Hot Springs is not your typical city. It’s a destination, but it isn’t just for tourists. Hot Springs have become an increasingly popular spot for people to live in recent years. With that growth has come a variety of new restaurants and attractions (not just spas). There’s plenty to do here for anyone who wants to visit or relocate!
Hot Springs National Park
Hot Springs National Park is a United States National Park in central Garland County, Arkansas, adjacent to the city of Hot Springs. The park preserves a large collection of thermal springs that have been used for bathing, healing, and recreation purposes for centuries by Native Americans.
In the early 19th century, the springs became popular with wealthy Americans as a health resort destination due to their supposed healing properties. Today they’re considered one of America’s “most scenic” national parks, which means you can take advantage of everything from hiking and fishing to hot spring soaking and luxurious spa treatments at area resorts (like The Omni Homestead Resort & Spa).
Arlington Hotel Spa
The Arlington Hotel Spa is a popular destination for local and international visitors alike. The hotel itself was built in 1886 and has been renovated to accommodate modern guests. The spa currently features a large pool, hot tubs, saunas, steam rooms, and massage services. Guests can also enjoy massages on their patio or balcony overlooking the mountains if they prefer privacy.
The prices are reasonable compared to other spas in Hot Springs and many reviewers have praised their service as well as the high quality of their treatments. These include facials and body wraps as well as massages for different parts of your body including feet or hands/arms/shoulders/neck/back
Garvan Woodland Gardens
Garvan Woodland Gardens is a wooded garden with over 100 acres of flowering plants, trees, and shrubs. There’s also a tropical conservatory and Japanese garden, rose garden, children’s garden, butterfly house, and herb garden.
We were most impressed by the woodland trail; we especially liked how it was lit with solar lights at night so that we could see all the plants as they bloomed at dusk (and our selfie game had never been better).
Bathhouse Row is a collection of historic bathhouses in Hot Springs, Arkansas. The bathhouses were built between 1832 and 1912 and were used for bathing, drinking mineral water, and socializing. Today they are owned by the city and managed by the National Park Service as a historic district containing 13 out of 21 original buildings.
The Bathhouse Row Historic District is the largest concentration of hot springs bathhouses in the United States. Most visitors to Hot Springs visit them while visiting any one or more of them when they take their tours around town.
Mid-America Science Museum
The Mid-America Science Museum is the place to go if you love learning about dinosaurs, space, or science. With exhibits that cover these topics, kids and adults alike can enjoy this museum’s interactive exhibits. In addition to the aforementioned exhibits, there are also lots of hands-on activities for children like building robots and other fun projects.
For anyone who loves learning new things or just wants to have a good time together with friends and family members, this museum is perfect!
Magic Springs & Crystal Falls
Magic Springs & Crystal Falls is a theme park and water park located in Hot Springs, Arkansas. It is the largest water park in Arkansas, with over 50 acres of slides, rides, and attractions. The theme park features over 100 rides for all ages to enjoy. Magic Springs also features live entertainment including concerts, shows, and magic acts at their amphitheater each day during the summer season.
Magic Springs & Crystal Falls opened in 1976 and has since been recognized as one of the top 10 amusement parks by the USA Today readers’ choice poll. The family-friendly atmosphere makes it a popular destination for those visiting Hot Springs or wanting something fun to do while vacationing in nearby cities such as Memphis or Little Rock (which are both within an hour’s drive).
The Gangster Museum of America
The Gangster Museum of America is a great place to learn about the history of organized crime in America. Located on Bathhouse Row, which is a National Historic Landmark and home to some of the country’s most beautiful neo-classical architecture, this museum is an ideal location for learning about the history of this dark period in American history.
The museum focuses on how organized crime impacted popular culture and vice versa during Prohibition (1919-1933) when it was illegal to manufacture, sell or transport alcohol. It explores everything from Chicago’s Al Capone to New York’s Bugsy Siegel and includes artifacts like guns and cars used by gangsters as well as items that belonged directly to them—like Tommy guns!
