A Perfect Day in Walnut Ridge
Enjoy a perfect day in the life of The Beatles in Walnut Ridge of the Upper Delta.
Plan a day to visit during the annual Beatles at the Ridge Festival in September. On Saturday of the fest, take the kids to the enjoy doughnuts, milk and storytime, followed by face painting and crafts. They’ll be good and worn out, which means they’ll sit still while you take in a concert or two (or at least stroll peacefully as you peruse festival exhibits and vendors). (BeatlesAtTheRidge.com)
Grab lunch, or at least refuel for more festival fun, at The Dark Side Coffee House (104 S.W. Abbey Road). This local gem is “Star Wars” themed and menu items are named after Beatles songs. Locals love the sandwiches, salads, frozen yogurt and, of course, the coffee. ()
Take a selfie with the famous Beatles sculpture (110 S.W. Second St.), a prime stop on “Rock ‘N’ Roll Highway” 67. The sculpture commemorates the legendary band’s visit to Walnut Ridge in September 1964, when The Beatles landed at the local airport on their way to a dude ranch in southern Missouri. This stop made Walnut Ridge the only town in Arkansas that The Beatles ever visited.
Take a Walk
There’s more great musical history and photo-op fun at the Guitar Walk at Cavenaugh Park (110 S.W. Second St.). The 115-foot-long by 40-foot-wide guitar, based on an Epiphone Casino played by John Lennon, honors the musicians that played along the nearby “Rock ‘N’ Roll Highway.” Nine plaques are dedicated to country music legends like Conway Twitty, Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Sonny Burgess and Billy Lee Riley.
Step Back in Time
Head back to the festival for more live music, cookoffs, car shows and more, or consider an afternoon of history and nature at Powhatan Historic State Park (4414 AR-25, Powhatan), a 16-minute drive from Walnut Ridge. Explore restored historic structures (like the jail!) that depict early settler life in the Ozark foothills. The newly restored Powhatan Courthouse was the center of the community and is now the center of the park. (ArkansasStateParks.com)
For the Foodies
Take a short drive to Omar’s Uptown (301 S. Main St.) in Jonesboro. Omar’s is a favorite for steaks and seafood, and its popular “crawfish cheesecake” appetizer is a must-try. A delicious meal and a fine glass of wine are the perfect complement to conversation regaling your day of fun in and around Walnut Ridge. (OmarsUptown.com)