Hear “Arkansas,” and you probably think of Bill Clinton. Maybe you think of Maya Angelou. Or the Delta Blues and musicians like Al Green, Glen Campbell, Johnny Cash, and The Band’s Levon Helm. Maybe you think of salt-of-the-earth cotton and soybean farmers toiling underneath the hot sun. Or perhaps you think of the Little Rock Nine integrating with a formerly all-white school. That’s the thing about a trip to Arkansas: you can’t define it in just one image, sentence, or event. It’s constantly evolving and surprising you. And the only way to begin understanding The Natural State is to see it yourself. Here are ten destinations that should be on your Arkansas bucket list.
In the northeastern corner of Arkansas, near the Mississippi River and the border with Tennessee, lies the city of Wilson, population 766 at last count. This is a cotton-growing country, but it doesn’t mean a visit will leave you with the cotton-pickin’ blues. One of the first things you’ll notice is that Wilson looks like it could date from Elizabethan times. That’s because the son of Robert E. Lee Wilson, the city’s founder, and his bride returned from their honeymoon in England in 1925 and decided that all buildings in what was then still a company town should be in the Tudor architectural style. Today, the town square is where it’s at, with interesting stores like White’s Mercantile to shop at before lunch at the Wilson Café and Tavern.