Looking for a unique way to do a family road trip? Then add the Arkansas Delta to the top of your list. I spent four days with my husband and baby Jackson a week before his birthday exploring the rich history and heritage of the Arkansas Delta and was graciously hosted by the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. This trip was full of African American culture from HBCUs, musical legends from gospel to blues and legendary African American art. The Arkansas Delta is a perfect place to explore with your family and experience many versions of southern living. Here is a snapshot of my four days including some of my trip highlights and suggestions of how to enjoy each city with your family, friends and even just yourself.
Arkansas Delta Family Road Trip: Black Heritage, Art & More!
Small Town Charm with Modern, Southern Style: Looking for a cute place for a girlfriends getaway or to host a farm to table weekend party? Wilson is definitely where you should head. This adorable town is perfect for a family looking for a relaxing getaway. Not to mention the shops and town square are absolutely adorable!
Learn more about Wilson, AR here. https://www.wilsonarkansas.com
Wilson Cafe: Fred and Jackson loved this place. Couldn’t get enough of this food and also adored the decor. Plenty of traditional decor with modern aesthetic.
White’s Mercantile is the perfect shop for a Black Southern Belle looking for a unique gift to add to her home or to give for a dear friend. Loved all of the local touches and especially the black and white art on the wall. Definitely a place to shop and get inspiration.
Crawfish Soiree & Delta Blues Anyone? Helena is the perfect place to host a crawfish weekend with your besties or to host a romantic delta inspired weekend with the one you love. The Edwardian B&B is the perfect backdrop for Instagram pictures and has plenty of porch and garden space to host a casually chic crawfish picnic or front porch party. Not to mention, the downstairs suite I stayed in the perfect Netflix and chill with wine headquarters for a bachelorette party or sorority reunion. Helena is a great place to enjoy the scenery and relax.
Learn more about Helena, AR here: www.visithelenaar.com/about-helena/
Delta Cultural Center
I could have bought everything I saw in the Delta Cultural Center bookstore. Perfect items to add to your library room, coffee table or include in a party favor to showcase your Delta travels with your friends at your next dinner party.
The Delta Cultural Center in downtown Helena, Arkansas, is a cultural center and museum of the Department of Arkansas Heritage. It is dedicated to preserving and interpreting the culture of the Arkansas Delta.
This shop was adorable and a great place to bring your friends to pick up items to host an on the fly dinner party in the Delta.
he Edwardian Inn is an outstanding example of fine homes that were built in Helena around the turn of the century. The quarter-sawn oak paneling that is used extensively throughout the house may have come from the 24 sawmills that were in the area at the time. Expert craftsmen in Chicago made the nine original mantels in the house. Eight of them remain in place with the ninth being used as the front desk for the inn. Wood carpeting made in Germany of 36 different kinds of woods are used throughout the first floor. The stairway is of oak and is in excellent condition.
BBQ Tailgate Party? Looking for an excuse to upgrade your tailgate or hosting skills? Head over to Jones Bar-B-Q Diner to get a secret weapon for your tailgate tent at the next UAPB tailgate season. The pulled pork sandwiches will pair perfectly with anything because they are delicious, even James Beard agrees they are award-worthy.
HBCU Art and Style: I love supporting HBCUs and also have an obsession with art, so when I got to visit the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff Museum and Cultural Center, I was absolutely ecstatic. Full of artifacts, historic photographs and beautiful paintings (many done by the museum director himself) this place is not one to miss. It is a great place to host your next family reunion or to pick up unique gifts for the HBCU alum in your life.
University of Arkansas Pine Bluff Museum and Cultural Center
Explore and plan a visit to the UMCC with this link: http://www.uapb.edu/administration/office_of_the_chancellor/title_iii/university_museum_cultural_center.aspx
Unique Architecture & Classic Southern Charm: Want a unique location to host a girlfriends getaway or bachelorette weekend? Hot Springs is where you should head. This place was full of beautiful architecture, historic bath houses and unique shops and stores.
I love shopping and Hot Springs was a great place to indulge and here are a few places I would recommend.
Evilo Oils & Vinegar – Great place to spend a day getting inspiration for your next dinner party!
Bathhouse Soapery & Caldarium – If you are looking for unique hostess gifts, this place is pure perfection! I even got to make a gift basket of my own. May give it to my best friend who loves Pink and Green!
Cafe 1217: The food at this place was absolutely delicious and absolutely refreshing for a warm spring day in the South. The desserts were perfection and they have plenty of vegan options. The key lime pie was out of this world!
Red Light Roastery: My husband is a serious coffee expert and he said he had the best latte of his life here.
Looking for a unique hotel experience with great architecture? The Waters is a great option. I adored the subway tiled hallways.
Garvan Woodland Gardens
From the adorable chapel to the beautiful landscaping, this place is a perfect location to spend a day or two just exploring, having a picnic with your besties. I loved getting to spend time with my husband and Jackson just relaxing and getting away from the day to day business of our lives.
After visiting Little Rock a few times, my family and I have definitely fallen in love with the town. It is absolutely family friendly, has great food and a wonderful arts scene. This is a perfect place to explore for a week with your family while not breaking the bank.
Esse Purse Museum: I have been a bag lady since I was two years old and I am obsessed with history, so the Esse Purse Museum was the perfect experience for me. Before I could even explore the museum the gift store was absolute perfection. Full of great stationery, books and of course purses, you definitely should be ready to upgrade your purse or wall when you visit this place. They even have some bags and wallets for the men in your life making it a great place to find a father’s day gift.
South Main Creative
Want to see more of Little Rock? Check out my previous blog posts on my Babymoon Trip (link here) and Jackson’s First Family vacation in Arkansas (link here).
Be sure to add the Arkansas Delta to your summer and fall travel list and make it a road trip. It is a cost effective and unique way to enjoy time with the ones you love and gives you plenty of flexibility to explore this bustling region and add a few unexpected spots along the way.
***This post was sponsored by the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. All opinions are my own.***1