During the middle of November a few of my friends and I went to visit Hot Springs National Park, which is located in the middle-of-nowhere Arkansas. Seeing all the National Parks in the United States is one of the items on my bucket list. (I’ve seen 4/59, Woo!) I’m not going to lie, after seeing national parks such as the Grand Canyon and Yosemite, I thought Hot Springs National Park was going to be a little underwhelming. But boy, was I wrong! This little national park is a gem. You have everything from hiking and waterfalls to spa retreats, shopping and a gangster museum. The park is smack dab in the middle of a historic downtown famous for its bathhouses and its illegal gambling during the 1930s. Al Capone, Frank Costello, and other infamous mobsters were known to visit this national park. Need more incentive to visit? For the outdoors lover, Lake Hamilton and the Ouachita National Forest are close by. There are many art museums and plenty of nightlife entertainment. So, what should you see? All of it.
Buckstaff Baths is just one of the many bathhouses on Bathhouse Row.
Quapaw Baths is the bathhouse we chose to visit. While I am not a huge fan of baths, it was a rather enjoyable experience. They have affordable individual aromatherapy baths that were quite relaxing. Visit their website for more information.
A little sneak peek of downtown. The Ohio Club is a definite must see when visiting Hot Springs. It was one of the main “hangouts” for Al Capone and other mobsters. The bar is the original bar from the late 1800s. The staff was friendly and told us many stories about the bar and the city.
Of course we had to take advantage of the hot spring water spouts all over town.
Another shot of downtown. (Left) Hot Springs Mountain Tower (Right)
An overlook of the city of Hot Springs.
It rained or was foggy during our entire trip. Many would be bummed, but we loved the views on our hikes. It also gave us an awesome effect for our photos.
For more information about Hot Springs National Park visit their website.