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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


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

Ginger's Flea Market

Directions: Business Hwy 82, Turn Left On Washington Antiques, glassware, furniture, jewelry, collectibles, coins, tools

El Dorado, AR Flea Markets

John Newton House

Restored 1849 historic home; only house open to the public in El Dorado that was built before the Civil War; decor reflects the time period; tours by appointment;

El Dorado, AR Historic Homes

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

Lions Club Golf Course

Course Access: PublicHoles: 18Reserve Advance Tee Times: Yes...

Links At Texarkana

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

Prescott Raceway Park

An I.H.R.A. (International Hot Rod Association) sanctioned 1/4 mile dragstrip ...

El Dorado Downtown

Directions: U.S. 167 to Main Street Exit. Three miles to downtown. Boutiques and shops on historic square; walking tour of...