Day 1: Travel to Fort Smith, AR. Arrive at the Miss Laura’s Visitors Center. Plan for a fun time when you get a glimpse of this former bordello. A Costumed Miss Laura will greet the group and lead you on a tour.
Next, tour Fort Smith National Historic Site. Step back in time as you tour Judge Isaac C. Parker’s Courtroom (known as the hanging judge), visit the old jail known as ‘hell on the border’ and hear voices from the past. See a replica of the famed. gallows where 79 men met their fate at the end of a rope.
Check into your hotel for a three night stay. Seafood Dinner at the Lighthouse Inn located on the Arkansas River. Enjoy an evening Performance of ‘The Medicine Show on Hangin’ Day’ by the Miss Laura’s Players. This original comedy show spoofs the early life of Fort Smith during the time of Judge Issac Parker and Miss Laura.
Day 2: Start the day with a guided tour of Fort Smith and see all the historic sites and landmarks of the city.
The afternoon features High Tea at the Clayton House. Built in the 1850s, this is the restored home of William Henry Clayton, the Prosecuting Attorney for Judge Isaac C. Parker. The house contains many authentic Clayton family and period pieces. Next, ride on the Arkansas & Missouri Railroad, an authentic 19th century passenger car, for a beautiful excursion through the Ozark Mountains.
Tour the St. Scholastica Facilty built in 1924 and get an insight on life on a convent. See artwork by the Sisters dating back to the early 1900s. Dinner at Taliano’s Italian Restaurant, housed in the James Sparks home. Built in 1887, this Romanesque-Victorian has its original interiors including hand-carved fireplaces. See a Trial-Re-Enactment of Judge Parker’s Courtroom. Relive the trail of Cherokee Bill where 12 member of you group will sit in the jury seats and decide this fate.
Day 3: Visit the Janet Huckabee Nature Center. Opening in 2006, the center was built on 170 acres and focuses on the wide variety of animals and birds that call the area home.
Next, visit the Chaffee Barber Shop Museum and learn the history of Fort Chaffee, which was built to train World War II recruits. This restored barbEr shop is where many got their buzz cuts, including Elvis Presley in 1958. Lunch is included today at the Mount Magazine Lodge and you will also have time to enjoy the beautiful scenery and tour the Visitors Center.
Atop the mountain is the masterfully restored St. Mary’s Mountain Catholic Church built in 1879 which also has vast panoramic views. Next, discover the Swiss wine-making heritage of Wiederkehr Wine Cellars, the oldest and largest winery in mid-America. You will be able to sample the fine wines in the tasting room. Then, enjoy a fabulous dinner at the winery featuring excellent Swiss and other European specialties.
Day 4: Depart for Home.