The Best of the Best, Part 2 – Traveling in Our Fabulous Gay World

Author: , January 12th, 2019

Gaslight Inn - Seattle Gay Inn

In our last travel column we listed 5 of our favorite 10 Gay accommodations where we have stayed. Over 18 years years we have traveled coast to coast and have stayed in over 100 Gay owned resorts, hotels, motels and Bed and Breakfasts. We are listing the second 5 here. Most of them have been very fine experiences and some were just ‘so so’ and a few have not been very good. It is like in the old days about Gay bars. All you had to do was open a Gay bar and you automatically had a lot of business. However Gay bars in the country are fading fast and over half of them closed in the past 10 years.

Over 40 of the Gay owned accommodations where we have stayed over the years are no longer in business. Most closed due to lack of business, some owners either retired or gone into another business or have died. 90% of the ones that have closed was due to poor management either by the owners themselves or by their staff. In today’s world Gays demand and are accustomed to a nice clean and safe place to stay. We have stayed in places that never changed water or put new chemicals in their hot tub, had ratty linens and no personalized service. And then they wonder why they did not have any returning customers and had to go out of business. Thankfully, there are those owners who respect their customers and want them to return again and again. Good for them! Below is a list of the other 5 of the best, where we have stayed and have stayed several time with them where we have always had a great experience.

ESCAPE RESORT IN PALM SPRINGS, CALIFORNIA

Escape Resort - Palm SpringsIt was purchased a few years ago by Mark and Greg who were originally from Denver. They have updated some things but kept the basic theme. We met most of the guests and they have been returning for years, from Germany, Australia and all over the world as well as all parts of America. The Resort has a great reputation. Mark and Greg KNOW how to treat their guests and is why so many return again and again. The resort is located within walking to downtown Palm Springs and to most of the Gay bars, so if you have a little too much to drink, you can always walk home. They have 12 rooms, from Queen to King to Suites and comes with TV, WiFi, individual climate control, DVD Players, luxury linens, bathrobes, iron and ironing board, digital safe, mini fridge and an outdoor private patio area. For those wanting to spend more than just a few days, they have kitchenettes so you can do your own cooking. Their website is www.escapepalmsprings.com and Email them at MyEscape@EscapePalmSprings.com or give them a call at 1.760.325.5269. or 1.800.621.6973

PIKES PEAK INN, IN WOODLAND PARK, COLORADO

Pikes Peak Inn - Woodland ParkTo get way from it all, we highly suggest staying the Pikes Peak Inn in Woodland, Colorado. If you ever need to get away from it all, then head to the High Mountains in Colorado. Pikes Peak Paradise Bed and Breakfast is THE place to go. It is located just 18 miles west of Colorado Springs and just to the south of Woodland Park also known as “The City Above The Clouds”. Woodland Park is located at 8,465 feet above sea level on the north slope of Pikes Peak and is surrounded by over a million acres of Pike National Forest. Pikes Peak Paradise B & B is located on 4 acres of private land. The views of the mountains and of Pikes Peak are breath-taking. And they are over 9,000 feet in elevation. All of the rooms/suites face south towards Pikes Peak. You are surrounded by trees mountains and more trees and mountains. You can watch deer everywhere. A full gourmet sit-down breakfast is served each day. In all of our travels, they make the finest gourmet breakfast! Ron Pijut is the owner and is a fabulous host. Check out their website at www.pikespeakparadise.com and their toll free number is 800-728-8282.

BROWN STREET INN IN IOWA CITY, IOWA

Brown Street Inn - Iowa CityIt is owned by Mark Ruggeberg and Bob Brooks. They have operated the Inn for more than 12 years. It is located at 430 Brown Street which is just a short walk to downtown. It is located in a lovely two story old home and decorated to perfection. Casual elegance in Iowa City’s historic Brown Street neighborhood. It is a 1913 Dutch Colonial Style Mansion and located on a very quiet street and within walking distance to downtown as well as to the University of Iowa campus. Mark and Bob are fabulous hosts. Their website is www.brownstreetinn.com Their toll free number to make reservations is 319.338.0435. Their email is info@brownstreetinn.com They have 5 rooms and one huge suite. They have a computer for guests as well as WiFi for those who bring their laptops. These gentlemen do EVERYTHING the right way.

