Take This Heavenly Road Trip To Arkansas’ Most Beautiful Chapels
The weather in Arkansas might be indecisive, but that shouldn’t prevent you from enjoying Arkansas’s glorious scenery. One fantastic way to do that is to hop in the car and get out on the road. Below you’ll find seven glorious chapels all set in cool areas of the Natural State that you wouldn’t mind exploring anyway. This road trip will take you through the Ozarks and into the Ouachitas, to some of the most incredible places of worship in Arkansas. The total drive time is just under seven hours, making this tour of epic Arkansas chapels a spectacular day trip.
1. Mildred B. Cooper Memorial Chapel (Bella Vista)
The first stop on our chapel adventure is Mildred B. Cooper Memorial Chapel in Bella Vista. Set in a wooded area near Lake Norwood, this truly impressive feat of modern architecture is the perfect place to sit and think, pray, or meditate. It’s also an especially good place to take spectacular photographs. Mildred B. Cooper Memorial Chapel is located at 504 Memorial Drive in Bella Vista.
2. St. Elizabeth of Hungary Catholic Church (Eureka Springs)
The history of this church goes all the way back to 1880, and its unique look and wonderful history have made it a Eureka Springs landmark. It’s on the National Register of Historic Places, but there’s an additional thing you should remember when you visit there: this is a working, thriving place of worship, and so you should try to bother the people who worship there. This church is located at 232 Passion Play Road in Eureka Springs.
3. Thorncrown Chapel (Eureka Springs)
Thorncrown Chapel is the most iconic chapel in the Natural State, and there’s a good reason for all the hype. It’s absolutely stunning. This chapel is a popular place for weddings, and it’s been photographed a trillion times, but there’s nothing quite like experiencing it in person. This gorgeous chapel is like a sculpture that you can walk around in. You may notice it’s similar to the Mildred B. Cooper Memorial Chapel, but that doesn’t mean if you’ve seen one E. Fay Jones chapel you’ve seen them all. They’re all uniquely excellent. Experience Thorncrown Chapel at 12968 US-62 in Eureka Springs.
4. Our Lady of Perpetual Help (Altus)
We’ll be traveling a bit to our next location, but the travel is well worth it. This is another chapel on the National Register of Historic Places. It was built in 1902, just outside the city limits of Altus, in the heart of Arkansas’s wine country. This church is famed for its Sistine Chapel-inspired paintings and its gorgeous façade. Our Lady of Perpetual Help, also called St. Mary’s Catholic Church, is located at 5118 St. Mary’s Lane in Altus.
5. Chapel of the Transfiguration (Morrilton)
You’ve got about an hour’s drive ahead of you. Now you’re headed up to the top of Mount Petit Jean to Camp Mitchell, a ministry of the Episcopal Church in Arkansas. Up on top of the mountain, in their retreat center, you’re going to find the most incredible open air chapel in the Natural State. You’re welcome to use the chapel to meditate or pray as long as you check in at the Hoke Lodge to let them know you’re there. You’ll definitely want to meditate and pray when you experience the inexplicable beauty of the mountains all around you. You’ll find them on Camp Mitchell Road in Morrilton.
6. First United Methodist Church (Little Rock)
We’re headed away from those rural views and into the big city for this next one. Little Rock is full of fantastic historic churches, and First United Methodist is definitely one of them. This is another church that’s in the full time business of hosting worshippers, so please be mindful of that on your visit there. You’re going to love the stately look of this house of worship and all its gorgeous stained glass windows. It’s located in downtown Little Rock, at the corner of 8th and Center.
7. Anthony Chapel (Hot Springs)
For our final destination, we have a chapel in an incredible setting. Anthony Chapel is in the middle of Garvan Woodland Gardens, a 210 acre botanical garden that you really need to see to believe. Anthony Chapel is similar to the Mildred B. Cooper and Thorncrown chapels, with a bit of a twist. Like the other two, this chapel was designed to bring the natural world into the worship experience. Unlike them, it was not designed by E. Fay Jones. It was designed by her protégé, Maurice Jennings. At the end of your glorious tour of Arkansas’s most glorious chapels, you’re going to want to relax and sit a spell, and there’s no better place to do that than in Anthony Chapel on the grounds of Garvan Woodland Gardens, which is located at 550 Arkridge Road in Hot Springs.