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Day 1- Travel day – Little Rock
This evening you arrive in Little Rock for two nights and dinner at a local steakhouse that was a favorite of the Clinton’s and one of Arkansas Best Restaurants – Doe’s Eat Place. (D)
Day 2 – Little Rock
Your guide will help us re-live the first days of Arkansas’ statehood at the oldest surviving Capitol building west of the Mississippi. Take a picturesque drive through the historic Quapaw Quarter and view the Villa Marre, featured in the successful sitcom “Designing Women.”
Next, visit the Clinton Presidential Library & Museum. The archival and museum holdings at the Clinton Presidential Library and Museum are the largest within the Presidential Library system. Included in these collections are approximately 76.8 million pages of paper documents, 1.85 million photographs and over 84,600 museum artifacts.
The afternoon will be free for shopping at the River Market District. Then this evening you enjoy a visit to the Marlsgate Plantation one of the most resplendent homes ever built in the Arkansas Delta, it is still in the hands of the original family. On arrival there is a historical tour of both the mansion and the gardens before dinner. The meal is a menu from the Antebellum Era that is as historically accurate as it deliciously enjoyable. Following the dinner there will be period music and historical dancers adding to the atmosphere. This is a special evening not normally available to the public. (B,D)
Day 3 – Ft Smith
Your arrival in Ft Smith, “Where the West was Fun” is just in time for Lunch. First attraction in the afternoon is Miss Laura’s Visitor Center. It was once a bordello, and is the first hotel of its kind to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Miss Laura herself will greet your group and provide a tour of the “hotel.”
Next is a historic district trolley tour that includes the Courtroom of Judge Isaac C Parker (known as the hanging judge). Here you’ll see the jail and the gallows where 79 men met their fate.
This evening following dinner at a great restaurant you enjoy a bit of theater. You can choose from either “The Medicine Show on Hanging Day” by Miss Laura’s Players. Or, a trial re-enactment in Judge Parkers Courtroom – where 12 of your group members will be impaneled to serve on the jury as Cherokee Bill is brought to trial. (B,D)
Day 4 – Fayetteville
This morning you leave Fort Smith by train and board the Arkansas & Missouri Railroad for a one way ride into the beautiful Ozark Mountains. The A & M offers a day of leisure travel on an elegant train through a quarter mile tunnel into the mountains and valleys of Northwest Arkansas, over trestles with views for miles and miles. This journey will take you all the way to the top of the scenic Boston Mountains and into the historic Arkansas River Basin.
At days end you are in Fayetteville, AR. Located in the stunning Ozark Mountains of NW Arkansas, it is steeped in history: the Trail of Tears and Butterfield Overland Trail both passed through. This afternoon you learn of this and visit the Clinton House, where Bill & Hillary lived while teaching at the University of Arkansas.
You will also relive the barnstorming days of early aviation at the Arkansas Air Museum whose collection of aircraft range from the 1920s through the 1940s. See a World War I fighter plane, next to the sleek “Mystery Ship,” which was winner of the 1929 National Air Race and star of two movies.
For dinner you enjoy a night on the town as we take you out to one of Fayetteville’s finest restaurants. (B,D)
Day 5 – Bentonville
First stop this morning is Walton’s 5 & Dime, in nearby Bentonville. This is the original store in Sam Walton’s Wal-Mart empire, circa 1945. While maintaining its authentic facade, its interior has been transformed from small town store to the Wal-Mart Visitor Center, with a blue vested greeter at the front door, Wal-Mart souvenirs and trade show like displays depicting the Wal-Mart history.
Next, you visit the Tyson Food Poultry Exhibit at the Shiloh Museum of Ozark History. Tyson began humbly enough during the Great Depression and rose to become the world’s largest food processer. You will also drive by the home of J.B. Hunt Trucking which grew from an initial fleet of 5 trucks in 1961 to one of the largest transportation companies in America. There must be something in the air here in NW Arkansas to make so many billionaires in such a rural place.
The afternoon has a scheduled visit to the brand-new Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. It is the creation of Alice Walton, the daughter of the late Sam Walton, who founded Wal-Mart Stores. Alice Walton has achieved her dream of building a top-tier museum that celebrates American art in the American heartland. Dinner is included tonight in the Museum’s restaurant. (B,D)
Day 6 – Eureka Springs
As one of the last truly Victorian-era towns, Eureka Springs remains a thriving example of Small Town America. The entire city is on the National Register of Historic Places. She will surprise and delight you with her colorful history lessons and vivid reminders of how things were as you partake of a narrated tour this morning; included in this tour is a nostalgic ride on the Eureka Springs and North Arkansas Railroad.
Next your group will enjoy The New Holy Land Tour, a unique opportunity to experience the people, culture, and history of the ancient Middle East. On this 2 1/2 hour interactive Biblical teaching tour, you will explore the ancient Middle-Eastern culture in which Jesus was raised and meet characters from the time of Moses to the time of Christ.
Late afternoon you visit the Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge where it’s feeding time. First the animals eat then you do. Their mission is to provide lifetime refuge for abandoned, abused, and neglected “Big Cats” with an emphasis on Tigers, Lions, Leopards, and Cougars. You will be able to see these majestic animals as they are fed, and then the refuge will cater a wonderful dinner for your group.
Ending the tour this evening you have reserved seats for the Ozark Mountain Hoe-Down a two hour Comedy and Music Show that is Fun! Fun for all ages. (B,D)
Day 7 – Departure
This morning your group departs for home.