Mile 104

1. Prestonrose Farm and Brewing Co. In Paris

Located on a gravel road just outside Paris, Arkansas, this farm-slash-brewery-slash-purveyor of all things that make life worth living is a must-visit—and pours growlers to-go for pit-stoppers. Pro tip: Get the hatch-chile beer when they’ve got it. (prestonrose.squarespace.com)

 

Mile 110

2. Subiaco Abbey

Although Subiaco’s early years were marked by a series of changes—founded as St. Benedict’s, a colony for German Catholics, in 1877, it became a priory in 1878, and ultimately an abbey in 1891, assuming the name it has today—the abbey’s history is interwoven with that of Logan County. In more recent years, the monks have been increasingly known for more terrestrial wares, offering hot sauce—better known as Monk Sauce—along with a more recent addition: beer. Self-guided tours of the abbey are available year-round (groups of 10 or more should reach out beforehand). (subi.org)

 

Mile 129

3. Mount Magazine

Though somewhat modest compared to other peaks around the nation, Mount Magazine boasts the highest point in the state at 2,753 feet—and easily some of the most scenic vistas. You might even be able to see your house from there (provided you live in the nearby river valley).  (arkansasstateparks.com)

 

Mile 188

4. Alphonso Trent House in Fort Smith

Jazz musician and Fort Smith native Alphonso E. “Phonnie” Trent made history in the 1920s and ’30s as his orchestra turned a two-week engagement at the Adolphus Hotel in Dallas into an 18-month residency, a record length for an African-American outfit in the region. (The run also earned them an audience in the central United States, and even Canada, through a series of radio broadcasts, another first for an all-black orchestra in the Southwest.) Be sure to drive by the mural painted in Trent’s honor by University of Arkansas-Fort Smith faculty and students, and while you’re at it, swing by the musician’s boyhood home, which still stands in town. (mural: 101 N. Second St.; house: 1301 N. Ninth St.)

 

Mile 190

5. The Unexpected Murals in downtown Fort Smith

For the past five years, street artists from around the globe have descended en masse upon Fort Smith, leaving in their wake a series of unforgettable murals that you’ve just got to see to believe. (unexpectedfs.com)

Do this: May 9-10: The Unexpected is partnering with the Bentonville Film Festival for two screenings—and also, “activating” a new mural on Garrison. (bentonvillefilmfestival.com)

 

Mile 288

7. Louise at Thaden Field in Bentonville

Why stop celebrating Arkansas history just because it’s dinnertime? At Louise at Thaden Field, you can pay tribute to Iris Louise McPhetridge Thaden, the Bentonville native and record-setting aviatrix for which the restaurant is named, while dining on delicious diner fare and watching the small airstrip’s takeoffs and landings. (louise.cafe)

 

Miles 253 and 303

6/8. Prairie Grove and Pea Ridge Battlefields

If you’re an Arkansas Civil War buff, you’re going to want to visit the northwestern part of the state. Both the Pea Ridge and Prairie Grove battlefields are recognized as being among the most intact and well-preserved battlegrounds in the country. If you prefer to walk the grounds yourself, visit Pea Ridge. But if a driving tour is more your speed, head to Prairie Grove. The best way to experience either, however, is during one of the annual Civil War re-enactments held the first week of December. The parks switch off hosting each year, so 2019’s performance will be at Pea Ridge. (Pea Ridge: nps.gov/peri/index.htm; Prairie Grove: arkansasstateparks.com/parks/prairie-grove-battlefield-state-park)

 

SOUVENIRS: Prestonrose pint glass. Monk Sauce from Subiaco Abbey. Map of The Unexpected’s murals (procured from Miss Laura’s Visitor Center). Footage—possibly a Boomerang—of a plane taking off at Thaden Field. A single blade of grass from Pea Ridge.