It appears that you're using a severely outdated version of Safari on Windows. Many features won't work correctly, and functionality can't be guaranteed. Please try viewing this website in Edge, Mozilla, Chrome, or another modern browser. Sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused!Read More about this safari issue.
Where can you be surrounded by comfortable wing-back chairs, military memorabilia, and enjoy a delicious barbecue sandwich? It’s not a restaurant or your grandmother’s living room. Believe it or not, it’s the Fort Smith Regional Airport.
The airport currently serves the River Valley area with flights from American Airlines and US Airways, but has carried many different airlines over the years including Braniff International Airways, Frontier and Delta. Today, you can connect to Dallas-Fort Worth and Atlanta from Fort Smith, which is valuable for business travelers and tourists alike. It’s actually a great option for those in the area because lines are short, so you don’t have to worry about any travel troubles or very many delays. But to be honest, the travel isn’t the most exciting thing about this airport.
Besides being one of the three commercial airports in Arkansas, it may just be the best unique airport experience in Arkansas. The airport is home to the Fort Smith Air Museum, which is located within the terminal waiting area. It’s a great collection of unique memorabilia in cases ranging from papers, articles, photos, pins, medals and models.
If you have your smartphone on you, you can take a self-guided tour of the museum using the QR codes posted on the cases (using the free Wi-Fi), or you can go low-tech and read the information cards around the museum. Make sure you start at the far end of the museum to the right of the doors and go all the way to the car rental desks to the left. There is no entry fee, and you can browse at your leisure. Just remember that parking at the airport is free for the first 30 minutes, and then you have to pay $2.00 for the first 30 minutes and $2.00 for each additional hour, so that will be your only cost to visit the museum.
While you’re visiting the airport, bring your laptop, iPad and stay a while. Take time to sit and enjoy the free Wi-Fi. It’s some of the most comfortable seating at any airport. The pink wing-back chairs and dark walnut furniture makes it feel more like your living room than a waiting area. This comfortable seating is a great perk for those flying out and those waiting for loved ones to arrive.
While you’re visiting, don’t miss the bathrooms. Don’t laugh. In 2005, the restrooms were voted Best Restroom and listed in the Cintas Best Restroom Hall of Fame (yes that’s a real thing) because of their cleanliness, décor and beauty.
If you’re hungry on your visit, you can grab a bite at Art’s barbecue, a local favorite. While the menu is limited, you can still enjoy a great meal. The airport location is before security, so you can eat with your family before heading to the gate, or they can arrange for your food and drink to be delivered behind security so you can eat at the gate.
Whether you’re planning on flying out or stopping by to grab a bite or see the museum, a visit to the Fort Smith Regional Airport is in store the next time you’re in Fort Smith.
Sign up for our weekly e-news.
Get stories sent straight to your inbox!