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Friday, June 9, 2017

Fort Smith (AR), a fascinating city to visit

Belle Point, Arkansas River

Southern charm and the wild, wild west come together to make Ft Smith, Arkansas, a fun place to visit. Okay, so the wild, wild west is historical but you can revisit the days of Judge Parker's infamous courtroom at the Ft Smith National Historic Site.

If you visit the site, take the time to walk down to the river and see the original Belle Point, where the first fort was built in 1817. Today you can see the foundations of the original structures and the Trail of Tears Overlook.

The Clayton House
Or visit Miss Laura's, the only remaining red light district building on the riverfront. Today it's a museum and home to the Ft Smith Visitors Center. It's also the only former bordello on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Clayton House in the historic Belle Grove District showcases the lifestyles of affluent residents in the late 1800s and early 1900s. It's well worth a visit.

Downtown street art
Fort Chaffee, built by the US Army in 1941, has its own claim to fame. You can visit the barbershop where Elvis Presley received his first army haircut. Later, in the 1970s and 1980s, the fort served as a processing center for more than 50,000 Southeast Asians and 25,000 Cubans.

Love street art? Ft. Smith's "The Unexpected" art project has brought world-famous artists to create public pieces that enhance the city.

R Landry's
I love the restaurants I visited on my last visit. Doe's Eat Place, Bricktown Brewery and R Landry's top my list of favorites. When I visit this year, I hope to re-visit them and try some new places.

I'll be back there in a couple of weeks and I can't wait to explore more!

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