Bull Shoals Travel Guide

Discover the best places to visit, things to do, where to stay, and more with our ultimate travel guide to Bull Shoals, Arkansas.

Introduction to Bull Shoals

Bull Shoals is a picturesque town located in the Ozarks region of Arkansas, known for its natural beauty and outdoor recreation opportunities. Home to the Bull Shoals Lake and River, this stunning town is a hub for fishing, canoeing, kayaking, hiking, and biking. In addition to its natural offerings, Bull Shoals also boasts a rich history and culture which is worth exploring. This comprehensive travel guide will take you through all the must-visit places, things to do, where to stay, and more in Bull Shoals, Arkansas.

List of Places to Visit in Bull Shoals

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  • Bull Shoals White River State Park - A state park offering stunning views of the White River, hiking/biking trails, picnic areas, and more.
  • James A. Gaston Visitor Center - A museum displaying the history and culture of Bull Shoals, featuring exhibits on the construction of Bull Shoals Lake, the White River, and the Ozarks.
  • Bull Shoals Dam - A nationally recognized landmark that spans 2,256 feet in length and 256 feet in height.
  • Tiny Town Miniature Golf - A fun attraction for families and groups offering miniature golf, go-karts, bumper boats, and an arcade.

Natural Attractions of Bull Shoals: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  • Bull Shoals Lake - One of the biggest attractions of the Ozarks, with crystal clear waters on the Bull Shoals Dam. This 45,440-acre lake is perfect for fishing, boating, and enjoying water sports.
  • White River - Trout fishing at its best. The White River is famous for its crystal-clear water and excellent fishing opportunities.
  • Bull Shoals Caverns - A cave attraction featuring diverse stalactites, stalagmites, and other local speleothems in the area.
  • Bull Shoals-White River State Park - The perfect natural setting to relax and unwind. With scenic views of the White River, hiking/biking trails, boating, and fishing, there are endless opportunities for outdoor adventures.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Bull Shoals

  • Bull Shoals-White River State Park - A state park offering a variety of hiking/biking trails that range in difficulty.
  • The Trout Capital of the USA Trail - A 44-mile trail offering beautiful views of the White River and Ozark Mountains.
  • Buffalo National River Trail - A 36-mile trail through the Buffalo National River where you can experience cave exploration, canoeing/kayaking on the river, and hiking/biking on the trails.

Best Things to Do in Bull Shoals: Activities and Tours

  • Fishing - Bull Shoals is a fisherman’s paradise with ample fishing opportunities in the lake and river.
  • Boating - Take in the stunning views of Bull Shoals Lake by boat.
  • Canoeing/Kayaking - Rent a canoe or kayak and explore the tranquil waters of the White River.
  • Hiking/Biking - Take a hike or bike ride on one of the many trails in the area.
  • Caving - Explore the beautiful Bull Shoals caverns.
  • Golfing - Miniature golfing and go-karts at Tiny Town Miniature Golf.
  • Museum Tours - Visit the James A. Gaston Visitor Center and learn about the history of Bull Shoals.

Week-Long Itinerary for Bull Shoals

Day Activity
1 Visit the Bull Shoals Dam and take a scenic drive through the Ozarks.
2 Fishing on Bull Shoals Lake or the White River.
3 Hiking/biking at the Bull Shoals-White River State Park.
4 Canoeing/Kayaking on the White River.
5 Caving at Bull Shoals Caverns.
6 Golfing and Go-karting at Tiny Town Miniature Golf.
7 Relax and enjoy the Bull Shoals-White River State Park and its scenic views.

Food and Drink Scene of Bull Shoals

Must-Try Dishes

  • Fried Catfish - A famous dish in the Ozarks, Bull Shoals offers various restaurants that serve this southern delicacy.
  • Grilled Trout - A healthy and delicious recipe that is frequently served at local eateries.
  • BBQ - A classic southern dish that is served at many restaurants in Bull Shoals.
  • Fried Pies - A local dessert cooked hot and fresh.

Local Beverages

  • Craft Beer - Visit Rapp’s Barren Brewing for a taste of local craft beer.
  • Sweet Tea - A classic southern beverage that you can enjoy at any of the local restaurants.

