Fort Smith Flights:
Flights to Fort Smith
After Little Rock, Fort Smith is the second largest city in the state of Arkansas. The city was originally a military fort on the edge of Indian Territory, in a river valley at the base of the Ozark Mountains.
Fort Smith Regional Airport (airport code: FSM) is where flights to Fort Smith are welcomed. It’s a fairly small regional airport about 5 kilometres (3 miles) outside the downtown core. Travellers taking flights to Fort Smith from South Africa will find they are indirect with two stops. Northwest Airlines and Delta Airlines take a route that travels through Atlanta and Memphis. Alternatively, you can book with United Airlines or South African Airways to transfer in Washington and Memphis.
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The Tourist Attractions in Fort Smith:
There’s a range of interesting historical attractions at Fort Smith, all within easy reach of one another…
Fort Smith National Historic Site
There are several buildings at this site, some in their original state (like the foundation of the original Fort Smith) and some have been reconstructed. There is a walking trail through the grounds to commemorate the Trail of Tears where 5 tribes of Native Americans were removed from US territory. A replica set of gallows is also here, like those used by the original “hanging judge” Isaac Parker. There is an admission fee, and the trail is open even if the visitor centre is closed.
The Trolley Museum is a railway museum that has four streetcars on display, and a steam locomotive engine with tender. It also operates electric streetcar rides through Fort Smith, between its South 4th Street location and the Fort Smith National Historic Site.
Fort Smith Museum of History
There are a number of exhibits from all parts of Forth Smith and Arkansas history at the Fort Smith Museum of History. Displays of antique tools, war memorabilia, communications equipment and an old fire engine pumper are amongst the things to see. The museum is closed Sundays and Mondays, and there is an entry fee. The 1920s soda shop is free to enter, though you’ll have to pay for your tasty ice cream float!
Belle Grove Historic District
If you enjoy history, the Belle Grove district is a must-visit. There are 22 square blocks of charm, with more than 20 homes that have been completely restored to showcase the style of old Fort Smith. This part of the city is just a couple of blocks away from the Fort Smith National Historic Site, and you can walk through the area on your own or take a guided tour.
Miss Laura’s Social Club
A unique piece of Fort Smith history, this is the only former brothel on the National Register of Historic Places! The building has been completely restored, and you can take a tour to see what life was like when prostitution was legal. Miss Laura’s is also the main visitor center for Fort Smith, so you should stop here to find out more about local attractions.
When Should You Visit?:
Summers are hot in Fort Smith, and winters are fairly mild as well. If you visit Fort Smith during July and August, expect the daytime highs to reach 34C (93F). June and September are cooler, but will still get quite hot during the day. April and October are the most pleasant months, with highs of 23C (74F).