GASLIGHT INN BED AND BREAKFAST IN SEATTLE, WASHINGTON

Gaslight Inn - SeattleThe Gaslight Inn B and B in Seattle is areal jewel. Their website is www.gaslight-inn.com and you can call them at (206) 325-3654. This Seattle bed and breakfast became a city-designated landmark 2015. Located on Capitol Hill, the city’s most exciting, convenient, walkable neighborhood – in the heart of gay Seattle. The Inn features great Northwest art, fireplaces in the lobby and in some guest rooms, and a heated seasonal pool in the back yard. Just minutes from downtown and Elliot Bay. Their address is 1727 15th Ave., Seattle, WA, 98122. Stephen Bennett is the owner and has owned it for many years. He has a lot of guests who return year after year. City bus stops are just a block away that will take you anywhere in the city that you would want to go. They have 8 furnished rooms in his magnificent Arts and Crafts home. This Seattle Bed and Breakfast became a city-designated landmark 2015.New Delhi Cafe - Eureka Springs

EUREKA SPRINGS IN ARKANSAS

(Donald and Ray with Mr. Bill, owner of the New Delhi Cafe)

What can be said about this beautiful hidden town in the Arkansas. It is truly the Gay Mecca in the entire Midwest! Travelers come from all over the Midwest and points beyond to visit there. Their are 26 listings on purpleroofs.com find the perfect B and B just for you. Eureka Springs has a population of just over 2,000 with most of the business Gay owned. Mayor Robert “Butch” Berry has done an outstanding job at bringing thousands of tourists throughout the years. This is a very laid back town where everybody gets along with everyone. While dining you might be sitting next to a black leather motorbike guy and on the other side a lady in a fur coat. We have visited Eureka many times over the years and it is always a very unique experience. When visiting BE SURE and go to the New Delhi Cafe located right downtown. Mr.Bill is the owner and a REAL Prince of a guy! https://newdelhieureka.com/styled/index.html. They have fabulous food, drink and a huge patio. Anyone who is somebody goes there!Check out purpleroofs.com for a complete listing on all the Bed and Breakfasts. Also check out https://www.eurekasprings.org/tag/lgbt/

Don and RayAlways remember to have fun when traveling, meet new people and talk to everyone!

TRAVELING IN OUR FABULOUS GAY WORLD is written by Donald Pile and Ray Williams, Award-winning, Celebrity travel columnists who write for gay publications from coast to coast (And now legally married).

Proud members of the IGLTA. You can email them at gaytravelers@aol.com and visit their website at http://gaytravelersataol.blogspot.com/

Hot Springs, Arkansas – Traveling in Our Fabulous Gay World

Author: , October 21st, 2018

Hot Springs - Donald and Ray

We have driven through and around Arkansas many times and we really think that there are only two places to visit in that State……. Eureka Springs and Hot Springs. Both towns are extremely ‘Gay friendly” and fun, Fun and more FUN! We have written up Eureka Springs a couple of times in the past and were in Hot Springs last month where we had a wonderful and very interesting time

There are two wonderful places to stay in Hot Springs: The Alpine Inn Motel, www.alpineinnhotsprings.com/ which is owned by Baker and Justin. They are two of the nicest guys you would ever want to meet. They have been in the hospitality business for several years and they KNOW how to treat their guests well. They just purchased the Inn earlier this year and also a purchased a large estate there which they will turn into an ‘event center’ for weddings, receptions, etc.

They are completely remodeling the Alpine Inn Motel as well as their estate as well as changing the name and will be all set to go early next year. With their professional background and their wonderful personalities we know that they will be extremely successful there. We will be having a special travel column on them later this year. The Hilltop Manor Bed and Breakfast,  https://www.hilltopmanorhotsprings.com/ and owned by Jennifer and Joanna is a luxurious Hot Springs National Park accommodations.

hot springs donaldHot Springs has been a very special place for tourists for years. Back in the day Al Capone and his ‘friends” would drive down and visit. Hot Springs is famous for their “hot springs and mineral baths houses, a few of which are still in business.  Although it still a rather small town, population of around 37,000, they have some extremely interesting restaurants.

hot springs lakeOur favorites were the Ohio Club, www.theohioclub.com/ which is the oldest bar/restaurant in the State dating back to 1905.  They have life music seven days a week. Another favorite was Fisherman’s Wharf Restaurant which is located right on the lake, www.facebook.com/5101spacity/ just to the south of downtown and Rolando’s, http://rolandosrestaurante.com/ .

