Blake Walsh

21 Best Things to Do in Mountain Home, AR

  • Published 2023/04/12

Mountain Home, Arkansas, is the ideal destination for your perfect peaceful break.

First known as Rapp’s Barren, Mountain Home is the seat of and largest city in Arkansas’ Baxter County.

It is located in the southern Ozark Mountains at the state’s northern border with Missouri.

This region was one of the state’s earliest water resorts and retirement communities due to its fishing, water sports, outdoor recreation, shopping opportunities.

In the early 1830s, Simeon “Rapp” Talburt built the first mansion in the area; he was also its first owner.

Alongside other historic homes, the original cabin was unearthed in 1990 and is now on display at Mountain Home’s Cooper Park.

The community was renamed Mountain Home in 1856; in 1857, they put up a post office.

Check out the best local attractions and activities in Mountain Home, AR.

Read and Learn at the Mountain Home Library

You can come to the Mountain Home Public Library to learn about the community and enrich your life.

In 1903, the library was founded as a public reading room.

It has expanded into a full-service facility with an extensive collection of materials.

It also provides access to technology, books, and other informational resources.

Throughout the year, the library also conducts educational and social events where you can meet new people and learn about topics of interest.

The library is the hub of the Mountain Home community, where everyone goes to learn, work, and have fun.

It firmly believes in protecting the privacy of all library users.

Thus, your privacy is in no way at risk.

Take a Morning Walk at Cooper Park

Cooper Park in Mountain Home is excellent for fresh air and exercise.

There is a lot of room for family fun in the great outdoors.

You can play baseball or tennis, then follow the strolling routes.

Otherwise, you can tour an excellent historical building, where you can also hang out for a quick read.

This park is ideal for walking or jogging, but you may also bring your bike if you like.

There is also ample green space for picnics.

If you bring your swimwear, there is a pool to cool down in and two pavilions for your group events.

It’s also near downtown Mountain Home, so making this one of your weekend hangouts won’t be too hard.

Learn a New Skill at Morning Star Glass Studio

It’s all about glass at Morning Star Glass Studio.

However, this isn’t your typical gift shop with a specific selection of items.

Morning Star Glass Studio offers glass artistry lessons to help you get started or improve your novice or seasoned veteran skills.

These lessons cover everything, from stained glass suncatchers to flameworking on glass torches to kiln fusing projects.

You can also register your children for summer classes.

The session is held within the studio, ideally near major highways and public transportation.

This is a one-of-a-kind way to spend your time in Mountain Home while taking in the sights.

Go Fishing at Bull Shoals Lake

Scenic view of Bull Shoals Lake

Tara Ballard /

Fishing is the most popular activity that you can try in Bull Shoals Lake, along with other fun and exciting outdoor activities.

The US Army built the Bull Shoals Dam in 1951, becoming the country’s seventh-largest concrete structure.

Mountain Home’s Bull Shoals Lake is an excellent place for largemouth bass fishing.

Early spring walleye and white bass runs and the growing popularity of the different types of fish in the summer enhance year-round fishing.

A picnic table near Bull Shoals Lake's water

Bonita R. Cheshier /

During September and May, black bass fishing reaches its most productive.

Grills, picnic tables, and drinking water are provided at the picnic areas for your convenience.

Visitors to Bull Shoals enjoy water skiing, swimming, and taking a boat tour of the lake arms and bays.

Winter and summer fishing for trout, white bass, and crappie are now more popular than ever due to the lake’s early spring and summer.

Gorgeous sunset reflecting on Bull Shoals Lake

Roschetzky Photography /

Relax at the Crooked Hook Resort

A vacation at Crooked Hook Resort is an experience you’ll never forget, leaving you feeling like you’ve stepped into a new planet.

This resort in Mountain Home is a premier holiday destination.

Crooked Hook Resort is tucked away in the Ozark foothills and gives guests a tranquil respite from their busy lives.

There is something for everyone at Crooked Hook Resort, whether you’re looking to experience Lake Norfork’s natural splendor or the Ozarks’ rich cultural heritage.

You will experience home at this resort because it goes above and above when it comes to comfort.

Other places of equal beauty surround the resort.

Drink Local Brews at Rapp’s Barren Brewing Company

Prepare for an incredible night of partying and drinking locally brewed beer with your friends.

Mountain Home’s first brewery, Rapp’s Barren Brewing Company, serves thousands of tourists annually.

The brewery is a tiny, family-owned business dedicated to creating polished pub fare and giving back to the community.

They have a diverse menu from breakfast to dinner, including their local beers.

