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Here’s the truth. Arkansas has an outstanding natural beauty that’s almost hypnotic to explore or experience. The Ouachita Mountains and the Ozarks—that grandly dot the state’s varied landscape—are some highlights of the “Natural State.” But there are many other attractions nature has, perhaps unfairly, bequeathed this beautiful state—which has, with time—come to be identified with diamond mines. Many clear streams meander nonchalantly throughout Arkansas’ varied terrain gifting her valleys a look that’s green, lush, and verdant. But there are also limestone caves, abundant park areas, several steaming springs, as well as beautiful towns—that one has never imagined are in Arkansas. And, of course, the country’s oldest national park.

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And while summer is, for many destinations, the perfect time to travel, that’s not quite the case in Arkansas. Here’s why fall might just be the perfect time to see Arkansas in her natural best.

Here’s Why Fall Might Be The Best Time To Visit Arkansas

Of course, summer is the quintessential vacation time. With warm weather comes the opportunity of swimming, camping in a forest, and traveling light. But in Arkansas, this isn’t just the case. Summers in Arkansas can be hot. Sometimes, extremely hot. And it’s not just in Arkansas. For those who’ve been to the southern states, this is usually the case. While the average temperature at the peak of summer in Arkansas is about 93°F (33.9°C), sometimes it can even shoot to 110 °F (43.3 °C). Many will find these temperature levels uncomfortable, even if endurable. On the other side of the spectrum, winters in Arkansas are cold. For warm-weather travelers or those who want to take part in outdoor activities, these chilly conditions may put a damper on a vacation. That leaves us with the shoulder seasons of fall and spring.

Here’s the truth: While spring can be a fine time to visit Arkansas—with the dogwoods literally springing to life in their natural vivacity—weather is still often-time capricious. Granted, they’ll be warm days, sometimes cool—but travelers should not rule out rains, storms—even tornadoes. That’s the reason we’d stick with fall.

Related: Arkansas Is A Truly Underrated State, And These Gorgeous Towns Prove It.

This Is The Best Time In Fall To Visit Arkansas

It’s not just some wordplay. Fall doesn’t fall uniformly in the “Natural State. The northern regions are usually the first to adorn the scintillating autumn colors of orange, gold, or red. Usually, these are the regions in and around the Ozarks and include the city of Russellville as well as eclectic Ozark Mountain towns such as Forth Smith, Bentonville, and Eureka Springs—a shoppers’ paradise that’s also a famous haven for nature lovers. This dramatic changeover in the northern regions begins around the second week of October. After this, it sweeps through to the southern states—spreading color and beauty—all along the way. By the third week, sometimes the last week of October, the northern regions have been joyfully adorned with peak fall color.

While the brilliant fall colors will enchant the eye—and probably cause no small buzz on Instagram—the beauty of a fall vacation goes beyond just color or the breathtaking scenery. It revolves around the numerous outdoor activities that visitors can indulge in. The reason is that, unlike summer or winter, fall weather is a tad gentler. As a result, activities like hiking, rock climbing, camping, or biking will be enjoyed in pleasantly cool air—and under a clement sun. For the central regions in the state’s heartland, for instance, around the Arkansas River Valley and the Ouachita State Park, fall begins mid to late October and peaks in the first week of November. In the southern states, however, nature’s glowing dress traditionally appears by the second week of November.

Related: These Luxury Cabins In Arkansas Have Us Anxiously Awaiting Chillier Weather.

These Are Some Fine Places From Which To Experience Arkansas’ Fall Beauty

Things look good or bad—depending on where one sits. And for fall travelers who want to enjoy the best that Arkansas offers—this fact should guide one’s vacation plans. For starters, getting accommodation near the Ozark National Forest will provide a laid-back natural setting with some of the best views. The same applies to Ouachita National Forest. For instance, the secluded Queen Wilhelmina State Park has a spectacular mountaintop setting and provides cozy rooms as well as a clean and peaceful campground.

For those who want to set a base in the Ozarks, Big Cedar Lodge, nestled in the middle of the woods, is one of the finest accommodation facilities in the area. And located in Bentonville’s famous 21c Museum Hotel, The Hive is a pretty cool place to meet friends, eat or rest.

That’s it. Fall is the perfect time to touch down in the “Natural State.” However, as we’ve seen, it doesn’t fall uniformly in the whole state.