Hot Springs National Park
Arkansas Gem: Hot Springs National Park
Hot Springs (located approximately 58 miles from Little Rock), was named just for that, it’s naturally hot water springs. In the early years, Native Americans went to one of the springs for its healing properties; the city is home to several natural “hot springs” which are located throughout the city. Hot Springs, Arkansas is located in the Ouachita Mountains and is the oldest Federal Reserve in the United States. There is so much to do in Hot Springs. Feeling a little stressed, you can have a hot bath in one of the many bathhouses on Bathhouse Row with naturally hot water furnished from one of the springs, followed by a soothing full body massage. There are hiking trails with lots of beautiful sites if you just want to de-stress with a peaceful walk. If you like to shop, Central Avenue is the place to be. You can tour the city in a boat on wheels that makes its way to one of several lakes located in or near the outskirts of Hot Springs. The many sites to see in Hot Springs include Lookout Tower, Sky Bridge, a Gangster Museum (gangsters used to frequent Hot Springs in the early 1900s); Arkansas Alligator Farm and Petting Zoo; Garvin Woodland Gardens (which is ran by University of Arkansas landscape architecture department); Oakland Park (horse racing) and, my favorite, Magic Springs and Crystal Falls, a theme park with amusement rides, a water park and concerts. At Magic Springs, one can buy a one day pass or a season pass to enjoy all season long. There are hotels, campsites, cabins where one can spend the night and you can even go horseback riding and fish from your back porch if you stay at Panther Valley Ranch. Restaurants, Shows, Flea Markets, whatever you’re in the mood for, Hot Springs has it. Visit Hot Springs, Arkansas, only 45 minutes away by car.