hot springs hotelOn a bad weather day, you can dine indoors, otherwise they have a wonderful upstairs outdoor patio area which is THE place to dine. They feature a Latin American Cuisine and everything that they serve is absolutely FABULOUS! We had breakfast at the wonderful Venetian Room at the old Arlington Hotel, www.arlingtonhotel.com/default.aspx?pg=dining

Most everything is located right downtown with shops, restaurant, old hotels and plenty of things to see and do.  People drive from all over the Midwest to enjoy the town.

hot springs maxwellWe really enjoyed the “The Magic, Music and Comedy of Maxwell Blade which has been running for years.  www.maxwellblade.com/ It is the #1 Show in the entire State! It is located in the historic Malco Theatre in downtown Hot Springs. You will not find this kind of a show in Las Vegas! He has a huge following that returns to see his show whenever they return to Hot Springs. Witness this remarkable and extremely talented performer as entertains you with his magic, music and comedy.

hot springs bathsThe town has a few remaining Baths and Spas which are located in beautiful old buildings downtown that offers massages, including Swedish, Deep Tissue, Target, Foot, Hot Stone and Bamboo Fusion services. Check out  https://www.hotsprings.org/ before visiting Hot Springs.

Don and RayAlways remember to have fun when traveling, meet new people and talk to everyone!

TRAVELING IN OUR FABULOUS GAY WORLD is written by Donald Pile and Ray Williams, Award-winning, Celebrity travel columnists who write for gay publications from coast to coast (And now legally married).

Proud members of the IGLTA. You can email them at gaytravelers@aol.com and visit their website at http://gaytravelersataol.blogspot.com/

Arkansas Gay Travel Resources

Pond Mountain Lodge & Resort – Eureka Springs Lesbian Owned Resort

Author: , July 25th, 2018

Pond Mountain Lodge & Resort

Mountain breezes, panoramic views, and thoughtful hospitality await at historic Eureka Springs, Arkansas’ Pond Mountain Lodge and Resort. Secluded Cabins and Suites for couples, housekeeping suites with kitchens for families and groups, all complete with fishing ponds, swimming pool, and horseback riding on 150 private acres.

Pond Mountain Lodge is located just two miles south of Eureka Springs at the county’s highest elevation and enjoys a thirty mile view. We are surrounded by heavily wooded mountains…a perfect attraction for many species of birds and other wildlife.

Imagine a day of shopping in Eureka Springs or riding horses, followed by fishing in one of our 2 spring-fed stocked ponds or sitting poolside with cool drinks, then off to a relaxing soak in your private in-room Jacuzzi!

See the Pond Mountain Lodge & Resort Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Arkansas Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art – Traveling in Our Fabulous Gay World

Author: , June 9th, 2018

crystal bridges front

We recently had the opportunity to visit the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas. It was founded by Alice Walton and designed by Moshe Safdie, who has created some of the most remarkable architectural structures in the world. Ms. Walton spent millions and millions and millions of dollars creating one of the finest Museums in the country. The Museum opened in 2011 and offers FREE ADMISSION!

Actually it is much more than just a Museum as it is really a “Museum Campus” with hiking trails and paths plus a sculptor garden outside. It has space for public functions as well as concerts. The Museum’s quality and it’s range and depth has placed it as one of the finest Museums of Art in the United States.

Examples of artists are: Winslow Homer, Thomas Eakins, John LaFarge, Norman Rockwell, Mary McCleary, plus Charles Wilson Peale’s portrait of George Washington in addition to many more. Sculptor works are all over both inside the Museum as well as outside.

They have special exhibits from time to time so if you live near the Museum one needs to go back often. We know people in the Midwest that drive several hundred miles to visit the Museum several times a year.

This is truly a remarkable Museum and you really need to spend the entire day there. On site is a fabulous restaurant with not only interesting cuisine but a view of the scenic beauty to die for. The restaurant is named Eleven since the Museum officially opened on 11/11/11.

crystal bridges flwA few years ago they purchased a Frank Lloyd Wright house on the east coast and had it dismantled piece by piece and had it shipped to the Museum site and had it completely restored to perfection. It is of course on display for everyone to take a tour of. Truly incredible how that feat was accomplished but they did it. Taking a tour of the interior of a Frank Lloyd Wright house is something that one seldom gets to do.

