The Extraordinary Escape

Eureka Springs & Bella Vista, Arkansas

Passion Play, Ozark Mountain Hoedown, Simple Pleasures, Castle Rogue’s Manor

October 21 – 25, 2019

     A visit to Eureka Springs, Arkansas is like taking a step back into time.  It’s a small quaint Victorian village that has charmed visitors since 1897 in Northwest Arkansas.  The absence of traffic lights, malls and giant discount stores is part of that charm. This five day getaway will truly be a memorable experience.  Join Laura and Gary Block as we explore Eureka Springs and Bella Vista, Arkansas.  Nestled in the Ozark Mountains and surrounded by pristine lakes and rivers, our destination is breathtakingly beautiful in October. This adventure includes the Great Passion Play, historic district tram tour and trolley passes, Ozark Mountain Hoedown, Cooper Chapel, Simple Pleasures, Castle Rogue’s Manor and much more.

     Our Andy’s Charter Service motor coach departs Little Falls on Monday, October 21st from the northeast corner of Wal-Mart and we’ll pick up in Royalton, Rice, St. Cloud, the Twin Cities or anywhere else on our route.  Our journey will take us through southern Minnesota, Iowa and eventually Overland Park, Kansas where we’ll spend the night at the Drury Inn. Dinner tonight is included beginning at 5:30 at the hotel.                   

    Day two begins with a hot breakfast at the hotel and then boarding the motor coach as we travel to Bella Vista, Arkansas, a city of 30,000 residents in the foothills of the Arkansas Ozark Mountains where extensive hardwood forests weave throughout neighborhoods.  Meaning “beautiful view” in Spanish, Bella Vista is more than just that – it’s a Utopia.  This morning we’ll be visiting the Mildred B. Cooper Memorial Glass Chapel, positioned on a wooded hilltop overlooking Lake Norwood, the Chapel is encompassed by towering pines and stately oaks.  The Chapel is constructed around 15 main arches towering 50 feet high.  Thirty-one tons of steel join 4,460 square feet of glass. Because the Chapel’s structure is glass, patterns of light and shadow, create an ever changing interior influenced by nature’s season at hand.  An experienced guide will meet us at the Chapel for a tour of this must see structure.  Lunch is included at Simple Pleasures in Bella Vista.  What is Simple Pleasures?  It looks like a 1930’s gas station on the outside, but when you enter, it’s like stepping into a Norman Rockwell painting.  Simple Pleasures is full of 1920’s-1970’s iconic autos, toys, neon advertising, vintage soda fountain and more.  Like a time capsule, we’ll connect to our youth and warmly reflect memories that define the America of yesterday.  Tour groups are entertained by the property owners and enjoy the Simple Pleasures elements including a car barn tour, a “Dinah Shore” choir, nostalgic activities with a real spinner.  Don’t forget lunch, which is always deliciously homemade. For more than 100 years, Eureka Springs has welcomed guests to experience the magic of this Ozark Mountain town.  It is a place like no other.  As one of the last truly Victorian-era towns, Eureka Springs remains a thriving example of Small Town America.  The entire city is on the National Register of Historic Places.  The Best Western, Inn of the Ozarks, will be our home for the next two nights and we’ll check in late this afternoon.  This is the 50th anniversary of the iconic Christ of the Ozarks Statue and the Great Passion Play, America’s #1 attended outdoor drama.  At an altitude of 1500 feet, the statue is made of 24 layers of white mortar on a steel frame and weighs over two million pounds.  We begin our stay with an included dinner at the Great Hall Buffet and later a chance to visit the Bible Museum and shops.  “The Greatest Story Ever Told” is staged in an outdoor amphitheater with a multi-level set, special lighting, sound effects, live animals and a cast of 150 Biblically costumed actors coming together to create the thrilling epic drama of Jesus Christ’s last days on earth.  This is a spectacle that you need to experience in your lifetime.  Following the show we head to the hotel and relax after a wonderful day.   

    Day three begins with breakfast at the hotel followed by a local guide joining our group for a historic district tram tour.  See and learn about Eureka Springs up close and personal as you ride slowly through the beautiful and charming historic district on one of the city-owned open air trams.  We’ll make two stops on the tour.  The first one is at the 1886 Crescent Hotel (Yes, the haunted one!). Explore the interior of the hotel, including the view from the 4th floor observation terrace or stroll through the Victorian gardens.  The second stop is at Grotto Spring.  This is one of the 60 plus springs that are located inside the city limits and one of over 1,200 springs within a 7 mile radius.  The tour passes literally hundreds of old homes and historic buildings, as well as several of the healing springs that made Eureka Springs so famous in the late 1800’s.  Lunch and shopping is on your own and you’ll receive trolley passes to come and go from the hotel this afternoon.  Dinner is included at Myrtle Mae Café, renowned for its delicious home style cooking and located at our hotel.  Are you ready for a night of family fun and laughter at the Ozark Mountain Hoedown?  A little Ozark humor, hillbilly antics and a few good family stories will make you laugh til your sides hurt, along with some great music, classic and contemporary country, gospel, bluegrass and foot stompin’ instrumentals.  This is an evening of good, clean family fun with a cast of players, singers and entertainers and featuring the award winning comedy character “Tator (Chip) Patches”, as well as the popular “Uncle Posture Pedic”.  Whew, it’s been another fun and busy day as we return to the hotel for a relaxing evening.

