TRAVEL THERE: CRAZY BUSY DAY IN EUREKA SPRINGS AR
We arrived in Eureka Springs on the Saturday afternoon of a three day weekend. So did everyone else in the world. Poor little town – it was bursting at the seams. Our B&B was hosting a wedding, so we weren’t welcome until five PM, so we had to decide what to do with ourselves. I’d been to Eureka Springs several times before, but before it had this sleepy little town sort of feel to it. I expected it to be busier, but I hadn’t dreamed of THAT much busier.
Strolling Up and Down the Mountainside
We decided to park downtown and find someplace to eat. Talk about a needle in a haystack. We did find a parking spot pretty much in the middle of town, but it was either a fluke or a miracle – I’m not sure which.
Then we wandered down Main Street for a block or so. Tattoo parlors, shopping and coffee shops, but not much in the way of food. So we took the passenger bridge over Main up to Spring Street. There we found Basin Spring, the spring that got all of this started, long before a white man showed up and made a park out of it. The Native Americans had discovered it had healing properties and considered the area sacred ground. Nothing very sacred was going on that afternoon.
Just an aside, but here’s how crazy our nation has gotten. Someone from the government showed up and warned the city that even though there was nothing dangerous about their spring water or any reason to suspect that there might be, they’d better make it impossible for anyone to drink from the springs or someday something might happen and the city just might get sued. So even though the spring provides good water and is reported to heal a number of serious problems, don’t think you’re going to get to come into town and try a drop or two on what’s ailing you. All the springs are cemented up. There’s something terrible wrong with that picture – especially when water is such a precious commodity, but I won’t get on that soapbox today.
Next to Basin Springs we saw Basin Park Hotel. They had a balcony restaurant that looked inviting, but since every available seat was taken, we weren’t included in the invitation. We decided to climb some stairs back down to Main Street and head to a couple of restaurants we’d seen as we came in.
One of the nicknames for Eureka Springs is the Stairstep City. Let me tell you, it is well deserved. If I had a nickel for every step I climbed in the three days I was there, I could afford one of those round the world cruises. And forget about safety – rickety wooden steps, steep concrete steps, loose railings and more add to the “fun.” If you’re mobility challenged, I’d say this would not be the best city to visit.
Down Main Street and to the left and then down a piece more, we found The Garden Bistro. Come back next week and have a late lunch with us.