What to do and see in Bull Shoals, United States: The Best Places and Tips

December 10, 2017 Margarita Chappel

Bull Shoals is a city in Marion County, Arkansas, United States, founded in 1954. The population was 1,950 at the 2010 census. Primarily a retirement and vacation center, Bull Shoals is bordered in three directions by the clear, deep, man-made Bull Shoals Lake.
Restaurants in Bull Shoals

1. Bull Shoals Dam

153 Dam Overlook Ln, Bull Shoals, AR 72619-2845 +1 870-445-3629
Excellent
74%
Good
26%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
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Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 94 reviews

Bull Shoals Dam

Reviewed By papagrit - Berea, KY

You can drive around a turnabout next to the dam. It really has a beautiful view and gives you an idea of how deep the lake actually is.

2. Cotter Trout Dock Guided Trout Fishing Tours

321 Big Spring Pkwy, Cotter, AR 72626
Excellent
93%
Good
5%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 95 reviews

Cotter Trout Dock Guided Trout Fishing Tours

Arkansas Trout Fishing Outfitter Guide Service Guided Arkansas (one day) trout fishing trips on the White River and overnight (two day or more) fishing camp trips on our private 15 Acre island in the White River. Buffalo River wilderness area bass fishing trips and fishing camp trips. All trips are fully outfitted by us. Guides, fishing gear, camping gear (wall tents, cots, etc.), food and cooks are all included.On our one day (or half day) trips you don't just fish in the vicinity of our dock (called "fishing local"). On our usual "full day" trip, you fish 14 miles and on our usual "half day" you fish 10 miles of the White River. We then "pick you up" (along with your guides and Jon boats) and bring you back to our dock location in Cotter in our Suburbans and/or vans.Covering this larger portion of the river gives your guide the opportunity to get you to more "holes" (deeper areas) of the river where the guide knows the trout are likely to be. Catching 30 - 40 trout per day per person is not unusual. You can only keep five.If you prefer not to fish, we also do site-seeing trips the same way. Try our Shore Lunch of bacon and tomato sandwiches, black-eyed peas, hush-puppies, french fries and strawberry shortcake or banana pudding along with your freshly caught trout! This is all cooked by your guide along the riverbank over a charcoal fire.

Reviewed By William R - Hartford, Wisconsin, United States

Have been fishing from Cotter Trout Dock annually since before Debbie and Ron took over many years ago. I have NEVER been disappointed. You are treated like family. I have used many different guides. They are ALL good. Most recent trip was with Paden. This young man really knows that river. I would not hesitate in recommending him. He put me onto fish all day without lulls. Had my usual GREAT time. Highly recommended.

3. James A. Gaston Visitor Center

153 Dam Overlook Ln, Bull Shoals, AR 72619-2845 +1 870-445-3629
Excellent
77%
Good
20%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 75 reviews

James A. Gaston Visitor Center

Situated on a high point, the Bull Shoals - White River State Park's James A Gaston Visitor Center offers sweeping views of the White River, Bull Shoals Dam, and the Bull Shoals Lake. The center's Exhibit Hall, lobby, gift shop and Johnboat Theater share the history and tell of the fish the area waters hold.

Reviewed By Johnny D - Farmington, Missouri

Super nice people and excellently maintained. Gives a great overview of the gargantuan task of building the Bull Shoals Dam. Nice gift shop too.

4. Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock

Bull Shoals, AR 72619 +1 870-445-4424
Excellent
75%
Good
9%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
5%
Terrible
7%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 85 reviews

Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock

Reviewed By Michele D

We rented a house boat for a week from Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock and had the most fabulous time! The lake is beautiful and the family that runs the marina are awesome! Very friendly and accommodating! I will recommend them to anyone!

5. Bull Shoals Caverns

1011 Cs Woods Blvd, Bull Shoals, AR 72619-3626 +1 870-445-7177
Excellent
53%
Good
26%
Satisfactory
17%
Poor
2%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 41 reviews

Bull Shoals Caverns

Join us at Bull Shoals Caverns for a trip back in time to the Ordovician period, 350 million years ago, when the caverns were created. Bull Shoals Caverns, located in Bull Shoals, Arkansas is a limestone cave that is still alive and growing today in the Ozark Mountains. The caverns are home to camel crickets, bats, salamanders, underground rivers and many different varieties of cave formations. Come visit in person and see the real thing!

Reviewed By AnApple - Bartlesville, Oklahoma, USA

On a Friday around 1:00 I called and the man said the last cave tour was at around 4:00 and I told him I would see how many in our group wanted to go and hoped to see him. Upon our arrival at 3:00 there was a sign saying that the last cave tour was in progress and there would be no more. There were no cars in the parking lot and I think the cave operator simply wanted to go home early. Maybe in a few years upon our return to the area they will be open for business.

