Spring is just around the corner. That means less time stuck inside your dorm watching Netflix and more time in the great outdoors or hitting the town. For those who have been in Arkadelphia awhile, things start to seem like they are in a time loop. Hanging out in the dorm and hammocking at the bluff is fun for a weekend or two, but those activities can be monotonous after extended periods of time. While it may not be as exciting as we would like, Arkadelphia and surrounding areas offer a few hidden treasures waiting for bored college students to come explore them. The following five treasures are not only places where memorable moments can happen, but where they can happen cheaply and relatively nearby.
For an out-of-this-world experience, take a short trip across the ravine to Henderson State University’s Reynold’s Planetarium. The Planetarium offers shows about the night sky frequently and is only $1 for OBU students. For a full schedule of shows, go to the Henderson State University website. Shows are typically offered on Thursdays and Sundays and begin at 7 p.m. with a few exceptions.
If you feel like breaking out your dancing shoes, you can head on over to the Arlington Hotel in Hot Springs on a Friday night and dance the night away as a live band blasts music through the beautiful Arlington Lobby. If you aren’t much of a dancer, watching the group of elderly people who come to dance every week is something anyone can find entertaining, especially since they are the best dancers on the floor. The live band usually arrives around 8:30 p.m. on a Friday night. Be sure to contact the Arlington Hotel before going to make sure there will be a band playing. The entertainment is free to all participants.
Hot Springs is also a great place to enjoy nature by exploring various hiking trails. Hot Springs National Park has several quality trails that will keep you hiking for hours. While the trail is mainly forested, several trails will take you straight into downtown Hot Springs, where you can also enjoy a stroll down Bath House Row. Hiking is also free, although a water bottle is recommended.
For any student who gets desperate about paying their tuition, Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro, Arkansas offers a diamond dig with a “keep what you find” policy. Tickets for the day are $10, and any diamond you dig up is yours to keep. While traveling to Murfreesboro is a bit of a longer drive, the novelty of scavenging for diamonds is worth the trip.
Finally, once the spring weather starts to warm the air, you may want to take a weekend off and enjoy the outdoors by camping. Arlie Moore campsite offers quality campsites for only $14 a night, with access to Degray Lake, hiking trails and other recreational activities. Camping equipment can also be rented through OBU Outdoor Rec. Campsites are all on a first-come, first-served basis, so book your campsite in advance.
These are just some of the many exciting features that southwest Arkansas has to offer. The memories you make are will be better than any show on Netflix.
By Mattie Alexander, staff writer