Russell and Chris, the owners, began brewing beer in their garages and entered competitions to gain feedback.

Check Out Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly holiday for the whole family, the Blackburns Resort if the place for you.

Since 1946, Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental have offered memorable vacations to Mountain Home tourists.

The ideal location for Blackburns puts it out of town but still within reach of all the comforts of home.

Here, you can enjoy the most extensive assortment of fishing, pontoon, and ski boat rentals.

You can also bring your boat or rent from them.

All cottages have free wireless internet, playgrounds, a level and easy 1/3-mile walk to the lake, and a magnificent swimming pool and kiddie pool.

There are no duplexes or condos at Blackburns Resort, but the area is pet-friendly.

Stay on the Riverfront with Riley’s Outfitter

Riley’s Outfitter is an excellent choice for your next getaway!

With eight riverfront cabins, your next family vacation will be a breeze.

Miles and Michelle Riley from Mississippi moved to Mountain Home to start this modest homestay in 1998.

Groceries are close by if you need anything to round off your vacation.

You may enjoy your trip without worrying about privacy because the cabin and luxury property provide solitude and space.

Riley’s Outfitter does not have campsites or public RV sites because they want to provide you with the greatest possible indoor experience.

While you’re here, you can visit the Ozark Folk Center, Blanchard Springs Caverns, Big Creek Golf Course, and many other attractions.

Walk along the Dry Run Creek

Dry Run Creek lays near the Norfork Hatchery and was designed for trout stocking and easy fishing for the disabled and children over 16.

In 2005, someone caught a rainbow fish weighing an estimated 25 pounds in this small stream.

There’s more fishing activity in this majestic creek in Mountain Home.

It has specially created walkways, ramps, and fishing platforms where you may have fun walking.

Dry Run Creek begins at the hatchery and goes approximately 3/4 mile to its junction with the Norfork River.

You’ll enjoy fishing access throughout its length if you desire to wade.

Watch out for a siren warning of rising water levels if you are fishing the exit of Dry Run Creek near the Norfork Dam.

Conditions in the area can change suddenly.

Buy Some Goodies at Mountain Home Farmers Market

You may buy fresh and affordable local products at the Mountain Home Farmers Market.

Every Wednesday and Saturday, the market features seasonal fresh vegetables and fruits.

During the regular season, an average of ten merchants sell stuff in the market.

Meanwhile, the number goes up to 30 during the peak season.

Many individuals in the neighborhood congregate at the farmer’s market to buy weekly groceries and chat with the people who cultivate their food.

Keep an eye out for impromptu jam sessions by the locals in the crowded market.

You’ll also come across people who create delicious jams, jellies, soaps, candles, pieces of bread, and other bakery items.

Get Unique Items at Remember When Antiques & More Mall

Unleash your artistic side and visit the 9,000 square feet of vintage, retro, new, and of course, antiques for sale.

Within a few minutes of Beautiful Norfork Lake, you can shop at the renowned Remember When Antiques & More Mall for unique souvenirs.

The antique shop in Mountain Home has opened for 20 years.

They provide rods & reels, vintage tools, metal work, etc.

You can also browse their extensive collection of fiesta ware, purses, jewelry, vintage kitchenware, and other items.

Enjoy a Barbecue at the Keller Park

Brace yourself for another Mountain Home park experience at Keller Park, a 72.2-acre park.

It’s a lovely area to rest, stroll, or even take your dog for a walk.

This park provides chairs and abundant green grass for camping and group games.

It is next to the Cooper and Hickory parks and is the largest park in Mountain Home.

Man your grilling stations and have a BBQ party at the location.

Host a Kiddie Party at Hickory Park

Hickory Park is a popular hangout for residents of Mountain Home, which is a lovely place to call home.

With plenty of green space and places to sit, Mountain Home’s Hickory Park is terrific for spending time with loved ones.

The 5.9-acre Hickory Park is Mountain Home’s third-largest park.

You can use their pavilion and numerous benches to host your child’s next birthday celebration.

The Big Springs Park in Cotter, 9.9 miles away, and Keller Park, approximately 2.2 miles away, are two other nearby parks and natural spaces.

Take a Nature Photoshoot at the Clysta Willett Park

If you appreciate gardening and want to try it yourself, Mountain Home offers a spot for you.

Mountain Home’s Clysta Willett Nature Trail is a one-of-a-kind place to make this happen.

The park houses over a hundred native shrubs and trees in the garden and various annual, biennial, and perennial plants.

Likewise, the North Arkansas Woodcarvers Club adorned the trees wrecked in the 2009 ice storm.

