“The City that Water Built”
One of the biggest draws to Eureka Springs is its health and wellness ambiance, as evidenced by the number of spas, bathhouses and holistic healing centers that have been part of the livelihood here since the natural springs were discovered by the Native Americans.
Today, both residents and visitors alike take advantage of a wide array of services from reflexology to mineral baths, manicures and pedicures, steam treatments, facials, massages, aromatherapy and so forth.
For spa treatments try New Moon Spa, The Palace Hotel and Bathhouse, Suchness Spa, Gryphon’s Roost Day Spa & Gallery and Ruby’s Spa are among the places to relax and recharge - mind, body and soul.
Gastronomy - Ozark-Style
Culinary adventures in Eureka Springs are plentiful, ranging from small mom ‘n pop joints to award-winning restaurants. Popular places include the Catfish Cabin, La Familia, New Delhi Café, Local Flavor Café, Shawbee’s Big Dawg Saloon, Grandma’s Beans and Cornbread, Bubba’s Barbecue, Sparky’s Roadhouse Café, Sister’s Café, and Devito's Restaurant, voted “Best Italian Restaurant in Arkansas” by the Arkansas Times, among numerous others.
This time around, we were dying to try Café Luigi Patio Restaurant, recommended by Southern Living and National Geographic Traveler magazines. Featuring a spacious patio situated just above busy Main Street across from a lively indoor/outdoor biker bar teaming with tons of chrome, chaps, and free-spirit camaraderie, Luigi’s serves outstanding, made fresh-to-order entrees infused with intricate flavors.
We opted for the “Choose your own Pastas,” the kids ordering Fettuccini and Shrimp and Linguini, both with Alfredo sauce. The sauce is a noteworthy far cry from the customary butter and heavy cream-laden “heart attack on a plate” variety, instead made with a savory garlic, white wine, light cream and herb sauce that gently graced the pasta instead of overpowering it.
I went for the fettuccini as well, with creamy pesto sauce and Italian sausage. The sauce was, again, a light and flavorful Luigi’s creation underscoring the oodles of fresh basil and a sizeable rich and earthy sausage link that lent a contrasting yet complimentary zest to this dish.
Accompanying our entrees were fresh salads and delicious homemade garlic bread. Topping it all off was the attentive service both from the manager and food server who, like every proprietor we encountered in Eureka Springs, treated us like old friends.
Until We Meet Again
Fully sated, we took a leisurely stroll through town, once again reveling in the captivating Ozark ambiance.
Taking one last long look at the beauty around us, we agreed that Eureka Springs is a fantastic vacation spot that will keep pulling us back for years to come.