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Is Hot Springs, AR worth a visit?

momeason

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Hi,
I am considering a 2 day stop at Hot Springs National Park. Has anyone been there and did you enjoy it? Highlights?
 

Kauai Kid

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Hi,
I am considering a 2 day stop at Hot Springs National Park. Has anyone been there and did you enjoy it? Highlights?

Two days max. is about right. Watching the leaves change color in the fall is beautiful.

Been years ago so memory is poor.

Sterling
 

riverdees05

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I been thinking of going over there for a visit, too. I notice there are several timeshares in the area. So is there not enough to do in the area for a 7 day stay?
 

momeason

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I read some reviews of the timeshares and several said there was not a lot to do for 7 days. Relaxing in a pretty spot is nice sometimes. We have a couple of extra days between timeshare reservations and Hot Springs is 4 hours from Branson where we will be going next. The national park looks interesting and I would love to try the mineral baths.
 

DeniseM

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I have been to Arkansas 3 times, including the Hot Springs area, and I don't think of Arkansas as being a place with a lot of things to do. Some of the scenry is beautiful, you can fish and relax, and that's about it.
 

zcrider

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We went for a weekend of camping at the KOA in Hot Springs last year. We all had a real good time, but I agree a weekend was the right amount of time, a full week would have been a bit boring for us. We enjoyed a horse drawn carriage ride around the down town area, visiting the hot springs and bath house area, and the children's museum. The camp ground had good activities for the kids and they loved the cabin we rented. There were good inexpensive restraunts we found, but I can't really remember where they were now to tell you. I think you will enjoy a 2-3 day stay there, go for it.
 

fishingguy

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I'd say Arkansas is more geared towards outdoor types. Fishing, boating, water skiing, swimming, hiking, driving through the Ozarks, golf, horseback riding, etc. is great. Of course you can also go to some of the old 'health' spas in that area, and just vegitate.

Bear in mind that from mid-June to mid-Sept can get unbearable in central-AR. High humidity, blazing sun, and high temps are typical.
 

momeason

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We are thinking about late April. We do like hiking and pretty scenery and I want to try the mineral baths. We have a week in Branson that starts on Thursday, April 26. i was thinking about 1-2 nights in Hot Springs before Branson
 

bogey21

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Hot Springs is pretty active when Oaklawn Park (horse racing) is operating between aprx Jan 15 and Apr 15. In additon Oaklawn now has slots and electronic table games all year long in a casino type environment.

George
 

DeniseM

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I did not visit any of the bath houses - but they look more quaint and historical, than modern and spa-like.
 

ouaifer

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I have been to Arkansas 3 times, including the Hot Springs area, and I don't think of Arkansas as being a place with a lot of things to do. Some of the scenry is beautiful, you can fish and relax, and that's about it.

Say whaaat??? As a New England Yankee transplant, we lived in Arkansas for 3+ years...and there are tons of things to do and see there and experience. If you enjoy the outdoors....nature, hiking, spelunking, boating...on and on...abound. Lake Ouachita is not to be missed. Hot Springs is an "old" town and the bath houses have been redone as National Historical Sites. Explore and enjoy! And, the folks are the best! and the friendliest. Don't forget to eat the local fried catfish and southern cornbread and local prawns.
 

PStreet1

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Bill Clinton's Presidential library is in the area. We haven't been, but I've never been to a Presidential library that wasn't a very worthwhile experience.
 

riverdees05

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Any recommendations for where to stay for a couple of nights? We want to go to the Clinton Library, we have been to 5 already and want to go to all of them, on our bucket list.
 

DeniseM

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Say whaaat??? As a New England Yankee transplant, we lived in Arkansas for 3+ years...and there are tons of things to do and see there and experience. If you enjoy the outdoors....nature, hiking, spelunking, boating...on and on...abound.

