12 Things To Do in Sherwood, Arkansas

Last Updated on February 15, 2024 by Emily Johnson

Nestled in central Arkansas just north of Little Rock lies the charming city of Sherwood. This friendly community has a small-town vibe with amenities and attractions that belie its population of just over 30,000.

Outdoor enthusiasts will delight in the many parks and trails that allow you to take in the natural beauty of the surrounding Ozark foothills. Families will find plenty to see and do, from kid-friendly museums to a popular local theme park. And foodies won’t want to miss out on the tasty barbecue, catfish, and southern fare available at Sherwood’s down-home eateries.

With so much to experience, it can be hard to narrow down how to spend your time. Here are 12 of the top things to do on a visit to Sherwood, Arkansas:

Cruise the Arkansas and Mississippi Rivers on the Belle of Hot Springs Riverboat

One of the best ways to admire Sherwood’s scenic landscape is from the water. The Belle of Hot Springs riverboat offers a variety of sightseeing cruises along the Arkansas River as it winds past the city. Feel the breeze on your face as you gaze at the tree-lined banks and charming homes dotting the shoreline.

You’re likely to spot turtles, cranes, herons and other wildlife. Regularly scheduled cruises include lunch, dinner and holiday themes. Many cruises feature live Dixieland jazz bands that will having you dancing across the deck. For a special occasion or more private outing, you can even book the Belle for wedding receptions, rehearsal dinners, reunions and more.

Shop ’til you drop in historic downtown Sherwood

The heart of old Sherwood centers on a stretch of commercial businesses and eateries along Railroad Street by the railroad tracks. This retail hub, together with nearby Kiehl Avenue, features indie boutiques stocked with clothing, jewelry, home goods and more.

Be sure to pop into Rachel’s for stylish accessories, the Red Door for trendy fashion finds and the Wooden Horse gift shop for one-of-a-kind souvenirs. When you work up an appetite, grab a loaded burger and thick milkshake from local favorite Slim Chickens.

Learn about Arkansas’ Sherwood’s public library

This impressive museum housed within Sherwood’s public library brings the state’s bygone eras to life. Permanent exhibits traverse centuries of Arkansas history, from Native American artifacts to Civil War memorabilia. Don’t miss the extensive collection related to Geleve Grice, an emancipated slave who became one of the state’s wealthiest black planters.

The museum also hosts timely temporary exhibits focused on elements of Arkansas culture, past and present. When you’re done soaking up all that history, stroll through the museum’s 2nd floor galleries displaying works by artists with Arkansas ties.

Tour the exotic animals at the Little Rock Zoo in nearby Little Rock

Lions and tigers and bears — oh my! All this and much more are waiting for you just 20 minutes down the road at the Little Rock Zoo. Say hello to over 500 animals across 56 acres, including endangered Mexican gray wolves, mighty elephants, silly penguins waddling around, and a splash park filled with ducks.

Interactive touches like a goat corral, stingray pool and aviary center — where you can feed tropical birds — provide memorable, up-close encounters. Be sure to visit the gorillas and partake in the daily feedings to witness the booming 600-pound silverbacks in action. With this much wildlife to take in, you’ll want to allow several hours to experience it all.

Practice your swing at the Golf Club of Arkansas

Duffers looking to play a round will find their paradise at Golf Club of Arkansas just north of Sherwood. Two championship 18-hole courses — The Ridge and The Valley — wind through 850 acres of Ozark foothills, serving up elevation changes and water features galore.

Practice your swing on the double-ended driving range before tackling the challenging greens and bunkers. Watch for native wildlife like deer and geese as you cruise about in your cart. The pro shop is stocked with equipment and apparel for when you want to look the part. Cool off with a signature margarita at the Bogey’s Bar & Grill when your game is over.

Tour the eccentric throne room at T.R. Pugh Memorial Park

The late Travis Pugh was many things: an attorney, philanthropist, lover of nature and admirer of the Almighty Dollar. He also had exceptionally eccentric taste, which led him to construct an elaborate throne room in his Sherwood mansion before he passed in 1975.

Saved from demolition, the structure was relocated to this public park, throne and all! Stacked with 200 tons of granite and agate rock and embedded with 63 ounces of gold, the rock throne makes for an unusual but intriguing free attraction. As you wind through its halls and hidden nooks, keep your eye out for quirky features like Wishful Thinking Waterfall and Indecision Pit.

