Welcome to Jonesboro, Arkansas, a vibrant city nestled in the heart of the Natural State. Known for its rich history, warm hospitality, and stunning natural beauty, Jonesboro offers a myriad of experiences for visitors. Whether you’re a history buff, an outdoor enthusiast, or a food lover, this charming city has something for everyone. Join us as we embark on a journey to uncover the top things to do in Jonesboro, Arkansas.
- Discover History and Culture:
Begin your exploration of Jonesboro by immersing yourself in its history and culture. Visit the Arkansas State University Museum to delve into the region’s past, featuring exhibits on Native American artifacts, the Civil War, and local heritage. For an architectural marvel, explore the beautiful Craighead County Courthouse, a historic landmark built in 1900.
- Explore Crowley’s Ridge Nature Center:
Nature enthusiasts will find solace in the scenic beauty of Crowley’s Ridge Nature Center. Nestled on the edge of the unique geological formation known as Crowley’s Ridge, this center offers miles of hiking trails, interpretive exhibits, and educational programs. Immerse yourself in the diverse flora and fauna, observe migratory birds, and learn about the rich ecological significance of the area.
- Visit the Forrest L. Wood Crowley’s Ridge Nature Center:
For those interested in fishing, boating, or simply enjoying the outdoors, a visit to Forrest L. Wood Crowley’s Ridge Nature Center is a must. Situated on the shores of the beautiful 160-acre Craighead Forest Lake, this park offers a range of recreational activities. Explore the lake through fishing or paddleboarding, hike the trails, or relax with a picnic while taking in the serene surroundings.
- Jonesboro’s Downtown and Local Cuisine:
Stroll through the vibrant streets of downtown Jonesboro and experience its unique local flavor. Discover boutique shops, art galleries, and charming cafes, showcasing the city’s creative spirit. For a culinary adventure, savor the flavors of Jonesboro’s diverse dining scene, which features everything from Southern comfort food to international cuisines.
- Visit the Arkansas State University:
No trip to Jonesboro is complete without a visit to the Arkansas State University (ASU) campus. Explore the ASU Museum, featuring archaeological artifacts, natural history exhibits, and works of art. Attend a sporting event or catch a live performance at the Fowler Center, the hub of arts and culture on campus.
- Jonesboro’s Annual Festivals:
Plan your visit to coincide with one of Jonesboro’s vibrant festivals and immerse yourself in the local celebrations. The Downtown BBQ Fest showcases the city’s mouthwatering barbecue culture, while the NEA Fair offers thrilling rides, agricultural exhibits, and live entertainment. Other notable events include the Johnny Cash Music Festival and the Komen Northeast Arkansas Race for the Cure.
- Play a Round of Golf:
Golf enthusiasts can enjoy the stunning landscapes and challenging courses in Jonesboro. The Sage Meadows Country Club and the RidgePointe Country Club offer beautifully manicured greens and fairways, providing an excellent opportunity to tee off while admiring the natural beauty of the region.
- Jonesboro’s Art and Music Scene:
Indulge your artistic side by exploring Jonesboro’s thriving art and music scene. Visit the Bradbury Art Museum, located on the ASU campus, which features rotating exhibits showcasing local and national artists. Catch a live performance at The Forum, a premier venue for concerts, theater productions, and cultural events. Check local event listings for art walks, live music nights, and open mic sessions happening in the city.
- Escape to Lake Frierson State Park:
For a serene retreat, head to Lake Frierson State Park, just a short drive from Jonesboro. Enjoy fishing in the well-stocked lake, hike the scenic trails, or rent a kayak or canoe to explore the tranquil waters. The park also offers picnic areas and a playground, making it a perfect destination for a family outing or a peaceful day in nature.
- Jonesboro’s Antique Trail:
Embark on a treasure hunt along Jonesboro’s Antique Trail, where you’ll find a plethora of unique shops and boutiques filled with vintage collectibles, furniture, and memorabilia. Browse through the charming stores and discover hidden gems, one-of-a-kind finds, and pieces of history that will add character to your home or serve as delightful souvenirs.
- Experience Wildlife at Forrest L. Wood Crowley’s Ridge Nature Center:
Delve deeper into the natural wonders of Jonesboro by visiting the Forrest L. Wood Crowley’s Ridge Nature Center. Participate in interactive exhibits, nature programs, and guided hikes that provide insights into the diverse wildlife inhabiting the region. Keep an eye out for white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, and other indigenous species as you explore the center’s expansive outdoor grounds.
- Attend a Local Sports Event:
Jonesboro is a sports-loving community, and catching a game is a fantastic way to experience the city’s passion for athletics. Cheer on the Arkansas State University Red Wolves at a football or basketball game, or support the local high school teams at one of their exhilarating matchups. The electric atmosphere and enthusiastic fans will make for an unforgettable sporting experience.
- Day Trip to Village Creek State Park:
Venture a little further from Jonesboro and discover the natural beauty of Village Creek State Park. Located approximately 45 minutes away, this expansive park offers outdoor activities for all ages. Hike the scenic trails, go fishing or kayaking in the park’s lakes and creeks, and enjoy picnicking amidst the picturesque surroundings. Camping facilities are also available for those who wish to extend their stay.
- Explore the Northeast Arkansas Agricultural Expo:
If you have an interest in agriculture and rural life, make sure to check out the Northeast Arkansas Agricultural Expo. Held annually in Jonesboro, this event features livestock shows, rodeos, tractor pulls, and agricultural exhibits. It provides a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the region’s farming heritage and experience the excitement of rural traditions.
Jonesboro, Arkansas, is a hidden gem that offers a delightful blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. From exploring its rich heritage to immersing oneself in the great outdoors, there’s no shortage of activities to enjoy. Whether you’re a solo traveler, a couple seeking a romantic getaway, or a family in search of adventure, Jonesboro has something to offer everyone. So, pack your bags, embrace the charm of this enchanting city, and embark on an unforgettable journey through the heart of Arkansas.