Like diamonds? How about crystals? If you’re all about gems, consider vacationing in one of the most geologically rich destinations in the world: Arkansas.
Historically, there are only two areas in the world known to produce the best quartz crystals: Brazil and Arkansas. And when it comes to Arkansas quartz, your best bet is to head to the Mount Ida region, a.k.a. The Quartz Crystal Capital of the World. This place is so saturated in quartz crystals you might just pick one up right off the ground.
With crystal and gem shops lining city streets selling not only locally mined quartz crystals but also imported gems and crystals like fluorite, citrine, and amethyst, Mount Ida is sure to delight any rock hound. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can go on your very own treasure hunt for these precious stones. The surrounding region offers many dig-your-own experiences in the quartz crystal deposits of the Ouachita Mountains. And when we say mines, we really just mean pits and exposed hillsides, – not the dark cavernous mines you might be imagining.
Never mined anything before? BnBFinder has got you covered with what to pack for quartz mining. Since the process can be a bit of a mess, make sure to wear gloves for protection, old clothes, and shoes that you do not mind getting dirty. Layer with a jacket and a long sleeved shirt. Bring a sun hat and sunblock, plenty of water, and a three-pronged gardening tool. Mines are open year-round, but summers in Arkansas can get pretty hot. Arkansas winters are fairly temperate, making for optimal mining weather.
Named one of the Top 25 Small Hotels, Lookout Point Lakeside Inn, offers a luxury Bed & Breakfast experience for your unforgettable gem-hunting getaway in the Ouachita Mountains. Innkeeper Kristie Rosset says her guests enjoy mining at the Ron Coleman Mines in Jessieville, Arkansas, about a 30-minute drive from the inn. Guests are guaranteed to find quartz crystals while educating visitors on how to dig and clean up them up. You can also purchase training and protective gear, like protective gloves and eye-wear at Ron Coleman.
Also popular for mining is the Crater of Diamond State Park, the world’s only diamond-producing site open to the public, only 90 minutes from the inn. Most visitors won’t make a fortune from this ancient volcanic ground, but with 40 other rocks and minerals in the area, you’re sure to find something interesting. Lookout Point offers a Creating Memories Family Fun Vacation to guests including passes to the Ron Coleman quartz mine. Also nearby are local hiking trails, the Hot Springs Fine Arts District, and the Magic Springs Amusement Park.