Things to Do in Fort Smith Arkansas – Fort Smith is Arkansas’ second-largest city, after Little Rock, with about 90,000 citizens. The city, which sits on the banks of the Arkansas River, has a long history extending back to the frontier era when it was home to a variety of Native American tribes.
The state of Arkansas, known for its natural beauty, was formerly a French province known as New France and was part of what would eventually become the state of Louisiana. For amateur historians interested in learning more about the Civil War, the city is fascinating for that.
From the Italianate-style Clayton House to the antique streetcars at the Fort Smith Trolley Museum, Fort Smith, Arkansas is rich in tradition, history, and culture.
You can spend your days exploring the Fort Smith Regional Art Museum’s modern exhibits or the Janet Huckabee Arkansas River Valley Nature Center’s diverse natural landscapes.
Here are the 15 Most Amazing Things to Do in Fort Smith, Arkansas
1. River Valley Artisan Market
Starting your Fort Smith excursion with a visit to the River Valley Artisan Market, which is free and open to the public, is a great way to meet some locals, see some fantastic regionally created products, and have a pleasant time.
There are paintings, pottery, and jewelry among the arts and crafts on offer, as well as healthy and bodybuilding goods and prepared cuisine.
It’s a tremendous way to support the community because nearly everything is created locally by city people. The market is open on the first, third, and last Saturdays of every month, though hours vary counting on the season, so check before going.
2. Fort Smith National Cemetery
If you’re a history buff or just want to pay your respects to those buried here, the Fort Smith National Cemetery, located near the intersection of Garland Avenue and South 6th Street, is worth a visit. The grounds are well-kept, and fresh wreaths and flowers are frequently placed on the graves, making it an especially poignant location.
The cemetery is open to the public and is full of historic headstones, many of which date back to the Civil War era. Many of the unidentified headstones are most likely those of soldiers who died in the brutal struggle between nations.
3. Massard Prairie Battlefield Park
The Massard Prairie Battlefield Park provides visitors with a fascinating glimpse into the region’s Civil War history. It’s manned by enthusiastic and knowledgeable docents, and it might just spark your curiosity enough for you to stop by the gift shop and pick up a book or two.
The battlefield itself is a historic landmark and the ultimate resting place for many of the soldiers who fought here, despite its location amid a sea of advancing neighborhoods.
There is bottom parking, but counting on wherever you are staying, you may be able to walk to the positioning.
4. Fort Smith Regional Art Museum
If you want to see a wide variety of art that are professionally displayed, then the Fort Smith Regional Art Museum is a great site to visit. The museum’s mission is to promote community appreciation and education. They accomplish this through providing a spread of activities, cultural events, and the first assortment of art.
The museum which was founded in the 1950s has been showcasing the work of regional and local artists ever since. If you’re an art fan passing through town, this is a must-see. Check their website to see what other events they have planned for you while you’re in town.
5. Fort Smith Brewing Company
The Fort Smith Brewing Company, according to several locals, is the only one of its sort in the area. They have a welcoming taproom with a wide selection of beers, many of which are seasonal, so regardless of when you visit, you’ll find something to suit your palate.
If you’re a homebrewer, they have everything you’ll need to make your own collection. If you’d rather drink your beer in public with nice company, you’ll discover a relaxing and pleasant atmosphere with delectable food.
Check before you go because the Fort Smith Brewing Company isn’t open every day.
6. Chaffee Barbershop Museum
The Chaffee Barbershop Museum is a must-see sight when you around this location and it is dedicated to the brave men and women who have died cutting the hair of Fort Smith citizens throughout the years.
Okay, so that opening was a little dramatic, but the Chaffee Barbershop Museum is a fun and eccentric Fort Smith institution that demands at least a brief look.
It’s famed for being where Elvis Presley got his hair trimmed, and it also has a significant military background. If you’re lucky to go when the museum is open, you may even get to meet the institution’s enthusiastic curator.
7. Fort Smith Farmer’s Market
Farmer’s markets are, undoubtedly, the ideal venues to meet intriguing and enthusiastic residents, learn about the area’s geography, and view a wide variety of unique and locally manufactured products that you won’t find anywhere else.
The Fort Smith Farmer’s Market is well-known for its locally grown food, but it also sells honey, jams, sweets, and biscuits.
Of course, there’s plenty of steaming coffee and local arts and crafts, such as paintings, jewelry, and clothing. As more sellers join the ranks, the market is rapidly expanding; it’s a fantastic opportunity to support local businesses.
