Hot Springs, AR literally sprang to life in a Ouachita Mountains valley containing a remarkable array of 47 thermal springs. The town has long been and remains Arkansas’s top tourist destination, and for good reason. Its topflight attractions include Hot Springs National Park with its famed Bath House Row and thermal baths, live and simulcast thoroughbred racing, Magic Springs/Crystal Falls theme and water parks, the 210-acre Garvan Woodland Gardens and a renowned arts community. Other attractions include music, magic and religious shows, lake tours and more. Shopping opportunities, including antiques, abound in the Spa City, as do options for lodging. Outdoor activities in the Hot Springs, Arkansas area include golf, horseback riding, and mining for quartz crystals, as well as fishing and water sports that center around area lakes Hamilton, Catherine, Ouachita and DeGray. Those activities combine with private lakeside resorts, rental houseboats and other accommodations, including those at three state parks nearby, to create numerous vacation options. Additional recreational opportunities are afforded in the nearby Ouachita National Forest.
Hot Springs in the Middle of Town
Water. That’s what attracts people to Hot Springs.
People have used the hot springs here for more than two hundred years to treat illnesses and to relax. Both rich and poor came for the baths, and a town built up around the Hot Springs Reservation to accommodate them. Together nicknamed “The American Spa,Â Hot Springs National Park today surrounds the north end of the city of Hot Springs, Arkansas.
Touring the Fordyce Bathhouse, strolling through the historic district, hiking park trails and driving scenic roads are some of the things you can do.
Hot Springs National Park has natural areas, historic buildings and cultural landscapes. You can:
Tour the park visitor center in the historic Fordyce Bathhouse
Stroll by the eight historic bathhouses and the Grand Promenade, located within Bathhouse Row National Historic Landmark District
Hike some of the park’s 26 miles of trails
Drive scenic mountain roads–Hot Springs and North Mountain Drives and West Mountain Drive
Picnic on the mountains or by Gulpha Creek
Camp at Gulpha Gorge Campground
Looking for a vacation destination where you can enjoy Arkansas sports and outdoors? Our Ouachita Mountains’ backyard is truly a paradise for outdoor recreation. The beautiful Diamond Lakes region features tournament quality bass and trout fishing and year round water sports. State and National Parks in Arkansas offer camping, hiking, biking, horseback riding and birding along scenic mountain trails. World-class Arkansas golf courses in the Hot Springs area provide challenging play on lovely courses. When you go hunting for quartz crystals, you can keep all the natural treasures you find.
Oaklawn Park thoroughbred horse racing track and Garvan Woodland Gardens, our new 4 1/2 mile lake-side botanical masterpiece, are just two of the many exciting activities you’ll find waiting for you in the Arkansas outdoors.
Central Arkansas has four seasons: mild in spring and fall with some humidity; hot and very humid in summer; winter, variable–temperatures may range from below freezing to the 60s, with some humidity. Be prepared for cold weather.