Attractions in Hot Springs Arkansas

If you want to vacation in Hot Springs, Arkansas, you are in the right spot. With so much to do, it is no wonder that Hot Springs is a hot travel destination. Below are ten things to do in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

Hot Springs, Arkansas, is the perfect vacation spot if you are looking for a place that offers a range of exciting activities and attractions. From natural hot springs to historic landmarks, there is something for everyone in Hot Springs. 

You can create a memorable vacation in this beautiful city with many activities and attractions. Check below for 10 Things to do in Hot Springs, Arkansas. 

1. Bathhouse Row

Bathhouse Row is a historical landmark with several different bathhouses, each with its unique history and charm. These bathhouses were once the center of the Hot Springs tourism industry, offering visitors the chance to soak in the city’s hot springs and relax in luxurious surroundings.

Today, not all bathhouses on Bathhouse Row are in use or offer the same services. However, they have been repurposed into other businesses, each providing a unique experience. Here is a breakdown of each bathhouse:

  • Buckstaff Bathhouse: This bathhouse offers different spa packages, allowing you to soak in the city’s hot springs and enjoy a variety of treatments.
  • Fordyce Bathhouse: This bathhouse is now a park visitor center where visitors can learn more about Hot Springs, Arkansas, and its many attractions.
  • Hale Bathhouse: This bathhouse has been renamed Hale Hotel and offers guests the chance to spend the night on Bathhouse Row. It offers modern amenities and beautiful surroundings.
  • Maurice Bathhouse: This bathhouse is currently abandoned and closed.
  • Superior Bathhouse: This bathhouse is now a brewery where you can stop and enjoy a cold brew. The brewery uses the local thermal spring water in its beer, providing a unique and refreshing taste.
  • Ozark Bathhouse: This is now the Ozark Cultural Center, where you can see local artists’ paintings for free and learn about the area’s rich history.
  • Quapaw Bathhouse: This is another location where the public can soak in the local thermal springs. The facility offers a thermal pool, private baths, and a steam cave, providing a relaxing and rejuvenating experience. 
  • Lamar Bathhouse: This bathhouse is now a Bathhouse Row Emporium, where you can purchase souvenirs, knickknacks knickknacks, and America the Beautiful Passes.

Although Bathhouse Row is no longer a row of locations where you can soak in the local hot spring (aside from the few businesses that still offer those services), it provides a fun day exploring the town. 

You can experience a brewery, art gallery, local shop, several spas, and even a hotel to stay the night on Bathhouse Row. 

2. Garvan Woodland Gardens

Garvan Woodland Gardens is a must-visit location for nature lovers and those who appreciate beautiful landscapes. 

The University of Arkansas owns the Garden, which covers a vast area and features various gardens, including the Asian Garden, the Cave and Waterfalls, and the Crawdad Hole. The Garden also has several bridges that offer stunning views of the surrounding area. 

Another popular feature of the Garvan Woodland Gardens is Anthony Chapel, a highly in-demand wedding chapel. 

The Chapel’s design, which resembles the Thorncrown Chapel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, is a work of art. The Chapel is a beautiful wooden structure outside the Garden’s central area, offering a serene and peaceful environment. 

Anthony Chapel is also open for visitors when not used for weddings. You can visit the Chapel to admire its beautiful architecture and peaceful surroundings. The Chapel also offers an excellent opportunity to take some stunning photos.

Visiting the Garvan Woodland Gardens is an excellent way to explore nature and admire the beautiful landscapes. Whether looking for a peaceful retreat or a fun-filled adventure, the Garden offers something for everyone.

3. Hot Springs National Park

Hot Springs National Park is a must-visit destination in Hot Springs, Arkansas. The park offers a range of activities for visitors of all ages, including 26 miles of hiking trails, guided tours, and natural hot springs to soak in. The park has several pathways, allowing visitors to explore the beautiful natural surroundings. 

The Most Popular Hiking Trails: 

  • Goat Rock Trail 
  • Peak Trail 
  • Hot Springs Mountain Trails
  • West Mountain Loop

In addition to hiking, Hot Springs National Park also offers guided tours of Fordyce Bathhouse, one of the original luxury bathhouses on Bathhouse Row. The tours are available based on staffing and provide visitors with an in-depth look at the bathhouse’s history and architecture. 

You can call ahead at (501) 620-6715 to ensure tours are available. Reservations are required for groups.

Suppose you are looking for a more relaxed way to enjoy the scenic beauty of Hot Springs National Park without engaging in outdoor activities such as hiking. In that case, you can park your car at several locations within the park and admire the stunning surroundings.

