There is something about a visit to the White River in the North Central region of Arkansas that makes me feel as if all my cares have floated downstream like a leaf on the water.

It is truly one of my favorite places in Arkansas and Gaston’s White River Resort is one of our favorite places to stay while on the White River. We have stayed here at least once a year for many, many years.

On the White River you can watch the eagles soar and the blue herons dip and dive, listen to the swish and plop of the reel as it is cast, watch sunlight and shadow ripple on the water…there is nothing better.

Gaston’s White River Resort

We have stayed at other resorts and cabins along the river…but we keep coming back to Gaston’s. It is by far our favorite place to stay on the river.

Peachy-pink cabins line a low hill that rises up from the river. The accommodations are older, not perfect, but most have been updated and they are always spotlessly clean!

Gaston’s has lots of amenities. It has wide expanses of lawn, nature and walking trails, a little playground, a miniature zoo for kids, a swimming pool, and a grass air-strip.

Boating on the White RIver at Gaston's White RIver ResortPin

History of Gaston’s

One of the things that I like best about Gaston’s is the fact that it is a family owned business.

It was started in 1958 when Al Gaston bought twenty acres with 6 small cottages and 6 boats along the White River in North Arkansas. Al’s son, Jim Gaston, then took over the resort and today Jim’s son, Clint Gaston, is carrying on the family legacy.

The resort is now over 400 acres with 79 cottages and 70 boats so it has grown a bit. The picture below is the office where you check in. There is also a nice gift shop and the entry to the restaurant is in a breezeway behind this building.

Gaston's White River Resort. This is the outside of the lobby where you check in. There is also a little gift store and the restaurant is behind this building. Pin


The address of Gaston’s is: 1777 River Rd, Lakeview, AR 72642-9039

Gaston’s White River Resort is nestled in the Ozark Mountains of northern Arkansas near the Missouri border.

It is located just outside of the small town of Bull Shoals and close to the small, but slightly bigger town of Mountain Home. It is also down the road from the Bull Shoals-White River State Park.

How to get to Gaston’s


We always drive to Gaston’s. No matter where you are coming from you will be driving down some winding Ozark mountain roads with gorgeous scenery.

Gaston’s White River Resort Airstrip

If you own a plane you can fly to Gaston’s! They have a lovely Bermuda grass air strip that is 3200 feet long. One of our favorite things to do when we stay at Gaston’s is to watch the planes fly in and out.

You do not have to be a guest of the resort to land on the airstrip. It is open to the public and many people fly in just to eat at the restaurant or have a day of fishing.

On their website Gaston’s says, “Our resort has been featured in every major airplane and flight magazine in the world, known as the best fly-in destination in this part of the country.”

Beware though – it will give you airplane fever.

My husband has his pilot’s license, but we don’t own a plane. Sometimes when we are at home in Little Rock my husband will randomly say, “If we had a plane we could fly up to Gaston’s today.”


The cottages are strung like peachy pink pearls along the river. They offer a variety of accommodations which range from a large villa with 10 rooms to a single hotel type room with no kitchen and two double beds.

We usually choose a 2 bedroom cottage with a full kitchen, living room, dining area, and bathroom. Give the resort a call to discuss the various options.

Don’t let the word “resort” in the name fool you, these are basic accommodations. However, they are clean, they have wifi, and the kitchen is fully stocked with all the utensils and cookware you will need to prepare and eat meals.

Best of all the cottages have views out to the gorgeous White River. The grounds at Gaston’s are impeccably maintained and it is simply a beautiful place.

Gaston’s is also pet friendly. We typically bring our dog along with us.

The White River

The White River meanders through the Ozarks in both Missouri and Arkansas.

There are several dams along it’s route. Gaston’s is located just below the dam for Bull Shoals lake. In fact, you can take a boat ride up the river from Gaston’s to see it.

I recommend that you do pay attention to the signs on the bank regarding where you can and cannot fish. There are some catch and release only areas near the dam as well as some no fishing areas.

Water flowing from Bull Shoals lake through Bull Shoals dam into the White RiverPin
Releasing the water from Bull Shoals Lake after some heavy spring rains.

This area of the river is below Bull Shoals Dam is internationally known for premier trout fishing. Fly fishing is extremely popular on the White River during low water periods, but most anglers opt for the standard White River rig which is a 16 to 20-foot johnboat equipped with a 10-20 horsepower motor from which they spin cast.