I agree - the outdoor activities are nice, but overall, we found Arkansas to be very quiet. We were there visiting family, and after the first trip, we ran out of things to do. For me, it just doesn't offer enough variety for a vacation destination. YMMV ;)
 

glypnirsgirl

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Any recommendations for where to stay for a couple of nights? We want to go to the Clinton Library, we have been to 5 already and want to go to all of them, on our bucket list.

I love staying at the Arlington Hotel. If you decide to go, go ahead and book the spa services that you want, in advance. They book up quickly.

One of the things that I like about the Arlington is that the hot tub there is filled with mineral water. It's great --- but I love old historic hotels.

elaine
 

baglady

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I love Hot Springs

We are in Louisiana, an easy drive away. Wonderful motorcycle riding (we tow our Harley), the lakes are great, I love the Bath houses (Arlington is my favorite), tons of antiques, flee markets etc. Walking around downtown is fun, as is climbing the mountains and the tower. We went to Petti Jean mountain one day, and it was a great experience. I never have a hard time finding things to do.
We stay at the Escapes timeshare in Hot Springs Village and love it! There is a great resturant on Lake Balboa there, sit out on the deck and enjoy! There are old and new hotels in downtown and out on lake Hamilton (You can rent boats there and the weekends are FUN). I have probably stayed at most places in town. I can also tell you about most resturants.
We love it there, and go often.:cheer:
 

tashamen

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Worth about two days IMO. The bath houses are great - operated by the National Park service, and so the services, including massages are dirt cheap. (However the food is uniformly awful pretty much everywhere in town.)
 

bogey21

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(However the food is uniformly awful pretty much everywhere in town.)

Interesting. For years I spent most of January - April in Hot Springs for the horse racing at Oaklawn Park. Maybe something has changed in the last couple of years but my experience was that there were many outstanding restaurants in Hot Springs.

George
 

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I love Hot Springs, we have been many many times. Sometimes we go just to get away from it all at home. We are in LA so it is about a 5 hour drive. Summertime my teenagers love magic springs and crystal falls. I love the historic feel, and the arlington is also my favortie. Petite Jean mountain is nice. we hike the hills and go up the observation tower, tour the old bathouses, etc. We fish, they ride horses, (i dont like horses), go to the magic show, etc. Just relax and take a break from normal everyday resposibilities of being home!

We have reservations in February to stay at south shore lake
 
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mshatty

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New destination to visit at Bentonville is the just recently opened Crystal Bridges American Art Museum. It contains a world renown American art collection and was built by one of Sam Walton's daughters, Alice.

http://crystalbridges.org/About
 

Suzy

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I went to Hot Springs during the horse racing season two years ago. I hadn't been in about 40 years. I loved it!

We were there for a long weekend, but I could have stayed longer. We went to Oaklawn Park two days and also visited the Historic downtown area. The Fordyce Bathhouse was restored extensively to look like it was in 1915, complete with beautiful stained glass ceilings, marble walls and statues. It is the park visitor center where you can tour the building, watch movies, take a bath, etc.

We also enjoyed a play at the Pocket Theatre one evening. There is a winery in the area. The Gangster Museum of America is there, but we didn't visit it as we were out of time.

The National Park has Duck Tours on Lake Hamilton.

On our way back we visited the Clinton Library and Museum in Little Rock, ate at his restaurant - Forty Two, and saw the special exhibit of Madeleine Albright's pins on display.
 

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I like it for the Bath houses, massage services, and history. I love the taste of the Hot Spring Water available at fountains on the street (one near visitor center) 2nd time there I found a Massage school near by and got a student massage which was the Best I had had in a long time.

For me it is the mineral water and massage (baths in the mineral water at the main National Park Bath House)

The town is not much other than the history - but it was relaxing

Did not stay in timeshare. Cheap hotel and it looked it inside and out. There are nicer places but I wanted to use the money I had budgeted for the bath houses instead. A timeshare for a week even if you stay less time would be nicer.
 
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