Explore Pine Bluff Like a Tourist
As you emerge from a year-long lockdown, why not discover everything Pine Bluff has to offer? There’s no time like National Travel & Tourism Week to get started! As an agency dedicated to promoting tourism, we at Explore Pine Bluff want to draw special attention to this year’s observance of National Travel & Tourism Week, which runs from May 2 – 8. After a year of lockdowns that brought most tourism activities to a screeching halt, we are still here! Prior to the pandemic, the travel industry was a powerful economic engine, supporting jobs and driving local economies in every corner of America. The travel industry had experienced 107 straight months of growth, generated $2.6 trillion in economic output, supported 17 million American jobs, and delivered a $51 billion trade surplus to the U.S. Unfortunately, that strong growth trend plummeted last year due to the pandemic. Travel spending in the U.S. declined 42%, costing the economy $1.1 trillion, while hardworking Americans supported by travel made up a staggering 65% of all U.S. unemployment. However, the travel industry is resilient. So is Pine Bluff. While we faced extraordinary challenges in the past year, we united like never before, lifted each other up, helped one another, and devoted ourselves fully to the task of preparing for the day when life as we knew it resumed. That day is fast approaching, and we couldn’t be more excited. The tourism industry will play a vital role in bringing back our vibrant communities, restoring the economy, rebuilding our workforce, and reconnecting America. As we see it, this year’s National Travel & Tourism Week is an opportunity to turn the page to a new chapter in the tourism industry’s story. It’s a chance for us to celebrate the transformative power of travel. The simple act of getting out and exploring our city, our state, and our country will drive our nation’s recovery. It will bring Americans together again and help define our country’s path forward. Pine Bluff’s attractions contribute so much to our local economy and to our community’s unique character. We are thrilled to share the strength and spirit of Pine Bluff during National Travel & Tourism Week. What can you do to celebrate? For one, you can get out there and explore what Pine Bluff has to offer. Most local attractions, including the Governor Mike Huckabee Delta Rivers Nature Center, the Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas, and the Pine Bluff Aquatic Center, have opened their doors. A few, including the Pine Bluff/Jefferson County Historical Museum and the Arkansas Railroad Museum, will reopen on June 1. The University Museum & Cultural Center at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff is expected to open later this year. Pine Bluff’s newest attraction, Saracen Casino, offers guests 2,300 slot machines, 50 table games, a high-end poker room, and a variety of dining options in their stylish atmosphere. The Saracen Annex, located across the street from the casino, offers an additional 300 machines. If you prefer a more socially distanced travel experience, drive by a few the many historic buildings in and around the city. Head outdoors to the walking trail at Lake Saracen, the Splash Park, or the all-inclusive playground at Saracen Landing. Take a picnic lunch to one of Pine Bluff’s parks, gaze at the city’s beautiful murals, paddle on Bayou Bartholomew, or cast your fishing line in Lake Langhofer. Even better, take your family on one of the self-guided tours offered by Explore Pine Bluff, including the Delta Civil Rights Legacy Trail or the Delta Family Adventure Trail. While you’re out and about, why not pick up a Pine Bluff souvenir? Stop by the Explore Pine Bluff offices at 615 S. Main St. and score a Pine Bluff-branded item—one for yourself, and one to send to a friend who lives outside Arkansas. We can’t wait to see you!