Eureka Springs - Eureka Springs - Kirk WilliamsonLike 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.”

By Kirk Williamson – Full Story at Windy City | Arkansas Gay Travel Resources

This post originally appeared on the Purple Roofs Gay Travel Blog.

Image by Kirk Williamson

Purple Roofs


We started Purple Roofs in 1999, and we're still the best place to find small, "family owned" and gay friendly accommodations, with more than 4,800 bed and breakfasts, hotels, vacation rentals and other properties around the world, many of them with full page listings and photographs. Many of our listings ar small mom and mom or pop and pop businesses - places you'll have a hard time finding anywhere else. We also list hundreds of gay owned and friendly travel agents and tour operators around the world. Our Purple Roofs Gay Travel Blog lists thousands of gay travel articles, and once a month, we send the latest articles and gay travel events to our mailing list of more than 25,000 people. We also send out our monthly newswire with specials from gay innkeepers worldwide. Join our maillist here. We also list hundreds of gay travel events - from gay prides to ski weeks to film festivals. At Purple Roofs, we are gay travel.