Their website is https://crystalbridges.org/. Their hours are Saturday and Sunday: 10 AM to 6 PM, Monday: 11 AM to 6 PM, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday: 11 AM to 9 PM. Their address is 600 Museum Way in Bentonville, Arkansas and you can call to get information at 479.418.5700. Over 3 Million visitors have been to the Museum since it opened and we can see why. People drive from all over the Midwest to visit this Museum as well as people flying in from coast to coast.

We want to thank Alice Walton for many things, but especially for creating this absolutely remarkable Museum and making it free to the public. We need more people like her in the world. We also want to thank Beth Bobbitt, Director of Public Relations for her generous and professional courtesy to us during our visit. In all of our travels from coast to coast we have never seen such hospitality, friendliness and professionalism as the staff and docents of this Museum.

Don and RayAlways remember to have fun when traveling, meet new people and talk to everyone!

TRAVELING IN OUR FABULOUS GAY WORLD is written by Donald Pile and Ray Williams, Award-winning, Celebrity travel columnists who write for gay publications from coast to coast (And now legally married).

Proud members of the IGLTA. You can email them at gaytravelers@aol.com and visit their website at http://gaytravelersataol.blogspot.com/

Las Vegas Gay Travel Resources

Eureka Springs, Arkansas – We spent six days exploring the Ozarks and what we found was amazing!

Author: , October 9th, 2016
eureka-springs-photo-by-steven-skelley

Eureka Springs photo by Steven Skelley

Eureka SpringsArkansas – We spent six days exploring the Ozarks and what we found was amazing!

By Steven Skelley and Thomas Routzong

We had no idea what to expect when we were invited to visit Arkansas and Missouri. We spent six days exploring Eureka Springs and the Ozarks and what we found was amazing!

* Famous natural springs, lakes and rivers – check! (www.EurekaSprings.org or Eureka Springs Waterways)
* Beautiful rolling hills – check! (www.EurekaSprings.org or Eureka Springs Visitors Guide)
* Artists and art galore – check! (www.EurekaSprings.org or Eureka Springs Gallery Association)
* Pioneering citizens for equal rights – check! (www.EurekaSprings.org or Diversity Weekend)
* Historic and picturesque downtown – check! (www.EurekaSprings.org or Eureka Springs Chamber)
* LGBT relocation and business hotspot – check! (www.EurekaSprings.org or Out In Eureka)
* Spooky historic hotel – check! (1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa)
* Significant architecture – check! (Thorncrown Chapel)
* Mayor with a cool nickname – check! (Butch Berry)

We spent the night in a spooky hotel complete with a ghost tour. We strolled the historic streets and spoke with award winning artists. We enjoyed delicious meals ranging from upscale to something called ArkMex.

We had dinner with Eureka Springs Mayor Robert Dale “Butch” Berry. This is what he told us about Eureka Springs, Arkansas.

In one sentence, how would you describe Eureka Springs?

Eureka Springs, clinging to limestone walls, nestled in the mountains and surrounded by water, is a vibrant, authentic and historic cultural “island” in Northwest Arkansas known for its arts, architecture and culinary uniqueness.

How is Eureka Springs unique in architecture, dining and lodging?

Eureka Springs is the only town which has been listed in its entirety by its (1969) city limits on the National Register of Historic Places with National Significance.

Area restaurants can satisfy anyone’s appetite with everything from down-home Southern classics to romantic, candlelit dinners. With over 80 restaurants in the area that has award-winning restaurants serving savory Czech-German dishes, authentic Italian cuisine and spicy East Indian fare. You’ll find Mediterranean, Chinese, Irish, Mexican, Cajun, and Thai as well. You can also enjoy lunch or dinner on a dining car at Eureka Springs & North Arkansas Railway.

When it comes to lodging, cozy up in a downtown B&B, historic hotels, modern motel, a romantic private suite or cottage, or a cabin in the woods. And if you want to spend the night in a treehouse or with a lion or tiger in your backyard, we have that too!

How has Eureka Springs become such a home for talented artists and a destination for art lovers?

Artists have been flocking to Eureka Springs since the early 1920’s to live in naturally creative setting free from distraction and rich with inspiration.

Louis and Elsie Freund started the ‘art colony’ phenomenon in the 40’s when they opened an art school in Eureka. As nationally known WPA muralists and artists, the Freund’s attracted folks from around the country. They also organized some of the first art fairs and artisan workshops in the area.

