Renting a Boat on Beaver Lake in Arkansas

When is the last time you smiled so much your face hurt? For me it was Father’s Day weekend when we got to explore one of the beautiful natural attractions in Northwest Arkansas – Beaver Lake.

Our girls woke my husband and me up at sunrise, bounding into our bedroom already dressed in their swimsuits. They excitedly helped us pack a cooler of snacks and drinks. We stuffed another bag full with beach towels and sunscreen.

They had been counting down the days ever since we announced our plan to rent a boat. We made an online reservation at Lost Bridge Marina in Garfield, Arkansas for a 19 foot ski boat which was the perfect size for our family of four (full capacity is six people).

The rental came with life jackets for our family.

Besides ski boats, Lost Bridge Marina also rents a variety of pontoons and fishing boats. We added a tube to our rental for an extra $10 per hour.

You can rent boats for a half day or full day. A half day (four hours) was the perfect amount of time for our three and five-year-old daughters to enjoy boating, tubing, snacking, and swimming.

Once you are on the boat, being out on the lake is a great activity during this crazy time when we are all dealing with COVID-19 concerns. At the marina social distancing can be a bit harder, but I thought the marina staff did a great job at balancing good customer service and safety. You can check their website for availability and more information. Reservations fill up quickly.

Another marina on Beaver Lake that offers boat rentals is Starkey Marina in Eureka Springs. Starkey’s rental fleet includes pontoons and tritoons. Prairie Creek Marina in Rogers, Arkansas also rents pontoons and deck boats. Float Eureka isn’t a marina, but they rent stand up paddle boards, kayaks, and canoes.

Even though the grey clouds above warned of rain, we were lucky that the storms held off. The water in Beaver Lake is incredibly clear. My husband was amazed at how far down into the water he could see the anchor when he was dropping it in the cove where we swam. The temperature was also pleasant. This was our first excursion to Beaver Lake. We can’t wait to return!

We found several beautiful coves to swim in. I love this pink boat that was parked in a peaceful spot.

Blueberry Picking – Outdoor Summer Fun in Northwest Arkansas

Last week our neighbor invited us out to pick blueberries at a local blueberry farm. We’ve picked strawberries and apples in the past, but this was our first time picking this super fruit. We headed to Bearing Fruit Farms which was easy to find right off of Highway 45, just east of Fayetteville.

A full bucket of berries is $20 U-Pick. My daughters and I picked a quarter of a bucket, so the total price was only $5.

The owner explained that the different varieties of blueberries they grow vary in taste, size, and growing season. The last to ripen will be available through mid-July. Check their facebook page for hours and picking times.

We’ve been enjoying our berries for days. I found a healthy blueberry muffins recipe here. The girls had fun making the muffins and liked eating them even more!

If you are on the look out for fun summer activities in Northwest Arkansas, I definitely recommend blueberry picking. I think this will become an annual tradition at our house.

Tanyard Creek and Waterfall in Bella Vista, Arkansas

I hope everyone enjoyed their Mother’s Day weekend! My family took a lovely hike in Bella Vista, Arkansas at the Tanyard Creek Natural Trail. This was a return visit for me and my youngest daughter. We hiked it together last year in early April. I was excited to bring my husband and our oldest daughter along with us. Wow! the waterfall was way more impressive this time around.

Highlights of this hike include a waterfall, creek, shelter bluffs, and a very cool suspension bridge.

Tanyard Creek waterfall
Tanyard Creek waterfall
Windsor Lake Dam in Bella Vista, Arkansas
Tanyard Creek
Shelter bluffs
Suspension bridge

There were signs up reminding hikers to follow the CDC 6-foot-rule and other safety social distancing practices. The trails were pretty busy, but I think people were trying their best to keep a safe distance. We found that the further from the waterfall we hiked, the easier it was to hike on our own. The park restrooms were closed.

If you are curious about the differences between our hike in early April compared to May, check out our previous post.

how is the pandemic changing your Summer travel plans?

Does anyone else feel like we are in a bit of a stand-still? We remain hopeful that we can get out to our cabin in Estes Park, Colorado at the end of May, but it is feeling less and less likely. I wrote about past Memorial Days we’ve spent in Rocky Mountain National Park here.

Some travel experts believe once travel resumes in the United States, people are going to be looking for wilderness adventures in more remote locations that allow for natural social distancing. Others might choose destinations that are closer to home. (Forbes article).

on my mind: Summer Hats

After a recent virtual visit with my dermatologist, summer sun protection is on my mind. I received a sun hat for my birthday which will be getting a lot of use this summer. I also have a Colorado baseball cap that I can wear hiking. I’m on the lookout for more hats that are functional and cute!

Lanzom Women Wide Brim Straw Panama Roll up Hat Fedora Beach Sun Hat UPF50+

For my girls, I want to find sun protective hats like this one from RuffleButts. We recently bought them SPF swimsuits from this brand and they are adorable! (rash guard one piece).

*this post contains affiliate links

Thanks for following along our adventures!

Botanical Garden of the Ozarks Online Plant Sale

This week I’m nerding out about plants, specifically the upcoming plant sale at the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks.

Butterfly at the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks

In 2020 our family purchased our first membership to the Botanical Garden which is located in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Typically, the garden is open seven days a week from 9am to 5pm.

The Children’s Garden at the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks is a magical place

The gardens are currently closed, but the plant sale will still go on. This year it is online. Members can start shopping the morning of April 27 to April 29. Starting April 30 through May 8, the sale is open to the general public.

The names and prices for all the plants are listed here. I’m a plant enthusiast newbie. To be honest, I have no idea what most of these plants look like or what care they need. So, I created a (really cool) word document listing out all the plants and if they like sun, if they are lethal for my dog to eat, etc. Based on all my research, I came up with my wish-list.

Shopping Wish List: Botanical Garden of the Ozarks Plant Sale

>Hardy Geranium ($7) – I like that this flowering plant will (hopefully) come back each year.
>Smooth Hydrangea ($10) – There is a spot under my bedroom window that is pretty shaded, I’m hoping hydrangeas will grow well there.
>Lavender ($6) – I love the smell of lavender and I’m hoping I can grow it in a well-drained pot, or in my front yard which gets a lot of sun.
>Basil Genovese ($6) – There are several types of basil for sale, but I think this will be great for making homemade pesto.
>Common Rosemary ($6) – I like to add rosemary to chicken and pork dishes. We’ve tried to grow rosemary in pots from seeds and they haven’t done well, so I’m hoping a nice starter plant will get us on our way to growing this fresh herb at home.

The annual plant sale has sponsors, so we want to support them too! The sponsor on the top of my list is way awesome for my current preschool home school. My girls will love a Venus flytrap from Fayetteville Flytraps. Let’s be honest, I will love a flytrap too.

safety first – how to pick up your plants

Reading through the plant sale logistics, it looks like a lot of thought has gone into how to order and pick-up the plants in ways that will keep everyone safe and healthy, so I will link all of that information here.

It’s a bummer we haven’t been able to enjoy the Botanical Garden during the spring months, but I’m looking forward to this online shopping event.

Spring blooms at the Botanical Garden (2019)

I wrote more about the gardens last year in, Falling for Fayetteville – The 12 Best Things From Our First Year in Northwest Arkansas.