You all know it’s the spring season, and so the tulip season is around, down south. Using this as a reason, the husband and I decided to visit Hot Springs for a day. We were there just for 24 hours cz’ it was an impromptu trip and getting a place to stay was difficult. It’s peak time, cz of the spring break, you see!! It takes less than 5 hours from Bentonville, AR. This was our second visit to this city. So I am going to combine both my visits into this one post.
Let me give you a brief introduction to this vintage city.
-Hot springs is famous for its thermal springs.
-The 143 degree water has been attracting people for a thousands of years, and is believed to be the purest form of natural mineral water.
-U.S. Tourism Quality Index ranked Hot Springs, Arkansas as one of the top ten small destinations in the United States.
Garvan Woodland Gardens – It is during spring that this beautiful garden, surrounded by the Ouachita Mountains, throws a beautiful Tulip and Daffodil blanket on this 210 acre land. There is a magnificent peacock that welcomes you to the gardens. So you are awestruck right there even before seeing the beautiful and colorful flowers. There are about 150,000 tulips on display. It was like Japan in Arkansas. This is a perfect place to visit for people of all ages. Taking a leisurely stroll here is so serene and calm and romantic too. 🙂 This flower extravaganza starts from Feb end to early April. It is also pet friendly. So many cute puppies and dogs were also getting pictures clicked among those beautiful flowers. This garden is such a treat. Do not miss visiting this heavenly place if you are in Arkansas or North Texas during spring.
From the Garden –
Hot Spring National Park – This Park has natural springs located in the heart of the downtown, launched 185 years ago. It is the smallest national park in the United States. The geothermal water is absolutely healthy and free. You are allowed to even fill this water in a jug or a bottle. It contains natural minerals and so it is best known for its healing properties.
The Gangster Museum of America – The ‘Las Vegas before Las Vegas’ was what Hot Springs was called once upon a time. Not only known for its thermal spas, this city was a gambling mecca. The combo pleasure of gambling and spas used to bring many visitors from all the world to Hot Springs, AR.
Hot Springs Mountain Tower – This observation tower has an easy access to the hiking trails. It is 1256 feet above the sea level. You get a magnificent view from here of the Ouachita Mountains and the Hot springs national park. It is all nature and nature from here and the view is breathtaking.
From the National Park –
Bathhouse row – Want to indulge in a spa day? Take a mineral water dip in any of the bath houses. It is said to be the most relaxing therapy one can ever get. The bathhouse row is located right in the downtown, just next to the national park. Unfortunately we had no much time during both our visits and could not make much use of it. The Buckstaff bath is said to be a really good one though.
Duck Tour – This is a fun land and water ride. This is not a boat, not a bus, a combo of both, a boat with four wheels. Interesting hmm? This tour starting from the downtown takes you through all the historical importance of this city to the Lake Hamilton, and dropping you back at the starting point. This tour is fun and very informative.
Alligator Farm – This place has all kinds and size of alligators in there. You can even hold a baby alligator and click a picture if you want. Other than these, there are also goats, sheep and donkeys. Feeding them is permitted so kids enjoy to the fullest here. Although I cannot stand reptiles of any kind, I agreed to visit this place for my husband. But if you like to learn and get more information about alligators, then this is the place.
The Bathhouses –
Downtown – Take a leisurely stroll through the Central Avenue. You will see so much of history just walking down this road. You have gift shops, art galleries, bathhouse rows, restaurants and so much here. All vintage!!
You will find the Arlington Hotel in the downtown, which has been hosting guests since 1875 and is truly a treasure. It is located right opposite to the Hot Springs National Park. This hotel was rewarded with ‘The most elegant and complete hotel in America’ title, in 1892.
Carriage ride – Have a classic antique-y touch to your day enjoying a horse-drawn carriage ride through the historic downtown. Definitely gave me the Cinderella feels!! 🙂
MALCO – You will find the oldest MALCO theatre here. Bill Clinton used to visit the theatre quite frequently as a boy. And you would be amazed to know that he had also hosted the Hot Springs Documentary Film Institute (HSDFI) here. It was recently renovated in December 2017 restoring the building’s vintage look of 1940s. It has been turned to one large auditorium rather than having split screens.
Craving for some coffee after a long day? Then Kollective Coffee + Tea is the place for you. They produce their own high-quality coffee. Here, coffee is not just coffee but is a passion. So definitely your cuppa coffee will be more than just a cuppa coffee. 😛
The Pancake Shop – If you are having a breakfast stopover in Hot Springs, then do not miss ‘The Pancake Shop.’ This happens to be the busiest breakfast place in the city. It operates from 06:00 to 12:45. Get there early to avoid the crowd. But incase if you are asked to wait, then it is still okay cz’ they entertain you with complimentary coffee in their shop next door. The Pancake Shop is famous for its giant sized pancakes and sausages. And the fresh orange juice here is to die for.
Ohio Club – Arkansas’s oldest club. Famous since 1905 and still going good. It served as a bar and casino once when gambling was practiced in Hot Springs. It has been a stop off place for many celebrities. From salads to pub snacks to dinner to drinks, you can enjoy everything with live music all 7 nights a week. Do not forget to try their ‘Fire wings and fries.’
From the Ohio Club –
If you want to experience the southern way of life, then Arkansas is your destination people.
I wanted to publish this blog post before 1st week of April, so that you guys can plan a trip to the Tulip extravaganza at the Garvan gardens, before it is over. So #confession, this was a hasty post, but I still believe that you guys would want to take in this beautiful city’s essence and experience all of it.
More from the Garvan Gardens –
For the Love of Graffiti –
So did you enjoy the post and the pictures? Yaay? Naay? Let me know in the comments. Thank you. 🙂