Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Bald Knob, AR

  • Published 2022/08/12

Known as the city “where the Ozarks meet the Delta,” Bald Knob sits in quaint White County, Arkansas.

The city gets its name from an unusual outcropping that initially served as a landmark and camping ground for Native Americans during their hunting trips.

Legend says that when Hernando De Soto first saw the area, he called the large rock a “bald knob” during his 1541 exploration of the Mississippi River Valley.

Scholars believe Liberty Valley, an area south of the city, is the site of the Native American village called Palisima.

Bald Knob saw quick progress after the construction of the Missouri Pacific Railroad.

The city also became a key player in strawberry production during the 1950s.

It even received the moniker “Strawberry Capital of the World.”

You’ll find enjoyable outdoor and nature activities opportunities in this city and nearby areas.

Nature reserves, gorgeous lakes, and exciting history welcome you to this city.

Discover the best things to do in Bald Knob!

Go Birdwatching at Bald Knob National Wildlife Refuge

Scenic view of a great egret flying over Bald Knob National Wildlife Refuge's wetland

Donald T. Devine /

Bald Knob National Wildlife Refuge spans over 15,000 acres of forests, wetlands, agricultural land, and facilities.

It lies along the Little Red River near the Hurricane Lake State Wildlife Management Area.

The refuge opened in 1993 to protect and provide refuge for migratory waterfowl and birds like bald eagles, especially during winter.

Spot many migrating, shore, and wading birds at the site.

Flock of bird flying in formation over Bald Knob National Wildlife Refuge

Donald T. Devine /

The refuge is also open for waterfowl, deer, and small game hunting in designated areas and at specified times.

You can go boating or fishing on the river for some crappie and bass.

Trek the different areas around the refuge and enjoy the lush green and hardwood forests, gushing lakes, and unspoiled wetlands.

Enjoy the natural sights at Bald Knob National Wildlife Refuge!

A doe at Bald Knob National Wildlife Refuge

Donald T. Devine /

Get Fresh Catch at Bald Knob Lake

The scenic Bald Knob Lake, located two miles north of the city, opened to the public in 1960.

This fantastic 217-acre area offers terrific hunting and fishing opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts.

Get ready to set your anglers and catch a variety of fresh bass, crappie, bream, and catfish.

State regulations allow only up to 10-hp boats or less with an available boat ramp guests can use.

Though the lake does not allow swimming, you can enjoy the picturesque views of the lake, especially during sunset.

Have great fishing adventures at Bald Knob Lake.

See Amazing Train Models at Arkansas Traveler Hobbies & Museum

Train model enthusiasts and collectors will surely enjoy a visit to Arkansas Traveler Hobbies & Museum.

This unique attraction is inside the historic Missouri Pacific Railroad Depot.

Since 1993, the shop has offered high-quality railroad models with over 60,000 items available.

Choose from brands like MTH, Sunset Third Rail, Petersen Supply, GarGraves Trackage, and more.

You’ll also find antique passenger cars and carriages on the grounds you can check out.

Read several historical accounts of Bald Knob and the whole of White County.

Then, look up the beginnings of the Missouri Pacific Railroad.

Drop by the amusing Arkansas Traveler Hobbies & Museum.

Explore the Outdoors at Henry Gray Wildlife Management Area

The Henry Gray Wildlife Management Area is five miles east of the city.

Formerly known as Hurricane Lake Wildlife Management Area, it changed to its current name in 1985 to recognize Henry Gray’s part in its acquisition.

This vast 17,000-acre area is a popular hunting and fishing area.

Hunting opportunities for deer, waterfowl, and small game are open during specified seasons and based on state regulations.

The area has 11 lakes you can access for fishing with plenty of largemouth bass, crappie, and bream to catch.

Enjoy an adventurous family camp at any of the 35 campsites like the Bolie Pond, Whirl Lake, Big Hurricane Lake, and Big Bell Lake, to name a few.

You’ll also spot different bird species and discover unique wetlands with abundant hardwood trees.

Spend the day outdoors at the Henry Gray Wildlife Management Area.

Grab Delicious Seafood Servings at Who Dat’s Cajun Restaurant

Who Dat’s Cajun Restaurant is a local establishment that has become a frequent stop over for visitors to Bald Knob.

For delicious cajun-style food, you can feast on servings of seafood, crawfish, and shrimp recipes.

You’ll also enjoy friendly service in its homey, country interior.

Enjoy a platter of boiled gulf shrimp served with cocktail sauce or crawfish tail you can order either hand-breaded or grilled.

Sink your teeth into fried alligator bites, marinated and fried to a crisp.

Other specialties you can enjoy at Who Dat’s Cajun Restaurant include red beans and rice, massive rib-eyes, soups, and salads.

It’s a great place to dine with the family.

Visit the Historical Campbell-Chrisp House

You can find the historic Campbell-Chrisp House, built in 1899, on downtown Elm Street.

Charles L. Thompson designed the house, which the National Register of Historic Places listed in 1991.

The house reflects the city’s economic growth and progress during the completion of St. Louis, Iron Mountain, and the Southern Railroad in 1888.

If you love old architecture, you’ll appreciate this two-story structure that features a Romanesque style with details of a Colonial Revival theme.

Feel nostalgic as you stroll around the property and take pictures with this historic house in the background.

Tour the Campbell–Chrisp House and see one of the finest surviving old houses in White County.

Join the Celebrations of the Bald Knob HomeFest Festival

The annual Bald Knob HomeFest Festival is a beloved event highlighting Bald Knob’s celebrated crop, the strawberry.

The three-day festival happens every May in multiple locations in the city.

