Whether you’ve been visiting Eureka Springs for years or you’re planning your first trip into town, there’s nothing quite like this mountainside haven nestled in Arkansas’s Ozark Mountains. It’s been the home of CS Bank since the town's earliest days, when we were known as the Bank of Eureka Springs–in fact, we’re one of the only banks in Eureka Springs in continual operation since then!
While quite a bit has changed over the last 150 years, the heart of our community remains the same. There’s plenty of opportunities for families of all shapes and sizes and we’re here to give you the insider's Eureka Springs moving guide to help you get to know your new home.
The history of Eureka Springs goes back thousands of years, but it wasn’t until the mid-1800s that visitors arrived to experience the seemingly magical waters of the Great Healing Spring in the Arkansas mountains. The town rapidly grew with the establishment of the Ozark Bottling Company and, with the influx of new townspeople looking to benefit from the water’s healing properties, Eureka Springs quickly gained national acclaim.
Over 2000 buildings from the town’s founding decades are still being used today, thanks to their careful preservation and the town’s listing on the National Register of Historic Places. Plenty of community businesses and services are located in some of these historic buildings and landmarks. Both the library and hospital are still housed in their original structures, completed in 1912 and 1929.
With so much wildlife and stunning natural resources surrounding this historic town, many of the major attractions are located in the Historic Downtown area. The picturesque Victorian houses, museums, and town-hangout Basin Spring Park are favorite destinations for both tourists and residents alike. For a journey into the past, visit the 1886 Crescent Hotel and Spa, one of the oldest continually-operated businesses in town. Their balcony offers breathtaking views of the Ozarks and there are plenty of activities from full moon yoga and haunted tours to relaxing spa treatments. After some time putting your feet up, take a trip to the St. Elizabeth Catholic Church, a beautiful Eureka Springs landmark built in 1882.
A unique experience is The Great Passion Play, a spectacular performance of the events surrounding Christ’s death and resurrection held in an outdoor pavilion with live animals and over 150 actors. This is far from the only outdoor attraction in Eureka Springs though! The Blue Spring Heritage Center is perfect for families, with artifacts and exhibits including the remains of an old mill once powered by the large natural spring nearby.
To add to the destinations on the National Register of Historic places, and also known as the Ozark’s strangest dwelling, is Quigley Castle. Once home to Elise Quigley, an Italian immigrant with a love for gardening and botanical life, the home is full of tropical plants and trees, butterflies, crystals, fossils, and local artifacts.
If wildlife and adventure are more your pace, you’ll love Onyx Cave Park, a family-friendly location where visitors can take self-guided tours through the cave and enjoy gem panning and axe throwing afterwards. When all of your exploring has finished for the day, take a trip on the historic Eureka Springs and North Arkansas Railway to experience first-hand the journey that so many visitors have taken since the railway’s construction in 1883.
You have your itinerary planned, all of your activities and excursions listed, but you’re still in need of a place to stay. As one of the top tourist towns in the South, Eureka Springs has plenty of options for travelers looking for accommodation.
The Sugar Ridge Resort is ideal for either couples or families. With 180 degree views of Beaver Lake and the Ozarks, you’ll find yourself never wanting to leave. The resort offers 10 couples cabins and suites, or two family cabins at the other end of the ridge, with all accommodation located only a few miles from Historic Downtown.
Silver Ridge Resort is also an excellent option for groups of all ages, with a romantic Honeymoon Cabin for two or larger cabins that can accommodate parties of up to eight. Situated on over 110 private acres and surrounded by over 1000 acres of woodland, you’ll feel rested and recharged after spending your days in this tranquil mountain location. Best of all, you’re only 5 miles from downtown Eureka Springs!
If you would prefer to be closer to town, there are numerous cabins and cottages all over Eureka Springs so you’re sure to find a vacation lodging that’s perfect for what you’re looking for.
Local Food and Produce
We know that buying a house in Eureka Springs is a big commitment, especially if you’re moving from another state or across the country. But to help you feel like a local as soon as you arrive, there’s one activity that we’d recommend–tucking into some local Eureka Springs cuisine!
Arkansas produces more rice than any other US state, along with a significant quantity of soybeans, corn, and wheat, and our local restaurants and bars are known for their inventive creations using locally-sourced produce.
It wouldn’t be the South without ribs and pulled pork so here in Eureka Springs, our BBQ restaurants are some of the most popular in town. From award-winning Bad to the Bone to Bubba’s BBQ, you’ll find tourists rubbing shoulders with the locals at these culinary hangouts.
