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The #1 item on your list of things to do when you visit Hot Springs is to plan an entire day at the Historic Arts and Shopping District located in the National Park and covering the 100-600 blocks of Central Avenue.
Start at the Arlington Hotel and valet park your car. You won't need it while you visit. Enjoy a spa treatment and the history of this grand hotel. Get a good nights sleep because you're going to need it. Start out bright and early with breakfast at The Pancake Shop (winner of Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year in 2015). Then stroll up and down both sides of Central Avenue and enjoy browsing through the numerous retail shops, art galleries, gift shops and attractions.
There is something for everyone! From cupcakes to steak, specialty coffees and teas to ice cream, the smells of these six blocks will awaken your sense of smell and appetite! Ladies you must visit The Villa, Madison's Closet, Blu Lily, Snazzies, Yonique, Chez Julie, Red Sunflower and Glitzy Girls boutiques. There are stores for your children, pets and of course for a knife store for the man in your life. All Things Natural and All Things Arkansas are perfect stops for a souvenir from Hot Springs.
The ultimate relaxation experience awaits in downtown Hot Springs. After a full day of spa treatements and shopping, enjoy your choice of restaurants offering everything from fusion cuisine to Argentinian dishes, some of the best Italian dishes and pizza, not to mention steaks and cheeseburgers! Kids love the duck tours, wax museum and Rocket Fizz for sweet treats. Grownups love the deserts and coffees at Fat Bottom Girls Cupcakes and Kollective Coffee & Teas. The Superior Bath House is a popular destination for the craft beer connoissuer. Don't forget a night cap at one of two wineries, craft beer at the Superior Bath House or live music at the famous Ohio Club.
On second thought, you might want to block off two or three days to spend in downtown Hot Springs. One day might not be enough to experience everything there is to see and do!