8. Elevate Trampoline Park
Kids adore trampolines and Elevate Trampoline Park is the best location to take them if they require some fitness and excitement. It features trampolines for people of all ages, and it’s a great spot to have birthday parties.
Though it seems to be all fun, jumping on trampolines is comparable to obtaining cardiovascular exercise, therefore you’ll be burning calories in addition to having a pleasant time.
Before you go, check their website for hours of operation and cost.
9. Saint Scholastica Monastery
The Franciscan nuns who oversee the Saint Scholastica Monastery may have the lovely structures open for visitors if you go at the correct time, but this isn’t always the case because it’s an active cloister. Nonetheless, the tranquil surroundings are well worth a visit, and the building’s design is equally impressive.
The neighborhood is well-kept and filled with birds, squirrels, and other local wildlife that are entertaining to children. Inside, there’s a pond with a grotto, statues, and a gift store, but you’ll only be able to see everything if you’re there when it’s open.
10. Fort Smith Trolley Museum
The Fort Smith Trolley Museum, located on South 4th Street downtown, is nearby the convention center, making it a convenient spot to visit if you have a few spare hours.
Even if you go to the museum when it’s not open, you can still be able to go around and admire the ancient trolleys on display. They’re wonderful peeks into past ways of public transit.
Recent guests have mentioned that many friendly cats reside on-site and are cared for by workers who are particularly fond of children.
11. Downtown Splash Pad
Because Fort Smith has so many historical buildings, it may not be a big hit with kids, so if you want to reward them with a day in the sun, take them to the Downtown Splash Pad.
The park, which is free and located in the city’s West End, has ten splash fountains with a series of kid-friendly features.
It’s a terrific spot to cool off in the summer when Arkansas’ weather can be oppressively hot and humid. You’ll admire the brilliant LED lights that spotlight the swirling water if you arrive after the sun has set.
12. The Clayton House
The Clayton House on North 6th Street is one of the destinations you absolutely shouldn’t miss if you’re in town, whether you want to go on your own or join a guided tour.
Plan on spending about an hour to visit the historical exhibits and items on the show; the ticket is reasonable, so it’s a good opportunity to gain a historical perspective of the area without going broke.
The Victorian-style home, built in the 1880s, was the height of grandeur and elegance at the time. The little settlement was on the perimeter of principally unmapped Indian Territory at the time.
13. Fort Smith National Historic Site
Fort Smith, Arkansas, lay on the edge of the American frontier a century and a half ago, in a no-man’s-land between the civilized and uncivilized parts of the country. The Fort Smith National Historic Site, located on Parker Avenue, is dedicated to preserving the area’s rich history and traditions.
The cost of admission is modest. Think about watching the orientation video before showing yourself around. The site features a jail, gallows, and relics from an old courthouse where one of the area’s harshest judges once sat.
There’s also a nice strolling trail that leads down to the river.
14. The Park at West End
Downtown Fort Smith is quaint and pleasant, and it’s a lovely area to stroll about in the afternoon or early evening. The Park at West End, which includes a Ferris wheel from the 1935 World’s Fair in San Diego, is one of the area’s most popular attractions.
There are historical displays like trains, cars, and an ancient bus, in addition to amusement rides. Also, there is no admission fee, but each ride must be paid for separately, allowing it to be a fun and cost-effective day out.
The park is additionally known for its delectable cuisine.
15. Fort Smith Museum of History
The Fort Smith Museum of History, located on Rogers Avenue, has two floors of relics, antiques, and exhibitions from the city’s history.
An old piece of telephone exchange equipment from a time when telephones were rare luxuries, as well as vintage portraits, weaponry, and even an old fire engine, are on show.
One of the foremost well-liked displays in the museum is devoted to the local men and women who served their country throughout WWII.
It’s a low-cost approach to getting to know the city. Even the little ones will find a few things to keep them engaged and occupied.
Fort Smith, Arkansas’s second-largest city, is rich in history, having served as a military garrison during the frontier period.
The said city, which is known for its natural beauty, is a wonderful site to visit, especially for people interested in tradition, culture, and history. With its mix of ancient and new buildings, vibes, and other things that will help you learn more about the area, you will find Fort Smith attractive.
You’ll never run out of things to do in this town because there are so many things to do at any time of day.
Now that you know everything there is to do and see in Fort Smith, make sure you plan ahead and take advantage of every opportunity you have.
Fort Smith is a city rich in historical events and locations. As you explore the 15 most amazing things to do in Fort Smith, Arkansas that we have highlighted above, start planning your trip to enjoy all the incredible things this place has to offers.
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