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The Best Time to Visit Arkansas in 2023 | When to Go

The Best Time to Visit Arkansas in 2023 | When to Go

Many people overlook Arkansas as a tourist destination. That’s a mistake because the state of Arkansas is truly a diamond in the rough. If you’re looking for a beautiful, unspoiled place to explore, look no further than Arkansas.

Arkansas is the perfect destination for your next vacation with its stunning landscapes, incredible food, and friendly locals.

Whether you’re looking to go hiking in the mountains, go canoeing on one of the many rivers, or relax in nature, Arkansas has something for everyone. If you’re ready to plan your vacation to Arkansas, keep reading.

We’ll cover everything you need to know about the best time to visit Arkansas for your trip goals, when to avoid going, and what to do while you’re there.

Why You Should Visit Arkansas

Hot Springs National Park with steam rising to show why you should visit Arkansas

Niwat panket/Shutterstock

Uncover beautiful Arkansas and all it has to offer! From breathtaking natural scenery to thrilling outdoor activities, the possibilities are endless. If you love the outdoors, Arkansas is your ultimate playground.

With its majestic peaks and tumbling rivers, it’s no wonder why outdoor adventurers from all over are drawn to explore what this unique state has to offer.

Whether you opt for a leisurely day hike or an incredible multi-day backpacking experience, Arkansas will keep you captivated throughout your trip! Arkansas offers a plethora of rivers, lakes, and streams ideal for an unforgettable canoe or kayak experience.

Whether you’re searching for a short paddle along the riverbank or embarking on an overnight camping trip, Arkansas invites you to come to explore its gorgeous waterways!

You might be interested in hiking, camping, mountain biking, or birdwatching while you’re here. Arkansas has something to offer everyone who loves the great outdoors!

With its many state parks and wilderness areas, Arkansas is a perfect place for outdoor exploration! From lush forests to towering mountains, take advantage of all that nature offers in this beautiful destination.

Arkansas also has rich history and culture ready for you to discover. From major cities like Little Rock and Fayetteville to charming small towns, you will find plenty of exciting things to do and places to explore.

If you’re looking for a truly unique and unforgettable vacation, you should consider a trip to Arkansas. There’s no better destination in the U.S. with its stunning natural beauty, vibrant culture, and friendly locals.

Overall Best Time to Visit Arkansas

Fall time pond with wooden bridge crossing over in the afternoon during the best time to visit Arkansas

Melissa Tate/Shutterstock

The best time to visit Arkansas depends on what you want to do. September and October offer the best combination of great weather, fun activities, and attractions.

The weather in the fall is generally warm and sunny in Arkansas. The highs are in the 70s and 80s, and the lows are rarely below 50. These 2 months are also some of the driest, so you won’t have to worry about a rainstorm ruining the activities you have planned for the day.

One of the biggest reasons to visit Arkansas during October is to enjoy the changing colors of the trees. Leaves will turn color at the beginning of October, and by the end of the month, hillsides will be every shade of yellow, orange, and red.

In addition to the beautiful weather and the changing color, September and October are the best time to explore the outdoor beauty of Arkansas.

You can go hiking, biking, camping, or even whitewater rafting. All of these activities will be more enjoyable with the warm, dry weather!  The only downside to visiting Arkansas in September and October are the crowds.

Due to the popularity of many outdoor attractions, the changing colors, and great weather, Arkansas can get quite busy during this time of year. As a result, tickets and accommodation are more expensive.

Cheapest Time to Visit Arkansas

Little Rock skyline at twilight showing the cheapest time to visit Arkansas

Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

The cheapest time of the year to visit Arkansas is November through January. During the winter, fewer people visit because of the poor weather.

The highs during this time of year rarely get above 50F and the lows are regularly below freezing. November and December are also some of the wettest months of the year, so you’ll have to deal with rain and possibly snow if you visit during this time.

Even though Arkansas is less popular in November, December, and January, there is still much to do. Football is in full swing. Watching a home game at the Bud Walton Arena at the University of Arkansas is a one-of-a-kind experience!

The holiday season is a magical one in Arkansas. Lawrence Plaza in Bentonville turns into a massive holiday market. You can find unique gifts from local artisans and grab treats to enjoy.

Finally, there are many hot springs in Arkansas. While you can enjoy them all year, there is something special about slipping into the warm water when it’s cold outside.

Least Busy Time to Visit Arkansas

Tulips in bloom during spring in Garvins Woodland Garden in Hot Springs during the least busy time to visit Arkansas

Bonita R. Cheshier/Shutterstock

The least busy time to visit Arkansas is in March and April. Seasonal attractions start to open up, spring flowers are in bloom again, and the weather begins to warm up.

The highs are in the high 60s and low 70s and the lows are rarely below 50 at this time of year. Springtime looks great on Arkansas and there won’t be many tourists arriving. You’ll feel like you’ve got the state to yourself! 

The warmer weather and higher precipitation make it a perfect time to enjoy the spring blooms. The flowers at the Garvan Woodland Gardens bloom in April.

This garden has some of the rarest flowers in the United States and the arrangements are always incredible. The flowers only bloom for a short time, so you won’t want to miss them. The rain in March and April also makes it waterfall season in Arkansas.

The best place to see waterfalls is from Chickalah Falls. The hike is just one mile long! Near the top of the waterfall are two pools that are great for taking a dip in.