6. Papa Bill's White River Trout Guide Service

Bull Shoals, AR 72169 +1 479-477-0334
Excellent
100%
Good
0%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
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Overall Ratings

5 based on 9 reviews

Papa Bill's White River Trout Guide Service

Papa Bill's offers the complete Family Fishing Guide Service on the White River in the Ozarks of Northern Arkansas. Everything is provided to enjoy a exciting and scenic trout fishing adventure. Great for kids! Boats have seating up to three persons. Groups or large parties can fish together with our select group of guides, each guide offering their own boat. Guaranteed to have a good time!

Reviewed By BOSSHOGFREE

I've been fishing with Bill for 5 years now. My son (7) and I recently went on our annual men's outing before the start of school. The water levels were the highest I've ever seen due to the rain this season. Fishing conditions were extremely difficult. We did not see a single fish caught in any another boat all day. Of course we caught our limit (as always). You absolutely will not find a better guide or a better man on the river than Bill. He treats my son like he is his own grandson. He knows every trick of the trade and every honey hole on the river. I've never seen him without a smile on his face or fish in the live well. The very best guide and a truly great man. We don't use anyone else because I have every reason to keep fishing with Bill. He is like family now and we're blessed that we get to have someone like him to share this beautiful river with. If my 7 year old can limit out drift fishing the highest water I've ever seen on the river I know you can too. Papa Bill is THE VERY BEST! I promise you he is a blessing to us.

7. Bull Shoals Theater of the Arts

1015 Central Blvd, Bull Shoals, AR 72619-3209
Excellent
55%
Good
45%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 11 reviews

Bull Shoals Theater of the Arts

Reviewed By spacepilot500 - Roswell, New Mexico

I was told that I would experience some great local talent at the theater. I really enjoyed the show, consisting of fiddlers, singers, and other musicians from Arkansas and Missouri. Several of the performers also played in the Mountain Home symphony, and one very talented girl, a 15 year old fiddle player, had recently returned from performing at the White House. The show was less formal, and not as flashy as you might see in Branson. At times audience members would even shout song requests to musicians. That was not a drawback, as the kids and adults knew how to play, and made you feel like guests at a real old time Ozarks mountain jamboree. There was just about every type of music including funny folk songs, classical, bluegrass, western swing etc. During the break you could buy a barbequed lunch for only $2-3. It was indeed a treat to be at the performance!

8. Bull Shoals-White River State Park

153 Dam Overlook Ln, Bull Shoals, AR 72619-2845 +1 870-445-3629
Excellent
84%
Good
16%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 6 reviews

Bull Shoals-White River State Park

Reviewed By Janet M

Love this place - if have RV can be booked up a year ahead! Fave tent site 95. Water nearby - in 69 last 4 nites rv site on water. Elec / water No tent pad but flat grassy area. 80+degrees but not hot here. 25$ nite or so. Heads up one bathhouse closed. Will be putting in sewer and updating sites. Showers good water pressure and hot - very clean

9. Ozark Fishing Adventures

400-2 C.S. Woods, Bull Shoals, AR 72619
Excellent
100%
Good
0%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
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Overall Ratings

5 based on 7 reviews

Ozark Fishing Adventures

We are a fishing guide service in the Ozark mountains of Arkansas. We Provide guided fishing trips on the world famous White River. Trout fishing on the White River is some of the best trout fishing in the United States. We also provide guided bow fishing trips on Bull Shoals and Norfork lakes here in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas.

Reviewed By L E

We had the best time trout fishing, fly fishing, and bow fishing with Brian. He is a very knowledgeable guide. The fishing was awesome with plenty of fish we had an fish fry for lunch in an iron skillet. The trout was boneless, tender and the best we have had. Would definitely do this again next time we visit.

10. Powerhouse and Dam Tour

153 Dam Overlook Ln, Bull Shoals, AR 72619-2845
Excellent
67%
Good
33%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
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Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 3 reviews

Powerhouse and Dam Tour

Sorry but we not longer provide Dam Tours for Bull Shoals-White River State Park.

Reviewed By OTR_Again_IM - Iowa

Transportation to the powerhouse tour departs from the James A. Gaston Visitor Center. Tour times vary. The current summer schedule was Tuesday thru Friday at 2 p.m. Saturday & Sunday at 10 a.m. & 2 p.m. The tour cost $4 per person. It's best to call ahead as reservations are recommended due to limited space. Pre-registration at the center and valid identification is required. Other restrictions apply; see their website for info about the tour, age limits, reservations, etc. Two friendly and entertaining volunteer guides loaded us in a van, drove down to river level below the dam, through the security gates and into the dam itself for behind-the-scenes look at the operation of the powerhouse. Watching the massive equipment in motion was a little noisy at times but very interesting. One of the huge generators came online while we were there.

The visitor center offers a panoramic view of the White River, Bull Shoals dam and the lake. There is a large lobby filled with interpretive exhibits and an exhibit hall containing images of the lake, river and dam. There's a video in the Johnboat Theater about building the dam, the area's history and fishing. There's also a small gift shop.

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