Siloam Springs, AR


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Visitors to Siloam Springs, in Northwest Arkansas at the Oklahoma state line, will be struck by the residents’ openness and community spirit. Many of the people living here participate in volunteer activities and support the natural lifestyle that gives their town its distinct atmosphere. The city of just over 15,000 people is small, but it is growing quickly as the northeast section expands. The past 10 years have seen area residential and commercial growth, including construction of a retail shopping center. Siloam Springs visitors should be aware that the town lies in Benton County, which does not allow alcohol sales outside of clubs.

One of the best things to do in Siloam Springs is to get outside. Dogwood Springs Trail, a paved pathway, is one of a number of walking trails that the city maintains. The site hosts annual 5K running events that benefit charity. Tree-lined Dogwood Springs Trail runs from the baseball and softball complex northeast of Downtown to John Brown University at the other corner of town. While on the path, many take a break in Downtown Siloam Springs to find things to do or grab a bite to eat.

The historic downtown area is home to bookstores, restaurants and a crafting center. The Creative Corner on Broadway is a scrapbook and paper-craft store, where imagination is the only boundary on what you might make. Books on Broadway offers patrons a selection of both new and used books and hosts a weekly children's story time event. Cathy's Corner is a great little diner where locals enjoy lunch before returning to their shopping. For a restaurant at which you can enjoy a glass of wine or a pint of microbrewed ale, 28 Springs serves drinks along with its blended American Ozark and French bistro cuisine. 28 Springs also hosts bar tastings, dances and karaoke nights. Pour Jon's serves coffee roasted in-house and hosts live music.

Those wanting to learn more about the history of the city do well to visit Siloam Springs Museum, at Broadway and Maxwell Streets. Permanent and rotating exhibits line the walls, with displays that illuminate Native American culture, pioneer life and early frontier medicine. The museum is also the venue for popular heritage events such as an Inter-Tribal Pow Wow and seasonal festivities like its Christmas Bazaar. About 6 blocks away, Sager Creek Arts Center is housed in a vintage brick building with Greco-Roman–influenced columns. It is the site for theatrical productions and drama classes for children.

Families vacationing or passing through Siloam Springs might take a detour through Wild Wilderness Drive Through Safari, northeast in Gentry. Get close to an African lion, a gray wolf or a hippopotamus among the varied inhabitants of this 400-acre park. If that is not wild enough, truly adventurous types head over to Skydive Skyranch, south of John Brown University, to jump out of planes—with a parachute of course! The team at this certified school allows tandem skydives and provides classes for those who meet age and weight requirements.