Natural and man-made beauty in northwest Arkansas

EUREKA SPRING, Ark. • You can find just about anything in the Ozark Mountains of northwest Arkansas: spectacular scenery, rustic charm, a passion play, barbecue. You can find opportunities for boating, swimming and fishing; motorcyclists can ply the scenic Pig Trail.

My friend Linda and I went for the art. Along the way, we also found big cats, boutiques and friendly people.

Eureka Springs really comes to life after spring break; we were there before it but still found numerous charming shops in vintage buildings along the steeply sloping streets. At the very top, overlooking the town, is the 1886 Crescent Hotel and Spa, a magnificent Victorian structure with restaurants, handsome public rooms, a helpful employee dressed as a marshal with a badge, and, reputedly, ghosts.

The Crescent was once a cancer hospital, run by a quack whose patients seldom recovered. Many of them are said to be still hanging around

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