Spectacular natural scenery isn’t in short supply in Arkansas. It’s not called “The Natural State” for nothing, after all. Arkansas will no doubt hit the spot for adrenaline junkies who want to hike or bike to their hearts’ content, but it’s just as marvelous a destination for families looking for relaxed outdoor adventures—say, at a swimming hole or in a small state park—or for couples seeking a romantic getaway set against a mountainous backdrop. Regardless of your itinerary, bedding down in a cozy Arkansas cabin may just be the perfect complement to enjoying the bounty of natural beauty.

Hot Springs getaway cabins

Relaxation is the order of the day at Hot Springs, a city that’s tucked in the Ouachita Mountains and named for the nearly 50 thermal springs found on Hot Springs Mountain. You can soak in the warm waters at Bathhouse Row, a collection of 8 elegant bathhouses built between 1892 and 1923, or visit some of the springs themselves at Hot Springs National Park. You might be content to split your time between the thermal bathhouses and your comfy cabin rental, but there’s more to this destination than the titular springs. The Gangster Museum of America and the Mid-America Science Museum both house fascinating exhibits, while the 216-foot-tall Hot Springs Mountain Tower offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. At the 210-acre Garvan Woodland Gardens, beautifully landscaped paths and themed areas make for enjoyable walks, while the on-site Anthony Chapel is an architectural marvel with wooden frames and floor-to-ceiling glass walls. Families and adrenaline junkies can check out the roller coasters and thrill rides at Magic Springs Theme and Water Park.

Eureka Springs vacation rentals

Set in the Ozark Mountains, the town of Eureka Springs features a historic downtown district whose winding streets are lined with Victorian houses, long-running hotels and spas, and independent boutiques. There’s also a wide array of restaurants to satisfy any taste, whether you’re craving a hearty Cajun feast, authentic Mediterranean fare, or Asian cuisine. Often enjoying woodsy locations, cabins and vacation home rentals in this part of North Arkansas offer plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation, such as fishing and other water sports at Beaver Lake, Kings River, and White River. Visitors keen on learning the area’s history should stop by Eureka Springs Historical Museum. Animal lovers might want to check out Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge, a 459-acre sanctuary for around 100 abandoned or abused wild creatures, mostly big cats like tigers, lions, and leopards. About 6 miles out of town, Onyx Cave has been open to visitors since 1893. It’s the state’s oldest toured cave, and it features flowstone (or “cave onyx”) instead of actual onyx.

Cabins for rent in Fayetteville

Fayetteville is the cultural and entertainment hub of Northwest Arkansas, so you’ll have plenty of reasons to trade the peace and comfort of your vacation home for the bustle of Dickson Street, the city’s main drag. Situated near the University of Arkansas campus, Dickson Street is the place to go for dining, drinking, shopping, and entertainment; the lively strip includes the state’s oldest live music venue, George’s Majestic Lounge. You can also explore the historic districts of Wilson Park and Mount Nord, or browse the boutiques along College Avenue. If you’re looking for splendid views, there are plenty to be had at Mount Sequoyah and the parks hugging the shoreline of Lake Fayetteville. A butterfly house and 12 themed gardens await visitors at the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks. Meanwhile, Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park provides a dose of history—this popular attraction was the site of the last major Civil War battle in Northwest Arkansas, and an on-site museum showcases war artifacts. The Fayetteville Confederate Cemetery likewise features a Civil War monument, along with hilltop views over the city.