Hot Springs (Arkansas)
Hot Springs is a city in the Central region of Arkansas and home to Hot Springs National Park, a United States National Park. It is also the childhood home of former President Bill Clinton.
Hot Springs National Park was the U.S.'s first federally protected reservation, having been created by Congress in 1832 as Hot Springs Reservation. It was made a national park and renamed in 1921. It was originally created to protect the region's 47 natural flowing thermal springs. Today the park protects eight historic bathhouses, and is the nation's smallest national park by area. The park visitor center is housed in the former luxurious Fordyce Bathhouse, and the entire "Bathhouse Row" area is a National Historic Landmark District that contains the grandest collection of bathhouses of its kind in North America.
- Hot Springs Memorial Field
- Little Rock National Airport (with shuttle service and rental cars.)
- From Interstate 30 take the Hot Springs US 70 West exit south of Benton, the Hot Springs US 270 West exit at Malvern, or the Hot Springs Ark. 7 North exit near Arkadelphia.
- If traveling south on Ark. 7, come through downtown Hot Springs where the visitor center is located.
- If traveling south on US 71 from Fort Smith, or north on US 71 from Texarkana, take the US 270 East exit and take 270B through town.
- Coming from Oklahoma on US 70 go all the way into Hot Springs. When you get into the city you will see signs for the National Park.
- The Visitor Center is downtown on Highway 7 North or Central Avenue.
- Greyhound Bus Lines, 1001 Central Ave, Suite D, Hot Springs, +1-800-231-2222.
- Amtrak's Texas Eagle route serves Little Rock, Arkansas, with shuttle services to Hot Springs.
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.
Hot Springs National ParkFor 200 years, the natural hot springs surrounding present-day Hot Springs National Park have been used to treat illnesses and to relax. Today, Hot Springs National Park surrounds the north end of the city of Hot Springs, Arkansas. 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 thermal waters, thought to have healing powers; rich and poor alike bathed in its healing waters and relaxed in its bathhouses. With the advent of modern medicine, many bathhouses were closed, but the buildings were preserved and many are open for tours. Today hot and cool mineral water flows from the local springs and many people stop on Bathhouse Row and at the Happy Hollow Spring to fill water jugs at the public fountains. There are no park entrance fees charged.
Hot Springs National Park Visitor Centerphone: +1 501 624-3383 ext 640address: 369 Central AveThe visitor center in the former Fordyce Bathhouse is also a 24-room museum offering self-guided tours. Considered the most elegant bathhouse when completed in 1915, it exhibits beautiful mosaic tile floors, marble, stained glass windows and ceilings, a gymnasium, and routine bathing equipment. The 15-minute orientation movie, Valley of Vapors, offers a brief history of the area. Taking the Baths is a 9-minute video showing the traditional bathing routine in the Hot Springs bathhouses. Rest rooms and water fountains are located in the basement. Other rooms shown include the music room, massage rooms and a bowling alley.
Bathhouse RowIncludes the Fordyce Bathhouse and seven other bathhouses all built in the early 20th century. The Row is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Aside from the Fordyce which serves as the park visitor center, the Buckstaff is the only other operating bathhouse; it is still in use as a spa. The other bathhouses are vacant but awaiting new uses.
The Grand PromenadeA landscaped walkway behind Bathhouse Row which offers a glimpse of the springs and historic landscape features. Entrances are from behind the Visitor Center and from Fountain Street.
phone: +1 501 262-9300address: 550 Arkridge RdGarvan Woodland Gardens. Learn more about its natural flora and fauna.
phone: +1 501 767-3461address: 500 Mid America BlvdA great family attraction and the largest hands-on science center in Arkansas. Take the “Underground Arkansas” tour of a gigantic indoor cave filled with chambers, bridges, tunnels and slides, or experience the light, motion and sound of the “Virtual Reality Simulator.” Mid America Museum is the perfect setting for school field trips, birthday parties, summer science camps and more.
phone: +1 501 318-5370address: 1701 E. Grand AveAn amusement park with water and thrill rides such as roller coasters perched high above the Ouachita Mountains, outdoor concerts and more.
address: 2705 Central AveFrom 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. Some 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.
