Located in central Arkansas, the city of Pine Bluff sits just south and west of the Arkansas River. Though it has a population of slightly less than 50,000, it’s located near many of the state’s most popular historical, cultural and natural attractions.
It’s an easy drive to Little Rock and the Ozark Mountain and Hot Springs areas as well, making it a great home base to explore from.
As part of the Mississippi Delta region, the central and southern areas of Arkansas are full of rivers, lakes and largely undisturbed forests that are magnets to nature lovers, bird-watchers and outdoor lovers.
Below are 10 things to do in and around Pine Bluff.
1. Jefferson County Historical Museum
Conveniently located on East 4th Avenue inside the Union Pacific Railroad Depot in Pine Bluff, the Jefferson County Historical Museum is one of the places that deserves to be visited on your trip to the area.
The depot was built in the first decade of the 20th century when railroads were the predominant mode of long-distance transportation for people and goods.
The museum focuses on the region’s history, mostly from the 1800s to the late 1900s.
Quite a few of the exhibits are based on the area’s pioneer history and the military campaigns that took place nearby during the Civil War.
2. Arkansas Entertainers Hall of Fame
Quite a few Arkansas natives have made it onto the national stage over the years; the Arkansas Entertainers Hall of Fame is dedicated to shining a spotlight on their hometown origins and meteoric climbs to fame.
Though you may not recognize some of the entertainer’s names, others you surely will – like famed singer Johnny Cash, and John Grisham, one of the most famous American authors of all time, whose niche is writing legal and suspense thrillers mostly set in the southern states.
The museum includes exhibits, displays, articles of clothing and other unique odds-and-ends that will give visitors a fascinating insight into the lives of these famous Arkansans.
3. Delta Rivers Nature Center
From an ecological standpoint, the Arkansas and Mississippi River deltas are some of the most important areas in the country.
They’re known for their amazing abundance of wildlife and are national treasures that most people don’t know too much about.
If that sounds like you, then a trip to the Delta Rivers Nature Center would be a great way to get up to speed and have a good time in the process.
The Nature Center includes an animal park, lots of interesting exhibits, and an area designed especially for kids boasting a range of unique interactive activities that’ll keep them interested and engaged.
4. Arts & Science Center of Southeast Arkansas
For a one-stop location that’ll give you and your travel companions a thorough insight into science, the arts, and the area’s unique history and culture, a visit to the Arts and Science Center of Southeast Arkansas would be a wise choice.
The facility is well-maintained. In addition to the permanent exhibits, lots of instructional classes are offered throughout the year; it’s home to some live performances as well.
It’s a great community resource, and since there’s so much going on, the best way to keep up to date is to check out their website periodically.
Most of the activities and events are free, though occasionally there is a small charge for some.
5. Arkansas Railroad Museum
Until the advent of a complete railroad system linking the southeastern United States’ cities, much of the area was mostly unexplored frontier.
Like many states, the railroads played a big part in the history and development of Arkansas and Pine Bluff; the Arkansas Railroad has been showcasing that history for decades.
The section of the line that ran through Pine Bluff was referred to as the Cotton Belt Railroad because much of the freight hauled was baled cotton. Most of this cargo made its way to the textile mills in South Carolina and industrialized northeast states like Connecticut and New York.
The museum is open every day except Sunday.
6. Murals of Pine Bluff
If you find yourself in town with an hour or so to kill and want to see some unique murals, then a quick jaunt to the Murals of Pine Bluff would be a great stop.
The area includes about 12 large murals that highlight different aspects of life in Pine Bluff.
Most of them are located right on Main Street not far from the courthouse, so they’re easy to get to. A few others are spread out a bit.
If you’re having a hard time keeping the little ones engaged, consider making a game of it to see how many can be found.
7. Little Rock Audubon Center
Located just up the road in the capital city of Little Rock, the Little Rock Audubon Center is the region’s premier center dedicated to education and preservation.
Surrounded by the Fourche Creek Wetlands and the Granite Mountains, it’s a truly unique ecosystem that’s full of plants, trees, and animals.
Sporting more than 2,000 acres of land, the center’s focus is on education in the areas of conservation, preservation, and the local flora and fauna.
An array of well-marked trails lead throughout the park, so you’ll have the opportunity to get out and see many of the things you’ve just learned about.
8. BoBrook Farms and River Bottom Winery
Comprised of nearly 250 acres of beautiful agricultural land in Roland, the Bobrook Farms and River Bottom Winery is a working farm, winery, and special events venue that’s second to none.
Conveniently located near Pinnacle Mountain State Park, the two locations are easy to see on the same day, making visits to them efficient ways to utilize your limited vacation time.
Tours of the winery are available; during the fall months, they host a variety of activities like picking your own pumpkins and gourds.
Their facilities can accommodate nearly 500 guests and are favorites for birthdays, weddings and family reunions.
9. Lake Saracen Walking Trail
If getting exercise is a priority even when you’re traveling, then don’t forget to pack your walking shoes.
Lake Saracen Walking Trail is a favorite spot for Pine Bluff residents who like to stretch their legs and enjoy fresh air any time of the year.
The trail will lead visitors past a lake that’s often full of ducks and wading birds. At just slightly under two miles, the paved trail is just the right length to burn a few calories without overdoing it.
From end to end it’s just under four miles, and is open rain or shine year-round.
10. Pinnacle Mountain State Park
Located a few miles west of Little Rock, Pinnacle Mountain is one of the area’s most recognizable geological icons.
The region around Little Rock and Pine Bluff is full of diverse landscapes; Pinnacle Mountain State Park is a great place to see many of them up close.
The park includes miles of walking and hiking trails, and nearly eight miles of rugged mountain bike trails as well.
The area is crisscrossed by a number of rivers that are magnets to local anglers, though you’ll need to purchase a license first if you plan to wet a line.