You may think you know Siloam Springs
Five days ago if you had asked me if I knew Siloam Springs I would have said something to the effect of “You mean the 5 miles of strip mall next to the Casino on the way to the Cherokee Turnpike?” and to be fair I wouldn’t be alone in this assessment. The view that most people get is along 412 which is flanked by strip malls, car lots and fast-food joints doesn’t leave the strongest impression. So when we discussed taking our next post to Siloam Springs my husband gave me the “ok, but I think you’re crazy” look. When we got there, however, we both had to scrape our jaws from the floor.
A Case for Inclusion… But Only if When They Want To Be Included
Siloam Springs is the 30-40 min. drive from most places in the greater NWA area down a long stretch of highway 412 with very little on it other than farms, grass and trees. Though pretty, I think this drive is why Siloam Springs is often left out of the NWA metro area and thought of as a stand alone town. A sentiment I’m not sure the locals disagree with because they seem to being holding fast onto an old world charm that most of the “metro” area has lost or is losing. But with the commute from South Fayetteville to Bentonville easily clocking 30-ish min. the distance isn’t really shouldn’t be an issue.
So if you’re looking for a place to shop, a place to eat or even a weekend get away you might consider giving Siloam Springs a try. Here are the things that surprised us the most.
10 Things That Will Surprise You About Siloam Springs
- Star’s Hollow level of charm. If you don’t know the Gilmore Girls this imagery is totally lost on you but imagine the most picture perfect little town from a TV show and there you have it. Since you don’t get to see much by just driving through on the Highway it shouldn’t be surprising that there is much more than meets the eye but seriously, there are miles of parks, fountains everywhere, a gazebo just begging for weddings and locally owned shops everywhere downtown.
- Speaking of shops, there’s a place for everyone’s money. Are you into antiquing and junk shops? They have 3. Are you a clothes horse? There are some really cool boutiques for kids and adults. More of a smoke shop man? They’ve got that too. Hand crafted bath products? Yep. You can even get ultra modern artisan frames and woodworks so pinterest worthy your little heart will pop.
- After all of the photo ops and shopping you’re probably hungry and you’re in luck. You can get woodfired pizza Fratelli’s, or try Café on Broadway with more 5 star yelp reviews than you can shake a crostini at. In the mood for something more fancy? Sweetwater Tavern will delight and impress you with their daily specials (Chicken, bacon and peach salad for lunch anyone?) and the formidable 28 Springs is hard to miss. Whatever you do save room for dessert because Pure Joy Ice Cream holds up to it’s name.
- One thing most small towns lack is a nice place to get a good drink. I was completely blown away by Sweetwater Tavern’s beer, wine and cocktail selection. Everything was a fair price, my Moscow Mule was strong and refreshing and the ambiance was perfect. Nice but not pretentious and effortlessly charming. I would seriously consider driving to Siloam Springs just to go there.
- Street Art! Mostly by Jason Jones but the quality outweighs the lack of quantity here.
- Seger Creek runs right through the middle of town giving you a quaint but nice backdrop no matter where you are downtown.
- As you may have caught on, we are seimi-obsessed with Little Free Libraries. So we were pretty excited to find not one but two downtown with one of the funkiest designs we’ve ever seen.
- This could easily become your new favorite weekend get away. The Inn at the Springs has swoon worthy rooms, there’s plenty to do with shopping, hiking trails, the casino and the aforementioned restaurants and bars.
- If you’re lucky enough to be there in the summer you simply must go to our favorite swimming hole! The Siloam Springs Kayak Park is pure magic on a hot day.
- Apparently though, you don’t go to Siloam Springs for the “springs” anymore.