Sample award-winning barbeque at Craig’s Bar-B-Que

No visit to central Arkansas is complete without digging into plates piled high with succulent smoked meats. For the best brisket, ribs and more in Sherwood, locals swear by Craig’s Bar-B-Que. Smoking its meats over hickory wood since 1947, this family-owned joint has barbecue down to a science.

Fan favorites include the sizable beef and pork combo platters, mouthwatering baby back ribs that fall right off the bone, and the restaurant’s signature Craig-tini mixed drink. Come with an empty stomach — Craig’s serves up generous portions, sending even newcomers home stuffed and satisfied with full bellies.

Explore riverside parks and recreation areas

Nature lovers traveling to Sherwood will find no shortage of outlets to experience the great outdoors. Start at Fisher Reservoir Park, a serene setting offering trails through the woods, open green spaces and access to the Little Maumelle River for fishing and floating excursions. North of downtown, Bill Harmon Recreation Area beckons visitors with baseball diamonds, tennis courts, a skate park and military memorial.

Don’t miss the elaborately carved veterans memorial bridge made from recycled railroad tank cars. If hiking’s your thing, make your way over to the Ottenheimer Riverside Park trails winding along the Arkansas River — keep watch for herons, beavers and other wildlife native to the area.

Splash the day away at Wild River Country Water Park

When Arkansas heats up, you’ll want to cool off with a visit to Wild River Country north of the city. This beloved water park delivers attractions guaranteed to delight kids and kids-at-heart alike. Shoot down speed slides like VooDoo Drop and Paradise Plunge, spin down swirling tube rides, splash down massive zorb balls into the pool, or just relax lazily circumnavigating Adventure River.

For little ones, shallow pools, mini slides and playgrounds provide age-appropriate fun. When you’ve had your fill, spread out your beach towel and dig into classic water park eats like funnel cakes, nachos and hot dogs. With on-site cabanas and plenty of grassy areas and lounge chairs, Wild River Country offers the total summer pool party experience.

Check out cutting edge art exhibitions at the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub

Not your typical museum, the Innovation Hub serves as an incubator for creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship. The striking architectural space houses makerspaces, co-working areas, STEM education exhibits…and the ARTSpace on Main gallery showcasing contemporary art.

The curated exhibitions tend to feature experimental fare utilizing emerging technologies and mediums, like augmented reality and 3D printing. Don’t know much about art? Not to worry — the exhibitions aim to make contemporary art accessible for general audiences. Sign up for one of ARTSpace’s guided Second Saturday tours for the inside scoop on what the current show is all about.

Revel in holiday magic at the Enchanted Forest Trail of Lights

For a healthy dose of yuletide cheer, make sure your Sherwood visit coincides with the annual Enchanted Forest holiday light display. Every November through December, more than 350 displays and 1 million dazzling bulbs transform Central Arkansas Park into a winter wonderland. Stroll 2.5 miles of wooded walking trails illuminated in spectacular light-bedazzled trees, dancing tunnels, oversized candy canes, glowing snowflakes and more.

Sip hot cocoa, snap selfies with Santa, and don’t forget to glimpse the giant American flag display set to holiday tunes. With plenty of Christmas magic to ignite your holiday spirit, the Enchanted Forest Trail of Lights has become a beloved local tradition for visitors and residents alike.

Reflect at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Park

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Park pays moving, overdue tribute to Arkansas natives who served in the Vietnam War. A compelling 12-foot bronze statue of a soldier stands at its center, flanked by the names of over 700 Arkansans killed in action etched into black granite walls.

Veterans gather here often for ceremonies and quiet reflection amongst friends. Indeed, all visitors will find this peaceful green space conducive to contemplation as you take in the powerful memorials and relax by the on-site waterfall. An elevated pavilion looks out over the eternal flame and surrounding wetlands dotted with fruit trees — donated by veterans’ families as living memorials.

Conclusion

Boasting a bevy of cultural attractions, outdoor recreation, kid-friendly options and seriously tasty southern fare, Sherwood, Arkansas serves up small town charm with big appeal. From the rivers to barbeque joints to eccentric local landmarks, you’ll find ample opportunities to eat, play and make memorable discoveries. Whether traveling with family, solo or with friends, adding Sherwood to your Arkansas itinerary promises plenty of sights and activities to keep visitors of all ages entertained.

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