Posted in Arkansas
Sightseeing features September 21, 2022
Did you know you can take Interstate 40 from Arkansas to California? In fact, it’s at 2,557 miles third longest highway in the nation . West of Memphis Tennessee, the Interstate cuts through the Arkansas Delta and stretches approximately 290 miles across the state to the historic town of Van Buren. And the drive is absolutely beautiful as there are many incredible towns and cities along the way.
As you drive west across the Hernando-de-Soto Bridge toward Arkansas, the freeway sign will make you feel welcome and pleased. Cruising the great Mississippi River is a pleasant way to enter the Natural State.
Once through Arkansas, head toward the
city of West Memphis, tucked away on the western side of the Mississippi River. The city has been dubbed the “Crossroads of America” due to its geological location and importance in the trucking industry. But it’s best known for Big River Crossing, the longest active rail, bicycle, and pedestrian bridge in the country. So West Memphis continues to be a hub that connects people in the area.
Finally, as you travel west through the Delta region, head to the town of Forrest City. Known as the ‘Jewel of the Delta’, this town sits on scenic Crowley’s Ridge. And it’s rich in
culture, art, and has many recreation parks, lakes, hiking trails, and more. And the East Arkansas Community College Fine Arts Center has transformed this city into a cultural hotspot.
After leaving Forrest City, you will drive through the small towns in the Delta. These towns may be small, but they have some of the best home cooking in Arkansas. From there it goes directly to the state capital. And Little Rock offers endless adventures and places to discover. There are countless historical sites, museums,
art and culture, food, hiking trails and much more.
From Little Rock, Interstate 40 heads north and enters the town of Conway. Home to three major universities, Conway is a popular college town. But Lake Conway also attracts many visitors. And at approximately 6,700 acres, it’s the largest built wildlife and fishing lake in the country.
About 20 miles outside of Conway you arrive in Morrilton. The area was first settled as a trading post around 1819 and eventually became a popular railroad stop after the train depot was built in 1910. Of course, Morrilton is best known for being the home of Petit Jean
State Park. Not only is it the first state park, it’s also Arkansas’ favorite.
The next major city you will drive through is Russellville. Interstate 40 runs through the north side of the city. First established in the 1830’s, Russellville is perhaps best known for its access to Lake Dardanelle as well as its proximity to the Arkansas River. This makes Russellville a great recreation center with some of the most beautiful sunsets you will ever see. But it’s also home to Arkansas Tech University and the state’s only nuclear power plant.
Continuing on Interstate 40, head towards the charming town of Clarksville. And because of its location, the city is known as the “Southern Gateway” to the Ozark Mountains. This means it is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise. There is no shortage of beautiful views and leisure activities. And the delightful town is home to the Johnson County Peach Festival, one of Arkansas’ oldest festivals.
On the final stretch of I-40, you’ll enjoy driving through the scenic region, passing through wine country and charming little towns along the way. Finally you reach the beautiful town of Van Buren. Be amazed by the historic downtown lined with beautiful Victorian-style architectural buildings. The city is also a paradise for art and antique lovers.
so what City off Interstate 40 is your favorite? Tell us why you love it so much in the comments below.
And don’t forget to read our previous article on them City with the best cultural scene in Arkansas .