Hot Springs (Arkansas)
The public transport system isn't recommended. It's best to have a car or a friend in the city who doesn't mind driving you around. If you are downtown, it is possible to walk to many sites.
Historical downtown Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas, is truly an American treasure. From fun art galleries and delicious restaurants, to Bathhouse Row and too many historic buildings to count, there’s truly something for everyone downtown.
Visitors from around the world flocked to Hot Springs National Park’s historic Bathhouse Row in the 1800s and early 1900s to bathe in the healing thermal waters, thought to have healing powers. With the advent of modern medicine, the bathhouses were closed, but the buildings are still preserved and many are open for tours. Cool mineral water also flows from the local springs and many people stop on Bathhouse Row to fill up water jugs at the public fountain. For directions and complete information, go to www.hotsprings.org.
Visit the national headquarters for Mountain Valley Spring Water and its historic Classical Revival building. Tour the historic bathhouses. Bring a jug and fill it up with delicious natural spring water in the community fountain. Shop for antiques, fine jewelry, gifts, souvenirs and more. Or just relax and take in the scenery.
Don't forget that several of the Bed and Breakfast's in town are incredible historical sites to see. Hilltop Manor Bed and Breakfast was originally built in 1890. This Craftsman Manor was built on a 5 acre estate which borders the National Park Forest. Originally built by Mose Klyman and as a bachelor's home it is rumored that Al Capone and his gang use to party at the property. If you stay at Hilltop Manor Bed and Breakfast you will be welcome to explore the land which is scattered with stone walls and stairs, spring house, stone horse trough, and foundation walls left from the old dairy barn which is rumored to have hidden Jessie and Frank James when they were hiding out. These structures were built in the middle 1800's. It is amazing what you can discover in Hot Springs, Arkansas.
From championship golf and tennis to pristine lakes and walking trails, there are a host of recreational activities waiting for you in Hot Springs. Place your bet at Oaklawn Race Track (oaklawn.com), enjoy a day at one of the area’s pristine lakes or enjoy a stroll through the city’s many shops and downtown art galleries. Whatever your pleasure, you’ll find it here.
Get married in Hot Springs. Arkansas has no waiting period to gain a marriage license making it a popular place to elope. However its not just the impulsive who love to get married in Hot Springs. The areas history, beauty, and charm make it an idyllic location to hold your nuptials. Many of the local hotels, inns and B&Bs offer special wedding packages for very reasonable rates. Get married and leave the stress to some one else.
Oaklawn Park, 800-OAKLAWN (625-5296), . From January through April, Oaklawn Park is the place to be in Arkansas. Watch and wager on live top-quality thoroughbred racing, enjoy delicious food served up at restaurants and stands and participate in contests and promotions. Oaklawn also offers simulcast racing action and electronic gaming year-round. In recent years, Arkansas Derby winners have also won one or more of the Triple Crown races in Kentucky, Maryland or New York.
During the live racing season, children may enter Oaklawn accompanied by a parent or guardian; children attending during the simulcast season must be at least 48 inches tall to be admitted.
Hot Springs National Park
Hot Springs National Park is located in the Diamond Lakes region of Arkansas. This area features tournament-quality bass and trout fishing as well as year-round water sports on Lake Ouachita, Lake Catherine, or Lake Hamilton.
For 200 years, the natural hot springs surrounding present-day Hot Springs National Park have been used to treat illnesses and to relax. Rich and poor alike bathed in its healing waters and relaxed in its bathhouses. Hot Springs National Park today surrounds the north end of the city of Hot Springs, Arkansas.
Popular activities within the park include touring the historic Fordyce Bathhouse, strolling through the historic district, hiking park trails and driving the scenic roads. The historic downtown area also features many art galleries and delicious restaurants to choose from.
Hot Springs is home to several festivals throughout the year.
Hot Springs has many restaurants inside Victorian buildings in the Historic Downtown District, featuring food and friendly service. Historic downtown is not the only popular eating spot in town. Dine by the lake, on a riverboat, near the horse track or mall, on a main thoroughfare, on a mountain lane. Hot Springs restaurants offer a wide variety of excellent dining choices and cuisines - from cafes to gourmet cabarets.