About El Dorado, Arkansas

El Dorado is best known as being the heart of the 1920s oil boom in southern Arkansas. It’s nickname is “Arkansas’s Original Boomtown”. El Dorado is located about 100 miles from the state capital of Little Rock.  El Dorado is headquarters not only to The Systems Group, but also to the Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission as well as Murphy Oil Corporation, Deltic Timber Corporation, and the Lion Oil Refinery.

Downtown El Dorado

Take a Drive through El Dorado

Voted as having America’s Best Downtown in 2009, El Dorado is a community rich in charm and history.  The community is thriving and working together to create a community that is always looking for ways to make El Dorado a better place to live.  In 2012, El Dorado earned two City of Distinction Awards and MusicFest was named the 2013 Arkansas Festival of the Year for the fifth time.

The El Dorado Promise - Full Scholarships for Your Kids

El Dorado is a place that invests in the future of their community. The El Dorado Promise is a unique scholarship program established and funded by Murphy Oil Corporation. The Promise provides graduates of El Dorado High School with a scholarship covering tuition and mandatory fees that can be used at any accredited two- or four-year, public or private educational institution in the US. The maximum amount payable is up to the highest annual resident tuition at an Arkansas public university.

2015 El Dorado Promise Report | School District Fact Sheet

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“I want to go to a school like Texas A&M because I want to major in chemical engineering. I've always had the same plans, but the El Dorado Promise has made them more achievable. I know I can do this now because of the Promise. ”

Chesley Murphy - Student
Chesley Murphy - Student

El Dorado: Festivals and Events

It’s SHOWTIME in El Dorado and Union County! El Dorado is Arkansas’ festival city with the multitude of annual events and happenings occurring throughout the year.  The city is becoming known as the City of Festivals!  El Dorado hosts a variety of festivals including food cook off competitions, film festivals, and even a summer concert series! The towns of Magnolia, Smackover, and Camden (all right around the corner) also host a variety of events.

Downtown Square

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Relocation to El Dorado - Where to live?

Don’t think of El Dorado as just a fun place to visit – it offers a comfortable, affordable lifestyle that makes it a great place to live. Home to some of the most beautiful neighborhoods in the South, El Dorado offers something all over town that most people living in suburbia don’t enjoy: neighbors.

PGA Rated Golf Course Community: Mystic Creek

El Dorado’s a very friendly and informal city where you’re safe on the sidewalks any time and kids still enjoy catching lightning bugs and neighborhood ball games. But if you’re looking for less maintenance or retirement living, there are plenty of apartments and assisted living centers.

Arts & Nightlife

Main Street El Dorado is the place to go when looking for that unique gift for the ones you care about or to treat yourself to something special. Plus, the relaxed atmosphere of downtown makes your entire shopping trip a pleasant experience. You can park once, then shop, eat, and much more. The area is also home to the South Arkansas Arts Center and the South Arkansas Symphony Orchestra.  Both venues host a variety of shows and events throughout the year.


Downtown on the Square

Main Street El Dorado has just what you need to satisfy your craving. Whether you would like a slice of hand-tossed pizza, gourmet samplings, cocktails with live music, or just want to cure that insatiable sweet tooth, Main Street is where delicious lives.

Performing Arts District

A collection of landmark structures, including the 1929 Rialto Theater Music Hall and the Griffin Auto Company, both listed on the National Register of Historic Places, will be adapted for use as new performance venues.  These will be combined and connected with other surrounding historic structures for a varied mix of entertainment, dining, and social amenities. Plans for the project include the potential for a festival venue and amphitheatre for 6-7,000 patrons; a multi-use music venue for 1,800 – 3,600 patrons; a black box, now combined with the stage of the Rialto, seating 100; a multi-use theatre for 750-1,000 patrons; and restaurant and cabaret for 300. Dining paired with music, a visual arts space and performer lodging are also envisioned. To round out the district, a destination playscape for children will also be added for family activities.

Rialto Theater

Terry Stewart, CEO of EFEI, adds, “The El Dorado Arts and Entertainment District will be transformative.  We hope to change the perspective and face of the town to make it a destination for the region and, hopefully at some point, for the nation.  We will have the infrastructure and venues to host an attractive variety of programs, including those appealing to the younger generations.  Through a wide scope of dining, entertainment and the arts, we will express the stories of our lives in music and unique cultural offerings of south Arkansas.”

Outdoor Activities

Moss-draped cypress, magnolia blossoms, natural splendor and plenty of Old South charm await you down South in the Natural State. A world renowned hunting and fishing paradise, Southern Arkansas travel also offers plenty of opportunities to enjoy outdoor family adventures, historic explorations, shopping excursions and award-winning festivals. Discover the remarkable hunting, fishing and birding opportunities of the Felsenthal National Wildlife Refuge or take a float trip down the beautiful Ouachita (Wash-I-taw) River. With Arkansas’s natural beauty and abundant year-round outdoor adventure opportunities, the Arkansas’ South is a great place to enjoy a thrilling sportsman’s outing or active family vacation.

Station Photo2

South Arkansas: Naturally Charming

Stay with us in a charming historic Bed & Breakfast, rent a cabin in the woods or enjoy 4-star hotel or motel accommodations. Dine in splendor or sit down for a delicious meal and a relaxed conversation at the local café on the town square. We have dining and lodging accommodations to suit every taste and preference. An antique shopping Mecca, Southern Arkansas features antique and gift shops that specialize in one-of-a-kind finds and great-to-take-home gifts.