12 Attractions in Conway, Arkansas

Last Updated on February 12, 2024 by Emily Johnson


Conway is a charming city located in Faulkner County, Arkansas along the Arkansas River. With a population of around 65,000, it provides a small-town atmosphere while still offering plenty to see and do.

From historic downtown areas to natural parks and unique museums, Conway features an array of attractions that offer something for travelers of all interests. This article will highlight 12 of the top attractions that you won’t want to miss if you’re planning a trip to Conway, Arkansas.

Hendrix College

Located in the heart of Conway, Hendrix College is a private liberal arts college founded in 1876 with a stunning 240-acre campus. Wandering the picturesque grounds, visitors will find historic buildings like the administration building built in 1890, as well as the newly built $12 million Wellness and Athletics Center.

Art enthusiasts should make their way to the Trieschmann Fine Arts Center which houses a dynamic theatre program and two art galleries exhibiting both student and professional work. Those looking to do some shopping will want to explore the bookstore housed in Mills Center which offers Hendrix College memorabilia and goods.

Downtown Conway Historic Districts

Conway features not one but two historic downtown districts placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Conway Commercial Historic District encompasses the original 19th century Faulkner Plaza as well as noteworthy buildings like the former post office, the original Faulkner County Courthouse, and the childhood home of General Patrick Cleburne.

Meanwhile the Mount Vernon Residential Historic District provides a glimpse into 19th century life with its wide streets and ornate historic homes. For easy access, the Brick House Kitchen and Lofts offers boutique accommodations and dining in a converted 1895 corner store. Stop by the visitor center to take a self-guided tour or join in one of the occasional Conway Locals Downtown History Strolls offered.

Beaverfork Lake

Just west of Conway up in the Ozark foothills lies sparkling Beaverfork Lake, a park that offers outdoor recreation through every season. In the summer months visitors should be sure to take advantage of swimming and boating in the designated swim area which features a beach, diving board, and kayak and canoe rentals. There are also plenty of secluded coves to discover by boat.

Fishermen can cast their line year-round and try to reel in largemouth bass, bluegill, and catfish. Meanwhile hikers and bikers will find over 20 miles of trails that range from easy to strenuous. Picnicking facilities and pavilions that can accommodate large group events are available by reservation.

Woolly Hollow State Park

For a more rugged outdoor experience, head over to Woolly Hollow State Park located 12 miles southeast of Conway. The crown jewel here is the picturesque namesake Woolly Hollow waterfall which plunges 50 feet into a dramatic gorge.

The 1.5 mile trail to the falls traverses steep terrain and cliff edges, eventually leading behind the cascading curtain of water for phenomenal photo ops. The park also maintains 20 miles of multi-use trails that pass through forests and prairie ecosystems, with parts even accessible for mountain biking. Other amenities include a shooting range, picnic sites, a small military museum and visitors center with educational exhibits.

Faulkner Performing Arts Center

The Faulkner Performing Arts Center is Conway’s premier venue for the arts. The state-of-the-art 1,100 seat performance hall only opened in 2016, but has already hosted acts like Lady Antebellum as well as Broadway musicals and other theatrical productions.

Music lovers can check the schedule for concerts spanning classical, pop, rock, country and more. Theatre buffs should look into musicals and plays like Hello Dolly! coming through on national tours. The venue also hosts local performances by university arts groups and the Conway Symphony Orchestra.

Conway Airport & Flight School

Aviation enthusiasts visiting Conway can see vintage aircraft up close or even try getting behind the controls themselves at the Conway Airport & Flight School. Founded in 1995, the flight school has been the premier establishment for flight training in central Arkansas for over 25 years.

Visitors can peruse a collection of immaculately maintained antique taildragger aircraft from the 1940s in their hangar/showroom. Better yet, book a demo flight to see Conway from above in a 1943 Boeing Stearman Biplane or 1946 Aeronca Champ two-seater plane. Passengers will never forget the exhilarating experience of open cockpit flying.

Toad Suck Park

Despite the silly name, Toad Suck Park has transformed from humble beginnings by the old Toad Suck Ferry crossing to become Conway’s premiere park. Spanning 300 acres just across the Arkansas River, the charming and well-manicured grounds now feature something for all ages.

