12 Things To Do in Pine Bluff, Arkansas

Last Updated on February 19, 2024 by Emily Johnson

Pine Bluff is the largest city and county seat of Jefferson County, Arkansas. It is located on the Arkansas River and has a rich history and culture to explore. Pine Bluff may not be as well-known as other Arkansas destinations like Hot Springs or Eureka Springs, but it has plenty to offer visitors. From historic sites and museums to outdoor recreation and cultural attractions, Pine Bluff provides unique experiences.

This article outlines 12 of the top things to do in Pine Bluff to help you plan your Arkansas getaway. Whether you love history, art, sports, or the great outdoors, Pine Bluff has something for you. Read on for an insider’s guide to this undiscovered Arkansas gem.

Tour the Arkansas Entertainers Hall of Fame

The Arkansas Entertainers Hall of Fame is a museum dedicated to legendary musicians, actors, and other artists with Arkansas connections. Located in the Pine Bluff Convention Center complex, the museum showcases talented Arkansans like Johnny Cash, Levon Helm, Maya Angelou, and many others.

Interactive exhibits let you go backstage, learn how to play different instruments, and see costumes and memorabilia from famous inductees. An onsite recording studio even allows visitors to record a demo track to take home. It’s a treat for music and pop culture fans to discover Arkansas’ impact on American entertainment.

See a Show at the Pine Bluff Convention Center

When you’re done exploring the Entertainers Hall of Fame, stick around the Convention Center complex for live performances at the Pine Bluff Convention Center. This multi-use venue hosts touring Broadway musicals, concerts, stand-up comedy shows, plays, and more in its modern theater.

Upcoming acts range from classic rock bands to magicians, cirque-style acrobatic troupes, and nationally renowned comedians and musicians. With a capacity of 1,000 in an intimate setting, you’ll feel close to the action during any show at the Convention Center. Enjoy dinner at the connected Saracen Casino Resort before the performance starts for a full night out.

Relax at Saracen Casino Resort

You don’t have to see a show at the attached convention center to check out Saracen Casino Resort. The massive complex features a 300-room luxury hotel, an 82,000 square foot casino floor with slot machines and table games, multiple restaurants and bars, an outdoor pool deck, and even a full-service spa.

Try your luck playing cards, roulette, craps, or slot machines; chow down at the upscale 1913 steakhouse or the International Buffet; sip tropical cocktails on the pool deck; or get pampered with massages and facials at the spa. With so much contained in one fabulous complex, you may not want to leave during your Pine Bluff visit!

Dig into History at the Arkansas Railroad Museum

Railroad history comes alive when you visit the Arkansas Railroad Museum. Located inside the century-old Pine Bluff Cotton Belt Railroad Depot, the museum displays artifacts, photos, model train layouts, and restored railcars and engines that tell the story of railroad transportation through Arkansas. Knowledgable guides provide commentary during tours of historic equipment like 1920s steam engines and 1940s sleeper cars.

Kids love getting to climb aboard railcars while adults admire full-size diesel locomotives and intricate model train dioramas. Don’t miss exploring the interactive Rail Yard exhibit gallery or riding the rails on an excursion train offered on select dates. It’s a treat for train enthusiasts and families alike.

See Wildlife at the Rey Dell Deer Reserve

Just north of downtown Pine Bluff, you’ll find a local hidden gem: Rey Dell Deer Reserve. This sprawling urban wildlife reserve provides refuge for native Arkansas wildlife like deer, turkey, bobcats, foxes, and more. Several well-maintained walking trails wind through the reserve’s forests and meadows, allowing visitors to spot animals in their natural habitat. An enclosed observation deck grants an elevated view across the reserve.

Bring your camera to capture cute deer or graceful bucks with impressive antlers. Kids love seeing the animals roam freely in a natural setting so close to the city. The peaceful reserve may be small, but it packs a surprising punch when it comes to wildlife spotting off the beaten path.

Shop and Dine Downtown on Main Street

Downtown Pine Bluff centers around Main Street, a National Historic Registry district filled with unique boutiques, galleries, restaurants, and historic architecture. Start your visit at the Arts and Science Center for Southeast Arkansas to browse regional art, catch a foreign film screening, or see a community theater performance in the intimate Adam B. Robinson Black Box Theater.

Continue down Main Street to shop for gifts at boutiques like FiftyFold Mercantile or Elizabeth’s, outfit your home with custom furniture from Mac’s Mission, or bring home a book from Southeast Arkansas Regional Library. When hunger hits, grab a bite at casual eateries like LimeZ or sophisticated restaurants like Porter’s Downtown Steakhouse nestled in historic buildings. With a blend of arts, culture, shopping, dining, and restoration, Main Street offers a lively Pine Bluff introduction.

