The town of Beebe, Arkansas, is located in the center of the state on Route 167, between Little Rock and Jonesboro.
With a population of just over 7,000, it’s among the largest municipalities in White County and is home to a satellite campus of Arkansas State University.
The town was incorporated in the 1870s and named after a railroad executive who decided to run a rail line through the town, contributing to its economic growth and overall development.
With many of the state’s most popular attractions within just a few hour’s drive, it’s a great place to stay while seeing all the state has to offer.
Below are 15 things to do in and around Beebe.
1. Do Drop In Flea Market
Located on West Center Street in Beebe, the Do Drop In Flea Market isn’t the only flea market in town, but it’s one of the most popular.
The Do Drop In is part antique store and part thrift shop. With such a variety of items for sale, there’s a little something for everyone – especially those who have the time and patience to look carefully and recognize a good deal when they see one.
They often post sales and other specials on their Facebook account, so check online before heading out. Since their inventory turns over quickly, there will likely be new items each time you go.
2. Jacksonville Museum of Military History
It’s a little-known fact outside central Arkansas that in 1980 there was a catastrophic explosion at a Titan II intercontinental ballistic missile site near the town of Jacksonville.
The Jacksonville Museum of Military History houses one of the region’s most complete collections of historical material – much of it centers on this nuclear missile incident.
The exhibits include uniforms, equipment, and first-hand accounts of the accident that occurred during a high-tension era, when the United States and Soviet Union teetered on the edge of nuclear war.
The museum is located on Veterans Circle and includes an F-105 fighter-bomber and a Vietnam-era helicopter.
3. Reed’s Bridge Battlefield
The area around Beebe in central Arkansas is rich in Civil War history. For those who can’t get enough of the War Between the States that took place in the 1860s, Reed’s Bridge Battlefield is worth an hour or two of your time.
Though there is no museum or visitor’s center on site, there are plenty of plaques positioned at key areas, and reproductions of the earthen fortification used by the Union and Confederate troops as well.
The battle that took place isn’t particularly well-known outside the area, but it was one of many significant skirmishes between the forces determined to take control of the vital state.
4. Harding University
Located on East Market Street in Searcy, Harding is a Christian school that’s been around for nearly 100 years. It has students from every state in the country and dozens of foreign countries as well.
Previous visitors have commented on how friendly the students were and that the campus was beautiful, clean and peaceful.
Like nearly all colleges and universities, Harding has a full calendar when it comes to campus activities; they include theater, art shows, sporting events, and guest speakers, so if you’ll be in the area, consider swinging by and taking a look or check their calendar of events online.
5. Do Some Fishing
With tons of rivers, streams, lakes, and reservoirs, Arkansas is a fisherman’s paradise. The Little Red and Arkansas Rivers around Beebe are full of popular game fish, like trout and smallmouth bass.
If you’ve never fished in the area, consider hiring a guide service so you won’t spend valuable time fishing unproductive waters.
Located in Searcy, Beau’s Guide Service and Tailwater Fishing Company are two of the area’s most popular guide services with years of experience bringing anglers and fish together.
Half-day, full-day and multi-day options are available, so give them a call or check online to see which package interests you the most.
6. Searcy Art Gallery
The Searcy Art Gallery on East Race Avenue hosts a number of temporary art exhibits throughout the year and is located in the historic Black House.
The museum is unique in that it doesn’t have permanent exhibits, so before you go, check online to see what’s coming up.
If your trip coincides with a time when they won’t be hosting an exhibit, it’s still worthwhile to visit and take a guided tour of the house and grounds.
The neighborhood where the gallery is located in one of Searcy’s oldest and is a great place for a morning or afternoon stroll.
7. Hourglass Escape Rooms
Since they’re reasonably priced, full of suspense, and aren’t reliant on decent weather, escape rooms are a segment of the recreation business that is growing by leaps and bounds.
The idea of the activity is for you and your teammates to use your minds to answer tricky questions, decipher codes, and find clues which will lead to your escape – hopefully before your competitors.
Escape rooms foster team spirit, friendly competition, and have an edgy and suspenseful feel that’s quite unique.
Located on East Race Avenue in Searcy, Hourglass Escape Rooms offers multiple rooms with different themes; some are even appropriate for groups with children.
