Everyone knows that Northwest Arkansas is one of the best places to live in the United States. With amazing cities like Bentonville, Rogers, and Fayetteville and their museums, restaurants, lakes, and entertainment, what’s not to love? So we packed up our family and moved to NWA one year ago! Being “foodies” from California’s wine country, my husband and I were skeptical of all the hype. Boy were we wrong!
On one of our outings looking for new and exciting places around our new home, we headed west, and found one of the hidden gems of NWA, downtown Siloam Springs! Just far enough away from larger cities to avoid major traffic, but close enough to enjoy in the evening or weekends! Downtown is fast-developing, but maintains its captivating, historic beauty and feel. The shops are charming and the food is divine!
The first stop on our expedition was Pure Joy, literally and figuratively! Pure Joy is a scoop shop serving real ice cream, sourcing ingredients from local farmers and producers to create natural flavors that are bold and delicious. In addition to making fabulous ice cream, Pure Joy partners with charity’s for orphan care and prevention. Ice cream and helping orphans, how could you not love this place!
When you go to downtown Siloam Springs, bring your appetite for more than just ice cream, and prepare to be satisfied! The award-winning brick oven Italian pizzeria, Fratelli’s, is the best pizza I have had in NWA! There is also signature Ozark Plateau fine cuisine, classic cafe fare, fresh baked local pastries, and fresh Mexican food. Whatever you’re hungry for, downtown Siloam’s got it, and it’s amazing!
Now your stuffed and you’ve seen all the shops, is it time to go home? NO! Siloam Springs also offers an array of family fun and outdoor activities.
Two of my favorite places are Sager Creek Mountain Bike Trail is a new, five-mile mountain biking runs along Sager Creek, opening into two different trail systems on the north and west sides of the John Brown University campus. The soft surface trail covers terrain with various elevations and has been designed to be enjoyed by riders of various skill levels.
City of Siloam Springs Kayak Park is positioned along the scenic Illinois River. This family-friendly park features an engineered river for skilled kayakers as well as beginners. The park has specially designed riverbank access so families can enjoy the beautiful waters of the Illinois River. Additionally, there is a climbing boulder, a picnic area, accessible walking trails and rain garden.