Top 40 things to do
Right away, you’ll discover taking time to spend a few days in Russellville is well worth it.
There is something here for the whole family. From bass fishing tournaments and state parks to historic landmarks, nature & endless recreation-all within a 45 minute drive. Water skiing, hiking, hang gliding, canoeing, boating, swimming, camping, rock climbing, and some of the best Arkansas fishing. The only trouble you’ll have is trying to find the time to take it all in. If you love the outdoors then you’ll love Russellville!
Water is just one of the many natural resources we are blessed with in Arkansas, and Russellville has it’s fair share of various water venues such as lakes, rivers, whitewater streams, clear mountain creeks, waterfalls, wetlands and more! So start planning your escape to The Natural Choice in the Natural State today. We can’t wait to see you stop by.
Dating back to Ancient Egypt and traced to Eastern Europe as early as 300 A.D., modern bowling is enjoyed by 95 million people in 90 countries. Enjoy a local game of 10-pin at Sportsworld, 3700 West Main, Russellville. (479) 968-1122.
Russellville Skate Station
Founded in 1997, Skate Station is an indoor roller rink open year round. Public Skating sessions and reservations for birthday, holiday or private parties are available. 1102 East Second St., Russellville; (479) 967-9466.
Russellville’s premiere rock climbing gym. This facility features over 100 top rope routes and bouldering routes, a dedicated training wall with campus board and pro-shop with everything you need to get climbing! Visit the thewallrussellville.com for details.
Find loads of excitement at this 1000’ drag strip located 11 miles south of Russellville near Centerville off Hwy. 154. www.centervilledragway.com; (479) 576-4001.
Formerly, the Lowrey Picwood 11 movie theater, UEC Theatres is your place for the best and brightest of Hollywood. Bargain movies are offered Monday nights. Special discounts and private viewings are available. 3800 West Main, Russellville; (479) 968-3434.
Extreme Paintball & Laser Tag
Indoor and outdoor facilities; located seven and a half miles north of Russellville off AR Hwy. 7, 1507 Linker Mtn. Rd, Dover. (479) 970-1104; sites.google.com/site/xtremepaintballandlasertag
Lake Dardanelle State Park Visitor Center
A must-see spot, this unique center overlooking the lake has engaging interactive exhibits and state-of-the-art touch screen kiosks that share information on the park, the area’s water sources and rich history. An aquatic exhibit features four aquariums containing fish found area waterways. (479) 967-5516.
River Valley Arts Center
The gallery displays 40 exhibitions annually of local, regional, national and international artists. A nonprofit community organization offering summer musical theatre and summer arts camp along with art, drama, and music classes for all age groups and abilities. On-site gift shop. 1001 East B St., Russellville; www.arvartscenter.org ; (479) 968-2452.
The Potts Inn Museum is one of the best preserved stagecoach stations on the Butterfield Overland mail route between Memphis and Fort Smith. The restored antebellum home (circa 1950) houses a doll museum, house and clothing collections, antique farm equipment and historic photos. Potts Inn Museum, 25 East Ash St., Pottsville, AR. (479) 968-8369.
Arkansas River Visitor Center
The Visitor Center offers wildlife exhibits and an interpretive presentation chronicling the development of the Arkansas River. The center overlook is the perfect location to watch barges pass through the Lock and Dam below. Off of AR Hwy. 7, 1598 Lock & Dam Road, Russellville; managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. (479) 968-5008.
Arkansas Tech Museum
“The Changing Face of Campus” has more than 60,000 items in its history-related collections celebrating the 100-year anniversary of the university. Most of those items are photographs, negatives and documents. Open Tuesday through Thursday, 9-4 and by appointment. 1502 N. El Paso Ave., ATU, Russellville; www.museum.atu.edu. (479) 964-0826.
Historic Missouri Pacific Railroad Depo
The Russellville Depot was built in 1916 and rededicated in 2004 following completion of a two-year rehabilitation project. The depot houses a visitor center, railroad museum, community room and the office of Main Street Russellville. The location and the adjacent Depot Park serve as home base for festivals and special events. (479) 967-1437.
Museum of Automobiles
Atop Petit Jean Mountain, Winthrop Rockefeller constructed a building to exhibit quality antique and vintage automobiles cars on October 18, 1964, originally with thirty-three cars on display. Exhibits include an antique gun collection, a display of Arkansas license plates, and a player piano. (501) 727-5427; www.museumofautos.com.
