Altus is located in the River Valley region of Arkansas. It is known for its wines and having been the location of the first season of the reality TV show The Simple Life starring Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie.
Fort Smith is the nearest city with an airport (FSM IATA) with scheduled passenger service. Other nearby airports within a 2 hour drive are Northwest Arkansas Regional (XNA IATA), Tulsa International (TUL IATA), and Little Rock International (LIT IATA).
General aviation pilots can consider using Ozark-Franklin County Airport (FAA ID: 7M5) or Paris Municipal Airport (FAA ID: 7M6), however, neither have standard rental car services available. You may be able, though, to arrange car service through the airport FBO or a rental agency in the Fort Smith area. For the Simple Life tourist, the airport seen in the first episode is (ironically) the Paris Municipal Airport.
Altus is bounded by Interstate 40 to the north and U.S. Route 64 to the south, and is about 45 miles east of Fort Smith.
From Little Rock, travel west on Interstate 40 and take exit 41.
From Fayetteville or the Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport, travel south on Interstate 49 until it intersects Interstate 40 in Alma, then go east on I-40 to reach exit 41.
From Oklahoma, travel east on I-40 to reach exit 41.
Altus is a small town, so getting around isn't really a problem. The whole town can be toured by car, bicycle, or walking.
The main tourist attractions in Altus are the wineries.
Fans of The Simple Life will easily recognize the setting. Note however, that the Sonic Drive-In and the Wal-Mart are not located in Altus, but in the neighboring town of Ozark, which is the next town west on U.S. Route 64.
If you are a Catholic, a Simple Life fan, or both, you might want to attend Mass at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, also called St. Mary's Church. The church is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was attended by Hilton and Richie on the show.
Most wineries sell bottles of wine in their gift shops.
The Wiederkehr winery hosts the Weinkeller Restaurant. It is a gourmet restaurant, with prices ranging from moderate to expensive. But the food is very well worth the price.
Visited by Hilton and Richie:
- Alligator Ray's Pizza, 107 East Main Street, ☏ .
- Kelt's, 119 West Main Street, ☏ .
While taking a tour of a winery, you might be given a chance at free wine tasting. Altus' wines are among the most exquisite in the world, so don't miss out on it.
Altus has very few accommodations, most of which are bed-and-breakfast inns. Motels are available in Ozark, around 6 miles west, or in Clarksville, around 20 miles east.