Overall, Hot Springs National Park is a beautiful and serene destination that offers visitors a chance to experience nature’s beauty and relax in the park’s natural hot springs. Whether you’re looking for adventure or relaxation, the park has something for everyone.

Important information: You cannot soak in the hot springs outdoors. However, you can experience hot springs in the bathhouses in the two locations listed above, Buckstaff Bathhouse and Quapaw Bathhouse.

4. Hot Springs Mountain Tower

The Hot Springs Mountain Tower is an iconic landmark and a must-visit attraction in Hot Springs, Arkansas. The tower offers stunning panoramic views of Hot Springs Moutain, several lakes, and the Ouachita National Forest.

Upon arrival at the tower, visitors can ride to the top, enjoying the breathtaking views from 1,256 feet above sea level. The tower’s observation deck offers unobstructed views of the surrounding area.

Once you have finished exploring the observation deck, visit the gift shop on the tower’s ground floor. Here, you can find a variety of souvenirs, knickknacks, and gifts to commemorate your visit to the Hot Springs Mountain Tower.

Overall, visiting the Hot Springs Mountain Tower is an unforgettable experience that offers visitors a chance to see the natural beauty of Hot Springs, Arkansas, and its surrounding areas from a unique vantage point.

5. Lake Catherine State Park

Lake Catherine is a breathtaking lake that offers various activities. One of the most enjoyable ways to experience it is by boat.

If you’re planning a trip to Hot Springs, Arkansas, without a boat, don’t worry; you can rent a boat from the marina at the lake. The marina is open during summer.

The marina offers a wide variety of boats, including pontoons, fishing boats, water bikes, paddle boards, kayaks, and canoes, and they are available for rent all year round. 

Apart from boating, Lake Catherine has a lot more to offer. There are several picnic areas, playgrounds, and swimming beaches where you can relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery. 

The hiking trails at Lake Catherine are a must-visit, offering a unique experience to hikers. Top hiking trails

  • Falls Branch Trail
  • Dam Mountain Trail 
  • Horseshoe Mountain Trail 

If you’re looking for a unique experience, visit Arkansas Riding Stables, which offers guided horseback tours. 

The facility is open throughout the summer but only on weekends during spring and fall. 

Arkansas Riding Stables also offers trail rides, which are an excellent way to explore the beauty of Lake Catherine State Park. 

You can make your reservations for horseback riding today by calling (501) 262-0777.

6. Ouachita National Forest

Ouachita National Forest is a great way to spend time outdoors and experience Arkansas’s natural beauty. One of the park’s main attractions is its vast network of hiking trails that cater to hikers of all skill levels. 

Popular Hiking Trails throughout Ouachita National Forest include, but are not limited to: 

  • Eagle Rock Loop 
  • Little Missouri Trail 
  • Hunts Loop Trail

If hiking is not your thing, you can enjoy several other recreational activities in the park. OHV (Off-Highway Vehicles) trails are another popular activity in the park, and you can choose from over a dozen paths for your OHV.

For a complete list of routes and maps, visit the website.

Fishing is another popular activity in the park, and several streams, rivers, and lakes are perfect for it

Mountain biking is another great activity you can enjoy in Ouachita National Forest, and the park offers several trails that cater to bikers of all skill levels. [Read also: Go Moutain Biking on these Epic Trails in Ouachita National Forest]

Backpacking, camping, and hunting are also allowed in the park, allowing you to easily spend a day, week, or even several weeks exploring the Ouachita National Forest and its many attractions. 

7. Pirate's Cove Adventure Golf

If you’re on vacation with your family and looking for a fun activity everyone can enjoy, look no further than Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf

This mini-golf course is perfect for families who want to spend quality time together while enjoying the beautiful scenery and a fun pirate theme.

The mini-golf course features a pirate ship, statues of pirates, and a beautiful blue waterfall, all of which will amaze you and your children. 

The 18-hole mini-golf course is a perfect challenge for golfers of all skill levels, from beginners to experts. You can take your time and enjoy the course at your own pace, making it a fun activity for the whole family.

The pirate theme is reflected throughout the course, making it a unique and exciting experience. Your children will love the pirate-themed obstacles and decorations scattered throughout the course. 

So come out and enjoy a round of 18-hole mini-golf at Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf. Your family will have a great time!

8. Gangster Museum of America

If you’re a history buff and fascinated by the mob, you must visit the Gangster Museum of America in Hot Springs, Arkansas. The museum offers a unique and exciting experience that you won’t find anywhere else.

During your visit, a guide will give you a tour of the mob’s local history. The tour includes videos, photos, casino tables, mugshots, and more, making it an immersive experience that will transport you back to the mob’s heyday.

