Berryville is one of two county seats in Carroll County, Arkansas and had a population of slightly more than 5,000 at the time of the last census.
The town was founded in 1850 and is named after one of the area’s original settlers, a man named Blackburn Henderson Berry.
Berryville is bisected by U.S. Route 62 which leads to Harrison to the east and Rogers to the west.
Berryville is also conveniently close to the Missouri border, making it an easy day-trip option for those interested in seeing the ‘Show Me’ state.
Below are 15 things to do in and around Berryville.
1. Berryville Tourist Information Center
Tourist Information centers are great places for travelers to stop first when visiting a new area.
They’re usually full of free maps, brochures, and travel magazines that are there for the taking, and they’re often staffed by enthusiastic volunteers who’re more than happy to help you see and experience all the things the area has to offer.
The Berryville Tourist Information Center is just such a place; it is a treasure trove of information on Berryville’s history, culture, economy, and attractions.
It’s on the east side of town just off U.S. Route 62 and well worth a few minutes of your valuable vacation time.
2. The Carroll County Heritage Center Museum
Housed in a historic, three-story building that was once the town’s original courthouse, the Carroll County Heritage Museum was built in the mid-1800s and is full of interesting artifacts and memorabilia relating to local history.
It’s located in Berryville’s quaint and scenic public square, and many of the items on display were donated by local families.
The museum is also a regional hotspot for genealogical research and is the first stop for many families interested in finding out about their roots in the community.
Much of what you’ll see dates back to the pioneer era long before the Civil War when the area was part of a territory before statehood was granted.
3. Cosmic Cavern
Located on Highway 21 just outside of Berryville, Cosmic Cavern is an interesting place to visit, especially when the weather outside is particularly unpleasant.
Much of Arkansas subterranean area is a maze of caves, tunnels, and caverns that have been formed by eons of water eroding its way through the limestone rock below the earth’s surface.
Cosmic Caverns is one place that it’s easy to see, and the best way to experience it is to take a guided tour.
You’ll learn about the cavern’s geology and history, and a few spooky stories about the kind of people that hung out in caves in decades past.
4. Snake World
Though books are often judged by their covers, it would be unwise to judge Snake World by its outward appearance.
It’s humble, to say the least, but inside, it’s a collection of snakes and reptiles the likes of which you won’t find anywhere else in the area.
It’s part museum and part zoo, but it’s really the private collection of a reptile-loving couple who’ve dedicated their lives to collecting snakes from around the world.
Snake World is located on Highway 62, and though it’s not the cheapest attraction in town, previous guests have said it was one of the most memorable.
5. Saunders Museum
The Saunders Museum isn’t a gun museum, but with nearly 400 varieties of historical and contemporary firearms on display, it definitely could be.
The museum has other historical items on display, including photos, clothes, and odds-and-ends used in everyday pioneer life, but the guns are the crown jewels.
The states of Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, and Texas were the stomping grounds of many legendary outlaws and lawmen, and the museum has handguns that belonged to Jesse and Frank James, Buffalo Bill Cody, and Billy the Kid, to name a few.
The Saunders Museum is located on East Madison Avenue in Berryville and can be seen in its entirety in about an hour.
6. Great Passion Play
The Great Passion Play performance is one of the region’s most popular and iconic attractions and has been going strong for nearly four decades.
It’s located in nearby Eureka Springs and is only open seasonally, from May through October, so plan accordingly.
Billed as ‘America’s #1 Outdoor Drama,’ you’ll believe that claim when you see it with your own eyes.
It’s a bible-based theater production that includes more than 100 actors and a few animals as well.
There’s a nearby bible museum onsite that’s open every day except Sunday.
Check out their website for hours of operation, directions, and prices.
7. Annual Carroll County Fair
The Annual Carroll County Fair has been a social and recreational outlet that’s been enjoyed by Carroll County residents for decades.
The fair is part rodeo, part farm show, and part theme park; it’s full of family-friendly activities and great food.
Held over multiple days in the last week of August, it’s as much of a traditional county fair as you’ll find anywhere in the country.
There’s a parade through town, carnival rides and games, and an arts and crafts fair that’s full of locally made, one of a kind items that you won’t find anywhere else.