Quickly, galleries opened downtown, art festivals were born. The May Festival of the Arts will celebrate 30 years in 2017!

Today, we have over 48 galleries, more than 350 working artists,  the Eureka Springs School of the Arts, Opera in the Ozarks, Melonlight Dance Theater, Eureka Springs Plein Air Festival and the Eureka Springs Artist Studio Tour, to name a few.

Artists like to live where other artists live and visitors appreciate their craft – Eureka Springs is that place.

How is Eureka Springs a destination for family travel?

Deep in the Ozark Mountains, Eureka Springs is a family paradise just brimming with activities – The Great Passion Play, one of the nation’s largest large cat sanctuaries, Turpentine Creek, and a Zipline over our valleys.

The city has over 63 springs and is surrounded by two rivers and three lakes with great fishing, smooth water for canoe or kayak floats, boating, jet skiing and paddle boarding.

Plus a 1600-acre city park, one of the largest city parks in the US, twice as large as Central Park, that is crisscrossed with 25 miles of hiking and biking trails and then there are several caves in the area available for touring.

Over 1.3 million visitors a year agree!

How is Eureka Springs a destination for LGBT travel?

Eureka Springs is the only city in Arkansas with a full non-discrimination ordinance clearly stating that Eureka Springs embraces equality, diversity and welcomes EVERYBODY.

Eureka Springs celebrates the LGBT community several times a year with Diversity Weekends.

Many of the galleries, restaurants, lodging and shops are LGBT owned.

Eureka Springs understands that equality and diversity are good for business, quality of life and essential for the arts, culture and entrepreneurial growth of Eureka Springs

Conclusion:

If the word eureka means “I’ve found it,” then Eureka Springs, Arkansas may be the most perfectly named city in the USA.

For more information about Eureka Springs, Arkansas, visit www.EurekaSprings.org or www.arkansas.com/Eureka-Springs

Check our www.GayTravelersMagazine.com USA Spotlight for more of our articles about Eureka Springs, the Ozarks, and Branson, Missouri.


Picture

Article and photos by Steven Skelley and Thomas Routzong
Copyright 2016 Sunny Harbor Publishing
Sunny Harbor Publishing
PO Box 560318, Rockledge, FL 32956
Phone: 321-446-7552
SunnyHarborPublishing@yahoo.com
www.SunnyHarborPublishing.org

City Sunday: Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Author: , February 28th, 2016

city-sundays-eureka-springs

Hey all,

Welcome to our weekly series on the blog and our Facebook travel groups – City Sundays. Each week we’ll select a different LGBT friendly city to talk about, and we’ll invite our innkeeper and travel agent/tour operator friends to come talk with us about it as well.

From “Out in Eureka“:

The first city in Arkansas to officially endorse same-sex marriage and the first and only city in the state with a Domestic Partnership Registry, and now the only city in Arkansas with an LGBT specific anti-discrimination ordinance, Eureka Springs also the number one vacation destination in the Mid-South for out and proud LGBT travelers.

The antithesis of the redneck stereotype, our micro mecca has been a beyond-gay-friendly getaway for decades– long before out was in. Here, one Gay Pride weekend won’t do. So, Spring, Summer and Fall we also celebrate a trifecta of Diversity Weekends that attract thousands of gay and lesbian gaycationers.

A microcosm of San Francisco, we boast a disproportionately large gay population, dozens of gay-owned and gay-friendly B&Bs, hotels, restaurants, bars, nightclubs, art galleries, shops, turn-of-the-century Victorian homes and vintage trolleys plying steep and narrow village streets.

Have you ever been? What did you do while you were there?

Do you wanna go?

Let’s chat! Join the conversation here:

Gay (Men) Travelers: Gay Travel Club
Lesbian Travelers: Lesbian Travel Club
Transgender Travelers: Transgender Travel Club
Bisexual Travelers: Bi Travel Club
LGBT Families: LGBT Families Travel Club

Check out our Eureka Springs page here:

https://www.purpleroofs.com/usa/arkansas.html

And our Eureka Springs articles on the blog here:

http://purpleroofs.com/gay-travel-blog/?s=Eureka+Springs

Rock Cottage Gardens – Gay Friendly Eureka Springs Bed & Breakfast

Author: , February 26th, 2016

Rock Cottage Gardens

Periodically we’ll feature one of our properties here to let our readers know about some great gay friendly places to stay.

