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Every year Texans are tormented by endless photos of fall foliage around the country. Is it really still 90 degrees? Yes, yes it is. But take a scenic five- or six-hour drive to northwest Arkansas and fall is in full force around the Ozark National Forest. And we Texans are falling in love.

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Photo courtesy of Arkansas Tourism

The Drive

Getting where you’re going is half the fun. Once you’re in the northwestern part of the state, hit up the Pig Trail, Ozark Highlands and Sylamore scenic byways within the Ozark National Forest to really get a taste of fall.

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Dreamy Digs

If yurts, campers and tents aren’t your thing, you can rent a picturesque cabin in the woods in West Fork or take up residence at a quaint bed-and-breakfast in Eureka Springs. Arkansas is all about authentic retreats in “The Natural State.”

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State Parks Galore

With 52 state parks, views like the one pictured here (at Petit Jean State Park in Morrilton) are not rare. Other standouts to see in autumn include Devil’s Den, Bull Shoals and Mount Magazine.

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Nature Everywhere

But even if you don’t visit any state parks, natural beauty is everywhere. Waterfalls, babbling brooks and tranquil creekside cafés seem to be everywhere you turn. Rent a kayak and cruise down the Buffalo National River in Jasper/Ponca or delight in regional cuisine at The Cellar Creekside restaurant in Sulphur Springs.

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Killer Sunsets

And just as you might expect from a place with dramatic views, the sunsets around these parts are second to none. If catching a spectacular sunset is on your northwest Arkansas to-do list, we recommend Mount Nebo State Park or Pinnacle Mountain State Park or taking in a sunset meal at the Lodge at Mount Magazine’s Skycrest Restaurant.

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