Enjoy the festivities with anything about strawberries, like strawberry-eating contests, cake auctions, and sales of the local crop.

The festival offers old-fashioned family fun like a lively grand parade, live show entertainment, and music.

Visitors can watch the fantastic car show and grab samplings of strawberry shortcakes to enjoy.

Little ones will have much fun at the carnival, rides, craft shows, and games.

Have a great time at the Bald Knob HomeFest Festival.

Camp Out at Barnes RV Park

If you’re up for a day or two of camping, then set up your RV at Barnes RV Park.

Just a few minutes from the Bald Knob National Wildlife Refuge, the park has a large area that can accommodate any RV size.

The site includes picnic tables, laundry utilities, and dump stations.

Other amenities include toilets and amp sites.

The park is also pet-friendly, so you can bring your pet dog provided they’re on a leash.

Enjoy birdwatching at the park, especially during spring, along with the beautiful natural landscape.

You’ll also experience the warm Southern hospitality of the park staff.

Connect with nature and stay at Barnes RV Park.

Grab Good Food at Bulldog Drive–in Restaurant

Bring your family to Bulldog Drive-in Restaurant for some old-fashioned drive-in treats.

This family-owned business offers you classic American favorites at very affordable prices.

They have daily homemade specials and serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner meals.

You’ll get fast and friendly service, which this restaurant is famous for.

Enjoy tasty entrees and salads and grab some filling burgers and sandwiches.

Then, make room for sweet desserts with servings of fresh homemade pies and strawberry shortcakes, depending on the season.

Enjoy your tasty meals at Bulldog Drive-in Restaurant.

Go for Tee Games at the Bald Knob Country Club

The Bald Knob Country Club features a nine-hole fairway that spans more than 3,000 yards.

The course opened in 1952 and features a 36–par golf course with the longest tees.

Enjoy hours of great golf games on the well-groomed fairways and lush greens.

The course presents tough but friendly challenges, just right for any golfer to level up their golfing skills.

The staff can readily help you with tips to improve your game.

You’ll also enjoy the terrific views around the golf course while playing.

Whether it’s for practice or a serious golf game, Bald Knob Country Club is the best course in the city.

Swing those golf clubs and enjoy the game!

Buy the Freshest Produce at Big Bayou Market

You’ll always get the freshest catch at Big Bayou Market.

This popular seafood and meat market also serves cooked meals you can enjoy with friends and family.

Order fresh crawfish available all week, or try the great fish baskets with baby potatoes and shrimp.

Feast on baskets of catfish, alligator meat, and oysters for some different fare.

You can also enjoy sumptuous meat dishes on the menu, like smoked ribs.

Dine outside on the restaurant patio or buy seafood by the sack for a cookout.

Enjoy tasty seafood meals at Big Bayou Market.

Enjoy Old-Fashioned Holidays at Foothills Lane Of Lights

Witness the awesome Foothills Lane Of Lights during the holidays.

You’ll enjoy old-fashioned Christmas celebrations and experience merrymaking with the city’s festive decorations.

A non-profit organization manages the Foothills Lane of Lights, an event free to the public.

You’ll see the decorative Lane of Lights displays and catch attractions like carriage rides and live nativity scenes.

Listen to classic caroling performances and watch the Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus event.

Sip some warm chocolate, coffee, and wassil, then bite into delicious glazed donuts served during the celebrations.

Catch a glimpse of the colorful Foothills Lane Of Lights.

Other Things To Do Nearby

Enjoy Water Activities at Little Red River

Little Red River is the area’s premier trout stream that’s a favorite spot for anglers.

You can find this river 21 minutes from Bald Knob.

The river emerges from the waters of Greers Ferry Lake and Heber Springs.

This 29-mile trout habitat hosts rainbows, cutthroats, and browns.

You can enjoy hours of fly-fishing on the river, and you might even catch some wild fish like brown trout.

There are also several full-service marinas and resorts north of Little Red.

Likewise, there are convenient public and resort launch areas on either side of the river.

You can also enjoy other attractions in the area like the William Carl Garner/Corps of Engineers Visitor Center, the scenic hiking trails, and a trout hatchery.

Take on the waters of Little Red River.

See Historical Artifacts at Pioneer Village

The Pioneer Village has interesting 19th-century artifacts and antiques on display for viewing.

You can find it in Searcy, Arkansas, 15 minutes from Bald Knob.

Tour the old buildings, and see old farm equipment and items that the White County Historical Society collected from around the county.

Visit the log house, the Little Red House, or step into the old post office.

Then, check the smokehouse, and drop by the blacksmith shop and the barn.

Discover early life in the Old South and find artifacts that bring you back to the past.

Learn more about White County history at Pioneer Village.

Watch Excellent Performances at Harding University Theatre

Harding University Theatre is the perfect place to capture theater performances that everyone in the family will enjoy.

This place is also in Searcy, 14 minutes from Bald Knob.

Watch their Homecoming musicals during the fall.

Likewise, watch them perform their variety show, Spring Sing, at the Benson Auditorium every Easter weekend.

Check out other scheduled shows and plays on their website.

Let kids enjoy performances by the Pied Pipers.

Otherwise, catch theater shows at the yearly Searcy Summer Dinner Theatre event.

Enjoy excellent theater productions at Harding University Theatre.

Final Thoughts

Bald Knob offers the good old Southern city feel, nature’s beauty, and hospitable community life.

This city teems with outstanding nature reserves and lakes that provide a variety of outdoor activities for the adventurer.

Known for abundant strawberry crops, fantastic local restaurants, and historical attractions, there’s so much to explore here.

Book your trip today and discover the best things to do in Bald Knob!

Discover More of White County, AR

Best Things to Do in Searcy, AR

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