Eureka Springs Travel Guide for LGBTQ+ Travelers

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Eureka Springs Travel Guide

Eureka Springs is this very special and unique village in the Midwest where people go on weekends to get away from their day-to-day lives to have fun! Actually, people go there all week long! It has been called the “Switzerland of America,” “Key West of the Midwest,” and “The stopping point between San Francisco and Ptown.”

It has also been called dozens of other names and they would all be perfect for this little village with a population of about 2,100 people. There are no LGBTQ+ bars and you will not see many pride flags. The thing is, they do not need that as most of the shops, bars, and restaurants are owned by queer folks.

It was the first city in Arkansas to officially endorse same-sex marriage and the first and only city in the state with a Domestic Partnership Registry. The antithesis of the redneck stereotype, their micro-Mecca has been a beyond-queer-friendly getaway for decades– long before being out was in. In Eureka Springs, one Pride weekend will not do. So in spring, summer, and fall, they celebrate a trifecta of Diversity Weekends that attracts thousands of LGBTQ+ visitors. A microcosm of San Francisco, they boast a disproportionately large Gay population, dozens of LGBTQ+-owned and friendly B&Bs, hotels, restaurants, bars, nightclubs, art galleries, shops, turn-of-the-century Victorian homes, and vintage trolleys plying steep and narrow village streets.

As we have been telling our readers for years, traveling is all about the people, and, trust us on this, you will meet all types of people in Eureka Springs and come away with a new outlook on life.

Where is Eureka Springs Located?

Map location of Eureka Springs

Where is Eureka Springs?

Photo courtesy of Google Maps

Eureka Springs is in the Central time zone (GMT-5) in the northern part of Arkansas. The town is only about an hour southwest of Branson, Missouri and northeast of Fayetteville, Arkansas by about an hour.

When is the Best Time to Go To Eureka Springs?

Green grass field near lake [in Arkansas] under blue sky during daytime.

The best time to visit Eureka Springs

Photo by Dirk Ekey on Unsplash

Although Arkansas is considered part of the Midwest, its temperatures can be more brutal than elsewhere in the region. That's why folks often prefer to visit the state during spring or fall to avoid those hotter, more humid temperatures. Average temperatures throughout the summer can be in the 90s whereas in the spring and fall can sit in the more comfortable 70s.

Important Things to Know About Eureka Springs

Gray concrete pathway between trees during daytime [in Eureka Springs].

What to know when visiting Eureka Springs

Photo by Ryan Jones on Unsplash
  1. The entire downtown is on the National Register of Historic Places.
  2. Eureka Springs is within the Ozark Mountain Range.
  3. It is home to Thorncrown Chapel which is considered the fourth most significant piece of American architecture.
  4. There are more than 60 natural springs in the area.

Where to Stay in Eureka Springs

A room in Crescent Hotel and Spa.

Where to stay in Eureka Springs

Photo courtesy of Crescent Hotel and Spa

Crescent Hotel and Spa

75 Prospect Ave.
Eureka Springs, Arkansas 72632

Built in 1886, the dreamy Crescent Hotel and Spa is like stepping back in time. By staying here you will be spending time with a piece of Eureka Springs history in the process!

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A guest room at Magnetic Valley Resort.

Magnetic Valley Resort

Photo courtesy of Magnetic Valley Resort

Magnetic Valley Resort

597 Magnetic Dr.
Eureka Springs, Arkansas 72632

Magnetic Valley Resort offers resort stays as well as day passes, this resort is a gay man, clothing-optional getaway. Relax among nature au natural (if you wish).

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Where to Eat in Eureka Springs

plate of nachos and sides from New Delhi Cafe Eureka Springs.

New Delhi Cafe

Photo courtesy of New Delhi Cafe Facebook

The restaurants and bars are packed with people and everybody has a great time. It is as though the Village People are in town and everybody is having a fabulous time. That said, it is not a place to bring children. This is an adult-town for adults to kick back and enjoy themselves.

New Delhi Cafe

2 N Main St.
Eureka Springs, Arkansas 72632

There are many restaurants in town, and one of our favorites was New Dehli. Bill is the owner; and what can we say about him? He is fun, funny, fabulous, and more! Words cannot describe his personality. He has the cafe plus several outdoor decks on the patio which is always packed with people. The food and the drinks are wonderful. It is ALWAYS busy there from breakfast through closing, which is late at night.

