Hot Springs Arkansas is a popular resort destination where people have been
coming to enjoy the therapeutic spring waters for decades on end. It just so
happens to also be the place where President William Jefferson Clinton spent
most of his boyhood days. Clinton, who is Arkansas's most highly-recognizable
native son, moved to Hot Springs with his mother when he was in the second grade.
On through his high school years, the 42nd President of the United States developed
into one of Hot Springs's most active student politicians, which helped to pave
the way to his successful political career.
There aren't many attractions in Hot Springs Arkansas that are related to
President Clinton, and most people come to enjoy the historic sites, the natural
hot springs, and the great outdoors here. One of the first things that many
people do on Hot Springs vacations is take a walking tour of the historic downtown
district. Some of the downtown buildings in Hot Springs Arkansas date back to
the 1800s, and most are lovingly-restored and a joy to examine. Right next to
the city of Hot Springs is the Hot Springs National Park, which is where you
will find the famed Bathhouse Row. This collection of bathhouses, many of which
boast opulent Gilded Age architecture, is the grandest stretch of bathhouses
in the entire country. The Bathhouse Row area is a National Historic Landmark
District, and though most of the bathhouses don't serve their original purpose,
there are a few that are still open to the public.
Since the Hot Springs National Park effectively starts in the city's downtown
area, it is extremely easy to access. While enjoying Hot Springs vacations,
you can add hiking and camping
in Hot Springs National Park to the agenda. Bathing in the warm spring waters
that flow out of Hot Springs Mountain is understandably one of the more popular
things to do at the park, as newer bathhouses complement the older ones. Some
of the Hot Springs hotels
that offer baths can be found in Hot Springs National Park, and they include
the Austin Hotel and Convention Center, the Arlington Hotel, and The Springs
Hotel and Spa. Soaking in some relaxing hot spring pools isn't all that Hot
Springs travel is about, as there's plenty more to get into if you're up for
Stopping by the Garvan Woodland Botanical Gardens for a look and heading to the top of the Hot Springs Mountain Tower for a panoramic view of the mountains are just a couple ideas for things to do in Hot Springs, and if you enjoy boating and fishing, Lake Hamilton and Lake Ouachita are to the near south and west of the city. Visiting a number of state parks is something that you can also add to your Hot Springs travel itinerary, and the closest state parks to the city are Lake Catherine State Park and Lake Ouachita State Park. Perhaps you'll be interested in heading to one of the area crystal mines to see what you can turn up. You won't find diamonds in the area, as you might be lucky enough to do if you head southwest to Crater of Diamonds State Park, but you may just pluck an attractive crystal out of the ground.
Hot Springs vacations truly have something for everyone. If you like art, there are some great galleries and studios in town that are worth checking out. One of the top annual events here is the Annual Art in the Park Festival, which takes place in May. Various "Gallery Walks" are held in Hot Springs Arkansas throughout the year, and these events see the local galleries putting their finest works on display. For food and wine enthusiasts, planning Hot Springs vacations around the Wine, Food and Art Extravaganza is a good idea. This fun-filled May festival is held on Bathhouse Row, so you can admire the attractive buildings when you're not admiring the art or savoring the food and wine.
You're just 52 miles from the Arkansas capital of Little
Rock when enjoying Hot Springs vacations, so you might plan a side trip
to check out its attractions.
With the Ouachita National Forest and the Ouachita Mountains stretching out
to the west of Hot Springs, however, it might be hard to tear yourself away
from the more natural side of things. The sky is virtually the limit when it
comes to all the things that Hot Springs travel has to offer, which is why its
one of the state's top vacation destinations.