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El Dorado, Arkansas

El Dorado, Arkansas

El Dorado lived up to the promise of its name when oil was discovered a mile west of the city in 1921. The resulting gush of population and prosperity led to an architectural boom still reflected in a self-guided walking tour of the city's restored downtown, now filled with shopping and dining opportunities. Downtown also includes the Rialto Theater, Arkansas's only working art deco theater, and the historic John Newton House, which hosts the annual Mayhaw Festival. Two other popular El Dorado events are Showdown at Sunset, the reenactment of a 1902 gunfight on the Union County Courthouse square, and MusicFest, which features a variety of national and local musical acts. The arts are served in the city by the South Arkansas Arts Center. Visitors who want to know more about the South Arkansas oil boom will find exhibits, films and a park with full-size derricks and other oilfield equipment at the Arkansas Museum of Natural Resources in nearby Smackover.

Outdoor recreational opportunities in the El Dorado area include the South Arkansas Arboretum State Park, Moro Bay State Park, and the Felsenthal National Wildlife Refuge.

Attractions and Upcoming Events

South Arkansas Arts Center Theatre

207-seat auditorium hosts live productions and symphony concerts.

El Dorado, AR Theatres

South Arkansas Arboretum State Park

Covered picnic area, five miles of walking trails; Arkansas native flora; Tour Guides may be available with advance request

El Dorado, AR State Parks


Rialto Theatre

During its two years in operation, the local architectural firm of Kolben, Hunter, and Boyd designed this classical revival style red brick and decorative stone theater in response to oil boom demands for expanded cultural opportunities. At street level, the Rialto has been "modernized"

El Dorado, AR Theatres

Herb's Flea Market Park

Directions: Five Miles North Of El Dorado On 167

El Dorado, AR Flea Markets

Things to do near El Dorado, AR

Marks' Mills Battlefield State Park

Directions: Junction Ark. 8 East The site of an April 25, 1864 fight in which Confederate Calvary ambushed and captured a Un...

Arkansas Railroad Museum

Restored steam locomotive 819, a 4-8-4 built in Pine Bluff in 1942. Railroad memorabilia from various Arkansas railroads on d...

South Arkansas Arts Center Theatre

207-seat auditorium hosts live productions and symphony concerts. ...

Fordyce Country Club

Course Access: PrivateHoles: 9Reserve Advance Tee Times: Yes...