Arkansas City, also known as the “Gateway to Kansas” is a wonderful city in Kansas that is quite popular amongst tourists. If you’re not touring the beaches of Orcas Island, or visiting the Statue of Liberty in New York, then you have to be enjoying a hike at the Mountain State Park.
This charming city, although not the largest in the state, has become a popular tourist hotspot. Arkansas City Kansas tourism centers have something for everyone, so you don’t have to worry about things to do in here.
Whether you’re exploring historical sites, immersing yourself in arts and culture, or enjoying outdoor adventures, Arkansas City won’t disappoint.
From visiting the historic Old Cowtown Museum to admiring the stunning architecture of the Cherokee Strip Land Rush Museum, you’ll be captivated by the city’s heritage.
And even If you’re on a budget, you don’t have to worry. Here are 20 things to do in Arkansas City, KS, that will not hurt your pockets but are sure to leave you smiling with joy.
20 Free and Cheap Things To Do In Arkansas City KS.
1. Visit the Old State House Museum.
Visiting a museum is as fun and free as it gets, and the Old State House Museum packs a fun and educational experience perfectly together. It is one of the top attractions to visit in Arkansas City.
The Old State House Museum is a captivating historical treasure and is one of the most significant landmarks in the state. You don’t just get to explore through a vast collection of artifacts, exhibits, and interactive displays; you get to step back in time and explore the rich cultural heritage of Arkansas.
2. Explore the Clinton Presidential Library.
The Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Arkansas, is a tribute to the legacy of President Bill Clinton —his life before, during, and after his presidency.
From the replica of the Oval Office to the thought-provoking exhibits on policy initiatives, the Clinton Presidential Library is one of the biggest attractions that Arkansas City Kansas tourism has to offer.
3. Take a stroll through the River Market District.
Taking a stroll —or a series of strolls— is the best way to have fun without spending any money. The only downside is that it can get boring, but if you’re strolling through River Market District, that downside totally disappears.
From entertainment, dining, shopping, and cultural experiences, the River Market District offers it all! You can make a stop to explore the bustling River Market Hall or enjoy live music at the iconic Rev Room. Whatever you do, you definitely will not be bored.
4. Hike in Pinnacle Mountain State Park.
One of the best things to do in Arkansas City, KS is to go hiking in Pinnacle Mountain State Park. It is a breathtaking natural oasis located just outside of Little Rock, Arkansas.
This enchanting park offers a diverse range of outdoor activities and awe-inspiring vistas that will leave nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers in awe.
Whether you are seeking a leisurely experience or you want to learn about the park’s ecology and the rich cultural history of the area, the park’s got you covered.
5. Enjoy the Arkansas State Capitol grounds.
The Arkansas State Capitol grounds in Little Rock offer a captivating blend of history, natural beauty, and civic pride. This iconic landmark serves as the seat of government for the state of Arkansas and is surrounded by the most breathtaking landscapes.
From taking a leisurely stroll along the manicured pathways, soaking in the peaceful ambiance, and marveling at the architectural beauty that surrounds you, the Arkansas State Capitol grounds offer you the most tranquil experiences and are truly one of the top attractions to visit in Arkansas City.
6. Visit the Historic Arkansas Museum.
A fun, exciting, educating, and budget-friendly way to spend your time in Arkansas City is to explore the historical exhibits at Arkansas Museum.
The Historic Arkansas Museum showcases the rich heritage of Kansas State through exhibits and beautifully restored historic buildings. You can explore the Hinderliter Grog Shop or go on an adventure on the Plum Bayou Log House and immerse yourself in Arkansas’s history.
7. Take a tour of Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site.
Arkansas is filled with hidden gems in every nook and cranny, and one of the less common ones is the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site.
This significant site preserves the iconic high school building, which serves as a symbol of the struggle for civil rights. There are many places to explore, with exhibits all pointing to the courageous actions of the Little Rock Nine.
8. Explore the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.
If you’re an artist, you love art, or you’re just looking for a nice museum to visit in the city, then this is your next stop. The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is by far the top attraction to visit in Arkansas City and probably the whole state.
It is a remarkable institution that celebrates the rich artistic heritage of the United States. With its diverse exhibitions, engaging programs, and serene trails, Crystal Bridges is a haven for art lovers and nature enthusiasts alike.
9. Relax in Hot Springs National Park.
For those who’d rather kick back and have a lazy, relaxing time, then relaxing in a hot spring at Hot Springs National Park is one of the most tranquil things to do in Arkansas City.
The park also offers a scenic beautiful view you can enjoy along with a relaxing soak at one of the traditional bath houses at the historic Bathhouse Row.For the amount of calm you get, you’ll spend so little money in return.