Scenic mountain drivesThe drives on West Mountain, Hot Springs, and North Mountains have overlooks to the surrounding areas. An observation tower on top of Hot Springs Mountain is operated by a concessionaire and offers a panoramic view of the Zig Zag range of the Ouachita Mountains.
EventsHot Springs is home to several festivals throughout the year.
Arkansas Shorts Film Festival
phone: +1 501 623-476The, brings together mentor musicians with pre-professional musicians during the first two weeks of June to perform chamber and orchestral music. Venues are located at various sites in the historic downtown district.
phone: +1 501 463-9575address: 416 Central AveBeautiful photography, intriguing paintings.
phone: +1 501 624-7474address: 719 Central AveFantastic Italian cuisine. Great pasta, salads, steaks, desserts, wine and coffee. They even have live piano music which added to the already wonderful atmosphere.
phone: +1 501 318-9789address: 4429 Central Ave, Suite AJavaPrimo is a locally owned coffee shop and cafe featuring fresh roasted coffee. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, JavaPrimo offers a selection of paninis, wraps, sandwiches, salads, soups, cakes, pies, pastries and coffee. Gift ideas include coffee beans, teas, collegiate football gifts and greeting cards.
phone: +1 501 623-6464address: 2360 Malvern AveSuite A., Serves breakfast and lunch. Coffee by the drink or bulk, tea, soups, salads and sandwiches. The sweet rolls are very good. Friendly service in a bright cheery atmosphere. Wide screen T.V., Internet access and free Wi-Fi. Prices for breakfast range from $.99-$5.75. Prices for lunch range from $3.99-$6.99. Coffee $.95-$4:00.
phone: +1 501 318-6054address: 210 Central AveGreat Latin cuisine restaurant with an outdoor seating area.
phone: +1 501 321-0909address: 700 Central AveGreat atmosphere inside a historic building and a great beer list.
phone: +1 501 627-0702address: 336 Central AveLive music inside the oldest bar in Arkansas!
phone: +1 501 624-4275address: 420 Quapaw Ave
address: 239 Central AveA historic downtown hotel.
address: 305 Malvern AveThe Austin Hotel & Convention Center is located in the heart of downtown Hot Springs with 200 guestrooms and a beautiful view of the Ouachita Mountains. Amenities include spa, indoor/outdoor pool, lounge and restaurant on site.
phone: +1 501 624-2531address: 2520 Central Ave
phone: +1 501 525-2225address: 4307 Central Ave
phone: +1 501 624-9200address: 400 Convention BlvdHas a reasonably priced in-house spa.
phone: +1 501 625-7829address: 2009 Park Ave
phone: +1 501 463-5600address: 206 Mehta Ct
phone: +1 501 525-6155address: 104 Lookout CircleBed and breakfast on Lake Hamilton. Each room has a view of the lake and many have a private balcony. Exceptionally groomed gardens, packages & add-ons are available.
address: 10860 Scenic Byway 7 North, Jessieville, AR 71949
phone: +1 501 624-5323address: 211 Fountain StExemplifies the architectural brilliance of the 1920s and 1930s. Completed in 1929 and opened to the public in 1930, a mélange of Spanish Revival influences. Throughout its long and varied history, original architectural elements have been beautifully preserved, immediately evident upon entrance into the spectacular tiled lobby.
phone: +1 501 525-1660address: 4319 Central Ave.
address: 4810 Central Ave
Campgrounds with more amenities can be found in commercial, State Park, Corps of Engineers, and Forest Service campgrounds in the surrounding area.
Gulpha GorgeNational park campground with sites available on a first come, first served basis, no reservations. Campsites have a picnic table, pedestal grill, and water nearby. While there are no showers, there are modern restrooms. Water is available at several stations throughout the campground most of the year and at the dump station. Quiet hours are 10PM-6AM. Pets are allowed if leashed.
The average temperature for the hot spring water emerging is 143°F or 62°C.