The 10 Best Museums in Arkansas!

Arkansas’ assortment of museums offers everything from highly-interactive spaces to bring your children, historic spots that tell the rich history of specific cultures and people, and breathtaking art collections that you can get lost within for hours. If you’re looking for an educational and enjoyable view of Arkansas, then you’ll love these 10 magnificent museums.

1. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR

This museum was founded by Alice Walton, designed by Moshe Safdie, and opened its doors in 2011. Its website boasts that it “welcomes all to celebrate the American spirit in a setting that unites the power of art with the beauty of nature.”

2. Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum and Educational Center, Piggott, AR

This museum opened in 1999 in conjunction with the national celebration of Ernest Hemingway’s 100th birthday. The museum features “a barn studio associated with Ernest Hemingway and the family home of his second wife, Pauline Pfeiffer.” In 1982, the home and barn studio were named to the National Historic Register.

3. Fort Smith Museum of History, Fort Smith, AR

This museum was established in 1910 as the Old Commissary Museum and, now restored, is part of the Fort Smith National Historic Site. The museum’s mission is to “collect, preserve and share the history and culture of Fort Smith and the surrounding region.”

4. Museum of Native American History, Bentonville, AR

This museum, which opened to the public in 2006, invites visitors to “Walk Through America’s Past.” Here, you can take a look inside the daily life of this country’s earliest inhabitants. The museum features a wide array of fascinating relics, some over 14,000 years-old. 

5. Arkansas Museum of Discovery, Little Rock, AR

This museum was known as the Museum of Natural History & Antiques when it was opened in 1927 by Arkansas author Bernie Babcock. Today, this highly-involved museum has a goal of “igniting a passion for science, technology and math in a dynamic, interactive environment.”

6. Eureka Springs Historical Museum, Eureka Springs, AR

This museum is located in the historical Calif House which was built in 1889. The town was built atop a “seemingly inexhaustible supply of pure, clear water that healed,” according to its website.

7. Shiloh Museum of Ozark History, Springdale, AR

This museum is department of the City of Springdale. The focus of the regional museum is on the Northwest Arkansas Ozarks. Springdale was previously a pioneer community known as Shiloh, but was renamed in the 1870s.

8. MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History, Little Rock, AR

This museum is located in the birthplace of General Douglas MacArthur, in the Tower Building of the Little Rock Arsenal. According to its website, the museum was created to “interpret our state’s military heritage from its territorial period to the present.”

9. Gangster Museum of America, Hot Springs, AR

This museum is owned by Historical Attractions, Inc. and opened its doors in 2008. Step back in time to the earlier decades of the 1920s-40s “when mineral water, gambling, bootlegging, and other extreme pleasures brought visitors from all over the world to Hot Springs, Arkansas,” according to the museum’s website.

10. Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, Little Rock, AR

This museum was founded by the Mosaic Templars of America Center for African American Culture and Business Enterprise under Act 1176 of 2001. Walk inside and understand the story of the African American community’s experience in the state of Arkansas. 

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