5 for $500: Murfreesboro, Arkansas

The next destination for the 5 for $500 Challenge is Murfreesboro, Arkansas. Murfreesboro is a tiny little town in Arkansas that you have probably never heard of. It’s famous for one big thing: it’s active diamond mine. The diamond mine here is the only one in the world open to the public daily.

Crater of Diamonds

The Dates

Plan this trip for June 7-June 9 to match our prices.

The Hotel


You’ll spend 2 nights at the Queen of Diamonds Inn. The hotel is just minutes from your activities and all the places you’ll be dining. The hotel provides a continental breakfast each day and has a microwave and mini-fridge in your room. You’ll want to take advantage of the continental breakfast here on Day 2 of your trip. The hotel costs $89/nt for a total of $199.14.

The Food

Image Credit: Big Dave Eats

Breakfast Day 1: Eat a hearty breakfast at Buddy’s Ranch House Cafe. You’ll find southern homestyle cooking here. Whatever dish you choose expect it to be big and hearty and make sure it comes with biscuits. Expect breakfast to set you back around $40.

Lunch Day 1: On your way into town, stop by the deli at Rehkopf’s Foods. Pick up plenty of bread, chips, fruit, veggies, drinks, plates, and utensils for your family and store them in the fridge in your room. Make a picnic lunch be part of your dig day. Budget $20 for this meal.

Dinner Day 1: Head to Los Agaves Mexican. The portions are generous here and the atmosphere is relaxing. You’ll be starved after working all day and Los Agaves is sure to fill you up. Budget around $40 for this meal.

Breakfast Day 2: Grab the continental breakfast at your hotel. You’ll enjoy bagels, cereal, and fruit cups before starting your dig.

Lunch Day 2: In between the digging and the water park, grab some grub at Sonic Drive In. They have wraps, chicken, burgers and chili dogs but you won’t want to miss their slushes. Watermelon is my favorite. Budget $24 for the family.

Dinner Day 2: Head back to Buddy’s Ranch House Cafe for dinner. The homestyle food just gets bigger later in the day. Best bet? The chicken fried steak. This meal will set you back another $40.

The Fun

Screening Shed

Wet Screening

Day 1: Go for a dig at Crater of Diamonds State Park. You can get instruction on the best way to hunt diamonds, see past diamonds found by fellow guests and hunt a few stones of your own. I’ve been to the park twice (though unsuccessful in my youth) and it was plenty of fun. There have been many famous finds in this park, including one stone that was worn by Hillary Clinton for inaugural balls. The policy here is finders keepers so you have extra motivation to work hard and dig. Admission to the park itself will cost your family $22/day. You’ll also want some tools to work with. Your family can rent 4 Basic Diamond Hunting Kits for $32. These kits include a folding shovel, a screen set and a bucket to work with. You will need an additional $35 refundable deposit for rental. One day in the park will cost $54 but you can save by bringing your own tools.

Day 2: Return to the park and dig for the morning. This will cost another $54. Clean up, grab lunch at Sonic, then head back to the park. This time, head over to the Diamond Springs Water Park. It’s a small water playground that will give your family the chance to cool off and relax before heading back home. Depending on your childrens’ height, expect to spend around $11 to play here.

The Total

View 5 for $500 Murfreesboro, Arkansas in a larger map

Hotel: ………$199.14
Food: ………$164.00
Activities: …..$129.00
TOTAL: …….$492.14

Another trip under $500 dollars! To save, take advantage of the continental breakfast both day or bring your own tools. Look for coupons for local restuarants or the Sonic chain. Consider swimming at your hotel pool instead of the park. Just don’t let your savings take away from your fun.

Check back tomorrow for the last 5 for $500 challenge!

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I'm Julie, I love to travel, I'm very hyper and I like to "hype" things and from that, TravelHyper was born. I'm a Missouri native and I cover St. Louis travel ideas as well as my own travels. I also like to focus on places I want to visit and budget travel ideas by creating trip plans. There's so much world out there and I hope you'll find that it's worth seeing and that vacation doesn't have to be out of reach to you.

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  • http://truthlite.com/ Barry H

    The only time I think I have ever heard about Arkansas is because isn’t that where Bill Clinton is from? It would be kind of cool to go to somewhere no one else from the UK has been when I am in the States next!

  • http://www.travelhyper.com julie

    You might just be the very first person from the UK to hit Arkansas. It is indeed the home state of Bill Clinton. I once viewed his boyhood home from the street during a long and strange road trip through the state.