Get to Know: Mountain View, AR, One of the Coolest Small Towns in America 2017

Mountain View Arkansas Cst 2017 Ozark Folk Center Craft VillageMountain View Arkansas Coolest Small Towns 2017 Ozark Folk Center Craft Village
Courtesy Ozark Folk Center State Park

We love the roots vibe of this folklore-rich Ozarks town.

Mountain View, AR, is no. 5 on Budget Travel’s list of the 10 Coolest Small Towns in America 2017.

Music is everywhere in Mountain View, with locals joining visiting musicians to play traditional mountain music in the town square. Founded in the 1870s, Mountain View has become a major center of traditional Ozark culture and music.

The Ozark Folk Center is America’s finest place to experience traditional Ozark culture, music, and more. The Folk Center includes demonstrations of blacksmithing, pottery-making, and other pioneer skills as well as toe-tapping mountain music. You can even sign up to learn to play an instrument like the dulcimer or autoharp, or to dance one of the classic jigs you’ll see here. The Folk Center was founded in 1973, but its origins go back to the first Arkansas Folk Festival in the early 1960s, and of course the music traditions here are (almost) as old as the mountains. The tradition of “pickin’” folk instruments late into the night on porches and front yards around the town square continues to this day during northern Arkansas warm season, which happily stretches from mid-April through late November. Thanks to the local, Music Roots Program, skilled folk musicians visit area schools and teach children how to play traditional stringed instruments so that the vital musical legacy continues to be passed on.

Mountain View is surrounded by natural beauty as well. Blanchard Springs Recreation Area offers the chance to see the amazing falls, hike on a comfy paved trail, cycle, or fish for rainbow trout. Blanchard Springs Recreation Area is located in the beautiful Ozark-Saint Francis National Forest. A visit to the jaw-dropping caverns in Blanchard Springs Recreation Area is a must. The caverns offer tours, exhibits, and family activities along a hiking trail, and the area includes a popular mountain bike trail too.

Mountain View's downtown area is also a bustling hub of music stores, antique shops, and the Arkansas Craft Guild. Popular outstanding local eateries include Tommy's Famous Pizza, Kin Folks Bar-B-Q, and JoJo's Catfish WharfPortico Pizza Kitchen also serves up tasty pies, sandwiches, and more and, true to Mountain View’s preservation of folkways, Portico is in the same building as a traditional ironworks.

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