Select Traveler

SEP-OCT 2013

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thinkers and lots of travelers to its bohemian atmosphere. Eureka Springs would be equally at home in the mountains of Oregon or Colorado. I got the same great feeling there that I get in Asheville, North Carolina. "Groups should allow two hours to enjoy downtown," said Pryor. "Tey may want to do the historic tram tour, get of at the courthouse and have lunch on their own. Tere are 100 businesses downtown ofering art, clothing and home decor, and the vast majority are independently owned." Tat evening, we had dinner in one of the city's most famous institutions: Te 1886 Crescent Hotel and Spa sits high above the town and has a history that would make Vincent Price smile. When it wasn't being run as a hotel, one of its incarnations was as a cancer hospital in the 1930s run by Norman Baker, a half-crazed charlatan. If this article began with that storied hotel, I'd have to lead with "On a dark and stormy night… ." Te hotel does a good job of playing up its colorful past. Ghost tours are ofered most nights, and there's plenty of reading material available on its favorite fend: Baker. To describe Baker as misguided is an understatement. He bought the hotel in disrepair in 1937, and for several years, he proclaimed it a hospital, Tere he tried various unscientifc remedies for patients before they died. As a result, ghost stories abound there about sightings of nurses pushing gurneys down the corridors. Tat being said, the hotel has lovely views from its balconies and decks, and it features a state-of-the-art spa as well. Groups overnight there and often dine in the hotel's restored Crystal Ballroom. So you have choices: You can come for the spa or the spirits; you can enjoy the views or the visitations. Better yet, just bring your imagination and enjoy it all. You wouldn't be the frst person to live large in northwest Arkansas. Bella VistaÕs Myra Cooper Memorial Chapel Courtesy Bentonville CVB FORT SMITH THE NEW SPIRIT OF THE OLD WEST Photo courtesy of 2njoy Magazine 2013 Courtesy Bentonville CVB Start Your Visit at Miss Laura's Visitors Center! 2 North B St., Fort Smith, Arkansas. 800-637-1477 B A N K T R A V E L M A N A G E M E N T. C O M 31

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