Kids can burn off energy climbing on jungle gyms, hitting the carousel, mini-golfing or riding the mini-train. Families can play a game of volleyball, basketball, tennis or disc golf. Cyclists and joggers will appreciate the seven mile asphalt trail encircling the park. Other highlights include botanical gardens, an off-leash dog park, as well as pavilions and historic buildings available to rent for special events.

Faulkner County Museum

History buffs will not want to miss the Faulkner County Museum Complex located in the city’s original public library building dating to 1914. Visitors will discover exhibits spotlighting Native American culture, pioneer settlers, early commerce and infrastructure, the Civil War period and more.

Highlights include an impressive model railroad layout sponsored by the Central Arkansas Model Railroad Club and local memorabilia from famous figures related to Conway like General Patrick Cleburne. Interpretive displays help place the collection in context while special programs and guest lectures further exploration of local history.

Skatepark of Conway

Northwest Arkansas is well known for outdoor recreation, but extreme sport enthusiasts visiting Conway now have a world class facility catering to their adrenaline needs with the Skatepark of Conway. Opened in 2013, the $2.5 million project funded by grants and donations transformed an abandoned warehouse into the largest skatepark in the world at that time spanning over 57,000 square feet.

Now one of the premier parks in the U.S., the concrete course offers endless lines and variety for skaters across three buildings including pools, vertical ramps, street terrain and more. Beginner skaters can start small at a skills training area while experts take on one of ten vert walls topping out at 24 feet high!

Henderson State University Easley Archives

History and genealogy buffs should pencil in a visit to Henderson State University’s Easley Archives which serves as a repository documenting the history of southwest and central Arkansas. Visitors can dig into rare books, historical photographs, periodicals, county records, census data, family histories, and Native American records and artifacts.

Displays highlight unique collection items like the 1824 first book printed in Arkansas, paintings from prolific folk artist Carroll Cloar of Eureka Springs, and military archives like the Daniel Stuart Loyd Vietnam papers recently acquired. Check website for details on community events, visiting fellowships, and research services.

Potager Garden Restaurant & Studio

For a memorable and unique dining experience be sure to make a reservation at Potager Garden Restaurant & Studio situated on idyllic farmland just outside Conway city limits. Diners can enjoy a prix fixe menu centered around seasonal ingredients and updated every two weeks to highlight the bounty of chef/owner Shawn Cirkiel’s two acre farm.

Menus emphasize fresh veggies and herbs along with responsibly sourced meats and local ingredients transformed into creative takes on comfort food with an Ozarks twist. The rustic yet refined atmosphere features live music and artwork displays in their studio. Join one of their popular cooking classes or popup dining events to fully immerse in the farm-to-table philosophy.

Conway Regional Health and Fitness Center

Travelers focused on health, wellness and recreation will appreciate the amenity packed Conway Regional Health and Fitness Center, open to visitors purchasing day passes. The expansive center first opened in 2017 spans over 95,000 square feet encompassing three regulation basketball courts, a mezzanine walking track, cardio floor with 75 pieces of equipment, 2-story rock climbing wall and more.

Group exercise enthusiasts can join any of the 60 weekly fitness classes like yoga, Pilates, circuit or aqua aerobics. Families will enjoy splashing around the indoor aquatics center featuring dual waterslides, vortex pool and in-water benches.

Conclusion

From exciting outdoor recreation at lakes and nature parks to immersing in local history and cultural attractions, visitors will never run out of things to experience in the charming city of Conway, Arkansas. Music lovers can enjoy concerts at the Faulkner Performing Arts Center while thrill seekers can hit the ramps at the Skatepark of Conway. History buffs will appreciate learning about Faulkner County’s storied past at the Faulkner County Museum or HSU Archives.

Outdoor enthusiasts have ample opportunities to take advantage of biking trails, open water boating and swimming holes galore. Those looking to simply unwind can stroll the historic downtown districts or dine at a cozy local eatery like the Potager Garden Restaurant. With small town charm and hospitality paired with plenty of activities, attractions and natural beauty, Conway offers the best of quintessential southern living.

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