settle in, we recommend Bentonville, Cammack Village, Centerton, Johnson, and Fayetteville.

To Arkansas with a Green Card

Are you happy in the midst of Arkansas' nature? In this case, you need a Green Card to be allowed to live and work in the USA indefinitely. The US government's Green Card Lottery gives away a total of 55,000 of the popular immigrant visas every year. Sign up and take your chance!

Green Card Lottery

Win one of 55,000 Green Cards in the official Green Card Lottery of the US authorities!