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“Beautiful Drive” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hot Springs National Park

Hot Springs National Park
101 Reserve Street, Hot Springs, AR 71901
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Ranked #16 of 62 things to do in Hot Springs
Attraction details
Valley View, Texas
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
26 attraction reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
“Beautiful Drive”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2012

Just a nice drive on the winding narrow mountain roads.

Visited July 2012
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141 reviews from our community

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Bossier City
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“There is more to Hot Springs Arkansas than the National Park”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2012

I recently spent a week in Hot Springs Arkansas. The National Park is wonderful. There you can take a hot bath, tour a restored bath house, stroll the tree lined streets and view art. Across the street are many quaint shops and cafe's. Behind the bath houses are some interesting path ways that lead to hidden springs. The path will also lead you up the mountain to the observation tower. You can also drive to the tower, but if you are reasonably fit, you could walk it in about an hour.
Some of the off beat things to do in Hot Springs is to visit Devils Half Acre. If you do a google search you will find out more about this secret quirky hole in the ground. The horse race track is pulsing with life and is a very popular thing to do. They also have a conventional casino there with lots of electronic games. Visit the web site for Oaklawn Race Track for free money give aways, and food specials during the week.
We stayed in Hot Springs Village. It is about 15 miles from Hot Springs. It is a planned retirement community. It is a massive place, probably 30 miles long and 7 miles wide. It is filled with golf courses, fishing lakes, nature paths. It has a few restaurants and there is a Wal-Mart at the entrance. I rented a 2 bedroom, 2 bath condo from RCI for $300 a week. It was a screaming deal, and a absolutely beautiful condo. It was located right on a lake, had a beautiful deck, fire place, hot tub, full kitchen, dining room...this place was great.

As far as places to eat, Cajun Paradise was very tasty and just at the entrance of Hot Springs Village. It is just a little trailer, like a snow cone stand but had soft shell crab, oysters, catfish. Good stuff. A restaurant in Hot Springs was Cajun Boilers. If you go to Resaurant.com you can get a coupon for $25 off your meal. You have to spend $35. The seafood platter was very good at Cajun Boilers. The Blue Money is a very good caribbean restaurant. It is located just off the loop on the outskirts of Hot Springs.
As for day trips, we went to the Bill Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock. I give it 2 stars out of 5. It is beautiful, but repeats a lot of the information in different places. Heifer International has a fantastic building next to the Clinton Library. Very interesting place. They give cows to starving villages around the world. They will give you a guided tour of their eco friendly building. 3.5 stars out of 5.
One day it rained and we needed to stay indoors. We went the the Museum of the Americas. This place is a fantastic place. Lots of hands on things to do, special exhibits (a ship wreck while we were there), a electricty show that was amazing. Well worth the admission. 4 our of 5 stars. If you are a member of another science center, you may get in free. We are a member of Sci-Port in Shreveport and did not have to pay.
Garvin Gardens in Hot Springs is also a beautiful place to visit. It costs about $7 to tour many trails that go by beautiful lake, streams and flower gardens. The church in the woods is amazing. You don't have to pay to see it. It is just a few yards from the entrance to Garven Gardens. 3.5 out of 5 stars.
The real fun started with day trips around Hot Springs. We went to Murfreesboro where you can did for diamonds in a real diamond mine. We didn't find any but people do. 4 our of 5 stars.There is a place to eat in Murfreesboro called Buddy's that has great Chicken Fried Steak.
While in Murfreesboro, be sure and head up to the dam. It is a place called The Narrows. There is a great place to fish for trout at a park at the base of the dam called Riverside Park. 5 ourt of 5 stars. There is a great campground up Dynamite Hill. Just below the campground is a fantastic marina called Swaha. There is a cafe there right on the water and is a great place to view Lake Greeson.
Another place to visit is Camp Albert Pike. 5 out of 5 stars. This is one of my favorite places on the planet. It is a fantastic clear water swimming hole in the Little Missouri River. I don't have room to tell you how to get there but if interested do a google search for Camp Albert Pike. If you drive a dirt road, which is in great shape, you can visit Little Missouri Falls. (5 out of 5 stars)It is a beautiful waterfall about 17 miles from Camp Albert Pike. Another place to visit near Albert Pike is Shady Lake (5 out of 5 stars). This is one of the most tranquil beautiful spots on the earth. If you drive the dirt road from Albert Pike to Shady Lake, you are in for quite an adventure. The road is good, but steep and narrow in spots. You will drive through beautiful forests, dive on mountain ridges, switch back on mountain roads. It is a fun drive. I would allow about an hour to drive the 17 miles or so from Albert Pike to Shady Lake.

As you can tell my highest rated attractions are free nature attractions. If you don't like that kind of activity, you probably would reverse my ratings and give Hot Springs National Park, Oaklawn, Garven Gardens, Clinton Library, higher ratings, and the nature activities lower ratings. I love beautiful nature places and free activities.

Washington State Park, near Hope is a interesting place to visit. The 200 year old restaurant there is fantastic, with plate lunches around $7. I think it is called Williams Tavern and is open 11-7 seven days a week. You can tour the old buildings at Washington State Park. 4 out of 5 stars.

The visitors center along the Cassatot River is beautiful. Walk down the trail and wet a line and you are sure to catch something. Ask about going to view the Skull Crushing area. It is a very rough part of the Cassatot River, very beautiful. It is about a 7 mile drive from the visitors center along a dirt road. 5 out of 5 stars.

I could go on and on. We visited many other corp of engineer parks, trout fishing waters in Hot Springs, camp grounds along the Cassatot River. There are many other lakes and streams to tour. If you are going to drive the dirt roads, I highly suggest you get a Delorme road Atlas. It has all the dirt roads on it. A gps is helpful also. It is reassuring to know where you are when you are way back in the woods and drive for miles and hours without seeing anybody. Keep a full tank of gas, and have the time of your life.

Visited February 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbia, Missouri
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“A lot of interesting history.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2012

The bathhouses were neat. Park staff was very courteous.

Visited July 2012
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Hot Springs, Arkansas, United States
19 reviews 19 reviews
12 attraction reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“It's My Neighbor and Friend”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2012

The Park has from the discovery of the Springs by Native Americans been the reason people come to the Hot Springs area. And much ot it is either right downtown or surrounds the city. As Ken Burns has said National Parks are America's best idea and this park was the beginning.

Visited June 2012
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Benton, AR
Top Contributor
84 reviews 84 reviews
13 attraction reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
“Very quiet and nice”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2012

It is a great place to visit. Quiet, picnic areas, a small stream running through it. Very nice

Visited September 2011
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