Hot Springs City in Arkansas is named after the many hot springs found in the area, whose thermal waters are famed for its medicinal properties. From the nearby Hot Springs National Park—credited to be the first federal reservation–to its many museums and historic sites, as well as a selection of bathhouses and hiking trails, visitors will surely be able to find an attraction that will suit to their every fancy. We hope this Hot Springs Arkansas travel guide and the map below will help you plan your next trip to Hot Springs Arkansas.
Popular Destinations in Hot Springs Arkansas
Of course, one cannot visit Hot Springs City and National Park without trying out their namesake. Hot Springs National Park hosts many bathhouses, located in the aptly named Bathhouse Row, where visitors have eight bathhouses to choose from, including the historic Fordyce Bathhouse which now serves as the park visitor center, where visitors can check out exhibits and tours showcasing the history of the park. Tourists can also try traditional bathing using the Park’s famous thermal water in the Buckstaff Bathhouse, or take a dip in the pools at the Quapaw Baths and Spa. There is also the Bathhouse Row Emporium for buying souvenirs.
For those looking for attractions in the great outdoors, the Hot Springs National Park is home to many hiking trails and picnic groves, as well as scenic views around Hot Springs and North Mountain Drive and West Mountain Drive. If you want to be one with nature, camping is also allowed at the Gulpha Gorge Campground.
Hot Springs City itself also has many attractions including museums, amusement parks, and a multitude of dining places for every type of visitor.
When to Visit
Hot Springs National Park can accommodate visitors all year round. Annual festivals are held in Hot Springs City during summer and autumn, and the farmer’s market runs during the summer and winter months. It is best to check weather conditions before planning a trip, especially when outdoor activities like hiking is in the books.
How to Reach the Destination
Visitors can opt to drive to Hot Springs using many different routes, or they can choose to fly to the city through their preferred airlines that land in either the Hot Springs Memorial Field Airport, or the Little Rock National Airport. Visitors can also take a bus using Greyhound or a train to Hot Springs via Amtrak.
Getting Around Hot Springs, Arkansas:
A bus system operated by the Intracity Transit is available for commuting within the city. The three fixed routes (blue, red, and green) cover the main parts of the city as well as the National Park. Car rentals are also available from the airport to the city.
Dos and Don’ts
Don’t forget to soak up (literally and figuratively) the history behind the city and the national park by visiting the many facilities in the Bathhouse Row
Do make the most of the scenic and historic sites in Hot Springs by availing of the many different tours offered by the Park
Don’t miss out on the great outdoors by camping at the Gulpha Gorge Campground, or by trying the many hiking/biking trails located inside the Hot Springs National Park.
Do check out the many available dining spots within the city, as well as the Farmer’s Market for the local produce
Don’t forget to check the local festival scene. Make sure to plan ahead or check the city’s event calendar to be able to make the most of the city’s rich art and cultural landscape.
Price Range for Hotels
Hot Springs has a multitude of accommodation types to choose from, including camping grounds, as mentioned above, RV parks, cabins, and houseboats. Hotels can range from $50 (budget) to $400 (luxury), depending on the availability and seasonal demands.
Top Places to Visit
Quapaw Bath and Spa
The Quapaw was established in 1922 in a Spanish Colonial Revival style bathhouse. It was named after a Native American tribe that once lived in the area. They are also the only bathhouse I know of that has a public bathhouse without the need of a reservation. It is first come first serve so get there early!
Hot Springs National Park
The Hot Springs National Park is home to many hiking trails, bathhouses and picnic groves. There are also scenic views around Hot Springs and North Mountain Drive and West Mountain Drive. If you want to be one with nature, camping is also allowed at the Gulpha Gorge Campground.
The Ohio Club
This old gangster hangout has been the king of Hot Springs nightlife for over 100 years! Famous gangsters like Al Capone and Lucky Luciano use to frequently visit The Ohio Club. They also serve a mean burger and great cocktails!
The Gangster Museum
Jump back to the 20s-40s and learn about Hot Springs roll in entertaining some of the most famous gangsters in American history at The Gangster Museum of America.
The Superior Bathhouse Brewery
Superior Bathhouse Brewery is the only Brewery in a United States National Park & the only brewery in the world to utilize thermal spring water as our main ingredient. You can actually taste the difference in the beers due to the minerals in the water. It’s wild!