BringFido’s Ruff Guide to Arkansas

Posted by Jason Halliburton

Thinking of meandering with your mutt on a trip to Arkansas? If so, he’ll be one happy dog. The editors at BringFido have dedicated themselves to digging up the dog-friendliest things to do in the Wonder State, as well as the rest of the country. And we've assembled it all in the latest edition of our book, Ruff Guide to the United States.

Now in its second edition, the book features over 365 of the best places to stay and play with your dog in all 50 states. Order your copy today and save 50% off the retail price when you use the discount code DIAMOND.

For a preview of the book, here are a few of our editors' top picks for dog-friendly things to do in Arkansas:

Dig for Precious Gems at Crater of Diamonds State Park

Murfreesboro, AR
A diamond in the ruff. Photo by @mistricks

Bring your fur-ocious digger to Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro, where he can hunt for diamonds, minerals, and gemstones in their original volcanic source. You and your pup are invited to scour a 37-acre field, the site of an ancient volcanic crater. The largest diamond ever unearthed in the US was discovered here, and more than 33,000 have been found since the park opened in 1972. The park has a unique ‘finders, keepers’ policy, so any diamond or gem Fido sniffs out is his to keep. Before you start your search, visit the Diamond Discovery Center to see exhibits and watch a short video. When you get tired of digging, explore the walking trails together and enjoy a packed lunch in one of the picnic spots.

After Fido has bagged the jewels for his new diamond-studded collar, retreat to the Codex Cabin at Parker Creek Bend Cabins. Your pup will feel right at home with the Beagle-themed decor, covered deck, and fire pit. If you came up empty on your diamond hunt, you and your pooch can stay at a tree-shaded campsite at Crater of Diamonds State Park Campground.

Explore the Garvan Woodland Gardens

Hot Springs, AR
"Be sure to get my good side." Photo by @stormy_pants_pwd

Dog lovers with a green thumb shouldn’t pass up the chance to bring Fido to Garvan Woodland Gardens in Hot Springs. Pick up a self-guided tour map and roam the 210-acre meticulously manicured grounds. Leashed pups are welcome in all areas of the park except the ponds. After your garden tour, take a short drive to Lake Hamilton for a cruise aboard the Belle of Hot Springs Riverboat with your furry friend. While you savor gorgeous views of the Ouachita Mountains, mansions and natural islands, the Belle’s captain will entertain you with an engaging narration. Sightseeing cruises are offered at least once daily throughout the year.

Beautiful views of Lake Hamilton await your arrival at the serene Lookout Point Lakeside Inn in Hot Springs. All of the inn’s pet-friendly rooms feature a porch with access to the property’s lush garden. When you aren’t relaxing in your luxurious guest room, you can take Fido for a swim or canoe trip in the lake.

Find Art and Adventure in Little Rock

Little Rock, AR
"We came, we Arkansas, we conquered." Photo by @rocktownriveroutfitters

The place to see and be seen in the state capital is the Little Rock River Market District. Located along the downtown waterfront, the District features quaint and quirky shops, local restaurants, and public art displays. No one gallery can contain Little Rock’s thriving arts scene, so it’s only natural that it spreads onto walls and sidewalks and into gardens and parks throughout the city. From inspirational abstracts to surrealist wonders, Little Rock’s collection of public art is well worth exploring. If you're visiting during the warmer months, purchase your own Arkansas art at the River Market Farmers' Market. Open every Saturday from May through September, the Market provides shoppers with everything from farm-fresh produce and prepared foods to handcrafted goods, art, crafts and jewelry. If shopping and exploring along the river isn't adventurous enough, you and Fido can get out on the Arkansas River on a guided kayak tour with Rock Town Outfitters.

After a full day of fun, peace and relaxation await at your charming pet-friendly cottage at the Rosemont B&B, right in the heart of Little Rock. Five of the six cottages available include private enclosed gardens for pups to explore, and bountiful breakfast is provided each morning.

Ready for a Road Trip?

Photo by Linda Segerfeldt

If this Ruff Guide to Arkansas preview left your dog drooling for more, we hope you check out our new book - Ruff Guide to the United States. Remember to use discount code DIAMOND to save 50% on your copy. Happy Travels!

Have you been to dog-friendly Arkansas? Leave a comment or tweet us @BringFido!

Banner photo by iStock/dlewis33.