Tuesday, March 24, 2015

VeriTeri Travels ~ Eureka Springs, AR

Living in Springfield, MO for our whole adult lives, you'd think we would've had plenty of knowledge about all the interesting places in and around our own state of MO and Arkansas. But actually, we have missed some real gems of the Ozarks, and decided last weekend to go find one a make a visit.
Top on our list:  Eureka Springs, AR.

(all pictures taken with my sweet, new iPhone 6 plus, baby! … and totally unedited :)

Friday afternoon, we ate lunch at home and headed down Hwy 65, cut over to Berryville, and boom, we are there in about 1 1/2 hours. We found the Historic loop right away, and drove straight up the hill, wound around, and ended up in the parking lot of the beautiful 1886 Crescent Hotel and Spa.

We were able to get a room for about $199 which included the wonderful breakfast buffet for the next morning. Not too bad, but we had no idea how tiny our room would be. We loved the exposed brick wall, jacuzzi tub, and the door leading out to the second floor balcony, but the location right by the stairs would mean inevitable people noise, and my hubby is quite the light sleeper. This is where I want to express how awesome the front desk staff is at the 1886 Crescent Hotel. Greg very politely asked if there was anything they could do, & possibly switch us to another room. They were eager to oblige and actually upgraded us to a wonderful luxury room on the third floor, room 322. This room was wonderful!! The view was amazing, the king bed super comfy, and it even had a closet. (It's truly and old building!) So, THANK YOU for coming through for us on that, Crescent, and on a Friday night, even!

(Pictured above, our first room. Tiny, but very nice! Below, is room 322... Loved it!) 

The hotel lobby is filled with antiques, pictures, period furnishings, and a front desk like no other. My favorite - actual brass keys. Not a swipe card?! Yessss. 

The view from the back of the hotel is amazing and you can see over Eureka Springs for mile and miles. The catholic church bells just below the hotel were chiming, and I couldn't wait to get out and explore the area on foot.

Something we actually didn't realize, not being huge TV viewers, and definitely not avid ghost story lovers, but this hotel is apparently one of "the most haunted hotels" in the whole United States. Seriously. That's what they say! Nightly ghost tours are available, and it's quite popular. As in $21+ per person popular.  If this is your thing, you can get tickets at ReserveEureka.com or by calling 800.342.9766. So, even though we didn't take the tour ourselves, I thought about participating myself by tapping on the wall to freak them out a bit. Not telling you whether I did that or not...

Hungry for a really good steak, we headed out and found The Grand Taverne restaurant in the lobby of the Grand Central Hotel. Of course, we both ordered the exact same entree…a delicious filet, Oscar style. Mmmmm, so good. (We are also trying hard not to morph into looking like the same person, after being married 25 years :)
Another great place to eat is Devitos. The parmesan encrusted trout was amazing here. We also hear that if you want authentic Italian, you're gonna want to try Ermilio's. It's on our list for the next visit!

Eureka Springs is an eclectic, artsy, historic little town, set in the hills of Arkansas. You will see all kinds of people there, all kinds of boutique shops, all kinds of styles, all kinds of options for dining and lodging. You can opt to stay at a bed and breakfast, or go for the classic hotel, like we did. As we walked around town, I picked up lots of cards, and asked lots of questions for our future visits. We chatted with the manager of All Seasons Luxury Properties  and she offered lots of interesting places that I'd love to check out next time.

Well, you can't post a blog about Eureka Springs without talking about ART. We meandered through all kinds of different art galleries. I even bought a photography book (of course I did!) by the amazing Edward C Robison III, "Ozark Landscapes, An Augmented Reality Project" It's filled with absolutely breathtaking photos, coupled with the uber cool technology where you download an app to your phone, hold it up to the photo, and watch a time lapse or a 3D version of the image. Love it!

My favorite art shop/gallery was definitely Mitchell's Folly Antiques. Room after room filled with old maps, botanical prints, old furniture pieces, and all kinds of interesting finds! Filter through some dusty corners, but go prepared to search for treasure! 

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