About Hot Springs, Arkansas
Getting to Hot Springs
To get to Hot Springs, Arkansas you can either drive there on your own or fly into Little Rock (LIT). From Little Rock, you need to reserve a rental car and drive about an hour to Hot Springs. We drove the entire time we were in Hot Springs but they also have a few Ubers in the area.
Where to Stay
The Reserve – We enjoy an incredible breakfast at The Reserve on our last day in Hot Springs and toured the grounds. The owners bought the house after they retired and breathed new and quaint life back into a house that needed some TLC. The decor is a mix of victorian and modern but is so warm and welcoming. It’s as if Lily Pulitzer and Downton Abby did a home decor line together!
The Reserve has the main house, a garden house in the back with a private room, and then a separate house, Legacy. The Reserve also has a beautiful outdoor area and would be a stunning place for a wedding or elopement. While we didn’t get to stay here, it’s on our list for next time!
Woodlawn Tudor & Cottage – The babes stayed at this quaint Air BNB close to Oaklawn Racing, Casino & Resort. We had the full house to ourselves as well as a great patio and backyard area. If we had more time we would have spent more time in the backyard area! There was a bench in the backyard that was perfect for reading, journaling, or enjoying a glass of wine in the sunshine. The space sleeps 5 with a room with twin beds, a queen bed in another room, and a pull-out couch. There’s also a full kitchen, dining room, and washer/dryer at your disposal. There’s only one bathroom so make sure you schedule out who showers and gets ready.
Things to Do in Hot Springs, Arkansas
See the Tulips at Garvan Gardens – Our first activity in Hot Springs was exploring Garvan Gardens and seeing the tulips. All the tulips are planted by hand and there are thousands of them. Different colored tulips also bloom at different times. When we were there the white and yellow bloomed and the pink was just about to bloom. The tulips are done by mid-April and the bulbs are dug out and sold once spring is over. The bulbs are in high demand once they’re dug up and there’s even a waiting list! But there’s more than tulips at Garvan Gardens. Anthony Chapel is breathtakingly beautiful with floor-to-ceiling windows that you can walk around and take in. You’ll also find the Japanese Garden, Fairy Garden, and Treehouse. Wear comfortable shoes and get to exploring!
Soak in the Quapaw Baths – People used to come from far and wide to take advantage of the healing powers of the hot springs. The springs were known to help with ailments like polio, arthritis, and much more. So why not take advantage of it while you’re there! We hit the Quapaw Baths as soon as they opened. There are four different baths and you spend 15 minutes in each. They all vary in degrees and you make sure to stay hydrated while enjoying the hot baths. Bath House Row is full of several different bathhouses, pick one, grab your swimsuit, and enjoy!
Shop the Soaps & Bathbombs at Bathhouse Soapery & Caldarium – After the baths, the babes headed across the street to the Bathhouse Soapery. We met the owner Pam and learned all about her business. She also did a demo on their bath bombs that expand in the bath. We got to smell so many of their amazing scents and shop their different bath bombs and soaps.
Tour Fordyce Bathhouse – If you’re interested in more of the history behind the bathhouses, visit Fordyce for a self-guided tour. We requested a tour guide, Ashley, and she was the best guide. She shared all her knowledge with us and answered all our questions. It really is a cool place to learn and see what the bathhouses used to be like, plus it’s free entry.
Take in the Views at Hot Springs Mountain Tower – Another cool thing to do in Hot Springs, Arkansas is to go up the elevator in the Hot Springs Mountain Tower. In the spring and summer, the view is incredible and you get a panoramic view of everything in the Hot Springs. Just don’t go up on a windy day, you’ll feel like you’re going to blow away!
Place a Bet at Oaklawn Racing, Casino & Resort – One of the highlights of the trip to Hot Springs was going to Oaklawn and taking in the horse races and casinos. We channeled our inner Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, dressed to the nines and took in the races. We got a great tour of all the facilities and got to see all the action up close. Then we headed to the rooftop to take in a race from above. We did a group bet for one race and even though we lost, it was thrilling! There are also lots of places to eat and enjoy a cocktail at Oaklawn.
Mine for Crystals at Avant Mining – Want to mine for crystals? Well, you’re in luck in Hot Springs! Avant Mining Fisher Mountain has a rock shop and public + private crystal mining experiences for individuals and groups. While we didn’t do any mining ourselves, we got a tour of where the magic happens and saw a few crystals for ourselves. Wear clothes and shoes you don’t mind getting dirty because the red clay will get on everything and it’s hard to get out.
Where to Eat
The Rooftop at the Waters – The only rooftop bar in Hot Springs is the Waters. You can valet your car out front and take the elevator up or come visit if you’re shopping and exploring the main downtown street. It was here that the babes had their first interactions with The Shenanigans. They’re basically us but they travel all over America for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. You could tell who every member of their group was because they all had matching green shamrock suits. The Waters has great cocktails and appetizers and we stayed almost all night because the vibe was so fun!
Superior Bathhouse Brewery – As a female-run group, the babes love supporting female-run businesses! Superior Bathhouse Brewery is female-owned and operated and welcomes anyone from any walk of life. The brewery had some of the best brews and food in Hot Springs! We had chicken tenders, fries, and a flight of all their beers. The ladies who worked there were so friendly and accommodating, we wish we were eating there right this second!
McClard’s BBQ – You absolutely cannot go to Hot Springs and not get some BBQ at McClard’s! The babes love any kind of barbeque we can get and McClard’s didn’t disappoint. It’s a business that has been in the family for generations and so much love and attention go into their meat. Get a sampler to try a little of everything.
Pops Lounge at Oaklawn – While we were at Oaklawn we popped into Pops for some refreshments. It was such a fun spot! They had live music and dancing and there was a couple out on the floor the entire time showing us how it’s done. The music is a mix of country and old classics that will have you clapping your hands or tapping your feet the entire time. Plus it was a laid-back atmosphere and a good place to stop in if you need a break from the slots or betting on horses.
The Bugler – An upscale dining experience at Oaklawn was The Bugler. You feel like you’re at a five-star restaurant with its delicious cuisine and excellent service! Greta, our Nashville babe, is a mashed potato connoisseur and gave theirs 9/10. They were so creamy and yummy! We all were stuffed by the end of the meal but that didn’t stop us from inhaling the delectable creme brulee. Make a reservation, dress up, and come for an anniversary or date night.
Splash Wine Bar – After the Sugar Ray concert in downtown Hot Springs, everyone went to Splash for a nightcap and cheese board. The front of the bar is more upscale and great for a girl’s night but then head to the back patio for fun and live music.
Copper Penny Pub – In the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day, the Copper Penny Pub was the place to be on parade day. It was right on the main street and only a block away from where the parade was. We didn’t get to enjoy a drink there because they were so slammed and busy but would recommend it if you’re there during a slower time.
Hope you loved this guide on all the best things to do in Hot Springs Arkansas! We enjoyed our time in Hot Springs so much and would go back in a heartbeat. If you happen to go to Hot Springs for St. Patrick’s Day, tell them the babes sent you!
A huge thank you to our partners:
Abercrombie & Fitch, Visit Hot Springs
Looking for more travel inspo? Find our travel guides here!