The Rock Cottage Gardens Bed and Breakfast Inn, including a small wedding chapel and 5 private cottages, is a uniquely historic Eureka Springs landmark with a Thomas Kincade-like rock cottages.

The mainhouse residence is complete with formal living and dining gathering rooms for guest enjoyment and 5 individual private cottages, each with 2 person Jacuzzis, dedicated flat off-street courtyard guest parking, surrounded by 6 lovely garden areas with a fountain pond on 0.6 acres providing a peaceful setting for guest relaxation. Our location is a comfortable 10 minute walk to downtown Eureka Springs shopping, art galleries and restaurant venues.

rock-cottage-gardens-eureka-springs4All buildings are complete with gas fireplaces, air conditioning & heating. Guest cottages have either king or queen beds, 2 person Jacuzzi’s & showers, mini-frigs, cable/WiFi and all the amenities of a premiere award winning inn including, high quality Egyptian sheets, plush bath towels, bath salts, spa robes, handmade glycerin soaps, in room coffee service, complimentary water & soda daily.

Awarded the annual Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence consecutively since 2011 since purchased and The Talk of Town 5 star lodging awards our guests rave about the privacy of the cottages, the tranquility of our gardens, the outstanding 3 course breakfast service and the convenience to downtown. The main house can accommodate 20-25 guests.

The main house kitchen is commercially certified, th chapel can substitute for small guest gatherings as a common area meeting place for guest groups to enjoy a glass of wine or a game of cards.

See the Rock Cottage Gardens Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals in Arkansas

Featured Lesbian Accommodations: Pond Mountain Lodge, Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Author: , September 7th, 2015

Pond Mountain Lodge & Resort

Periodically we’ll feature one of our properties here to let our readers know about some great gay friendly places to stay.

Mountain breezes, panoramic views, and thoughtful hospitality await at historic Eureka Springs, Arkansas’ Pond Mountain Lodge and Resort. Secluded Cabins and Suites for couples, housekeeping suites with kitchens for families and groups, all complete with fishing ponds, swimming pool, and horseback riding on 150 private acres. Pond Mountain Lodge is located just two miles south of Eureka Springs at the county’s highest elevation and enjoys a thirty mile view. We are surrounded by heavily wooded mountains…a perfect attraction for many species of birds and other wildlife.

See the Pond Mountain Lodge Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals in Arkansas

Featured Gay Friendly Accommodations: Cliff Cottage Inn, Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Author: , June 17th, 2015

Cliff Cottage

Periodically we’ll feature one of our properties here to let our readers know about some great gay friendly places to stay.

Named “Most Romantic Inn of the South”, only B&B with a fairy who delivers a full-gourmet breakfast right to your door. All double-Jacuzzi suites and cottages with private hottubs. Fireplaces. Complimentary champagne/wine. Private balconies overlook town. Off-street parking. Be prepared to be pampered!

See the Cliff Cottage Inn Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals in Arkansas

Eureka Springs – Living On Mountain Time

Author: , November 26th, 2014

Eureka Springs - Kirk WilliamsonLike the gravity of spring water running down a mountainside, Eureka Springs, Arkansas, located in the Ozarks in the northwest corner of the state, has a power to draw a diverse group of citizens and tourists … many of whom end up as citizens. It’s the kind of place that enchants you and convinces your heart that it’s found its home.

The town has been a draw since the Industrial Revolution, when weary wanderers would come from the soot-soaked north to “take the waters” at a series of natural springs, which they found to have curative powers. A modern retrospect might suggest that it was simply fresh mountain air and clean water that did the trick, but the lore evolved that the water of those springs would cure what ailed you.

Cut to modern times, when a dual resurgence of hippy artist types and Christian pilgrims to the city’s Great Passion Play helped to build up this mountain burg and establish its easy-going, inspirational feeling.

Most interesting is the LGBT contingency of Eureka Springs. Some estimates claim that up to 30 percent of the downtown businesses are gay-owned. Catch the members of the Gay Business Guild of Eureka Springs ( which you can find in different locations each Wednesday evening at their weekly “Prayer Meeting” ) and they’ll each tell you their stories of how they came to Eureka Springs, and how the charm of this hidden gem welcomed them as one of the crowd. These residents help Eureka Springs retain its status as the “gay capital of the Ozarks.”

By Kirk Williamson – Full Story at Windy City | Arkansas Gay Travel Resources

Image by Kirk Williamson