Photograph by Laura Raborn, My Shot
GPS: 35°52'N, 92°06'W
The Arkansas Beanfest has been a town tradition since 1982. Still, fresher options beckon with the newly expanded Ozark Highlands Trail and first-rate fishing holes and canoeing waters.
Cycle the Syllamo Bike Trail through the Ozark National Forest; the 50-mile (80-kilometer) looping path was honored as an "Epic" ride by the International Mountain Bicycling Association for its technical rock steps and limestone slickrock sections (www.fs.fed.us/oonf/ozark/recreation/syllamo_bike.html). Hike in the underground Blanchard Springs Caverns, with a stop off at the surprisingly cool Ozark Folk Center for music, crafts, and herb gardens (www.ozarkfolkcenter.com).
Look out over a butterfly garden while you eat your cornbread at the Folk Center's Skillet Restaurant; but save room for the Peter Pan pie—a peanut butter chiffon in a graham crust topped with hot fudge and whipped cream—at Joy's Main Street Cafe (www.joysmainstreetcafe.com).
Anglers White River Resort overlooks the White River and outfits you to enjoy it. Canoes, rafts, and powerboats are available for rental, and guided fishing trips are offered, right from your cabin door (doubles from $55; www.anglerswhiteriver.com).