Photo Courtesy of Zack Frank/Shutterstock.comArlington HotelHot Springs National Park

Families will love:

  • Plenty of outdoor recreation
  • Variety of historical attractions
  • Dining options for all appetites

Hot Springs, Arkansas, offers families a vacation unlike any other city; after all, how many cities can say they ARE a national park? People have been drawn to the area for more than 300 years to take advantage of the hot springs' therapeutic properties. In 1803, the United States acquired the area as part of the Louisiana Purchase. Not longer after, in 1832, the ... more
Hot Springs, Arkansas, offers families a vacation unlike any other city; after all, how many cities can say they ARE a national park? People have been drawn to the area for more than 300 years to take advantage of the hot springs' therapeutic properties. In 1803, the United States acquired the area as part of the Louisiana Purchase. Not longer after, in 1832, the federal government acted on the need to preserve the springs, declaring them a U.S. reservation. This actually makes Hot Springs, not Yellowstone, the oldest national park. By the 1920s, Hot Springs was extremely popular with visitors, and bathhouses popped up along Central Avenue, also known as Bathhouse Row. Although the bathhouse phenomena would decline by the 1950s, visitors still flock to Hot Springs for family vacations.

In addition to the national park, visitors to Hot Springs also are captivated by the area's gangster history -- hey, they also wanted to take advantage of the springs' healing waters -- as well as the city's history as the birthplace of spring baseball. There are a number of attractions highlighting the city's gangster history, and baseball fans can follow the Historic Baseball Trail to see where baseball history took place.

Of course, no family vacation is complete without quality restaurants and accommodations, and Hot Springs delivers in both categories. In fact, there is so much going on in this busy town, it is highly recommended that you plan to spend a minimum of one week here; otherwise, you won't do this area justice.

Written by Karon Warren less

Hot Springs, AR Planning & Tips
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