Petit Jean State Park
Waterfalls, lakes, mountainsides, meadows and 21 miles of hiking trails can be found at Arkansas’s first and flagship state park. Located 45 minutes southeast of Russellville. (501) 727-5441; www.petitjeanstatepark.com.
Established in 1878 as a Benedictine Monastery, the abbey serves as a college preparatory school for boys. Pick up a brochure on-site for a self-guided tour to view the dramatic stone architecture and manicured grounds on Scenic AR Hwy 22 southwest of Russellville. (479) 934-1000.
Historical and Heritage Sites
History buffs will enjoy visiting local heritage-rich sites of historical significance. More than 33 locations are noted on the National Register of Historic Places in Pope County alone! For a list, visit the Russellville Chamber of Commerce, 708 W. Main, Russellville; (479) 968-2530.
Bargains Galore on 64
Shop until you drop along Hwy. 64 from Fort Smith past Conway to Beebe, Ark. each year for three full days in August. This “travel treasure” event parallels Interstate 40 and boasts 160 miles of yard sales, flea markets, and antiques and collectibles. 1 (888) 568-3552.
The Russellville area offers more than a half-dozen established locations for antique enthusiasts, plus countless shops found north and south on AR Hwy. 7 and beyond. For a list of local businesses, call the Russellville Chamber of Commerce, (479) 968-2530.
Russellville Christmas Parade
This annual parade is a local holiday tradition held on the first Thursday of December. The event attracts thousands and is believed to be the largest lit parade in Arkansas. (479) 968-1272.
Music Downtown @ Sundown
Main Street Russellville’s summer concert series features local and regional talent at Depot Park in Russellville Downtown! Bring your blankets and lawn chairs throughout the summer for a special treat. (479) 967-1437.
Pope County Fair
Nothing beats the smell of a corn dog and cotton candy at the Pope County Fair. Begun in 1941, the fair has been an annual tradition in Pope County Arkansas for over 65 years. Get up close and personal with farm animals, fun, foods and amusement rides each September. Pope County Fair Association, (479) 967-0320; www.popecountyfairarkansas.com.
Fall Festival & Chili Cook-off
A fun-filled, day-long street festival held each year on the last Saturday in October. The event, sponsored by Main Street Russellville, is held in Downtown Russellville and is centered around the Historic Missouri-Pacific Railroad Depot and Depot Park. (479) 967-1437.
RussVegas Half Marathon
RussVegas Half Marathon is a PR fast course covering 13.1 miles throughout Russellville, supporting the River Valley Circle of Friends and Children’s Hospital. Participants start and finish on the streets of HIstoric Downtown. More than 300 volunteers and local business’s pull out the red carpet each April for participants and family. Featuring a kids mile, 5k Glow Run, car show, bands, food, and an expo. Visit www.russvegashalf.com to learn more.
Taste of the Valley
Main Street Russellville’s award-winning tasting party features a delicious assortment of food and drink provided by River Valley restaurants, caterers, vineyards, and food service institutions. This event is held the last Thursday in April. (479) 967-4137. www.mainstreetrussellville.org.
Pickle Fest in Atkins
In 1945, Goldsmith Pickle Company invested $75,000 to build a pickle plant in town. Townspeople raised an additional $15,000 to build and equip the plant that became the Atkins Pickle Company. The plant sustained the local economy for more than half a century. Pickle Fest honors the pickle. Mr. Dill Pickle & Miss Sweet Pickle pageants, pickle juice drinking, pickle eating contests and more. Always held the third weekend in May.
RussVegas Triathlon & Tailgate
The RussVegas Triathlon & RussVegas Tailgate promise to be unique events each year, featuring the weekend’s Razorback football game showing on a 25′ screen at the finish line, a park lined with tailgaters, live music and so much more! A 500 yard swim, 18 mile bike, and 3.1 mile run is just the race, but doing it RussVegas style makes it an event. Racers should come prepared for a smooth, no turn, spectator friendly swim. Followed by a rolling bike ride with a long descent to get your legs ready for a PR fast run full of crowds, shade, and no hills! After the race, bring your grill, drinks, and friends so you can kick up your feet to watch the Arkansas football game while the kids play in our amazing kids zone. Visit russvegastri.com and www.russvegastailgate.com to learn more.