8. Ozark Mountain Hoe-Down Music Theater
Rumor has it that the Ozark Mountain Hoe-Down Music Theater went without one of its main attractions for the last decade and a half.
The good news is that he’s supposedly back, and he’s brought a few other much-loved characters with funny names like Tator Chip and Posture Pedic.
The theatrical production is full of singers, actors, musicians, and comics. Previous guests have noted that the whole shebang was much more professional and entertaining than what they were expecting.
In case you were wondering, it’s appropriate for the whole family, so load up the station wagon and head to East Van Buren Street in Eureka Springs.
9. Memory Lane Museum
Memory Lane Museum is located just outside Berryville’s town limits, and many of the items on display are old marketing materials and advertisements from the ‘30s to the ‘50s.
Much of it is pretty comical; for those old enough to remember, it’ll be like a stroll down Memory Lane.
Plan on spending an hour tops to see this unique slice of Americana that’s one of the few remaining places of its kind.
Like most of Berryville’s attractions, it’s just off U.S. Highway 62. The cost of admission is inexpensive enough to make it a no-brainer.
The museum is open year-round but closed on Mondays.
10. The Berryville City Pool
In case you’ve never been during June, July, and August, the weather around Berryville in the summer can be a deadly combination of heat and humidity that is downright unpleasant.
Luckily, The Berryville City Pool is a convenient and inexpensive way to beat the heat.
Located on Basore Avenue, in addition to a swimming pool, there are public tennis courts.
The pool area is staffed by trained lifeguards. For those who plan on sticking around for a while, they also offer swimming lessons and other instructional courses at their facilities.
It’s a great public resource, so take advantage of it.
11. Carroll County Country Club
More than just a golf course, the Carroll County Country Club’s facilities include a full-service bar, a restaurant, and a swimming pool.
Their facilities are available to rent as well and make an excellent venue for birthday and wedding parties, corporate outings and family reunions.
For those looking to hit the links, be sure to check out their hours of operation and greens fees.
Like many courses, their available slots fill up in advance during peak months, so if that’s when you plan on playing, you’ll need to go online or give them a call to reserve your time slot.
12. Thorncrown Chapel
Located on Highway 62 near Eureka Springs, the Thorncrown Chapel is one of Arkansas’ so-called glass chapels and was built with a mesmerizing mix of angular steel and large plates of glass, giving it the dramatic look of a Frank Lloyd Wright creation.
Regular services are held in the chapel, so if you visit during one, you’ll need to refrain from taking photographs, so ask around town or check online so you’ll know what to expect when you get there.
The chapel is also a regional favorite for those looking for a one-of-a-kind venue to make their wedding day extra special.
13. Blue Spring Heritage Center
Located just off County Road 210 in Eureka Springs, Blue Springs Heritage Center is a pleasant mix of gardens, culture, and history that most guests consider one of the gems of their trip to Arkansas.
The outdoor trails that wind their way through the center’s grounds are beautiful no matter when you visit, but are particularly so in the spring when everything is in bloom.
Much of the center’s historical portions deal with the ‘Trail of Tears,’ which is the term used to describe the forced migration of Native Americans from their ancestral homelands at the hands of the American Federal Government.
There’s also an introductory film that would be great to watch before you start looking around.
14. Quicksilver Gallery
Eureka Springs’ Quicksilver Gallery is one of the best galleries in the area and includes paintings, sculpture, and jewelry – most of which is made by local artists and craftsmen and women.
Unlike what you’ll find at the national retail chains, the items are hand-made and one of a kind, and surprisingly priced within reach of regular middle-class people.
The gallery is a great place to pick up a gift or two, or a keepsake to remind you of your trip.
The gallery is comprised of two floors, so be sure to check them both out before heading out on another adventure.
15. Christ of the Ozarks
Located on the grounds of the Great Passion Play, the Christ of the Ozarks is a seven-story statue of Jesus that towers majestically over the surrounding area in Eureka Springs.
The statue measures nearly 70-feet tall; regardless of your religious affiliations or beliefs, you’ll likely find it a magnificent structure that’s full of wonder.
It’s interesting to note that the statue’s creator lessened the originally planned height because it would have had to have a red aircraft warning light on its head, which he thought would be a bit disrespectful.
Visitors can walk right up to the statue’s base.