Located along Arkansas’ Interstate 30, Arkadelphia is about 65 miles southwest of Little Rock and 45 miles northeast of Bill Clinton’s hometown of Hope. Originally settled as Blakelytown in 1809 by John Hemphill, a local salt work operator, the town eventually changed its name in 1839 to Arkadelphia – a portmanteau of “Ark-” from Arkansas and “-adelphia” from the Greek meaning “place of brothers”. Some say they chose the name because of a nearby town named Ark meaning it was “Ark’s brother city”. Others, meanwhile, claim it was named after Arkadelphia in Alabama. However, the latter seems unlikely as Arkadelphia, Arkansas, was established in 1809 and given its present name in 1839, while Arkadelphia, Alabama, was established as a town sometime around 1859. Whatever the case, the name is really all that the two cities share. Image by ErikaWittlieb from Pixabay With two universities located in the city – Ouachita Baptist University and Henderson State University -Arkadelphia, Arkansas, is mostly considered a college town today. However, big-time local manufacturers like Georgia Pacific and Siplast and small-to-medium enterprises like fast food and the local Stuckey’s also contribute to the local economy. Stuckey’s, located at 3111 Pine Street in Arkadelphia, is a store-within-a-store original location that you’ll instantly recognize from the tiki-inspired sweeping slope of its roof that was used by the newer Stuckey’s stores built in mid-century modern America. Stop in and say hi the next time you’re in the neighborhood. And after you’ve grabbed a few Stuckey’s pecan log rolls and pecan pralines for the ride back home, be sure to check out these other things that you roadtrippers and family vacationers can see and do near Stuckey’s in Arkadelphia, Arkansas before you leave: Donald W. Reynolds Science Center Planetarium /Arkadelphia, AR By Brandonrush – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0 Located on the campus of Arkadelphia’s Henderson State University, at the Reynolds Planetarium you’ll see what the night sky looks like in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres thanks to its high-tech Digitalis Epsilon Digital Projection system that projects stars, planets, galaxies and more onto the planetarium’s 27-feet-in-diameter dome. What’s more, the planetarium’s show will take you back in time to see what the night sky might have looked like to the Pharaohs. Then, it’s off to the future where you’ll explore black holes at the speed of light. It’s truly an out of this world experience for the whole family! (2.5 mi.) The Hoo-Hoo Monument / Gurdon, AR By ViaKali – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0 The International Concatenated Order of Hoo-Hoo is a fraternal and service organization made up of members of the forests products industry. It was founded on January 21, 1892 in Gurdon, Arkansas “to foster the health, happiness, and long life of its members”. Its emblem – a black cat with its tail curled into the shape of the number nine – features prominently atop the granite monument. The bronze plaque affixed to the front was designed in the Egyptian Revival Style and sculpted by the celebrated artist George J. Zolnay in 1909. Back then, the plaque was originally attached to a building that once sat at Hotel Hall. However, in 1927 that building was demolished and the plaque was moved to its present location. In 1999, the monument was added to the National Register of Historic Places. Incidentally, the International Concatenated Order of Hoo-Hoo still exists with chapters all around the world including right there in Gurdon where it originated. (16 miles) The Gurdon Light /Gurdon, AR Image by Yann LECOINTRE from Pixabay While you’re in Gurdon checking out the Hoo-Hoo Monument, why not stay until after dark and check out the Gurdon Light – a mysterious light that floats above the nearby railroad tracks. Is it caused by headlights reflecting off cars traveling on close by Interstate 30? Could it just be gas emanating from the local swamps? Perhaps it’s something more sinister like the ghost of slain railroad worker William McClain who was brutally murdered here in 1931, right around the time that the mysterious light was first witnessed. Do you dare try to unravel this mystery yourself? (18 mi.) Crater of Diamonds State Park /Murfreesboro, AR Postcard circa 1970-1974/ Public Domain In 1924, while digging around the Prairie Creek pipe mine in Murfreesboro, AR, 44-year old mine worker Wesley Oley Basham unearthed the largest diamond ever found in the U.S. – the 40.23-carat “Uncle Sam”. A few years later, Prairie Creek pipe would go belly up and the State of Arkansas would eventually purchase the property in 1972. That means now you, too, can become an amateur miner at Crater of Diamonds State Park – one of the only places in the world that will let you mine for your own gemstones. Over 33,100 diamonds have been found by park visitors since the park first opened 50 years ago. Who knows? Maybe you’ll be the next one to strike it rich.(41 mi.) Sleep in a Teepee / Murfreesboro, AR Image by RobertSedlakCz from Pixabay If you’re tired from all the gemstone mining you’ve been doing all day, then head on over to Diamond John’s Riverside Retreat and sleep in a teepee. We’re not talking about those concrete retro wigwams that you’ll find along Route 66 (though those are cool, too), but we’re talking about a real honest to goodness teepee complete with all the state of arts amenities you’d expect to find in your modern-day teepee that sleeps up to four adults. We’re talking queen-sized beds, satellite TV, air conditioning, free WIFI, and more! And if you haven’t had enough gem mining for the day, they’ll even supply you with diamond mining equipment and a flashlight to do a little mining for diamonds at night. (42 mi.) Josephine Tussaud’s Wax Museum / Hot Springs, AR Image courtesy Zoie Clift via arkansas.com Wax museums seem to be a dying breed of museums in America these days. It seems nearly every year we hear another story of one of our beloved wax museums that both entertained us and creeped us out on summer road trips of yore has shuttered its doors. However, there is still hope for fans of the genre. After more than a little over 50 years, Josephine Tussaud’s Wax Museum in Hot Springs is still going strong. The museum opened in 1971 and features more than 100 wax figures depicting 38 scenes. Highlights include the Stairway of the Stars where famous movie stars of the past and present are posed on the museum’s stairwell/escalator and a variety of “worlds” like the World of Horrors featuring historically accurate medieval torture techniques; the World of Religion featuring Da Vinci’s Last Supper, the Pieta and the crucifixion; and the World of Make Believe which includes Alice in Wonderland, Snow White and others. Though the museum does share one of the most famous surnames in waxworks, there is no affiliation with Madame Tussaud’s or her great-grandson Louis Tussaud’s more famous museums. Still, it is a one-of-a-kind museum that can’t be missed while you’re in the area. (44 mi.) Of course, there’s so much more to see and do around the Stuckey’s in Arkadelphia, AR, so follow us on social media and let us know some of your favorite places to visit while you’re in the area. — With only a few weeks of spring left, be sure you have enough Stuckey’s on hand for your first road trip of the summer by ordering our “Welcome to Spring” Gift Box. Each box is full of all the pecany goodness we’re famous for, including: 2 – 2 oz. Pecan Log Roll,2- 1.7 oz. Pecan Divinity,2 – 1.5 oz. Pecan Pralines,1 – 12 oz. Salt Water Taffy,1 – 8 oz. Hunkey Dorey,1 – 4 oz. Sea Salt Pecans,1 – 4 oz. Kettle Glazed Pecans,1 – Candy Shoppe Coffee Mug, and1 – Plush 12″ Squirrel, It’s still not too late to Welcome Spring at Stuckey’s. Get yours today only from stuckeys.com! Stuckey’s – We’re Making Road Trips Fun Again!