Birders and photographers can also use the trails for all types of photoshoots.

It’s beautiful in the summer when the garden is full of flowers and herbs native to our area.

Appreciate Art at the Hill Country Art Gallery

After a long day of roaming through Mountain Home’s beautiful parks and shops, how about an artistic experience?

Stop by the Hill Country Art Gallery to gain a glimpse into the minds of local artists through their paintings.

Non-profit artists from the Twin Lakes area are included in the gallery.

Original fine art and crafts are on display, including lessons in painting, woodturning, pottery, jewelry, and quality crafts.

They are dedicated to promoting local artists and supporting their creative activities as a non-profit cooperative.

Attend an Event at the Baxter County Fairgrounds

There’s a lot to do when checking out Baxter County Fairgrounds depending on the date of your visit.

One of the biggest events not only in Mountain Home but also in Arkansas is the Baxter County Fair, typically held during the later weeks of August.

There, you’ll get to experience all sorts of fun, ranging from exhibits, rodeo shows, and the classic fair rides.

But even if you’re not going during the summer, Baxter County Fairgrounds have a ton of events year-round.

Some of their best ones include gun shows for the adults along with other smaller fairs like the city’s Craft Fest which is centered on arts and craft.

Baxter County Fairgrounds can be located along Fairgrounds Drive.

Have a Feast at Italian Garden Dining

Looking for a great place to dine in at Mountain Home? Very few restaurants can match the popularity and quality of Italian Garden Dining.

Known for a variety of signature dishes, this restaurant has quickly been one of the go-to places for locals when it comes to special occasions.

However, you don’t need any special event to visit this place as it remains to have a casual and intimate vibe that’s perfect for laid-back lunch or dinner.

Some of their bestsellers here include their calzones, meatball pasta, and chicken parmesan.

Italian Garden Dining is also a great place to eat bread, as many locals rave about their garlic knots and dinner rolls.

Found along Highway 62 West, don’t miss out on the delicious Italian food of this restaurant.

Play Bowling at Driftwood Lanes

Driftwood Lanes is an amazing place to have fun in Mountain Home, as it’s one of the city’s leading amusement centers.

Fit for kids and adults alike, there are a ton of things to do here which go beyond bowling.

There are several pool tables for the adults, and there’s a robust arcade setup here for the teenagers and little ones as well.

Of course, the bowling alley is what you’ll be after—the facility is modern, fresh, and offers a lot of seamless fun.

Driftwood Lanes can be found along Highway 62 East, making it a convenient late-night destination in your itinerary.

Try the Seafood at Skipper’s Restaurant

Another exciting place to eat in Mountain Home is at Skipper’s Restaurant, famous for their seafood dishes.

Known particularly for their juicy catfish frys, Skipper’s Restaurant is a great place for travelers who are in the mood for some deep-fried fish.

Besides their catfish, they also serve scrumptious breakfast items that’s highlighted by their biscuits and gravy, making them a great place to kickstart the day.

Skipper’s Restaurant also has a mouthwatering chicken fried steak if you’re feeling carnivorous.

With great service and a convenient spot along the Arkansas Freeway, don’t miss out on Skipper’s Restaurant.

Have a Picnic at McCabe Park

If you have some downtime at Mountain Home, McCabe Park is a great spot to relax.

Perfect for picnics because of its scenery, McCabe Park offers a quiet spot for respite.

There’s a small lake within the park that accentuates its overall serenity, making it a great spot for fishing as well.

Lots of trees, trails, and good greenery are also found here; it’s a great spot to take the little ones.

McCabe Park can be accessed at Norcross Place.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Try German Brown Trout Fishing at North Fork River

Before joining the White River, the North Fork River is only five miles long below the Lake Norfork Dam.

The North Fork’s formal name is White River, but the locals have abbreviated it to Norfork over the years since it’s easier to pronounce.

You’ll find this river in Norfork, Arkansas, 17 minutes from Mountain Home.

The Norfork tailwater provides great wading opportunities at low water levels.

When the power generators are running, try float-fishing from a boat.

Through private resorts, you can reach the river via public access points.

In 1988, a German brown trout weighing nearly 39 pounds broke the world record on the North Fork River.

People have caught several brown trout weighing more than ten pounds in this five-mile stretch of water.

Final Thoughts

Don’t hold back and give yourself a planned vacation.

A vacation that helps you reconnect with your self-confidence is the most precious investment you can make in yourself.

Getaways are considerably more delightful when you live in a friendly community with caring people like the Mountain Home.

Mountain Home, Arkansas, is your best bet for an action-packed mountain hideaway.

Book your trip today!

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