Pope County Farmers Market
Over 40 years of local farmers selling directly to the public. The market is located at the Pope County Fairgrounds, 517 S Knoxville in Russellville. Open Saturdays 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. and though the week at various times during summer. Check out their Facebook page for more information or call (479) 331-2987.
The River Valley becomes an even brighter spot on the state map with its annual holiday Winter Wonderland drive-thru light display located in Historic Downtown Russellville. For dates and times, call Main Street Russellville at (479) 967-1437.
Shop for a Cause at this annual holiday shopping extravaganza benefiting the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Arkansas River Valley, 600 E. 16th St., (479) 968-7819.
Hot Summer Nights/ Quarterly Artwalk
Join the fun as these two events bring together visitors, musicians and merchants in Historic Downtown Russellville. Shop, Dine, Discover the fun. For dates and times, visit: www.mainstreetrussellville.org or call (479) 967-1437.
Mt. Magazine State Park
For a breathtaking view atop the highest point in Arkansas, visit Mt. Magazine State Park. Reservations may be made at the park’s magnificent 60-room lodge or one of the 13 cabins. Located on Scenic Highway 309, 43 miles southwest of Russellville. www.mountmagazine.com (877) 665-6343. Mt. Nebo State Park: View sweeping views of the Arkansas River or hike/bike 14 miles of winding trails situated 1,350 feet above the River Valley. Mt. Nebo State Park is one of two Arkansas State Parks offering launch sites for hang gliding enthusiasts. Campsites and cabins available. www.mountnebo.com (479) 229-3655.
Bona Dea Trails
If trails or biking are your style, the Bona Dea Trails and Sanctuary is a must. Over 186 acres and 5.5 miles of trails and wetlands and wooded lowlands provide a perfect habitat for 200 species of birds. (479) 968-5008.
Ozark Mountains and Buffalo National River
Starting in early October and running through the middle of November, the mountain’s sights along Hwy 7 explode with vibrant fall colors spanning the rainbow. The Ozark Mountains and the Buffalo National River, the country’s first national river with 95,000 acres of public land along its corridor, are a must to see in the autumn. Hidden nearby are natural springs, caves, waterfalls, natural bridges, and box-like canyons.
Want adventure? Canoe the Big Piney Creek nestled in the heart of the Ozarks. Contact Moore Outdoors for water levels, rates, or to make reservations for a great outdoor outing on one of Arkansas’s best waterways. (479) 331-3606; www.mooreoutdoors.com.
Holla Bend Wildlife Management
Established to provide essential habitat for migratory birds in the Mississippi Flyway, this area has over 7,000 acres of agricultural fields, bottomlands, forest and open water. Home to several species of ducks, bald eagles, Canadian geese and other wildlife throughout the year. 10448 Holla Bend Rd., Dardanelle, (479) 229-4300.
Mountain Biking Ouita Coal Company & Old Post trails
Maintained by the River Valley Chapter of the Ozark Off-Road Cyclists Club, Ouita Coal Company Trail is a nine-mile, single track lollipop trail system. It’s a great stopover for riders heading south to the Ouachitas or north to the trail playgrounds in Bentonville. Old Post is a “fast, flowy trail near the banks of the Arkansas River” for any level of riding ability. Riders can make a full day of Old Post Park: eight miles of singletrack, an 18-hole professional disc golf course, tennis, basketball and volleyball courts decorate this Corp of Engineers owned park.
Aficionados of this aerial activity will find launch sites at Mt. Nebo and Mt. Magazine State Parks. Even if you don’t participate—watching can be just as exciting! Call for regulations and weather conditions. Mt. Magazine State Park, 16878 Highway 309 South, Paris, (479) 963-8502; Mt. Nebo State Park, 16728 West State Highway 155, Dardanelle, (479) 229-3655. www.arkansasstateparks.com.
Russellville Country Club
Founded in 1926 by an enterprising group of 71 men. For information on green fees and membership, call the club at (479) 968-1139. 186 Country Club Plaza north of Russellville off AR Hwy. 7, Russellville. www.golfrcc.com.
A sport played much like traditional golf but with major differences. Disc golfers use flying discs, or a type of Frisbee. Russellville features two 18-hole “champion caliber” disc golf courses. The first is located 0.8 miles north of Russellville on Pleasant View Rd., and the second at 1598 Lock & Dam Road, off of AR Hwy. 7. For information, contact the Recreation and Parks Dept. at (479) 968-1272.
Planning Your Trip to Russellville?
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