Getaway to Fort Smith, Arkansas

Fort Smith, Arkansas, is a place where history and modern street art mingle as more than 30 murals by international and national artists are peppered around the city. There’s a vibrant riverfront and downtown, historic sites and great restaurants.

By Juliana Goodwin

Feb 2024

Photo courtesy Arkansas Department of Parks and TourismThe United States Marshals Museum traces the history of the nation’s oldest law enforcement agency.

Start With Lunch 

About half a mile from Riverfront Park is a great lunch spot: Rolando’s Restaurant featuring dishes from Central and South America. Share the Adventura Appetizer, which boasts chicken, pork and goat cheese quesadillas, tamales, taquitos, guacamole, and tomatillo sour cream sauce. Perfect way to sample some fare. They have a lovely assortment of margaritas, mojitos and more.

Learn a Little

Located on the banks of the Arkansas River is a new United States Marshals Museum, which traces the history of the nation’s oldest law enforcement agency. The museum was 16 years in the making and honors the more than 350 marshals killed in the line of duty, including those on September 11. It has a piece of twisted steel from the World Trade Center terrorist attack. 

Explore the Riverfront

Historic downtown and the riverfront are a must and contain a cluster of nearby attractions. Riverfront Park hugs the Arkansas River and features $2 million worth of walking trails. There are concerts and events held throughout the year in the amphitheater, which seats nearly 1600. Miss Laura’s Visitor Center should also be on your list. 

Fuel Up On Dinner

For dinner, consider Talianos Italian Restaurant, which they claim is the oldest family-owned restaurant in town. It opened in 1970 in a grand old house close to the riverfront. The pastas are handmade fresh every day. They also have great steak and a nice wine list. The atmosphere is old school and reminiscent of some of the establishments in Eureka Springs.

End With Drinks 

Fort Smith Brewing Company opened its doors in 2017 and is the only local brewery in the city. There are a dozen regular beers on tap and a variety of limited releases. The brewpub includes tasty sandwiches, nachos and pizza. Try the Gourmet BLT: sourdough loaded up with bacon, goat cheese, provolone, pesto, lettuce and tomato. Definitely a nice spot to hang out.