You can enjoy these attractions without waiting in line or worrying about expensive accommodations. However, the unpredictable weather can be a downside to visiting in the spring. It can snow in the spring or you may experience a late frost.

Worst Time to Visit Arkansas

Sun rays beaming through clouds over a wide aerial view of Hot Springs during the worst time to visit Arkansas

Daniel Ray Photography/Shutterstock

The worst time to visit Arkansas is from June through August. These three months are the hottest part of the year with highs in the mid-90s.

Add in the high humidity levels, and it regularly feels like more than 100 degrees here. The air can be so thick it feels like you’re drinking it.

June through August is also full of thunderstorms, making outdoor activities potentially dangerous. If you visit in the summer, stay hydrated, take a lot of breaks in the shade, and head inside if you see lightning.

The summer isn’t all bad, though. The high temperatures make it the perfect time to raft the Arkansas river or go off-road ATVing. Many cities have farmer’s markets in the summer where you can buy fresh produce and enjoy live music.

Things to Consider

Planning a trip during the best time to visit Arkansas is only the beginning if you want to have a great time! These are some of the crucial things to consider while visiting Arkansas:

  • Transportation. Public transportation isn’t all that great in Arkansas, especially in more rural areas. Some buses run between big cities but there’s not much else. Your best bet may be to rent a car, especially if you visit some of the more remote parts of the state.
  • Air travel. Arkansas is not known for having lots of airports. The biggest one is in Little Rock. This airport has connections to many other major cities. You’ll have to drive if you want to go to a smaller city or town.
  • Packing. Before your trip to Arkansas, ensure you have everything you need for a comfortable stay. Some essential items include sunscreen, sunglasses, bug spray, and a rain jacket. If you’re staying in the more rural parts of the state, it’s best to have an old pair of comfortable walking shoes that are already broken in.

Activities to Consider in Arkansas

There are so many fun things to do in Arkansas. Here are recommendations for the best activities to experience while on your visit:

  • Visit the hot springs
  • Go hiking
  • Go off-roading
  • Dig for diamonds at Crater of Diamonds State Park
  • Visit a ghost town
  • Look for ghosts in the different haunted buildings in Arkansas
  • Eat delicious BBQ
  • Paddle around in a kayak

Attractions to Consider in Arkansas

Now that you know about the crucial considerations while visiting Arkansas, here are some of the most popular attractions you can check out on your vacation:

  • Hot Springs National Park
  • Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
  • Garvan Woodland Garden
  • Buffalo National River
  • Thorncrown Chapel
  • Crate of Diamonds State Park
  • Blanchard Springs Caverns
  • William J. Clinton Libraary and Museu
  • The Walmart Museum
  • Christ of the Ozarks
  • Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site
  • Petit Jean State Park
  • Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge

Frequently Asked Questions

Kayaker floating down Buffalo River near Ponco, Arkansas for a frequently asked questions section on the best time to visit

Damon Shaw/Shutterstock

Still left with a few burning questions about the best time to visit Arkansas? Take a look below. These are some of the commonly asked questions about Arkansas.

What's the best time to go to the hot springs in Arkansas?

The best time to visit the hot springs in Arkansas is in the winter. The cold temperatures and snow are the perfect contrast to the warm water. However, you can visit all year round if you're looking for a relaxing time.

What's the rainy season in Arkansas?

Arkansas has two rainy seasons. The first is from March through May, and the second is from October through December. November is the rainiest month of the year. You can expect at least 5 inches of rain per month during the rainy season.

To best prepare for inclement weather, it's best to pack rain gear and waterproof shoes or boots. You may also want to consider bringing an umbrella or poncho.

What's the best month to visit Little Rock, Arkansas?

The best month to visit Little Rock is in August. This month has the lowest amount of rain, the temperature is reasonable, and you can enjoy the many summer festivals that are going on.

The Summer Jam Night Market at the St. Joseph Farm Stand is among the most popular. You can sample fresh farm produce, drink a beverage, and listen to live music.

When's the best weather in Arkansas?

The best weather in Arkansas is in August and September. These are the driest months of the year and the year, and the temperatures are lower than the peak of the summer. Thunderstorms are also less common during this time of year as well.

What's the best time to visit Arkansas for fall colors?

If you're looking for the best time to see fall colors in Arkansas, the best time is generally in late October or early November. Check online before visiting to see when the area you're traveling to will experience peak color!

What's the best time to visit the Ozarks in Arkansas?

The best time to visit the Ozarks in Arkansas is September and October. The temperatures are more reasonable so you don't have to worry about dehydration and heat stroke. Since these months are drier, you also don't have to worry about flash floods.

So, What’s the Best Time to Visit Arkansas?

There’s a lot to see and do in this often under-appreciated state! Planning your trip to arrive at the perfect time of year will ensure you get to enjoy the best Arkansas has to offer. 

The overall best time to visit Arkansas is in September and October. These months have milder temperatures, lower humidity, and less rain. You’ll also be able to enjoy the best fall colors in Arkansas during this time as well.

If you’re sticking to a tight budget, go during the winter (November through January). To avoid big crowds, try visiting Arkansas in the springtime, especially March and April. 

If you can, avoid visiting when it’s really hot and humid – all summer long in Arkansas. Still, you can enjoy visiting just about any time of year when you pack the proper gear and explore the beauty of this state!