Eureka Springs first drew visitors because of its natural springs with purported healing powers. During the late 1800s and early 1900s, the city became a popular spa resort. While baths and spa treatments are still available, the city is now nationally renowned for its art and well-preserved Victorian era architecture. On street after street, Victorian homes in an array of colors hug the hillsides, while beautifully landscaped gardens change colors with the seasons. Secluded and peaceful, Eureka Springs' entire downtown area is on the National Register of Historic Places. It is no wonder, then, that the National Trust for Historic Preservation has honored Eureka Springs for its character. The trust, the country's largest private, nonprofit preservation organization, has named Eureka Springs one of its "Dozen Distinctive Destinations" as one of the best-preserved and unique communities in the United States. "These are marvelous American locations that typify our country's small towns, close communities, and celebrated heritage," said National Trust President Richard Moe. "They are committed to preserving their historic landmarks, maintaining their unique character, and supporting locally owned business entrepreneurs. They are not only historically distinctive vacation spots -- they are also fun places for families and visitors of all ages. We can all learn from their past and contribute to their future." The 12 communities met these criteria: well-managed growth, a dynamic downtown, a commitment to historic preservation with a protected historic core and meaningful context, interesting and attractive architecture, cultural diversity, an economic base of locally owned small businesses, and "walkability" for residents and visitors. Eureka Springs has block after block of one-of-a-kind shops, boutiques, fine art galleries and restaurants. The influence of the community's artists is obvious with a drive or walk through the town. Eureka Springs is currently home to more than 200 working artists. For the past several years, American Style magazine named Eureka Springs as a "Top Twenty-five Arts Destination." Area festivals and events span such musical genres as classical, opera, blues and jazz, as well as antiques, classic cars and the arts. Visitors can rent cabins on nearby Beaver Lake, in the woods of the Ozark Mountains, or in the middle of the downtown Historic District. There are numerous bed and breakfast inns, Victorian cottage rentals, and historic and modern hotels. Population: 2,358 Climate: Eureka Springs enjoys four distinct seasons, generally without extremes of heat or cold. In the spring and fall, mild temperatures are perfect for outdoor activities. Spring is bright and welcoming with wildflowers and blossoming trees and shrubs. Summer is warm with long daylight hours. Fall is vivid with bright colors as the winter season nears. And winters are normally mild, with many temperate days suitable for golfing, hiking and fishing. Temperatures range from the 30s in the winter to 80s and 90s in the summer. Rain precipitation averages 44 to 48 inches per year. Snowfall averages three to four inches per storm system, usually in January and February with an average of 13 inches per year. Elevation is approximately 1,265 feet.