Fall Getaway to Eureka Springs, Arkansas
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The spirit of a mountain town
Patricia Taylor's voice swells, filling the towering sanctuary of Thorncrown Chapel with the sweet melody of an old-time hymn. Commissioned by a retired local teacher in the 1970s, the glass-walled church sits in the woods a couple of miles west of Eureka Springs, Arkansas.
As you walk to the door, you can see right through to the trees beyond. Soaring gray beams evoke a Gothic cathedral; it's a modern riff on the medieval notion of columns leading eyes up to God. The architecture seems to melt away, leaving you in a gold-dappled glade with the tingly sense that heaven and earth merge when a breeze flutters the foliage.
As Patricia's song ends, a van parks outside, and a guide in a corseted dress and jaunty hat hops out. She shepherds her camera-toting flock into the church and cajoles Patricia into singing another hymn. The sight of a Disneyfied guide in a sublime chapel perfectly captures the spirit of this arty-Victorian, classy-kitschy mountain town 50 miles southwest of Branson, Missouri.
Click ahead for more information on a fall getaway to Eureka Springs. A suggested two-day itinerary, including a visit to Thorncrown Chapel (pictured), is on slides 5 and 6.