Life Members Program

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Life Members will enjoy beautiful and interesting tour options in 2016.

Tour #1

Edamame Soybean Production, Wine Country Tour, and Fruit Research

The first stop will be at American Vegetable Soybean & Edamame’s edible soybean processing plant.  This is a relatively new enterprise for western Arkansas, having been in business since 2012.  AVSE contracts with local producers to grow edamame soybeans for processing and marketing for human consumption.  The company processes, packages, and markets several edamame products.  This tour will provide an up-close look at the processing and history of the edamame soybeans.

  American Vegetable Soybean & Edamame, Inc. from AEDC on Vimeo.

Next, explore Arkansas wine country and taste the tradition of Arkansas winemaking. Arkansas is the oldest and largest grape juice and wine producing state in the southern United States. Three wineries operate in Altus, AR, with two others found in Wiederkehr Village. Experience Arkansas wine making at its best and possibly sample a variety of wines produced in the Arkansas River Valley. Lunch will be provided at Post Winery in Altus, AR.


The last stop will be the University of Arkansas Fruit Research Station in Clarksville. The station provides a site for research on a number of fruit crops due to its location within a unique microclimate. Research covers peaches, apples, nectarines, grapes, blueberries, raspberries, pecans, and one of the largest blackberry breeding programs in the world.  You will have the opportunity to sample fruit grown at the station.


Tour #2
Garvan Gardens/Hot Springs Tour

Experience Garvan Woodland Gardens, the botanical garden of the University of Arkansas.  Nestled in the picturesque Ouachita Mountains, Garvan Woodland Gardens' mission is to preserve and enhance a unique part of the Ouachita environment, provide people with a place of learning, research, cultural enrichment, and serenity, develop and sustain gardens, landscapes, and structures of exceptional aesthetics, design, and construction, and partner with and serve communities of which the Gardens is a part.  From the dynamic architectural structures to the majestic botanical landscapes, Garvan Woodland Gardens offers breathtaking sights (and fantastic photo opportunities) at every turn.

 After Garvan Gardens, walk through the beautiful historic district of Hot Springs. Restored buildings dating from the late 1800s and early 1900s now house art galleries, coffee houses, restaurants, and shops.  The Arlington Hotel, built in 1875, was a favorite of Al Capone.  Bathhouse Row offers eight turn-of-the-20th century buildings, including a visitor center and museum, along with an art gallery, a spa and the oldest continuously operating bathhouse in Hot Springs.

 chapel at Garvan Gardens

Tour #3

Blanchard Springs Caverns

Travel by bus to Blanchard Springs Caverns.  Blanchard Springs Caverns can hardly be described in words!  You must visit the caves to truly understand and appreciate their beauty. Entering the world of the underground is always a thrilling experience.  This tour will showcase some of the wonderful and majestic sights.  There are different tours offered at the caverns: the Dripstone Trail, the Discovery Trail, the Discovery in the Dark Headlamp Tour and the caverns newest trail, the Wild Cave Tour.  Led by knowledgeable Forest Service Guides the tours wind through water-carved passages; including an underground river, and the world’s largest flowstone.  Each trail is a little different in intensity and visitors should be aware this before choosing a trail.

 Blanchard Springs

Folk Center Tour

Then travel to Mountain View, Arkansas to experience the Ozark Folk Center where we will eat lunch.  "A Wonderful Way to Enjoy Yesterday" Arkansas's unique Ozark Folk Center State Park is America's only facility that works at preserving the Ozark heritage and sharing it in an entertaining way.  They keep the crafts, music and herb-lore of the Ozarks alive.  Tap your toes to mountain music at one of your favorite Arkansas state parks located in Mountain View, Arkansas in the heart of the Ozarks.  See blacksmithing, pottery-making and more than 18 other pioneer skills and crafts.



Tour #4

Little Rock Tour

Walk and ride the trolley as your guide leads you through the sights and sounds of downtown Little Rock.  In the heart of downtown, the River Market District offers a market hall with an exciting mix of food vendors that will entice your senses and fit any culinary cravings.  Shop for fresh fruits and vegetables, visit several art galleries and souvenir stores, stroll through the park, take in multiple works of public sculpture, or enjoy the incredible and relaxing view of the river.


Visit the William J. Clinton Library and Museum.  The Library sits on 29 acres of beautifully maintained grounds with walking trails.  The Library contains a replica of the Oval Office and the Cabinet Room, a theater, President Clinton's presidential limousine, and other ever changing exhibits.

 Clinton Presidental Library

The next stop will be the Heifer International Headquarters.  Based in Little Rock, AR, Heifer’s headquarters use 52 percent less energy than a conventional office building of similar size and use.  All of the materials used in the building were sourced within 500 miles of Little Rock (except for the bamboo).  Heifer chose bamboo because it is fast growing and sustainable. People come to Heifer Village to shop, play and learn.


Hop on the trolley and cross the river to visit the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum.  The focus of AIMM is to commemorate America's rich naval and maritime heritage through the preservation and exhibition of historic naval vessels with an emphasis on the era of World War II through the present.  While there, be sure to tour the USS Razorback Submarine.

Tours will take place after the Life Member Breakfast on Tuesday, July 26th.

For more information on this and other scenic information about Arkansas click here...