Eureka Springs – Living On Mountain Time
Like 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.”
This post originally appeared on the Purple Roofs Gay Travel Blog.
Image by Kirk Williamson