View Public Art Displays

As you explore downtown Pine Bluff and other areas of the city, keep an eye out for public art installations that liven up everyday spaces. Vibrant murals decorate blank building walls in eye-catching designs, while abstract sculptures pop up in parks and street corners.

Standout murals include a series of three honoring influential African-American figures like Maya Angelou and local young leaders on the wall of the Ward Chapel AME Church on Main Street. The Jefferson County Courthouse lawn displays modern sculpture art, and bright painted utility boxes depicting positive Pine Bluff imagery are scattered throughout downtown. Public art surprises delight and inspire around each corner.

Experience Southern History at Arkansas Railroad Museum

Soak in regional history with a visit to two stellar history museums, starting with the Arkansas Railroad Museum already described above. Afterwards, make your way to the Arkansas Entertainers Hall of Fame to learn about notable residents who made a splash on the national stage. Finally, round out your southern historical education at the Arkansas State University Museum on the university campus.

This modest museum packs loads of exhibits into a small space, including artifacts from plantation life during slavery, early 20th century sharecroppers cabins, and even a 1950s era soda fountain that was once located downtown. With knowledgable historians on staff providing tours and context, the ASU Museum fleshes out Pine Bluff’s regional legacy.

Cheer on the Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions

When in Pine Bluff, do as the Pine Bluffians do and cheer on the hometown college football team at Golden Lion Stadium. The athletic field at Arkansas-Pine Bluff University hosts Golden Lions football games each fall, seeing the stands packed with spirited students and locals.

Tailgating starts hours before kickoff, so arrive early to soak up the infectious school spirit. Catch a game during the State Fair Classic or homecoming to witness next-level hype. With championship-winning teams, fabulous bands, and enthusiastic crowds, Golden Lions games deliver an authentic Pine Bluff game day experience visitors rave about.

Play a Round of Golf

Work on your golf swing at Pine Bluff Country Club, an affordable public course with meticulous landscaping and challenging holes. Rated one of the best courses in Arkansas by Golf Advisor, the 18-hole, par-72 course features Bermuda grass greens, mature trees, and bunkers strategically placed throughout.

Test your putt on speedy greens, drive for distance on lengthy holes, or pitch over hazards guarding Pins. Just 3 miles from downtown Pine Buff conveniently located right off the freeway, the country club welcomes golfers at every skill level to play at a pace suited to their game. The scenic course landscape wows visitors with its southern charm.

Tour Southeast Arkansas Wine Trail Wineries

Did you know Arkansas has a booming wine country? Located near Pine Bluff, the Southeast Arkansas wine trail encompasses four fantastic wineries crafting sweet fruit wines and stellar grape varietals. Start at Cowie Wine Cellars, the state’s oldest winery, to sample robust Cabernets and buttery Chardonnays alongside live music on their creekside patio.

Continue 10 miles down the trail to Post Vineyards to enjoy award-winning muscadine and blackberry wines on their expansive outdoor deck. Next visit Mount Holly Winery for patio pizza parties by their pretty pond, followed by a final stop at Cindy’s Gone Wine-ing for their signature sweet blends. With such fantastic wine-tasting access, you’ll be planning your next Pine Bluff weekend before you go!

Camp and Fish at Lake Langhofer

Trade urban attractions for outdoor adventure 15 minutes from downtown Pine Bluff at Lake Langhofer. Part of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s Faulkner Lake Wildlife Management Area, Lake Langhofer offers excellent fishing, camping, hiking, and water recreation opportunities with stunning natural scenery.

Cast your reel to hook largemouth bass, catfish, bream, and crappie swimming the wooded lake’s shoreline and drops. Paddle rental boats explore tranquil coves for prime casting spots. Two developed campgrounds provide sites for tents and RVs to unwind for a few days. When not fishing or boating, hike nature trails through hardwood forest dotted with wading birds. With abundant wildlife and recreation access, Lake Langhofer makes for a rejuvenating nature retreat near Pine Bluff.

Conclusion

Pine Bluff surprises visitors with its diversity of attractions, from historical sites to cultural experiences, outdoor recreation, sports events, and so much more. Now that you know the best things to do in town, it’s time to start planning your Pine Bluff getaway.

Historic downtown, Saracen Casino, concerts and shows, fantastic southern food, public art, and natural beauty wait to be explored in Arkansas’ largest southeast city. Whether traveling with family, friends, or solo, Pine Bluff offers memorable activities for all interests. Come discover this underrated Arkansas destination!

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