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7 Reasons to Visit Russellville, Arkansas: Top Things To Do When Visiting

Intro: Through the hometown series, we have traveled to big cities and small towns across the globe as travel bloggers share with us why their hometown should be on our bucket lists! We have explored Virginia Beach in the US, Delhi in India, Utrecht in the Netherlands, and my own small hometown of Herkimer, New York. Next we will head over to the Southern US state of Arkansas as we travel to the nature escape of Russellville. Kia from Passport Noire takes us to her hometown to share all the great reasons to visit Russellville, Arkansas.

If you are looking for an untapped, local travel destination, Russellville, Arkansas is the perfect place for you. With an abundance of outdoor activities and great restaurants, there is something for everyone in this small southern town. From fishing to sampling amazing cheese dip, here are 7 reasons to visit Russellville!

standing on the top of a mountain, reasons to visit Russellville
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Boasting a population of just under 30,000 people, this town in Arkansas, affectionately known by locals as RussVegas, offers a small-town vibe with southern hospitality. Arkansas is known as the Natural State, and thus offers a variety of outdoors adventures that are truly a highlight of visiting the city of Russellville.

Attractions: 7 Reasons to Visit Russellville

Mount Nebo State Park

At an elevation of 1,350 feet, Mount Nebo is just a short drive from Russellville. This mountain offers gorgeous panoramic views of Lake Dardanelle and the Arkansas River. If you are able to hike up this mountain, I definitely recommend that you do so! It offers 14 miles of hiking and bike trails, as well as idyllic points along the mountain that offer stunning views of sunrise and sunset.

Mt. Nebo State Park entrance sign, reasons to visit Russellville
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Mt. Nebo State Park. Photo Credit: Passport Noire.

You can also rent one of the full service cabins in the state park. These cabins feature full service kitchens, kitchenware, AC/heating, and television. You can make reservations for these cabins HERE. Mount Nebo is perfect for your next Arkansas hiking or camping trip.

Lake Dardanelle State Park

Another ideal destination for nature enthusiasts and one of the best reasons to visit Russellville is Lake Dardanelle State Park.  Lake Dardanelle is a 34,000 acre reservoir area that provides endless opportunities for outdoor activities, including a fishing pier, beach, trail, small aquarium, and visitor center. There is also a large campground with amenities including full hook-ups and showers on the site. Whether you’re planning an afternoon picnic or a full-day fishing trip, Lake Dardanelle has something for the outdoor lover in everyone.

view of Lake Dardanelle, reasons to visit Russellville
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Lake Dardanelle. Photo Credit: Passport Noire.

Post Winery

For a short day trip, visit Post Winery–approximately 45 minutes outside of Russellville in the small town of Altus. Altus is comprised of a number of vineyards and wineries that make up Arkansas’ Wine Country. Post Winery is one of  the most popular and most famous wineries in Arkansas Wine Country. As the largest winery in Arkansas, it features both wine tasting and vineyard tours. You can check out the Trellis Room, which functions as both a restaurant and wine tasting venue, and you can also choose from their selection of wines in the retail store. Be sure to try the Blue Parachute, their most famous wine selection. My personal favorite is the Chardonnay. Whatever you choose, you’ll certainly enjoy your visit!

Post Winery menu
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Post Winery. Photo Credit: Passport Noire.

Thone Stadium at Arkansas Tech University

Russellville, AR is also a college town, as it is home to Arkansas Tech University–a public university with nearly 9,000 students. When you’re in town, visit Thone Stadium for a Wonder Boys college football game! Locals flock to these games to cheer on their favorite college team. Be sure to rock your green and gold attire as you watch this NCAA Division II football team eliminate the competition!

The Garage Arcade

Game over, man! If you love arcade games and classic entertainment like pinball machines, head on down to The Garage Arcade, located downtown near Main Street. This venue has the most extensive collection of vintage video game cabinets around town, with everything from Mortal Kombat to Tekken 2. Prepare to time-travel back to your youth with these retro games. There’s also additional game and party rooms for booking larger events or get-togethers.

The arcade’s small cafe area is also perfect for a mid-afternoon coffee break, with a variety of caffeinated beverages and small eats.

Pope County Fair

As the seat of Pope County, Russellville serves as the location for the Pope County Fair each Fall. With exhibitors from Russellville and the surrounding cities of Dardanelle, Dover, Atkins, and Pottsville, there’s no shortage of food and fun. Featured are a selection of live stock, a petting zoo, multiple food vendors, and an array of local merchants that make the fair an experience not to be missed.

Bona Dea Trails

Bona Dea Trails is a nature trail that spans over 3.6 miles, giving local hikers the opportunity to take in all of Pope County’s natural beauty. The trails offer a main loop perfect for hiking, biking, or running. Along the way you’ll find plenty of wildlife, including numerous species of birds–making this an ideal spot for bird watching!

Reasons to Visit Russellville: The Eats!

Stoby’s Restaurant

After you’ve wrapped up a full day, be sure to stop by Stoby’s Restaurant on Parkway Drive. This restaurant offers delicious southern food, and is a local favorite. The restaurant is set in an old train depot and dining car, which makes for an incredibly unique dining experience. Be sure to try their famous Original Cheese Dip! The cheese dip is so popular, it in fact won 2nd place in the World Cheese Dip Championship in 2010 and was on Esquire Magazine’s list of top breakfast places in America.


Courtyard by Marriott

The Courtyard by Marriott is my top pick for hotel stays in Russellville. Recently constructed in 2018, this hotel has a new, modern feel with great amenities, including an on-site restaurant and bar, gym, pool, free wi-fi, and on-site parking. It’s also an ideal location if you desire to be close to popular area restaurants, the Bona Dea Hiking Trails, or Arkansas Tech.

Final Thoughts

Russellville is a wonderful destination for your next Arkansas vacation. With its central location, it’s convenient to visit from anywhere in the state or even other neighboring states, like Tennessee or Texas. There are a variety of things to do in Russellville, including eating at amazing restaurants, embarking on excellent hiking trails and trying recreational water sports.

About the Author

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By profession, Kia Byrd is a physician in Internal Medicine in Dallas, Texas.  Though born in Mississippi, she spent a significant portion of her childhood growing up in Arkansas. She is a public health champion, author and health care advocate.

She enjoys learning about different cultures through travel, and decided to start a couples travel blog, Passport Noire, with with her co-creator and significant other, Arias WebsterBerry.

They began Passport Noire, initially, with the intention to share their experiences and the things they’ve learned with family, friends, and fellow travelers. It has evolved into a platform to encourage young millennials, especially millennials of color, to see the beauty in travel.

Kia’s favorite international destination is Barcelona, Spain. Her favorite domestic (US) destination is New Orleans, Louisiana. 

More From Kia

Check out these featured posts from Kia:

Travel like a Student! Planning a Budget-Friendly Trip to the UK

Black Love on the Slopes: Our Guide to 5 Days in Breckenridge, Colorado

And be sure to follow along with Kia’s adventures at Passport Noire and follow her on instagram!

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Discover 7 reasons to visit Russellville, a small town in Arkansas that makes for a great outdoor and nature escape
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