14 Fun Things To Do In Fort Smith Arkansas

Belle Starr Antiques


If you’re looking for a new place to visit, Fort Smith is the place to be. This city has been around since 1819 and it’s still going strong! It sits at the intersection of three states: Arkansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma. Here are some of my favorite things to do in Fort Smith:

Belle Starr Antiques

Belle Starr Antiques is a great place to find antiques and collectibles. They have been in business for over 50 years and it is family owned and operated. Belle Starr Antiques is located on Rogers Avenue in Fort Smith, Arkansas.

U.S. Marshals Museum

For a fascinating look at the law enforcement arm of the U.S. Marshals Service, stop by their museum in the old courthouse. The museum is free and opens 10 am-5 pm Monday-Saturday.

  • The museum has exhibits on Old West outlaws and lawmen and how they were captured; an exhibit on Native American culture, including artifacts and art
  • A courtroom exhibit with information about court cases that were heard in Fort Smith from 1870 to 1980;
  • As well as historical photographs depicting life in Fort Smith over the past century.

A gift shop sells books, clothing items, and other gifts related to this area’s history (including one of our favorite books about local history: “Fort Smith: An Uncommon Place”). There’s also a cafe serving coffee drinks, sandwiches, and salads (open 9 am-2 pm).

Fort Smith National Historic Site

Fort Smith National Historic Site is the oldest federal fort in the nation and a major site in American history. Established in 1817 on the Arkansas River, Fort Smith was a major military post for the US Army during its early years. It played an important role during the Civil War, serving as an important supply center for Confederate troops while also housing one of three POW camps for Union soldiers. 

The fort was also home to Fort Smith College, which operated for much of its lifetime. Today, visitors can tour the grounds and learn about its history through exhibits at both sites run by National Park Service rangers who provide guided tours of each location daily throughout most months (May 1st through September 30th).

Miss Laura’s Visitor Center

If you’re looking for a relaxing day trip, make your way to Miss Laura’s Visitor Center in Fort Smith National Cemetery. The visitor center is located on the hill overlooking the cemetery and features exhibits on the history of Fort Smith. You can also see an exhibit on Colonel Sanders’ involvement in building the fort.

The center offers free admission and free parking!

Clayton House

  • In 1864, the Union Army occupied Fort Smith and established a military headquarters in the town’s first permanent building, the Clayton House.
  • The house was built by Fort Smith founder Major James C. Clayton in 1847. It is now an Arkansas Historic Landmark that houses museum exhibits and serves as a meeting place for many organizations throughout the year.

Central Mall

Located at 1301 Central Avenue, the Fort Smith Central Mall is home to over 60 stores and restaurants. The mall has three movie theaters and is open Monday through Saturday from 9 am to 9 pm and Sunday from 11 am to 6 pm. Security officers are on duty at all times, and there are also restrooms available throughout the mall in case you need a bathroom break.

Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority

You can find this site at 602 South 7th Street in Fort Smith. The mission of the Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority is to promote economic development through the revitalization of Fort Chaffee, and they offer several programs that can help you get your business going. They have also recently created an online marketing toolkit with information on how to use social media, SEO strategies, and more.

The Blue Lion At UAFS Downtown

The Blue Lion at UAFS Downtown is a great place to go for drinks, snacks, and live music. The decor is eclectic with a rustic vibe and gives off an old-world feel. The food menu has something for everyone, including burgers, wings, and pizza. When you’re looking for something lighter or healthier the salads are perfect! You can also get just about any kind of beer imaginable on tap or by bottle. 

On Friday nights they have some of the best jazz musicians from all over Arkansas play there every week! If you want to enjoy your meal in peace without being surrounded by loud drunk people then I recommend eating on their rooftop patio because it’s completely enclosed so nobody could bother you as long as you not smoking (because there are no ashtrays).

This place hasn’t changed much since its inception but that doesn’t mean it’s not improving itself! Last month they put up some new pictures on their walls which enhanced our dining experience; now when customers enter through those double doors they immediately see more than just a bar full of people drinking beer…they see artworks created by local artists too! They’ve also added an outdoor patio area which makes this place even better since now you don’t have to worry about sitting next to anyone else while enjoying some good tunes or delicious food

Main Street Live! on Garrison Avenue

You can get a taste of everything Fort Smith has to offer by checking out Main Street Live!, a free festival that takes place on Garrison Avenue every weekend. The two-day event offers live music, food trucks, and craft vendors for an affordable price ($5 per day). You don’t have to worry about bringing cash either—there are ATMs available on-site.

If you’re looking to catch up with friends or family while enjoying some good tunes, this is the place to be! You can expect anything from country music to R&B and pop hits to be played throughout both days of the event. There are also games like corn hole, ring toss, and horseshoes available for those who want something else fun to do aside from listening to music all day long.

Fort Smith Regional Art Museum

The Fort Smith Regional Art Museum is a museum in Fort Smith, Arkansas. It is located in the historic Fort Smith National Historic Site. The museum is home to the largest collection of art by Charles Russell in the world and has over 4500 works in its permanent collection.

The museum’s signature exhibit is “The Legend of Chief Pushmataha”, an epic painting by artist Tully Scott which depicts a story about two young Native Americans who were tricked into betraying their people to white settlers. This work has been featured on PBS, HBO Canada, and Nike commercials. The museum also features rotating art exhibits from various artists every year as well as other events such as concerts and lectures that take place on-site throughout each year.

Oak Cemetery

Oak Cemetery is located in Fort Smith, Arkansas. It was established in 1846 and is the oldest cemetery in Fort Smith. Oak Cemetery was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973 and contains many historic monuments and markers that are worth checking out if you’re visiting Fort Smith.

  • Confederate Army officer William Stokley McCallie; early governor of Arkansas Augustus H. Garland; 
  • Author Samuel Clemens (better known as Mark Twain) lived briefly in Fort Smith with his brother Orion Clemens before moving to San Francisco where he began writing for newspapers; 
  • Major General Robert Hallock Parkhill whose family founded what would eventually become Arkansas State University; 
  • Drury College founder Thomas Filer Clarke also served as mayor of Little Rock when it was first incorporated into what was then Washington Territory before becoming part of Arkansas statehood (1909); 
  • James Nelson Davidson who co-founded the city with his brother David Davidson along with two other businessmen named Catesby ap Roger Jones and John Brown Wilson

Ozark National Forest

Ozark National Forest is a national forest in the Ozark Mountains of the southern United States. It is located in the states of Arkansas and Missouri, with a small part extending into Oklahoma.

Ozark National Forest is located in southwestern Arkansas and north-central Missouri and covers over 1.6 million acres (6,500 km2). The forest encompasses much of the upper White River watershed including Beaver Lake and Bull Shoals Lake; these lakes are popular tourist destinations within this region. 

The Ozark Highlands Trail System traverses through Ozark National Forest as well as connects it to Buffalo National River; another popular destination within this area is Sacagawea State Park which preserves a historically important site for American Indians

Belle Starr Lake & Lodge and Belle Starr View Park

Belle Starr View Park is a great park to take the family for a picnic or an afternoon walk. It is located on the banks of Belle Starr Lake, which is a man-made lake that was built in 1973. You can enjoy views of Fort Smith from this unique vantage point, as well as watch boats and jet skis glide across the water. The park also has a playground, picnic tables, and walking trails leading around it so you can explore at your own pace. The park is open from 6 am to 10 pm daily.


With so many great things to do in Fort Smith, we hope you’ll find the right activity for you. Whether it’s taking in some culture at the U.S. Marshals Museum or enjoying a day at Belle Starr Antiques, there are plenty of ways to spend your time here!

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