The gangster culture often gets glamorized in movies and TV shows but it was a dangerous time for Americans who lived through it then as well as now. The Gangster Museum reminds us that there are many more sides to every story than we often see portrayed today so come check out its collection before you watch any more gangster flicks!
DeGray Lake Resort State Park
DeGray Lake Resort State Park is a popular place for boating, fishing, and swimming. The lake offers a variety of activities to enjoy during your trip to Hot Springs.
The park offers several different types of accommodations:
- Cabins with five bedrooms that can sleep up to 18 people
- Campgrounds with individual campsites or group sites that can accommodate up to 80 people per site
Quapaw Baths and Spa
Since it first opened in 1832, Quapaw Baths and Spa has been a haven for relaxation. It’s the oldest operating hot spring in the country, and visitors come from far and wide to soak up its natural healing powers.
In addition to offering some of the best mineral waters this side of Arkansas, Quapaw Hot Springs also offers many activities for those who want to keep busy during their stay. If you’re looking for something fun to do with your friends or family members while visiting Hot Springs National Park, consider taking a dip at Quapaw Baths and Spa!
National Park Aquarium
- Address: 231 Bathhouse Row
- Phone number: 501-321-7000
- Hours of operation: Daily from 9 am to 4 pm (closed on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day)
- Admission cost: Adults – $10; Children 5 to 12 – $5; Toddlers 4 and under are free. Free for military members, veterans, first responders, and teachers with ID.
The National Park Aquarium is home to over 70 species of animals from around the world, including large catfish in a giant tank that you can walk through! There’s also an Amazon River exhibit where you can see piranhas and electric eels up close plus tons more cool stuff like penguins, snakes, and sharks! The National Park Aquarium also offers tours on Tuesdays at 1 pm or 3 pm so make sure you check out their website before heading there because they do sell out quickly!
Hill Wheatley Plaza Fountain and Clock Tower
The Hill Wheatley Plaza Fountain and Clock Tower, also known as the Big Red Clock, is a must-see when you visit Hot Springs. This fountain was built in 1929 and is the largest in Arkansas. It’s located on Central Avenue, which runs through downtown Hot Springs. The water comes from underground hot springs that have been used for centuries to treat various ailments.
The clock tower sits atop a three-story red brick building at 200 Central Avenue in downtown Hot Springs. The building itself was constructed between 1906 and 1918 according to plans by architects George R. Mann and Charles L. Thompson. The first floor of this Romanesque Revival structure contains shops on each side; above them are two floors with apartments for rent (all of them currently occupied).
Lake Hamilton Boat Dock
Lake Hamilton is a massive lake in Arkansas. It stretches over 40 miles and has been used for boating, fishing, and other water activities since it was created by the construction of a dam in 1927. The boat dock at Lake Hamilton State Park is a popular destination for visitors who want to spend an afternoon on the water. The park itself is located just off Interstate 30, making it easy to get to from Hot Springs or any other location in the state of Arkansas.
The boat dock offers several different options for all ages:
- Swimming (at your own risk)
Anthony Chapel at Garvan Woodland Gardens
Anthony Chapel at Garvan Woodland Gardens is located on Garland Ave, just off Hot Springs’ main drag. The gardens are open daily from 9 am-5 pm, and admission is $12 for adults and $9 for children 6-12.
The chapel itself was built in 1946 as a memorial to Anthony Todaro, the son of one of Hot Springs’ first families who tragically died in an automobile accident at age 23. Today it is used as both a place to hold religious services (for visitors) and as a venue for weddings (by appointment only). If you’re looking to explore this beautiful space on your own, be sure to walk through the adjacent paths that wind through the rest of Garvan Woodland Gardens!
There’s a lot to do in this Arkansas city.
Hot Springs is a great place to visit, no matter what you’re into. There are restaurants and hotels, museums and spas. If you want to learn more about the city’s history, several historical sites will be sure to impress you. If you want to spend some time in nature at a national park or forest, Hot Springs has that too! Whatever it is that interests your family (or yourself) there will certainly be something for everyone here in this Arkansas city.
Hot Springs is a great place to visit year-round. From the iconic Bathhouse Row and historic hotels to the nearby national parks, there are plenty of activities for families and couples alike.