Located in Arkansas’ northeast corner near the neighboring states of Missouri, Kentucky, and Tennessee, Jonesboro is the state’s 5th largest city.
In general, Arkansas is known for its rural nature and the vast tracts of pristine forests, mountains, rivers, and lakes that dot the landscape, making it a true wonderland for hunters, fisherman, bird-watchers and outdoor enthusiasts.
With a population of slightly more than 70,000, Jonesboro is more of a town than it is a city, but it has its fair share of cultural and historical attractions that are worth a visit when in the area, so staying busy won’t be difficult.
1. Forrest L. Wood Crowley’s Ridge Nature Center
Located on the southern border of Jonesboro city limits, the Forrest L. Wood Crowley’s Ridge Nature Center is a community educational center that was established to help preserve and promote the area’s natural environment.
With both indoor and outdoor areas, the center is comprised of nearly 18,000 square feet of displays, exhibits and natural areas that are home to a fantastic variety of plants and animals.
The nature center is on East Lawson Road and includes trails that are easy to walk and well-marked. They are appropriate for any age, and you won’t need to worry about getting lost.
2. Arkansas State Museum
The Arkansas State Museum is also regularly referred to as the ASU museum, so if you hear locals using the names interchangeably, that’s why.
ASU stands for Arkansas State University, and the museum was built to provide educational, historical and cultural enrichment programs, also to promote and preserve the area’s rich history.
Located on the ASU campus in the state’s northeast region, it is a beautiful, rugged part of the Mississippi Delta area.
Tours are available if you’d prefer a guide, or you’re welcome to look around for yourself. Throughout the year, the museum hosts an amazing variety of activities.
3. Craighead Forest Park
Due to its proximity to Jonesboro and its many amenities, Craighead Forest Park is a favorite spot for outdoor activities and relaxation when the weather is nice.
The park includes nearly 700 acres of land within the city limits; there’s even a lake stocked with bass and bream that’s popular with local fisherman. Lots of trails lead throughout the grounds too.
There’s a playground that’s a big hit with little ones, as well as basketball courts, a small disc-golf course, and plenty of areas for relaxing, reading a book, or just laying out and catching a few rays.
4. Lake Frierson State Park
Lake Frierson State Park is located on South Culberhouse Road and includes 20 RV sites with full water and electric hookups.
In many ways, Arkansas is a sportsman’s paradise; the state is full of mountains, forests, rivers, and lakes that offer excellent fishing, hunting, hiking, and bird-watching opportunities.
Even if you’re visiting a relatively urban area like Jonesboro, there are still plenty of options if you’d like to get outside without straying too far.
Lake Frierson State Park is a favorite of local fisherman, most of whom come to try their luck with the lake’s bass and catfish that are stocked regularly.
5. Centennial Bank Stadium
Though it was previously known as Liberty Bank Stadium, Centennial Bank stadium – as it’s now known – is the home football stadium of the Arkansas State University Red Wolves.
The stadium can become a bit of a madhouse on game days, but tickets aren’t that difficult to get a hold of. Even if you’re on campus when the stadium is empty, it’s worth a look.
With a seating capacity of slightly more than 30,000, it’s not the biggest in the state, but it’s a great place to catch a game and get swept up in the spirit.
The stadium is on Aggie Road on the ASU campus.
6. The Skirmish at Jonesboro
Arkansas had its fair share of battles during the War Between the States, and The Skirmish at Jonesboro was one of them.
It’s a historic site that’s managed and preserved by a local trust that aims to maintain the area’s heritage.
Craighead County was aligned with the Confederacy during the Civil War, and northern and southern troops often passed through Jonesboro en route to other battles causing more than a few deadly skirmishes.
You’ll learn all about it by visiting and getting a fascinating look into the past.
The site is located on South Main Street near downtown Jonesboro.
7. The Fancy Attic Antique
Located just a hop, skip and jump off the I-555, The Fancy Attic Antique store is a great place to look for vintage, antique and historical knick-knacks, housewares and arts and crafts that you won’t find anywhere else.