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bottle of wine, glass of wine, and plate of food from local flavor cafe.

Local Flavor Cafe

Photo courtesy of Local Flavor Cafe Facebook

Local Flavor Cafe

71 S. Main St.
Eureka Springs, Arkansas 72632

Local Flavor Cafe is a must-dine restaurant in town. You can either dine inside or on their patio overlooking the street. It is a great place for people watching and their food is a solid ten out of ten.

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A pizza at Caf\u00e9 Amor\u00e9 in Eureka Springs.

Café Amoré

Photo courtesy of Café Amoré

Café Amoré

2070 E Van Buren
Eureka Springs, Arkansas 72632

Café Amoré is a local Italian restaurant specializing in that homemade comfort food goodness. They claim to have the best pizza in the galaxy, care to take them up on that claim?

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Where to Drink in Eureka Springs

Drag performer at Eureka Live

Eureka Live

Photo courtesy of Eureka Live

Eureka Live

35 N Main St.
Eureka Springs, Arkansas 72632

The largest bar in town, Eureka Live is a blast. Every weekend there is a drag show and you will not believe these talented performers! Eureka Live also hosts dance parties, karaoke, and so much more. Plus they have the largest beer garden downtown.

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A pi\u00f1a colada at Missy's.

Missy's White Rabbit Lounge

Photo courtesy of Missy's White Rabbit Lounge

Missy's White Rabbit Lounge

19 1/2 Spring St.
Eureka Springs, Arkansas 72632

Found in the historic downtown of Eureka Springs, Missy's White Rabbit Lounge is a queer-friendly establishment. This laidback, unique spot hosts live entertainment on occasion but is always serving up chill times with friends.

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Things to Do in Eureka Springs

Performers Sean-Paul and Juliana Fay.

Watch a show at Intrigue Theater

Photo courtesy of the Intrigue Theater

Intrigue Theater

80 Mountain St.
Eureka Springs, Arkansas 72632

A must-see show when you are in Eureka Springs is at the Intrigue Theater. “The Illusionist and The Medium" starring the incredible talents of Illusionist, Sean-Paul and his wife Juliana Fay. Together they amazed and stunned the audience with their unbelievable talents. The Theater is located in a historic old stone church that closed several years ago and that setting only adds to the mystique of the wonderful experience. We have seen Illusionists from coast to coast and Sean and his wife Juliana are the best of the best and truly remarkable.

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Other Places to Visit

For daytime entertainment, there are all types of possibilities of things to do. There are lots of places to fish, hike, or just see the sights and sounds of the village.

Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge

Located just 10 minutes East of town and is the largest big cat refuge in the world. It is open to the public 7 days a week. They have all types of wild animals so be sure to take your camera.

Blue Spring Heritage Center

Located about 10 minutes west of downtown. It is a natural wonder, pouring 38 million gallons of cool, clear water each day into a trout-fed lagoon. You walk over the entire area on a very landscaped trail. Take a picnic and enjoy hours there. It is hard to get any closer to nature here.

Best Shopping in Eureka Springs

merchandise at Eureka's Nut House.

Eureka's Nut House

Photo courtesy of Eureka's Nut House

Shopping downtown is a real treat. You will find actual handmade and handcrafted creations, many of which are made by local artisans. These shops are filled with artwork, jewelry, garden statues, etc. Plus a few shops with very unusual clothing.

Eureka's Nut House

54 Spring St.
Eureka Springs, Arkansas 72632

This nutty spot is chock full of some of the finest and tastiest nuts you ever had--no joke! Eureka's Nut House's signature offering is their in-house roasted and glazed nut varieties.

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The store window at Quicksilver in December 2020

Photo courtesy of Quicksilver


73 Spring St.
Eureka Springs, Arkansas 72632

Quicksilver is co-owned by Lamont Richie, one of the very few gay elected officials in Arkansas. He’s a Carroll County Quorum Court Judge (in plain English, that’s the equivalent of a “county commissioner”). He wrote the marriage-equality resolution passed by the city council in November 2012– making Eureka Springs the first city in the state to officially endorse marriage equality.

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