8. Splash Zone Water Park
Arkansas’ summers are notoriously hot and humid, and unless you plan on locking yourself inside for June, July, and August, you’ll need to find suitable summer activities, especially if you’ve got little ones.
Located on West Martin Street in Jacksonville, Splash Zone Water Park is a kid’s paradise and includes all the amenities you’d expect to find at a water park, like slides, dives and dump buckets.
The park is staffed with qualified lifeguards, and for those parents who’d rather watch from a safe distance, there are plenty of shaded lounge chairs nearby.
The park turns into a madhouse on weekends during the summer, so to avoid that scene, consider going during the week or early in the morning.
9. Arkansas State University Beebe Campus
For nearly a century, Arkansas State University has had a campus in Beebe. It’s a great place to check out, whether you’re just looking for a nice place for a walk or some unique activities to occupy your time.
Like nearly all college campuses, the University sports a great library and student book store that’s full of unique Arkansas items that make great gifts. In addition to regular sporting events, the university hosts guest speakers, music and theater events, and instructional and educational classes for students and townspeople alike.
The best way to keep up to date with their calendar of events is to check their website periodically.
10. Bald Knob National Wildlife Refuge
During the annual fall migration, Bald Knob National Wildlife Refuge is home to hundreds of thousands of waterfowl, stopping to rest and eat as they move south toward warmer weather.
Located along the Little Red River in White County not far from Beebe, the wildlife refuge is also open to visitors at certain times of the year. A few of the area’s most popular recreational activities are fishing and hunting.
Comprised of more than 15,000 acres, it is visited by many different species of waterfowl, so if you’d like to see them, check online and schedule your visit to coincide with theirs.
11. Holland Bottoms Wildlife Area
Located near Beebe between the towns of Cabot and Jacksonville, Holland Bottoms Wildlife Area is another favorite spot for central Arkansas sportsmen who want to experience the great outdoors without driving from one side of the state to the other.
Consisting of thousands of acres of hardwood forest, the wildlife area is productive for both deer, squirrel, and turkey hunters, and the bass fishing in the lakes is excellent too.
Remember that fishing and hunting are strictly regulated and the seasons aren’t open year-round, which mean you can only hunt at certain times of the year. You’ll need up to date licenses and permits too.
12. Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum
Though Arkansas is a landlocked state, there’s a museum in North Little Rock that’s dedicated to preserving the state’s maritime and naval histories. The most spectacular item on display is the World War II-era submarine – the USS Razorback – that’s service life lasted well into the Vietnam years.
Guided tours are available and will give guests a unique and thorough insight into the lives of the brave and dedicated seamen who went to sea for months at a time in the relatively cramped and uncomfortable confines of the submersible craft.
The museum is located on Riverfront Park Drive, and the cost of admission is reasonable.
13. Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site
During the 1950s, Little Rock was at the forefront of the national spotlight as the presidential order to desegregate the nation’s schools met with swift and firm resistance.
During those tense few days, the Governor of Arkansas called in National Guard troops to prevent the now-immortalized ‘Little Rock Nine’ from entering the school.
Though Little Rock Central High School is still a functioning school, it’s also a national park, and guided tours are available to see this unique bit of American history.
The cost of guided tours is relatively inexpensive, but they fill up quickly during peak times, so plan ahead and book in advance to lock in your spot.
14. William J. Clinton Presidential Library
Perhaps the state of Arkansas’ most famous native son, William Jefferson Clinton rose from humble beginnings to the center of the national and international political stages.
The William J. Clinton Presidential Library on the banks of the Arkansas River in Little Rock attracts tens of thousands of visitors annually. No expense was spared in making it one of the most well-adorned presidential libraries in the country.
Conveniently located in the city’s popular River Market District, it is near the University of Arkansas’ School of Law, where both Bill and Hillary studied for their law degrees.
It’s been open since 2004 and guests should plan on spending an hour or so inside.
15. Harding University Theatre
Harding University is known as the place to go for those interested in quality theater productions put on exclusively by local talent.
The Pied Pipers troupe is particularly popular as it specializes in productions for children. During the summer months, there’s a popular dinner theater that’s a great way to spend a few evening hours enjoying good food and family-friendly entertainment – without paying an arm and a leg.
They’ve also been offering spring and fall productions for years. Though most of them aren’t free, they’re very inexpensive, and the money goes to helping them continue their work.