There’s no doubt that Marion is a great place to live, but it’s also a great place to visit. Southern hospitality abounds in our enchanting town that waits for visitors to come and enjoy. Marion has lodging accommodations to suit your budget and taste. Visit the friendly staff at any of our local motels and restaurants where you can relax and feel right at home.
Enjoy a change of pace in a town where history is alive and well. Marion offers you a visit into the old south delta region of Arkansas where farming is still king and a tractor always has the right-of-way. History buffs will enjoy local Civil War sites such as Mound City, burned down by the Union Army, then relocated to be built on top of a Mississippi Indian Cultural Mound. Hopefield, the second settlement in Arkansas, and the beginning of the growth we know today, is located nearby off Mound City Road. The Arkansas Walking Trail, close to our historic Marion Hotel and Courthouse, will beckon you to explore and enjoy. History abounds with the diversity of the Sultana disaster in 1865 to one of the first Negro Business Men’s Association buildings in the state.
You can drive along on the same route as the first federal road in Arkansas, trans-Mississippi migration, and the Bell Route of the Trail of Tears. Marion Lake, an ancient meander belt of the Mississippi River, is an ecological oasis for waterfowl and aquatic mammals and is located just minutes from our beautiful Courthouse Square.
Nearby lakes provide the perfect spot for the serious or not-so-serious fisherman. Our area offers a variety of places where you can catch your supper or work on your fishing tale about “the one that got away”.
Marion has caught the attention of the film industry over the years – filmmakers were so impressed with our area that they made the first talking movie here. Since that time, filming of movies such as Great Balls of Fire, The Client, The Firm, Separated by Murder, and The Painted House has taken place in our area.
Not only does Marion offer our own unique mix of wonderful attractions, we are also a mere eight miles away from the Memphis waterfront, which only serves to enhance your stay with us. Come visit us, and understand why people who visit don’t want to leave.
Marion has something of interest for the whole family…
History & Travel:
Learn about the steamboat, Sultana, which exploded and sank just north of Marion in 1865, killing more than 1,800 home-bound Union ex-prisoners of war in what is still the largest peacetime maritime disaster in the world. Visit our Sultana Disaster Museum and learn about some of the personal stories of the passengers, as well as other Civil War-era history you might not know. Visit the museum's website, www.sultanadisastermuseum.com for complete information.
Recently, the Sultana Historic Preservation Society, Inc. acquired the 1938 Marion School Auditorium-Gymnasium for renovation as the future home of the permanent Sultana Disaster Museum. Utilizing the talents of Haizlip Studio of Memphis, TN, a team of architects, planners, and exhibit designers will work on state-of-the-art concepts to be presented in this 17,000 square foot facility. With a more accessible location, the historic building with ceilings nearing 35 feet offers ample capacity for a new, modern, high-tech museum, that will entertain and educate visitors of all ages. It also allows us to preserve and re-purpose one of the most historical buildings in eastern Arkansas.
Marion has two historic walking trails, both of which feature monuments and historical sites. Included on the Crittenden County Walking Tour are the Crittenden County Courthouse, the Marion Hotel, and the old Citizens Bank, which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Marion is located on the Great River Road National Scenic Byway, part of a 10-state driving route on either side of the Mississippi River. And be sure to visit our Monument Park, located behind City Hall at the corner of Military Road and Highway 77.
Sports & Outdoors:
~ Nearby lakes and river chutes offer great bass and panfish fishing.
~ Marion is located in the Mississippi Flyway duck hunting zone.
~ Marion Golf and Athletic Club offers championship-caliber golf on their 18-hole course.
~ Marion is home to a state of the art recreation complex that hosts top-ranked baseball and softball tournaments.
Festivals & Fun:
The Marion Chamber of Commerce hosts several annual fundraising events that always provide fun for our participants (and us!). Visit our events page to see what's going on in Marion!
The Melton E. Holt Golf Tournament is a joint event hosted by the Marion Chamber and the Marion Rotary Club. The tournament is usually held the first Monday in June. Watch our website or contact a Rotary member to find out more.
Football season is always at the forefront of our fall entertainment in Marion. Each autumn, the Chamber hosts "Hogs on the Square" for a great time of community involvement and just plain fun. We rent a giant screen for Courthouse Square and watch a Razorback game, enjoy some tailgating, and cheer on the Hogs, always with high hopes no matter the season stats.
Marion’s Esperanza Bonanza Festival, held each fall, features barbecue, crawfish, live music, a carnival, rodeo and lots of other activities. Visit EB’s website for more info about dates and activities – www.esperanzabonanza.org.
There’s no better way to welcome the Christmas season than with our local Christmas Parade. The Marion Christmas Parade is the perfect example of "small town America" as friends and family line the streets to watch local kids and kids-at-heart participate in the magic of the season. Watch our website for news on more details of these events.
When you visit us, don't forget to stop in West Memphis and visit the AR Welcome Center, located just off the east Service Rd, I-55 North.