I previously posted my itinerary and got some great feedback so I thought I'd share how our trip went.
Friday, October 7 - we checked into the Embassy Suites around 3:30. We loved staying here. We walked downtown during the daylight and called the shuttle to pick us up if it was dark. It's like a free taxi which was awesome. The free breakfasts and nearly-free manager's reception each day were great.
After getting setup in our hotel room, we headed for some mini-golf at Pirate Cove. We loved playing there. Beautiful surroundings and course.
We headed for dinner at Rolando's which was a fantastic setting. We set out on the patio and it was nice w/the lights and the guitar player. My husband and I liked our margarita and mojito. Our kids didn't enjoy their food but kids sometimes have trouble when things are different than their norm. One downside to sitting outside: lots of smokers.
We then met for the haunted tour which was interesting and we liked hearing about some of the history of Hot Springs along w/the haunted stories.
Saturday, October 8 - we drove to the tower for the panoramic view of Hot Springs. It was gorgeous. We'd love to hike around this area if we returned.
After that, we drove to Garvan Gardens. We were allowed in for free because a plant sale was taking place. It was probably good that it was free because our kids were ready to go in less than 2 hours. It was beautiful and I thought it was fantastic. The adventure area for kids was a nice surprise and fun to explore.
We had lunch at Cafe 1217 and really highly recommend it. What a fantastic place. My husband and daughter had the rice dish as a side with their orders and that stuff is DELICIOUS. Also delicious? The carrot cake and mint lemonade. Highly recommend eating there.
After an afternoon break, we walked to the Maxwell Blade theater to get our tickets for the 8:00 show. After getting our tickets, we had dinner nearby at Lee's Grill (I think that's what it's called). Service was s-l-o-w. Maxwell Blade magic show was really good and my son was called on stage to participate. That'll be something he'll always remember.
Sunday, October 9 - We drove to the Mid-America Science Museum. We visit a lot of science museums and this was was really well done. We spent a couple of hours exploring, attended the tesla coil demonstration, rode the virtual ride simulator, walked on the trail outside.
My daughter and I spent the afternoon walking around downtown, including lunch at The Poet's Loft and dessert at Granny's Kitchen. Evening was spent swimming at the hotel pool (we had it to ourselves since most guests had checked out for the weekend) and dinner from room service.
Monday, October 10 - my daughter and I walked to Buckstaff Bathhouse for mineral baths. We weren't sure what to expect but enjoyed our time. Highly recommend going early or on a weekday. There was an hour wait on Sunday when I called to check. We didn't have a wait on Monday.
After checking out of our hotel Monday morning, we headed to Central one last time to get some water from the public dispensing station. We got 2 empty jugs for $2 and filled them at the station (amazing how hot the water is, definitely lives up to the city's name).
We really, really enjoyed our time in Hot Springs. If I was giving advice to somebody traveling there for the first time, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Embassy Suites, Cafe 1217, Rolando's (for atmosphere), Maxwell Blade magic show, Buckstaff Baths, Pirate Cove mini-golf and Garvan Gardens. Perfect destination for a long weekend.