Officially nicknamed the ‘Natural State’, Arkansas is located in the southern part of the United States. It is bordered by six states, its eastern border being largely demarcated by the Mississippi river. The capital and most densely inhabited city is Little Rock.

One major claim to fame of Arkansas is the beauty of its natural scenery. This state boasts a diverse landscape of mountains and valleys, fertile plains, thick forests, rivers, cattle farms, oil wells and industrial centers. Its varied geography ranges from the Ouachita and the Ozarks Mountains to the eastern lowlands along the Mississippi, better known as the Grand Prairie and the Delta.

It’s no wonder most visitors come to Arkansas in search of alfresco adventures. The state’s rock climbing opportunities are unequalled, with the sandstone crags in the northwest particularly good for climbers. Bursting with trout, its rivers and lakes are ideal for fishing, rafting and canoeing, while hunters enjoy plentiful wildlife and relatively liberal regulations. Meanwhile, over 50 parks dotted across the state provide first-rate hiking, mountain biking and backpacking opportunities.

Arkansas is also home to several caves, most notably the Blanchard Springs Caverns. It is furthermore the country’s first state in which diamonds were discovered and has the sole operating diamond mine in the US. At the Crater of Diamonds State Park, visitors can pay an admission fee and are allowed to keep whatever gems they spot—the park only asks that weapons are deposited outside.

Arkansas’ most frequented location, however, is Hot Springs National Park. In the early 1900s, this was an elite place of refuge for those seeking rejuvenation and health. Nowadays the park draws both history buffs and bathers with its superb marble and stone bathhouses.

Another claim to fame for the state is that cigar-toting Bill Clinton was born in Hope, Arkansas. Before occupying the White House, he served almost 12 years as the governor in Little Rock where museums and exhibits are devoted to his life. The William J Clinton Presidential Library and Museum boasts the largest compilation of presidential documents and artefacts. It is placed in the capital’s lively River Market District, a revitalized warehouse area that is now home to a flourishing farmers market and features numerous funky boutiques and galleries, excellent southern restaurants, hip cafés and vibrant bars.

Onward Travel