Things to Do in Hot Springs, Arkansas
- Diamond Lakes Region-
With five shimmering Lakes — Catherine, DeGray, Greeson, Hamilton and Ouachita — and three pristine rivers, — Caddo, Little Missouri and Quachita — to choose from, there are endless possibilities for the perfect getaway. Enjoy fishing, hiking, biking, boating, floating or kayaking in the Diamond Lakes Region.
- Thermal Spa-
The natural, thermal spring waters that flowed into the bathhouse were believed to have healing properties which is why presidents, outlaws, athletes and other celebrities visited The Spa City. Book an appointment on the world-famous Bathhouse Row, two of our favorites are the Bathhouse Soapery and the Buckstaff Bathhouse.
- Art Galleries-
Hot Springs has been ranked among the 100 Best Art Towns in America. Travelers can take in art and culture in a number of different ways, a perfect spot for the artist or art enthusiast.
- Garvan Woodland Gardens –
The 210-acre botanical garden located on Lake Hamilton features a Japanese garden that is ranked among the top 10 in the nation. Don’t miss the 1.5-acre Evans Children’s Adventure Garden, the bird sanctuary, which is home to more than 100 species of birds, and the Anthony Chapel, a striking wood-and-glass structure designed by partners of internationally renowned architect E. Fay Jones. Check out the gardens website here: “Garvan Woodland Gardens”
- Amusement Park –
The Magic Springs amusement park is the states only water and theme park with everything from wave pools to high-flying roller coasters! With nine thrill rides, countless attractions for kids and an entire water park, this can be a perfect place to spend a day.
- Oaklawn Racing and Gaming –
From mid January through mid April, horse racing is one of the hottest attractions in Hot Springs. Open year-round, Oaklawn Racing and Gaming offers Vegas-style gambling for everyone to try their luck.
- Caves and Caverns –
Visitors who venture beneath the surface will find subterranean lakes and streams, mazes, crystals, fossils, cave creatures such as blind trout and salamanders and an array of formations with names like flowstone, helictite, stalagmite and stalactite. Check out this website for more information about these underground attractions: “Arkansas Caves and Caverns”
What To Pack
When visiting Hot Springs you’ll need a variety of items. If you plan on exploring the national park, hiking shoes are a must. Choose fast drying clothing as there are puddles, rivers and streams for you to splash through. Bug repellent is also a great idea anytime you’re spending the day outdoors. Even in the summer, the temperature drops at night and you’ll be comfortable if you bring a light jacket or wrap. For additional packing hacks and tips, check out our Sundance Vacations Packing Tips video.
The easiest way to see everything in Hot Springs downtown area is the system of public transportation. Park free at the beautiful transportation plaza on Broadway, two blocks south of Bathhouse Row and walk to virtually any destination in the Historic Downtown district. All bus routes begin and end their daily runs at the Transportation Plaza in downtown Hot Springs. In addition to public transportation, you can book a shuttle to get you to your destination.
- January- Film Festival, Arkansas Shorts
- February- Chocolate Festival
- March- Worlds Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade
- May- $86,000 Hot Springs Fishing Challenge
- June- Hot Spring Music Festival
- August- Forrest Wood Cup Fishing Championship
- September- Annual Jazz Festival, Garland County Fair
- October- A Round About Artist Studio Tour, Hot Springs Arts and Crafts Fair at Garland County Fairgrounds
- December- Christmas Musical Extravaganza
|Transportation to Destination||Amount of Time|
|Drive to Little Rock||56 Minutes|
|Drive to Crater of Diamonds State Park||1 Hour 30 Minutes|
|Drive to Ouachita National Forest||1 Hour 30 Minutes|
Hot Springs, ArkansasCheck out our destinations in Hot Springs, Arkansas!
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- Hot Springs is the only city in the US located in a National Park!
- Birth place of US President Bill Clinton and actor Billy Bob Thornton.
- The hot spring water has been popularly believed for centuries to possess medicinal properties and was a subject of legend among several Native American tribes.
- Bathhouse Row, consisting of eight turn-of-the century historic buildings, lies within Hot Springs National Park and is managed by the National Park Service.
- The “sister city” of Hot Springs is Hanamaki, Japan (established in 1993)