People truly come from all over to fish these waters.

The water levels on this part of the White River are determined by how much electricity is being generated by the dam or how much water they are having to release from the lakes due to rainfall.

You can fish the river when it is at any level, you will just have to adapt by using different methods depending on the water levels.

All fishermen will need to pay attention to the warning whistles that blow before the dam starts to generate because the water levels can change quickly.

One of my very favorite things about the White River is the early morning fog. It is worth getting up early to see this gorgeous sight!

Fog on the White RiverPin


I come to Gaston’s to relax but MOST people come to fish for trout and Gaston’s makes it easy! They have a state of the art dock with the aforementioned 70 boats.

You can go fishing on your own by renting a boat or you can hire a guide.

There are definitely some advantages to hiring a guide particularly if it is your first time to fish for trout. These guides know the river as well as you know your own home.

They will take you out, show you all the best spots to fish, teach you about the different kinds of bait and all the varieties of ways to fish for trout on the White River.

Gaston’s even has a school that will teach you the art of fly fishing. And it is definitely an art.

When you watch a fly fisherman throwing that line in a perfect arc again and again while standing in the cold water, surrounded by the early morning fog, silhouetted by the rising sun, you will see the artistry.

Fly fisherman on the White River outside of Gaston's White River ResortPin

The types of fish that are in the waters of the river around Gaston are the rainbow trout, brown trout, brook trout, cutthroat trout, and a new breed called the tiger trout.

You will need a fishing license to fish in Arkansas which you can buy at the office at Gaston’s.


Gaston’s has a restaurant open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner that sits almost over the White River. It is so nice to be able to just mosey down the road from your cabin to the restaurant for a drink and dinner.

Of course, the restaurant offers trout. You should definitely try the trout poppers! You can even choose to have the chef cook the trout that you caught earlier that day!

Besides trout, they have a variety of other dishes such as pork chops, steaks, sea bass, and pasta dishes. My husband was there recently for a guys fishing trip and he had the prime rib one night and the sea bass another and thought both were very good.

The restaurant is a fun place with interesting decor. It is covered with antiques such as old bicycles, watches, typewriters, and boat motors. There is a lot to see.

You can also take advantage of the full bar that is in the same building. If you are eating dinner in your cottage it is nice to come down for a before or after dinner drink.

View of Gaston’s restaurant and dock with the cottages spread out alone the White River.

Nature Trails

One of my favorite things to do at Gaston’s is to walk their nature trails. These are nicely maintained grass trails along the river and through the wooded areas at the edges of the property. They are so peaceful!

They also have a little zoo filled with peacocks and turkeys and other types of birds. When we brought our grandchildren to Gaston’s they loved seeing this!

Bird Watching

Lots of people come to the White River to bird watch. You can see a multitude of birds from both Gaston’s nature trails and out on the river.

What else can you do in the area

Bull Shoals-White River State Park

This is one of the nicest of Arkansas’ state parks for camping. We have friends who have an RV and this is one of their favorite places to stay. It is right on the river with its own marina.

Bull Shoals-White River State Park also has some hiking and mountain biking trails that you might want to visit while you are at Gaston’s.

Be sure and check out the large visitors center that sits high on a hill above the dam. You can learn about the history of the area as well as hear some of the fishing stories from these waters.

Bull Shoals Lake

If you get tired of being on the river you can always go to the lake. You can rent a boat or a party barge and spend some time skiing or fishing. Bull Shoals Lake is known for good bass fishing.

You can check out this list of some of the other lakes in Arkansas which also has more information about Bull Shoals Lake.

Ghost Town of Rush

One of my favorite things is to visit the ghost town of Rush, Arkansas. Rush is about 30 miles from Gaston’s but it is worth the drive. The town began after the discovery of zinc ore in the 1880’s.

You can visit the town and do a hike around the area observing the remaining mines and buildings. Rush is on the National Register of Historic Places and is part of the Buffalo National River managed by the National Park Service.


Gaston’s White River Resort is an Arkansas tradition. It has grown and changed in many ways over the years, but the heart of the place has stayed the same.

I highly recommend a visit to Gaston’s to fish, to eat, to walk the trails, to enjoy small town hospitality, and to relax.

Dock on the White RIverPin

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