    Our new day begins with breakfast at the hotel and a leisurely morning since we don’t depart until 9:30.

    It's our fourth day, but be prepared for something completely different – lunch at a castle – specifically Castle Rogue’s Manor in Beaver, Arkansas.  Situated on 20 acres of sprawling Ozark forest, Castle Rogue’s Manor stands regally upon the limestone cliffs towering over the White River and Tablerock Lake.  Fifteen thousand square feet of fantasy and unparalleled scenic views, the Castle was designed and built over 20 years by Smith Treuer, whose worldwide travels, love of art, history and the renaissance eras sparked his creative genius to build beginning in the 1990’s dedicated to craftsmanship, architecture and family.  Our experience begins with a tour of the six floor Gatekeepers Cottage, a short walking tour of the property and lunch in the Great Hall which features a massive medieval fireplace featuring bronze hot air dragons and a 7,000 lb stone mantel.  It is so hard to describe this Castle in America, but if you click onto www.castleroguesmanorat you can watch a video of what you’ll see.  Our visit to the Eureka Springs area comes to an end today, but before we leave we’ll see Little Golden Gate Bridge.  Built is 1949, this single lane suspension bridge over the White River is known for its yellow towers.  It is the last suspension bridge in Arkansas and was featured in the movie “Elizabethtown”.  Heading in a northerly direction, we travel to Independence, Missouri where we’ll spend our night at the Drury Inn.  Dinner is included this evening at the hotel.

This is our fifth and final day.  We begin with a hot breakfast at the hotel and begin our journey back to Minnesota.  Laura and Gary strongly believe that this trip may be one of the highlights of 2019.  There is a tremendous amount of interest, so sign up today for an outstanding five day outing that is sure to please everyone.            

Ø  Comfortable Andy’s Charter Service motor coach transportation

Ø  One night’s accommodations at Drury Inn, Overland Park, KS 

Ø  Two night’s accommodations at the Best Western Inn of the Ozarks in Eureka Springs, AR

Ø  One night’s accommodations at Drury Inn, Independence, MO

Ø  Local guides joining the tour at various times throughout the trip

Ø  Mildred B. Cooper Memorial Glass Chapel tour, Bella Vista, AR

Ø  Lunch, tour & fun at Simple Pleasures, Bella Vista, AR

Ø  The Great Passion Play, buffet dinner, Bible Museum & shopping, Eureka Springs, AR

Ø  Historic Tram Tour, Eureka Springs, AR

Ø  Trolley passes

Ø  Music and comedy at Ozark Mountain Hoedown, Eureka Springs, AR

Ø  Castle Rogue’s Manor, Gatekeepers Cottage and lunch in the Great Hall, Beaver, AR

Ø  Four breakfasts, two lunches and four dinners included

Ø  Mother Nature’s beauty in mid-October in Arkansas

Ø  Luggage handling

Ø  Fun, prizes and hosted by Laura and Gary Block

$699 per person double occupancy                 $569 per person quad occupancy

$639 per person triple occupancy                    $929 single occupancy

$100 deposit per person required within 3 days of signing up.  Remainder due on September 15, 2019

Cancellation & Refund Policy

Transportation and lodging hosted by Gary Block Tours is arranged with independent firms.  Bookings for entertainment are arranged through independent hotels, theatres and other entertainment venues.  We take great pride in our selection of reliable firms.  However, we do not control these independent firms.  Sometimes shows or celebrity appearances are changed or cancelled without notice.  We cannot be responsible for claims or losses arising out of injury, accident, death, loss of enjoyment, frustration or inconvenience that arises from the act or omission of any independent firm supplying services to Gary Block Tours, or for mechanical breakdowns, governmental actions, acts of God, strikes or acts of war beyond our control.  We cannot be responsible for the consequences of your failure to follow instructions, including but not limited to check in, check out and baggage handling.  If events or reservations are cancelled or changed, we will make every effort to provide a comparable substitute tour experience. Autumn colors are never guaranteed, but we hope Mother Nature will be good to us. Deposits and payments are non-refundable unless the tour is cancelled .I have read and understand the Cancellation and Refund Policy notice.  All participants of this trip must sign below.                                                      Mail registration and payment to:

Gary Block Tours, 112 SE 4th Street, Little Falls, MN  56345


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Eureka Springs