They’re located on Alexander Drive and have a huge variety of things to comb through, so plan on spending an hour or two if you have the time.
They’ve got friendly and helpful staff, and it’s a great place to pick up some unique Jonesboro and Arkansas trinkets that make great gifts and keepsakes.
The shop has quite a selection of antique furniture as well.
8. The Bradbury Art Museum
Located on Olympic drive in Jonesboro, The Bradbury Art Museum houses the area’s most extensive collection of contemporary art.
It’s located on the campus of Arkansas State University and primarily displays modern art, including photographs, painting, sculptures, and many unclassifiable installations as well.
The museum has permanent exhibits but also hosts some temporary exhibitions throughout the year. Regardless of your taste, you’re bound to find something that interests you.
The best way to keep up to date is to check their website periodically to see what’s on the calendar when you’ll be in the area.
9. Tomlinson Stadium
Located on the campus of ASU, Tomlinson Stadium – or Kell Field – is the stadium used by the college’s baseball team for practice and home games.
Initially opened in 1993, it has undergone a few makeovers since then, making it a comfortable and exciting place to relax and enjoy America’s pastime.
The stadium holds a little more than 1,000 spectators and can get pretty full when the Red Wolves are in town.
The concession stands serve great dogs, pretzels and sodas. Unlike the major leagues, a family outing won’t require a maxed-out credit card or a second mortgage.
10. Skinny J’s
Generally speaking, you won’t find dainty finger food and small portions in Arkansas, but at Skinny J’s, you will find plenty of fresh, local ingredients professionally prepared for a reasonable price.
They’re known for their steaks, ahi tuna, and yummy homemade pasta.
The original restaurant opened about ten years ago; due to their success, there are now three other locations in the Jonesboro area.
They’re open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and brunch on Sundays.
The family-friendly atmosphere is comfortable, and they’ve got great cakes and pie that are always fresh.
11. The Mall at Turtle Creek
For all your shopping needs while in the area, the Mall at Turtle Creek is the one place you can go that will have nearly everything you could want.
With big retailers like Target, Barnes & Noble, and Dillard’s, it’s the only mall of its kind in the Jonesboro area.
There’s a food court with lots on offer and a cozy coffee shop in the bookstore if you’d like to take a load off, enjoy a new book and sip an espresso or cappuccino.
The mall is located on East Highland Drive and is an excellent destination for those looking to get out of the elements.
12. Ultimate Air Trampoline Park
Conveniently located on Shelby Drive, Ultimate Air Trampoline Park is a great place to take those rambunctious little ones who need an outlet for all their energy.
The park features a number of trampolines designed for different ages and abilities. For safety reasons, big kids and parents are not allowed to jump around with the little ones.
There’s staff on-hand to make sure everyone has fun, gets their money’s worth, and doesn’t get hurt.
The trampoline park is a great place for birthday parties and other special events and can be rented with advance notice.
Check their website for hours and prices.
13. Winter Wonderland
If you’re lucky enough to find yourself in Arkansas’ northeast region near Jonesboro for the Christmas and New Year seasons, then a visit to Winter Wonderland is a must.
It’s a bit of a local legend and has been wowing visitors for generations.
Without a doubt, it’s the area’s most completely decorated Christmas exhibit, and with so much to see, you should plan on spending an hour or so walking among all the decorations.
Although it’s free to visit, they do accept donations at the box by the door. It’s a great way to ensure that the local gem is kept open for generations to come.
14. Lake Charles State Park
Located on the beautiful shores of Lake Charles, The Lake Charles State Park is one of the Jonestown area’s go-to locations for outdoorsy fun and sun.
The park’s amenities include designated camping areas, plenty of hiking and biking trails, shaded pavilions, a boat ramp, playground and beach that’s suitable for swimming.
If you’ve forgotten anything, there’s a shop on site that sells camping supplies, snacks, drinks and other handy stuff you may need.
Not all parts of the park are open year-round, so it’s best to check their website for specific information, like hours, schedule and prices before you go.