Start your day with a sweet treat from Ellen’s Patisserie or a fresh cup of joe from the Eureka Springs Coffee House. There are plenty of lunch options for a quick bite between shopping and museum visits, like the Mud Street Cafe. Don’t forget to pick up a few local Ozark souvenirs from the Eureka Market, where you can find everything from fresh baked goods to local meats and cheeses.
The Grand Taverne is ideal for a romantic night on the town, where produce grown on the balcony is used to create an upscale dinner experience. If you’re looking for something more casual, try Lucky 7 Billiards for a game of pool and bar food before grabbing a drink or two at Chelsea’s Corner Cafe and Bar, the Cat House Pub or Eureka Springs Brewery.
For a truly unique and memorable experience, plan a journey on the Eureka Springs and North Arkansas Railway Dining Car, with dishes from the 1920s to take you back in time as you travel along the century-old railway line.
Cost of Living
If you’re thinking about moving to Eureka Springs, your first thought is likely “how much is this all going to cost?” Before you start looking into mortgages and moving estimates, understanding the cost of living can be helpful. This will always be relative when you’re comparing to wherever you’re moving from, but, generally speaking, the overall cost of living in Eureka Springs is below the national average.
The median home cost is on the higher end for the state, at $174,000, but nearly $60,000 cheaper than median prices across the country. Rental costs for up to 4-bedroom units are cheaper in Eureka Springs than across the state and are significantly less than national averages.
Before you pack up and relocate, it’s important to know the tax rates for the area. Sales tax is currently 7% and income tax is 6.9%. Unemployment rates are around 4.5% and job growth over the next decade is expected to be approximately 30.7%.
Jobs and Local Industries
While construction and retail make up the largest industries in Eureka Springs, the banking industry is consistently one of the top employers in town. Manufacturing, natural gas mining, and agriculture are also significant industries in this location. In fact, Eureka Springs is one of the best relocation destinations for aspiring farmers or families looking to buy farmland to raise their family and a few feathered friends.
Arkansas is one of the top two states for producing young chickens, or broilers, for consumption across the country, accounting for roughly 41% of the livestock population of the state. Rice, soybeans, cotton, and cattle farming are all important revenue drivers for Arkansas farmers.
If you’re dreaming of a life where you can support your family using your own land and livestock, or you’re ready to take your farming business to the next level, talk to a CS Bank associate about our agricultural lending opportunities.
When you’re relocating with a young family, we know that getting a good picture of the local education institutions is incredibly important.
The Eureka Springs School District is home to the Highlanders and offers standout education for children of all ages, from preschool to 12th grade. Our teachers and support staff are active members of the local community, and Eureka Springs High School has been consistently ranked in the top 20 high schools in the state by US News and World Report for nearly a decade.
There are 32 colleges and universities within 100 miles of Eureka Springs, from local community colleges to the University of Arkansas only 30-40 minutes drive from the town. A new medical school is also under construction in nearby Bentonville, to begin enrolling students as early as 2024.
If you’re moving from another small city or town, you’ll likely find the transportation network in Eureka Springs to be similar to what you’re already used to. But if you’re coming from a big city like New York, Philadelphia, or San Francisco, you may be in for a surprise.
The Eureka Springs transit trolley is a great way to get around town and has four routes with roughly 20-25 minute journeys. The Red Route will take you through the Historic District, perfect for shopping and stopping at one of the many restaurants or museums. Both the Blue and Yellow Routes cover the east side of town, one counter-clockwise and one clockwise. The Purple Route takes you further out of town, along Highway 62W to the city limits.
All trolleys are wheelchair accessible and offer a range of fare options, from day passes to month-long options if you plan to use the trolley more regularly. Discounts for seniors, students, and children are also available.
Free parking in Eureka Springs is limited, so we advise leaving your car at home or at your accommodation and using the trolley service. Parking is available at the Transit and Welcome Center or the Planner Hill Park and Ride for a fee of $5 per day.
As a member of the Eureka Springs community since 1912, CS Bank is here to serve you and your family as you make the exciting move to our picturesque and historic town. We can’t wait to welcome you, give you a local’s view of the best locations around, and help you to buy your dream home in the Ozarks. Contact our team today to learn more about how to make your move to Eureka Springs as smooth and seamless as possible.