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Adventures in Arkansas

Oh my goodness! Did I have a great year last year touring and filming around the Natural State!

There are so many ways to spend affordable family vacations, romantic getaways or have a business meeting in Arkansas.

Here are three places that I can't wait for you to go to and see for yourself! Go to some of or all of them and then tell me about your experiences at these destinations on my Facebook wall.

Lakeport Plantation, Lake Village, AR

Lakeport Plantation Arkansas

If you love old houses then go see Lakeport Plantation. This mansion is the last mostly unaltered colonial house on the Mississippi River in Arkansas lovingly restored as a wonderful museum. This historic late 1850s modified Greek Revival home is an official project of the Save America's Treasures program through the National Park Service and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

We went and visited recently and the setting is sublime! This gem of a house in the plantation tradition has a columned double front porch that is sited in the middle of a cotton field facing the great Mississippi River. It is the quintessential Antebellum home.

The interior has 14' tall ceilings that are capped around the room with enormous plaster moldings that have survived since 1858. There are 17 rooms and 13 fireplaces in an "L-shaped" layout with the original cast iron cookstove in the kitchen! Colossal faux-finished 10' 8" doors are topped with pediments making the openings appear 12' tall! Many of the original furnishings were located from around the world and recovered from private collectors. Descendents of the original occupants, the Johnson family members, also pitched in to make the house as authentically furnished as possible. What an amazing feat!

Be sure to make this a stop on your traveling itinerary. More information on Lakeport Plantation.

Strawberry Fields at Holland Bottoms, Cabot, AR

Holland Bottom Strawberry Farm Arkansas

Did you know that Arkansas strawberry production is one of the tops in the Nation?? I am an avid berry lover and eating strawberries in any form, ranks right up there with breathing.

I was thrilled when I was able to visit with Larry Odom of the family owned Holland Bottom Farm. To produce a better quality of strawberries and to prolong their growing season they grow them on black plastic covered mounds. The plastic mulch aids ripening; increases air circulation which helps to prevent diseases and stops weeds from competing plus it makes it easier to harvest the berries. Young strawberry plants are planted during a narrow window in mid-October here in Cabot, AR. After planting they are carefully monitored over the winter.

The strawberry season normally begins in April and lasts till June. Their berries are renowned as the sweetest berries in Arkansas. I can't argue with that, they really are delicious!

Be sure to plan to attend one of the annual Strawberry Festivals when in Cabot.

Once strawberry season ends then they home grow and sell summer fruits such as blackberries, blueberries, melons and 7 to 8 varieties of peaches. Plus they grow vegetables like cucumbers, okra, peppers, purple hull peas, squash, sweet corn, sweet onions and tomatoes. There's a huge fireworks tent to celebrate the 4th of July holiday. Later in the fall they grow pumpkins, do hay rides on the weekends and sell straw and chrysanthemums.

I hope that you will all come to Holland Bottom Farm for all of your home grown fruits and vegetables, just maybe not have everyone arrive here at the same time.

Visit www.HollandBottomFarm.com/ for more information.

Loco Ropes

Loco Ropes in Arkansas

Yes it's true! I finally went Loco - for Loco Ropes at Ozark Folk Center State Park in Mountain View, AR. It's definitely a new perspective from which to experience a landscape. You have got to go!! The kids will love it, parents will love it; take a date -- it's definitely an ice-breaker! After the initial couple of hard gulps, I could not get enough of it. I have to say we laughed until our sides hurt. Loco Ropes is so fun but also such a cool thing to do any season of the year. Go each season to watch the change in color of the leaves and tree canopies. See LocoRopes.com to plan a day to visit the craft grounds, listen to some great music and swing in the trees!

These are just a few of the fun family attractions around the state. You can also enjoy activities like hunting and fishing, hiking and camping, exploring a real diamond mine, Civil War history and caves or attending festivals and annual events throughout the year! There is something to see and do for everybody!

I urge you to come to my state to explore the scenic beauty of the Natural State of Arkansas!