Oct 21 – 23, 2015
Arkansas – “The Land of Opportunity”
Road trips are not measured by mile markers but by moments. Making Memories has stacked moment upon moment to be discovered in this well-thought out specific tour of Arkansas, known as both “The Natural State” and “The Land of Opportunity”. We extend an invitation of highly concentrated discovery, wonder and fun to you. Strategically placed in October, Making Memories is pleased to escort you through the Ouachita’s Mountain Range to glory in the autumn foliage while strategically stopping for some well-deserved ooohs and aaahs at Arkansas’ finest treasures. Come along for these exciting backyard adventures!
Lodging: Mt. Magazine Lodge
Leaving this morning, we have a relatively short travel day. Following lunch, we stop at our first treasure trove nestled in the Ouachita Mountains in Logan County. The premier Subiaco Abbey and Monastery awaits to expose you to the life of 40 monks in this St. Benedictine-run monastery. Established in 1878 by three monks, the history runs deeps. Today the tradition thrives on balancing prayer and work in this faith-established lifestyle. Traveler tip: don’t pass up the opportunity to snag some Abby Brittle! Our early check-in at our Mt. Magazine Lodge is set up to be an oasis of retreat and relaxation. Mount Magazine is one of the largest peaks in the Ouachita Mountain Range. Take this opportunity to enjoy the peaceful view! Following dinner, we will have an audio treat as we attend the Subiaco Abbey and Academy Jazz Ensemble. This regionally acclaimed ensemble features pieces from Santana, Herbie Hancock back through the 1940s swing music. The Academy is the only Catholic boarding school in Arkansas and trains 7th-12th grade male students in the disciplines and success of Catholic-based faith using academia as the vehicle of training.
Lodging: Comfort Inn and Suites Presidential
After breakfast, we head south for just over 130 travel miles to Little Rock. First up is the Clinton Library and Museum. This historic walkway houses over 100,000 artifacts gifted to the President during his service. We have the opportunity to peek into the campaign, inauguration, special policy sections and day-to-day activities of the First Family. Next is a tour of the Arkansas State Capital and grounds, which was built over a 16-year period from 1899-1915. It was the original site of the state penitentiary where prisoners helped construct the building. Today this remains the main house of government for the state of Arkansas. Multiple monuments are housed here such as the Monument to Confederate Soldiers, Liberty Bell replica, Law Enforcement Officers Monument, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Little Rock Nine Civil Rights Memorial and many more. We have a delightful sightseeing surprise planned – the place where a 1980s witty sitcom featuring four sassy southern working women was housed. Arm the torpedoes as our afternoon at the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum will prove there is more beneath the surface. This destination is rated as the #2 attraction in Little Rock by tripadvisor.com, for sure central Arkansas’ best-kept secret. We board the floating museum found on USS Razorback where the sights, sounds and smells of submarine service are on display. The USS Razorback has logged over 6,000 dives in her life of service including WWII, Cold War and Vietnam focused missions. In 1970, she was sold and used by the Turkey Navy where she continued naval service. In 2001, she was decommissioned and in 2004 transferred to her current home. She is still in service – just a different service than what she was designed for. Fortunately, we still benefit from her opportunity to share. The maritime museum also houses the tugboat USS Hoga, the battleship USS Arkansas, the missile cruiser, USS Arkansas and a collection of the Arkansas River History.
Today marks the conclusion of our travels. But don’t throw in the towel just yet. After breakfast we stop and enjoy the scenery of the Arkansas River Valley, fresh air and gourmet snacks at the largest winery in Arkansas, Post Winery. Established in 1880s this is a family-run and sustainably-managed farm. It boasts the claim as being the first commercial vineyard to produce wine in this state.“Come Toast with Post” in the complimentary tasting room. No worries, you don’t have to be a wine connoisseur to delight in this extraordinary stop. As we make our way back home, we make our final stop at Terra Studio’s, discovering creativity in numerous ways! This is the home of the famous and collectible Bluebirds of Happiness. You can watch pottery demonstrations, explore the enchanted art park, gaze through the gallery and find over 90 regional artists work on display. Finishing our coach tour at just under 800 road miles, Making Memories is certain you will have multiple opportunities to accumulate special memories along the way in this, “The Land of Opportunity” – right in our backyard!