The museum is a hidden gem of Hot Springs, Arkansas, and its exhibits are unparalleled. You’ll learn about the history of organized crime in America and how it impacted the local community. 

The museum provides a fascinating insight into the lives of notorious gangsters like Al Capone, Lucky Luciano, and Owen Madden.

The museum offers exhibits and a gift shop where souvenirs and memorabilia can be purchased. It is open seven days a week, making it convenient to add to your itinerary.

If you’re interested in the history of the mob and want to experience a unique and exciting museum, you must visit the Gangster Museum of America. It’s a must-visit attraction that you will want to take advantage of.

9. Arkansas Alligator Farm & Petting Zoo

Discovering that an Alligator Farm and Petting Zoo is in Hot Springs, Arkansas, is remarkable. This venue offers many unique and exciting experiences that are difficult to find anywhere else in the country. 

One of the most thrilling activities is the opportunity to hold and feed baby alligators, which will surely be a memorable experience for visitors of all ages. 

In addition to the alligator experience, this location offers a petting zoo featuring Emus, Goats, Sheep, Bunnies, and other animals, providing an excellent opportunity to learn about various species. 

It is an ideal destination for animal lovers and those seeking a fun and educational day out. The sheer diversity of animals on display will delight and fascinate, making it a must-visit destination for anyone in the area.

10. The Galaxy Connection

The Galaxy Connection is a must-visit destination for those passionate about Star Wars and superheroes. This venue offers two exciting tours that are sure to delight any fan. Tours allow you to see Superhero customers and statues, a vintage toy collection, and the retro video game room. 

If you are looking for a more budget-friendly option, the Regular Tour is perfect for you. However, the VIP Tour is the way to go if you want to take your experience to the next level. 

It is important to note that booking your tour in advance is best to ensure you get your desired spot. This popular destination gets busy quickly, so it’s best to plan. 

Bonus: Funtrackers Family Fun Park

We’re excited to offer you a bonus activity since there are so many things to choose from! The Funtrackers Family Fun Park is a fantastic destination for the whole family. This park has exciting activities that will delight kids and adults alike.

Your kids will have the time of their lives as they hop onto the go-kart rides, zoom down the track, and play laser tag with an epic jungle theme. 

The park features a variety of go-karts, including single and double karts, so everyone can join in on the fun. The laser tag arena is filled with obstacles, making it an exciting experience for kids and adults.

If your kids enjoy miniature golf, they will love the 18-hole course at Funtrackers. The course features caves, volcanoes, and waterfalls, making it fun and challenging for all ages. 

You can also cool off during those hot summer days by speeding across a pond to bump each other with bumper boats.

In addition to the exciting activities, Funtrackers has an arcade center perfect for kids who love to play games. The arcade center features a variety of games, including classic arcade games and modern video games.

One of the best things about Funtrackers Family Fun Park is the pricing. The park offers various pricing bundles and wristbands, allowing you to choose a package that makes the most sense for your whole family. This allows anyone to enjoy all the activities without breaking the bank.

Funtrackers Family Fun Park is a fantastic destination for families looking for a fun-filled day out. This park is a favorite among locals and visitors, and it has many exciting activities and affordable prices.

Attractions in Hot Springs Arkansas

In conclusion, Hot Springs, Arkansas, is an excellent vacation destination that offers something for everyone. From the stunning Garvan Woodland Gardens to the historic Bathhouse Row and the natural beauty of Hot Springs National Park, visitors will find activities and attractions that suit their interests. 

Whether looking for a peaceful retreat or a fun-filled adventure, Hot Springs, Arkansas, is the perfect place to create unforgettable memories. 

So, pack your bags and head to Hot Springs for a fantastic vacation experience.

Full List 10 Reasons to Visit Hot Springs, Arkansas

1. Garvan Woodland Gardens
2. Bathhouse Row 
3. Hot Springs National Park 
4. Hot Springs Mountain Towers
5. Lake Catherine State Park 
6. Ouachita National Forest
7. Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf
8. Gangster Museum of America
9. Arkansas Alligator Farm & Petting Zoo 
10. The Galaxy Connection

If you have been to any of the attractions listed above, please comment about your experience in the section below. We would love to hear about it. 

About Author, Meho Besic
Guest Writer, Amora V Lifestyle
Husband, Explorer & Adventurer 

Meho is a contributor to Amora V Lifestyle, where he takes his knowledge from owning Certified Painting Professionals and shares it with the world. When he’s not at work, he often immerse himself in the serene beauty of the great outdoors. 

His profound love for nature is evident in his unwavering passion for embarking on exciting adventures. Whether navigating through scenic trails, camping under the starry skies, or seeking out new and exciting outdoor experiences, Meho’s passion for exploration knows no bounds.

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