Hot Springs, Arkansas Bucket List

If you’re looking for some of the best things to do in Hot Springs, Arkansas, or for a great family-friendly vacation, you must check out Hot Springs! Home of the first National Park, Bathhouse Row, Lake Hamilton, Lake Catherine State Park and much more to do and see.

Some of the best things you won’t want to miss in Hot Springs!

National Park Bathhouse Row The historic bathhouses that make up Hot Springs National Park, the country’s first National Park, are beautiful to walk past, and there are a variety of seasonal tours available, including one with your dog! The Quapaw Bathhouse is open and baths in the mineral springs start at only $20. Make your reservations in advance! The National Park is set on 47 thermal springs, flowing with an average temperature of about 143 degrees!

Gulpha Creek at the Gulpha Gorge Campground at Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas

Gulpha Gorge Campsite The only camping located in the National Park, Gulpha Gorge offers 40 campsites along the Gulpha Creek. We haven’t camped here, yet, but day visits are allowed and the kids had a great time hiking and playing in the clear creek water!

Superior Bathhouse Brewery is located at the last of the bathhouses on Bathhouse Row. Built in 1916, it was the smallest of the bathhouses, and is now the only brewery in a National Park. It is also the only brewery in the world to use thermal spring water to make their beer and root beer! Try one of their root beer floats!

Arlington Hotel This historic hotel, built in 1875, is beautiful and very pup-friendly! It’s great location is right across the street from Bathhouse Row and the trails at Hot Springs Mountain! Ask about Al Capone’s suite, which you can reserve, or try to catch a glimpse of his often reported ghost hanging about!

The Grand Promenade in the National Park is a scenic walkway along the back side of the bathhouses.

Hike to the Top of Hot Springs Mountain The famous Hot Springs are situated at the bottom of Hot Springs Mountain, which offer both a 1.5 mile hiking trails up the mountain, or a scenic drive with parking at the top in case you want to hike back down!

Hot Springs Mountain Tower

Hot Springs Mountain Tower Once you get to the top of Hot Springs Mountain, you’re going to want to take a ride up to the top of the Hot Springs Mountain Tower! This tower takes you up 216 feet to a 360 degree view of the city, lakes and Ouchita Mountains beyond! Check their website for admission.

Grateful Head Pizza A favorite in Broken Bow, Oklahoma, they have a terrific location just across from Bathhouse Row, a block from Central Ave.

Don’t forget your water jugs! You can take water jugs with you, or buy them there, to fill up at the FREE thermal springs water fountain!

Oaklawn Horse Racing

Oaklawn Horse Racing, Casino and Resort My father-in-law said he would like to tour all the horse tracks, or as many as we can, and since I love horse racing I was the first to volunteer! I LOVE Oaklawn! We visited on a very spring-like April day, when the infield was open with live music, big trees to sit under and bounce houses and food trucks for the kids! I spent about $40 in total, going up and down in my wagers, but definitely had $40 worth of fun!

Hike up to the Goat Rock Overlook Located off Hot Springs Mountain Drive. This moderate out and back trail, just over 2 miles, takes you up North Mountain. There are 240 stone steps that lead to the Goat Rock Overlook, with a scenic view of Indian Mountain.

Sunset Trail is a longer, 10 mile strenuous hike across West Mountain and Sugarloaf Mountain.

Arkansas Alligator Farm and Petting Zoo Watch the alligator feeding show, hold a baby alligator or feed it meat from a stick! They also have other cute animals, such as lemurs, emus and raccoons, monkeys, cougars and even wolves! The oldest tourist attraction in Arkansas, it’s been open since 1902!

The Gangster Museum of America During the 20’s, 30’s and 40’s, Hot Springs had a rich gangster life, full of gambling, bootlegging, prostitution and crooked politicians, along with some of the most notorious outlaws of the time!

Magic Springs Theme Park and Waterpark Exciting rides and activities at this Seasonal Arkansas Theme Park!

Pirates Cove Adventure Golf Play miniature golf at this cute golf course!

Mid American Science Museum Over 100 hands-on exhibits highlight this museum!

National Park Aquarium On the Hot Springs Main Strip, they have salt and freshwater tanks, plus reptiles and amphibians.

National Park Duck Tours Take a narrated tour of Downtown Hot Springs, then head into Lake Hamilton for a unique view of the lake!

Hot Springs Haunted Tours Discover the darker side of Hot Springs on a guided, one-hour tour!

The Galaxy Connection Star Wars and Superheroes Museum Your comic book fans will love this tribute to all things Super and Star Wars.

Garvan Woodland Gardens is an incredible botanical garden, home to the beautiful St. Anthony’s Chapel, a japanese garden, train garden, Southern Inspiration garden, fairy garden and a top-pick with kids, the treehouse!

Lake Catherine State Park Camping, fishing, swimming, kayaking and hiking are all favorite pastimes at this beautiful state park with FREE admission. The Falls Branch Trail is a great trail down to the waterfall. Take an hour trail ride with Arkansas Riding Stables.

Spa City even has a huge baseball history, as teams began coming to Hot Springs to enjoy the hot thermal springs in the late 1800’s up through the 1950’s! Check out the Hot Springs Baseball Tour for more information!

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