The Itinerary at a Glance

Discover the Real America at the original gateway to the American West and future home of the United States Marshals Museum, Fort Smith!  Relive a history that inspired the iconic tale of True Grit and walk along the Trail of Tears.  Explore the majesty of the Ozarks by train.  Discover a growing gallery of world-renowned public art.  Visit the barbershop where Elvis received his famous military buzz cut and more…Tour Fort Smith, Arkansas!


Duration: 4 Days

Available: Year-round

This Itinerary is Ideal For: Adults

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Day 1

Miss Laura’s Visitors Center:  Tour the first former bordello listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  With prior arrangements, “Miss Laura” will be in costume to greet your group and give a guided tour.

Fort Smith National Historic Site: Relive a history that inspired the iconic tale of True Grit as you tour the court where Judge Isaac C. Parker and Deputy U.S. Marshals brought the most infamous outlaws of the American West to justice.  Groups also learn about the Five Civilized Tribes and see the remains of the first Fort Smith as they walk along a paved portion of the Trail of Tears path.

Fort Smith National Historic Site

Fort Smith National Historic Site

Dinner with Miss Laura’s Players:  Enjoy dinner along with a performance of the comedy skit “The Medicine Show on Hanging Day” by Miss Laura’s Players.

Day 2

First stop today will be Sequoyah’s Cabin, home to Sequoyah – also called George Gist – who developed the Cherokee alphabet in 1821, and then on to Tahlequah, OK.

Lunch will be at the Restaurant of the Cherokee, a buffet complete with fried bread!

Murrell Home: Tour the 1845 mansion built by George Murrell, who married a niece of Cherokee Chief, John Ross.

Cherokee Heritage Center:  Enjoy a guided tour through the Ancient Village, Cherokee National Museum and Adam’s Corner.

Back to Fort Smith for dinner.

Day 3

Driving Tour – Historic District and Public Art:  Discover a growing gallery of world-renowned urban and contemporary art in our Downtown area and the timeless architecture of Belle Grove Historic District.   Also included will be the United States Marshals Museum which opens in early 2021.

The Clayton House:  Tour this antebellum home of William Clayton – prosecuting attorney for Judge Parker.  This beautiful Italianate-style mansion was built in 1821 and later doubled in size.   With prior arrangements, lunch will be served following the tour.

The Fort Smith Museum of History – this afternoon we will see exhibits and displays here and learn about Fort Smith’s early days.  Enjoy an old-fashioned soda from the soda fountain and then ride our Electric Trolley, one that ran in our downtown in the 1920’s, now back on the tracks.

Dinner at Taliano’s: Housed in the James Sparks Home (1887), this Romanesque mansion features hand-carved fireplaces and original chandeliers.

Day 4

A & M Railroad Excursion: Head north and explore the majesty of the Ozarks aboard a vintage Pullman Railcar on this exciting excursion.

A & M Railroad Excursion

A & M Railroad Excursion

Tour and Lunch at Peel Mansion: Tour the 1875 mansion built for Colonel Samuel West Peel and visit the Heritage Garden.  Enjoy a catered lunch at the mansion.

Walton 5 & 10 Center: Visit Sam Walton’s original variety store, tracing the origins and growth of Wal-Mart.

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art: The art collection offers a superb overview of American art, including American masterworks and lesser-known gems, contemporary artwork, and temporary exhibits.

Dinner at the Catfish Hole before heading back to Fort Smith.

Day 5

Janet Huckabee/River Valley Nature Center: Built on 170 secluded acres, the Center offers an array of exhibits that focus on plants and wildlife that call Arkansas home.

Chaffee Crossing Historic District: Tour the WWII training facility and the barber shop where Elvis received the “buzz cut heard around the world” after being drafted.

Mount Magazine:  Lunch at The Lodge, the highest point in Arkansas, as you look out over the beautiful scenery. Tour the Visitors Center and visit the gift shop.

Arkansas Wine County: Visit St. Mary’s Church, then experience the tradition of Swedish wine making and enjoy dinner at Wiederkehr Wine Cellar before returning to Fort Smith.