Savor a soak in the healing waters of this resort town with a past full of colorful characters
Hot Springs, Arkansas, located just a few miles southwest of Little Rock, pulses with history, entertainment and fun. You'll always find things to do in this resort town, whether you're staying for just a few days or a few months. Hot Springs will keep you entertained.
Hot Springs is the hometown of President Bill Clinton, but before his presidency, Hot Springs was recognized by the federal government for the Hot Springs that naturally flow there. In 1832, Congress designated Hot Springs as a federally protected area, the first region in history to receive this classification. Later, it became the first national park, (Yellowstone earned this distinction 40 years later).
The 47 naturally flowing thermal springs that bubble out of the southwest slope of the Hot Springs Mountain have for centuries attracted visitors who have sought healing and recreation in the warm waters.
Over the centuries, bathhouses and resorts have sprung up around the springs. Politicians and gangsters alike have visited and relaxed in the warm, soothing waters of the springs, and today you too can enjoy their comfort. Plan a visit to Bathhouse Row, where you'll find operational bathhouses as well as a few original bathhouses built in the early 1900s open for display.
Al Capone, Lucky Luciano and a man known as the "English Godfather," Owney Madden, who is said to have put the organized in organized crime, called Hot Springs home. The area grew into a Las Vegas-style gambling mecca, years before Las Vegas was built. Word spread that the remoteness of the area and the lack of police presence made Hot Springs the perfect hideout for those running from the law. Of course that was a long time ago, but today you can relive those days, without all the murder and mayhem, at the Hot Springs Gangster Museum. Here, you'll learn all about the bad guys and see how they were apprehended.
Go for a Ride
If you have the kids along for the ride, you'll definitely want to plan a day to visit the Magic Springs Theme Park and Crystal Falls Water Park. This is an amusement park that has it all, including water slides, roller coasters, rides for the little ones and places for the parents and grandparents to sit and watch the kids.
For More Information:
Visit Hot Springs
Arkansas Dept. of Parks and Tourism