Where to Stay in Bull Shoals: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

  • Bull Shoals-White River State Park - With numerous cabins and campsites available, The Bull Shoals-White River State Park provides an affordable option to stay among the natural surroundings.
  • Fish and Fiddle Resort - A family-owned resort with beautiful lake views from cottages.
  • Cozy Hideaway Campground - A campground offering RV hookups and tent camping sites.
  • Bull Mountain Resort - A mountain resort that offers a relaxing stay with a variety of luxury cabins, RV camping, and spacious campsites.

What to Buy in Bull Shoals: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

  • Handmade Crafts - The Ozarks artisan community features handmade crafts and unique souvenirs from the local artisans that you can purchase.
  • Bull Shoals souvenir t-shirts - A simple yet perfect souvenir to remember your visit to Bull Shoals, Arkansas.
  • Local Honey - A sweet, must-try treat that is available for purchase at local markets and shops.
  • Fishing Gear - Purchasing fishing rods, reels, and accessories is an essential part of your trip to Bull Shoals, Arkansas.

Local Culture and Customs of Bull Shoals

Bull Shoals, Arkansas, is known for its laid-back lifestyle and friendly people. As a general rule, visitors should greet locals with a smile and extend courtesy and respect. It is customary to tip around 15-20% for meals or services, although tipping guidelines vary depending on the type of service offered. When engaging in outdoor activities, it is essential to respect nature and dispose of trash properly.

Best Time to Visit Bull Shoals

The best time to visit Bull Shoals is during the spring or autumn months, with the temperatures ranging from 50°F to 80°F. Summers can be hot and humid, with temperatures reaching 90°F or above. Winters can be harsh, with cold weather and occasional snowfalls. The spring season provides visitors with ample fishing opportunities, whereas the autumn season provides visitors with a breathtaking view of the changing colors of the leaves on the trees.

Do’s and Don’ts of Bull Shoals


  • Respect nature and the environment.
  • Bring fishing and outdoor gear for your visit.
  • Take photos and capture the beautiful Bull Shoals landscape.


  • Litter or harm natural resources.
  • Walk away from the hiking paths or destroy the natural habitats.
  • Be disrespectful towards the locals or their customs.

Safety and Health

Safety in Bull Shoals

Bull Shoals is a relatively safe town. However, visitors are advised to take extra precautions when hiking or doing outdoor activities, as there can be dangers such as rock falls or wildlife. Visitors must obey all safety guidelines and signs.

Health in Bull Shoals

It is essential to carry ample drinking water and other essential medicines while visiting. Visitors must also follow any health guidelines issued by the local authorities and seek medical attention if they feel ill during their visit.

Getting to Bull Shoals: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Bull Shoals

The nearest airports to Bull Shoals are Boone County Regional Airport (HRO), located 25 miles from Bull Shoals, and Springfield-Branson National Airport (SGF), approximately 75 miles from Bull Shoals.

Bus Stations Near Bull Shoals

The closest bus stations to Bull Shoals are in Harrison, Arkansas, and Mountain Home, Arkansas, both located about 15 miles away from Bull Shoals.

Other Options

Visitors can also travel to Bull Shoals by car. The town is easily accessible via major highways such as the US-65 or US-412.

How to Get Around in Bull Shoals

The best way to get around Bull Shoals is by car or bike. Taxis are available in the area, but they can be limited and expensive.

Where to Go Next from Bull Shoals: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

  • The Ozark National Forest - Located about 110 miles from Bull Shoals, this is a beautiful excursion that offers scenic drives, waterfalls, hiking trails, and more beautiful natural sites.
  • Blanchard Springs Caverns - Located about 70 miles from Bull Shoals, The Blanchard Spring Cavern is a site that offers guided tours.
  • Little Rock - Located about 150 miles from Bull Shoals, this city is worth a visit to see the city skyline and architecture.


Bull Shoals is a hidden gem situated in the heart of the Ozarks, filled with history, culture, and natural beauty. The town is a perfect getaway for people who love outdoor activities, fishing, boating, hiking, and exploring. Whether you are looking for a relaxing vacation or an adventure, Bull Shoals has something for everyone. Be sure to follow our helpful travel guide, and you’re sure to have an unforgettable time in Bull Shoals, Arkansas.