Travelers from around the world have been coming to Arkansas since the 1800s to experience the magic of the natural mineral waters at Hot Springs National Park. There are dozens of ways for you to soak in the springs, and loads of amenities on hand to ensure the legions of annual tourists don’t leave disappointed. From the history of Bathhouse Row to the steady schedule of top performers at the Hot Springs Convention Center, this Arkansas resort town is always in top gear.
Things to see
Hot Springs National Park is where it all started, and the wonderfully preserved Bathhouse Row shows how the spa scene looked here some 200 years ago. The original buildings have been restored and are open for tours. You can even fill your bottle from the public fountain.
When summer arrives, the insanely popular amusement parks of Magic Springs and Crystal Falls burst into action. These are Arkansas’ premier fun spots, featuring exciting roller coasters, wet and wild water parks, and regular outdoor concerts.
Another attraction here is Oaklawn Park, where thoroughbred horses race from January to April. It’s a major highlight of the spring season, with betting and special derby races leading up to the Triple Crown.
Hotels in Hot Springs
One thing Hot Springs does not lack is accommodation options. You can hunker down in a historic bed and breakfast, roll the family into a rowdy resort, or save your money for other fun with an affordable chain hotel. The rates in Hot Springs are reasonable but jump when springtime approaches.
Where to stay
Many visitors, especially people traveling by car, opt to stay in one of the chain hotels along Interstate 70. This major highway cuts right through Hot Springs so you’re never far from the big attractions.
It’s also possible to stay right on the edge of Hot Springs National Park, where a handful of spa hotels provide a more natural atmosphere at slightly higher rates. Central Avenue is the main strip in town where you can find a full range of lodging, from traditional inns to modern hotels.
How to get to Hot Springs
Driving is the most popular way to reach Hot Springs because this town is tucked away in the mountains. Interstate 70 makes it easy to drive here from the east or the west, with Little Rock Airport just a short drive along the highway. Amtrak’s Texas Eagle train line makes a stop at Little Rock, while Greyhound buses run directly into the center of Hot Springs.