Tourist Attractions- Places To Visit In Fort Smith, Arkansas
Fort Smith arkansas is a great place to visit if you’re interested in history. It has lots of fascinating sites that will make you feel like you’ve gone back in time, including the Fort Smith National Historic Site and the Old Fort Days Rodeo. Throughout its history, Fort Smith has been home to many famous people and historical events. You can learn about them in museums and through tours.
The Fort Smith Trolley Museum is a fun way to get an idea of how public transportation worked in years past. It also has some interesting exhibits that show you how to fix old-fashioned railcars and other antique machinery.
One of the most popular things to do in Fort Smith is go shopping at the local farmer’s market. You can find local produce, meats, honey, and other treats, as well as handmade arts and crafts.
You can also take your kids to the Downtown Splash Pad for a fun time in the sun. This free park has ten splash fountains that are a great way to cool off during the hot summer.
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Fort Smith Regional Art Museum #1
Located on the edge of downtown, RAM is a 16,000-square-foot state-of-the-art art museum. Its repurposing of a former Superior Federal Bank building into a museum exemplifies the practice of urban reuse and renewal.
The architects of RAM’s re-imagining, Polk Stanley Wilcox, have received the prestigious 2013 Preservation through Rehabilitation Award from the Historic Preservation Alliance and the American Society of Interior Designers Gold Award for Commercial: Adaptive Reuse. The project also included the preservation of the beautiful two-story Carrara marble support column and terrazzo floor in the lobby.
RAM offers exhibitions, educational programming, and dynamic events that celebrate local and regional artists and foster art appreciation in the community. It also supports and showcases the work of students from area schools through annual student art exhibitions.
This year, RAM is celebrating its 75th anniversary with a series of special exhibitions and events throughout the year. Currently, it is hosting two exhibits – “Joan Irish: Landscapes Near & Far” and “Fred Cousins: A Retrospective” – through mid-January.
Saint Scholastica Monastery #2
The Saint Scholastica Monastery has been a part of the Fort Smith community for more than ninety years. This historic building, completed in 1924, has served as a school and a monastic home for Benedictine Sisters in Arkansas.
The monastery has a long history of helping others in Arkansas and beyond. Its sisters have staffed sixty-two elementary schools, twelve music schools, and two orphanages throughout the state and surrounding areas.
It also sponsors a scholarship program for girls in Esquipulas, Guatemala. It supports Hispanic ministry in Fort Smith and helps unwed mothers, foster kids, and other people in need.
There is a lot to see and do at the monastery, but the main attraction is the six-story late Gothic revival monastery building on South Albert Pike. It is a historic structure that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The sisters in the monastery are passionate about preserving Arkansas’s past. They want to help people in need and continue to make an impact on the state’s future.
The Clayton House #3
Standing regally in the Belle Grove Historic District, the Clayton House is a living history book of Fort Smith’s elegant Victorian period. It also serves as a perfect setting for weddings and other gatherings with its stately parlors and expansive grounds.
The house was built in 1852 and added on in 1882 by the renowned prosecutor William Henry Harrison Clayton. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
During your visit, you will see the intricate original design of the formal parlor fresco; large spaces where Clayton’s family lived and worked; and priceless family belongings. The home features eight rooms with ornate coal-burning fireplaces, a semi-detached servant’s quarters and an elegant kitchen.
The house is also known for its paranormal activity, and there are reports of doors slamming and music playing in empty rooms. The NWA Ghost Connection team led by medium Lori Davies has recorded evidence to support the claims.
Fort Smith Museum of History #4
Fort Smith, Arkansas is a quaint city that boasts a blend of history and modern attractions. Its ties to the Old West and its proximity to the Arkansas River make it an ideal destination for anyone looking for an educational day trip.
Located on Rogers Avenue, the Fort Smith Museum of History is packed with exhibits and artifacts from the city’s past. From old photos to weapons and a fire engine, this place is sure to please history lovers of all ages.
The museum also hosts a number of events that will give you an insight into the city’s rich history. These include bike shows, concerts and other activities that will have you feeling like you’re in the middle of history.
Aside from the museum, there are a number of other historic buildings that you can visit in Fort Smith. One of these is the Clayton House, which is a beautiful example of Victorian architecture.
Parrot Island Waterpark #5
Parrot Island Waterpark is an ideal place to spend the day with the kids, or just relax in the sun and enjoy the water. This park is located in Ben Geren Regional Park and features a wave pool, four slides, a lazy river, an activity pool and a themed children’s area.
The park is open Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day Weekend and offers a variety of family-friendly activities to keep guests entertained. The park is also home to miniature golf, go-karts and playground equipment.
One of the park’s most exciting attractions is its new Ohana Highway tube slide, which stands at nearly 40 feet tall and sends riders high up the sides of the slide while being swung through three 360-degree turns. The slide is scheduled to open in July.
Parrot Island also offers a range of other fun water activities for adults, including a rockscape climbing wall and a floatable lagoon. In addition, the park has a dedicated play area for children called Tiny Turtle Island, which includes climbing toys and slides.
Miss Laura’s Visitor Center #6
Fort Smith, Arkansas, is home to several interesting attractions and is a perfect spot for a weekend getaway. The city is situated alongside the Oklahoma-Arkansas border and is a great place to visit for both outdoor enthusiasts and history buffs.
The Fort Smith Museum of History is a fantastic place to learn about the city’s history. Located in one of Fort Smith’s oldest commercial buildings, the 1906 Atkinson-Williams Warehouse, this museum is full of artefacts and interesting exhibits.
Miss Laura’s Visitor Center, a restored brothel in the red light district of Fort Smith, is also a fascinating place to visit. It is the only former bordello in Arkansas listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and it’s an important reminder of the town’s past.
It’s also an excellent choice for families as it features a public pool, playground, tennis court and more. Children can also enjoy the Creekmore Express Train, which runs around the park three times a day during the summer.
Fort Smith National Historic Site #7
The Fort Smith National Historic Site offers a glimpse into both the wild west frontier and the Civil War. This is a great place for history buffs and families.
The park features several important structures, including the first Fort Smith built in 1800 and the commissary building from 1838. It also has a museum and a walking trail that takes visitors along the Arkansas River and to Belle Point and Trail of Tears overlooks.
Another attraction here is the Massard Prairie Battlefield Park, which was one of the grazing areas used by Union troops during the Civil War. It has historical markers, memorial flags, monuments, and a walking trail that takes you through four preserved areas of the camp: Companies B and D, the parade ground, and the kitchen area.
If you’re looking for something a bit more active, the park has a splash pad that has ten different splash fountains. It’s a great way to cool off in the summer and is free to visit.
FAQs: Fort Smith, Arkansas
Is Fort Smith Arkansas worth visiting?
Whether you’re visiting for the first time or are a local looking for new things to do, here are some great places to go.
Embark on a tour of the historic Clayton House. This Italianate-style mansion has an interesting history and a beautiful interior.
What is Fort Smith Arkansas Best Known For?
The city is steeped in history and has been home to many residents who have made an impact on the region.
You can see the legacy of the city and its people at Fort Smith National Historic Site, where you can walk where soldiers drilled and stand where justice was served. You can also take a trip down the Trail of Tears and learn about the relocation of thousands of eastern native tribes.