10. Walk across the Big Dam Bridge.
Taking an adventurous walk on Big Dam Bridge is both thrilling and serene at the same time. The beautiful natural scenic views make for a relaxing walk that is just perfect for a date.
The Big Dam Bridge, located in Little Rock, Arkansas, is a magnificent feat of engineering and a beloved landmark for outdoor enthusiasts. It is the longest pedestrian and bicycle bridge in North America and it spans the Arkansas River, offering stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
11. Visit the Daisy Bates House.
The Daisy Bates House is one the top attractions to Visit in Arkansas City, and with due reason. Not only does it hold significant historical importance as the former residence of civil rights activist Daisy Bate, but it also served as a safe haven and gathering place for the Little Rock Nine.
The house stands as a symbol of courage and resilience and is a must-stop when in the city.
12. Explore the Buffalo National River.
If you love the water and you are eager and ready to have wet fun in the city, then exploring the Buffalo National River should top your list of best things to do in Arkansas City KS.
Buffalo National River in Arkansas is a breathtaking natural gem, offering pristine beauty and outdoor adventure. You can canoe, kayak, or float along the tranquil waters, immersing yourself in the scenic splendor.
13. Take a dip in the Little Maumelle River.
What is better than going to one river? Going to two! The Little Maumelle River offers a different experience from the Buffalo River. While they are both wonderful places for fishing and boating, the Little Maumelle River offers a very tranquil water viewing experience.
From lush forests to a variety of wildlife, the Little Maumelle River provides a serene setting to immerse yourself in the beauty of Arkansas’s natural landscapes.
14. Visit the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum.
The Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum is also one of the top attractions to visit in Arkansas City. The museum showcases the state’s rich maritime history with a highlight on the thrilling vessels that served during World War II. You know you want to see that –I’m sure you don’t need any convincing.
15. Explore the Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center.
Arkansas City might not be well known as a nature city, but the Jr Central Arkansas Nature Center could convince you that it was.
The Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center in Little Rock is a captivating destination that celebrates the natural wonders of the region.
Though it is an educational facility that provides an opportunity to learn about the diverse ecosystems and conservation efforts in central Arkansas, it also is a fun place to visit as it offers interactive displays, workshops, and guided hikes.
16. Visit the Old Mill in North Little Rock.
If you want to take your adventure up a notch, then you should check out the Old Mill in Little Rock. It is a charming and historic landmark that gives you the feeling that you’ve stepped back in time.
Inspired by traditional European water mills, the Old Mill features rustic stone construction, a working water wheel, and a tranquil pond!
It is a great spot for a peaceful retreat, and it offers the absolute best backdrop for photography if you are a photographer. The serene atmosphere and beautiful landscape also make it an ideal spot for a leisurely stroll or a peaceful picnic.
17. Take a stroll in the Bernice Garden.
What is better than a casual stroll in the Bernice Garden? A romantic stroll in the Bernice Garden! You can explore pathways adorned with sculptures and art installations by local artists.
The garden also hosts farmers’ markets, art fairs, and live performances. So If you are with your partner, I highly recommend visiting this magical garden –and be sure to take lots of pictures.
18. Join the annual Arkalalah festival.
If you’re looking for fun, food, music, people, art, and a splendid time, then attending the Arkalalah festival is your best bet.
The Arkalalah Festival in Arkansas City, Kansas, is an annual celebration deeply rooted in tradition and community spirit. This lively event brings together locals and visitors for a week-long extravaganza filled with parades, live entertainment, carnival rides, and a variety of engaging activities for all ages.
The festival also features sports tournaments, a beauty pageant, and a grand finale fireworks display that lights up the night sky.
19. Visit the Mid-America All-Indian Center.
Since you’re close by, you can stop by the Mid-America All-Indian Center in Wichita, Kansas. It is a cultural hub that celebrates the rich heritage and contributions of Native American tribes in the region.
The museum offers a fascinating glimpse into the diverse traditions, art, history, and contemporary life of Native American cultures.
20. Enjoy a picnic in Sedgwick County Park.
One of the best things to do in Arkansas City KS (and anywhere with a cozy spot) is to enjoy a lovely evening with a self-packed picnic. The Sedgwick County Park offers some of the best picnic spots in the city.
It has a picturesque outdoor destination that offers a wide range of recreational activities and natural beauty on over 640 acres of land. The park features picnic areas, playgrounds, and open spaces perfect for family gatherings and outdoor events.
In conclusion, Arkansas City, Kansas, offers a delightful blend of history, culture, and affordable attractions. Whether exploring museums, enjoying outdoor adventures, or immersing in the community events, this city has something for everyone.
And Since you’re close to the city, you might as well check out these awesome things to do in Wichita.