When you’re living life on the run, you have to make the most of time. So, when Joel’s family tossed out the idea of travelling to Hot Springs Arkansas, it sounded like a great way to enjoy our short Thanksgiving Break as it meant less travel time and, therefore, more play time. In the end, we made the most of our weekend by eating entirely too much, trying some new things, and making fun new memories in one of our country’s older travel destinations (see some of that history here).
As one might deduce from the name, Hot Springs is known for the hot mineral springs that run under the Ouachita Mountain Range. Interestingly, the Hot Springs National Park area is also the first piece of land reserved by the federal government (which happened in 1832). In the 1920s, it was a booming town for middle-upper class citizens who saw the new world springs as a throwback to the baths of the Romans. Today, only 2 of the original 8 bath houses still functions as such (although one has been converted to a truly excellent micro-brewery that uses the mineral water for other purely medicinal purposes (well, that was Joel’s excuse, anyway). If you stop in the Superior Bathhouse Brewery, we recommend trying the Goat Rock Bach or the Superior Pale Ale along with a frito pie (fritos, chili, shredded cheese, onions, and sour cream= stroke-in-a-bowl delicious).
When we weren’t eating here or the Arlington (the focal point of the Hot Springs community), we checked out the bathhouse museum, the Quapaw Bathhouse (we thoroughly enjoyed the hot springs pools and steam cave), and a few of the many hiking trails. Though Arkansas may not have tropical appeal, Hot Springs won us over as a great relaxation destination and beautiful autumnal hiking spot. See for yourself!