What to do and see in Van Buren, United States: The Best Places and Tips

October 3, 2017 Weston Hennigan

Van Buren /væn ˈbjʊərən/ is the second largest city in the Fort Smith, Arkansas-Oklahoma Metropolitan Statistical Area and the county seat of Crawford County, Arkansas, United States. The city is located directly northeast of Fort Smith at the Interstate 40 - Interstate 540 junction. The city was incorporated in 1845 and as of the 2010 census had a population of 22,791, ranking it as the state's 22nd largest city, behind Searcy.
Restaurants in Van Buren

1. Fort Smith National Cemetery

522 Garland Avenue and South 6th Street, Fort Smith, AR 72901 +1 479-783-5345
Excellent
77%
Good
20%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 128 reviews

Fort Smith National Cemetery

Reviewed By Plug10

Must visit when u go to the Fort! Pay respect to the men and women who served! Lots of history around the area... worth the trip! ✌?

2. Great Escape Mystery Rooms

505 Main St, Van Buren, AR 72956-5109 +1 479-689-9120
Excellent
100%
Good
0%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 33 reviews

Great Escape Mystery Rooms

Great Escape Mystery Rooms offers a fun, entertaining, and engaging escape room adventure, located in Historic Downtown Van Buren. The rooms are designed to intrigue and bring out the inner detective in all of us. Bring your friends, family, or co-workers in for an exciting challenge. While in the room your goal is to find clues and solve puzzles that will enable you to conquer the room and stop the clock, hopefully with a record time. You will have 60 minutes to see if you have what it takes to solve our rooms.

Reviewed By CharleyintheRoom - Fort Smith, Arkansas

Our family (four adults) enjoyed the escape room "Back to School". The room was clean, comfortable and safe. We were greeted warmly and treated very well. As escape rooms go, this is a great option for small groups (family or friends or colleagues). As an...MoreThank you for the Great review! We are so glad to hear you had a wonderful time, and nice job getting on the leader board! We can't wait for you to come try out the Heist at the Museum.

3. Fort Smith National Historic Site

301 Parker Ave, Fort Smith, AR 72901-1938 +1 479-783-3961
Excellent
70%
Good
26%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 484 reviews

Fort Smith National Historic Site

Reviewed By Edge W - Columbia, Missouri

The museum and the displays around the grounds do a very good job of presenting and interpreting the role Fort Smith played in American expansion and in Indian/army activities. The trail through the grounds and to the river is wheelchair friendly and offers good access to habitat niches used by birds.

4. THOR Elite Firing Range and Gun Club

1206 Knesek Ln, Van Buren, AR 72956-7908 +1 479-474-3434
Excellent
78%
Good
19%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 26 reviews

THOR Elite Firing Range and Gun Club

THOR Elite Firing Range and Gun Club The Finest Shooting Center in the Arkansas River Valley. Covered Shooting Positions On-Site Pro Shop Convenient Location Machine Gun Rentals

Reviewed By srf301 - Van Buren, Arkansas

I've been going for just a year now but I like the range and the people running it. You may catch a time when the backboards need to be replace but always been able to find a place to hang my targets. It's clean and...MoreThank you sir, we appreciate the kind words. If there is anything myself and/or the staff can do please don't hesitate to tell us. We love to hear input and suggestions.

5. Drennan-Scott Historic Site

222 N 3rd St, Van Buren, AR 72956-4204 +1 479-262-6020
Excellent
74%
Good
26%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 19 reviews

Drennan-Scott Historic Site

Reviewed By ksvaught - Fort Smith, Arkansas

Congrats to Prof. Tom Wing, Univ. of AR Fort Smith & all the volunteers for making this site accessible to & meaningful for the public. Don't miss the small visitors' center at the parking lot next door, because it has a great timeline & will give you historic context (Wyatt Earp & Belle Starr included). Not a great mansion, but a house that grew with its inhabitants & the times that is largely original, including contents. Overlooking the AR River & the families' business interests at the time. Although not a generally famous man, you may be surprised at his business & political connections & the extent of his business enterprises. Hope you get to hear some of the stories. They also usually host a very good summer series with varied topics on Sunday afternoon once a month. Look for Prof. Wing's new book.

