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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 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

Herb's Flea Market Park

Directions: Five Miles North Of El Dorado On 167

El Dorado, AR Flea Markets

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

El Dorado Downtown

Directions: U.S. 167 to Main Street Exit. Three miles to downtown. Boutiques and shops on historic square; walking tour of architecturally significant buildings, many financed by South Arkansas oil boom and the timber industry

El Dorado, AR Historic Downtowns


Things to do near El Dorado, AR

Harbor Oaks Golf Club

Course Access: PublicHoles: 18Reserve Advance Tee Times: 4 days...

El Dorado Confederate Monument

Directions: Union County Courthouse Lawn Open stone monument, four pillars; general descripton on front; Confederate Soldier...

Camden Country Club

Course Access: PrivateHoles: 18Reserve Advance Tee Times: 3 days...

Dallas County Museum

Features the history of Dallas County ...

Graham-Gaughan-Betts Home

Built for Major Joseph M. Graham and his wife Mary Washington (first cousin of George Washington) in 1856, this home served a...