6. Fort Smith Museum of History

320 Rogers Ave, Fort Smith, AR 72901-1937 +1 479-783-7841
Excellent
42%
Good
36%
Satisfactory
18%
Poor
3%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 116 reviews

Fort Smith Museum of History

Reviewed By Tigress1023

The museum has two floors of Fort Smith history that addresses racial history and events. The Trail of Tears is close. The museum can also be used for meetings and events. Judge Parker's hanging arena are also on the grounds. Handicap parking and an elevator is available for accessibility.

7. Chapters on Main

816 Main St, Historic Downtown Van Buren, Van Buren, AR 72956-4316 +1 479-471-9315
Excellent
80%
Good
20%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
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Overall Ratings

5 based on 10 reviews

Chapters on Main

Independent bookstore with new and used books in most any genre. We also feature a coffee bar where our baristas handcraft lattes from Mama Carmen coffee beans into hot, iced or frozen drinks or you could enjoy a specialty Savoy tea selection in a single or share a pot with a friend! Enjoy our entire store with areas to curl up with a good book and drink or spend time connecting with someone you haven't seen in awhile or maybe enjoy meeting someone new. Our baristas are knowledgeable about our books on all three floors from the kids loft to the basement which is known as the "treasure hunt". Come enjoy your time even if it is just a bit!

Reviewed By SupernovaEyes - Mansfield, Texas

Very quaint and interesting bookstore with used and new books for sale. New books seem about normal price, and used were about $3 for one or $5 for two. There was a main floor with books and the coffee counter, and a downstairs full of used books. I believe there was also an upstairs that I did not quite make it to which was a "kids loft". When I can return and I have time, I will sit with a coffee and stay for a while. Love it. Books and coffee are two of my favorite things! Employee was very friendly and would have assisted us with anything had we requested anything! Will be returning as soon as I can get there!

8. King Opera House

427 Main St, Van Buren, AR 72956-5107 +1 479-474-2426
Excellent
64%
Good
36%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 11 reviews

King Opera House

Reviewed By SkyDragonfly

The children’s performance was fabulous! Obviously well ran acting group where each child got to participate in very positive ways. The stage set up, building itself and of course, and production for this child performance was top notch. Would certainly recommend other events at this beautiful location.

9. Van Buren River Valley Museum Association

813 Main St, Van Buren, AR 72956-4315 +1 800-332-5889
Excellent
55%
Good
15%
Satisfactory
15%
Poor
15%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 13 reviews

Van Buren River Valley Museum Association

Reviewed By SupernovaEyes - Mansfield, Texas

The River Valley Museum is a very small museum that is basically where you wait for the train if you are taking an excursion. There was a desk that someone may sit at to help us and get us information, but no one was sitting there when we went in. We assume they were in the back room? There were many pamphlets for information about the area and the history, with an area of benches to sit and wait for the train. I wish there was a place to review or read reviews about the excursion train- there are many billboards about it but not much information or other people's reviews. I feel like it's one of the most popular attractions in Van Buren and it isn't even mentioned on Trip Advisor. In the way of the museum, it was really more of a visitor center. I may go back to see if there is an employee there that can give me more information. I wouldn't make a special trip to this place as a "museum" though.

10. Fort Smith Trolley Museum

100 S 4th St, Fort Smith, AR 72901-1947 +1 479-783-0205
Excellent
44%
Good
32%
Satisfactory
12%
Poor
7%
Terrible
5%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 96 reviews

Fort Smith Trolley Museum

Reviewed By Jessica L

We really enjoyed the trolley ride and the amazing history lessons!
Operator 22 took us on the trolley ride and he was absolutely fantastic! His personal knowledge and experiences in Fort Smith added even more to an all ready fascinating trolley tour of "old" Fort Smith.

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