Before You Go
Coordinates | 34.5037°N, 93.0552°W
Baton Rouge to Hot Springs | 438.6 miles
Driving Time | 6 hours, 43 minutes
Why Hot Springs?
Known for its naturally heated springs, Hot Springs, Arkansas is the perfect getaway for family fun. For those looking for adventure, there are theme parks, water parks, and family outdoor activities to explore. For those looking to take a step back to relax, there are plenty of spas, tours, and places where you can simply take it all in. It’s a laidback and welcoming city that is waiting for you to arrive.
Where to Eat
Superior Bathhouse Brewery
329 Central Avenue, Hot Springs, AR 71901
Tasty salads and sandwiches abound at this bathhouse turned restaurant. Feast on a delicious meal with your family or make it a date with your special someone. After you dine, head next door to tour the bathhouses for free. ■ superiorbathhouse.com
110 Central Avenue, Hot Springs, AR 71901
Get a little pick me up for your morning before you head out to explore Hot Springs. This coffee shop offers “third wave coffee,” a current movement to produce high quality coffee and think of coffee as artisanal and not just any cup of joe. You can also taste delicious teas and foods that will leave your mouth watering.
210 Central Avenue, Hot Springs, AR 71901
A favorite among the locals, Rolando’s serves delicious Argentinian dishes, and the restaurant also has an outdoor terrace with lights for a charming evening for two. Bring the family throughout the week for fun themed nights including Taco Tuesday, Tilapia Thursday, and Fajita Friday. There’s also live music on special days.
What to Do
Fish, ski, swim, float, sail, rent a houseboat, have a picnic, or just kick back and relax in the Diamond Lakes Region. You can scuba dive or kayak in Lake Ouachita, which has over 100 islands for ideal camping. Take a riverboat cruise on Lake Hamilton or enjoy the pure beauty of the Ouachita Mountains at Lake Catherine. The five Diamond Lakes serve up thousands of acres of sparkling recreational waters and countless miles of shoreline fun. ■ diamondlakes.dina.org
Put on your walking shoes and head to Hot Springs Mountain Tower to get a view of the city. The tower elevator transports you 216 feet to the observation decks where you can take in panoramic views of the Ouachita Mountains, Hot Springs Mountain, and Diamond Lakes area. As you continue to explore, be sure to visit Arlington Hotel. Arlington Hotel is Arkansas’s largest historic hotel and the perfect backdrop for a family photo. ■ hotspringstower.com and arlingtonhotel.com
The largest hands-on science center in Arkansas, Mid-America Science Museum features over 100 engaging, hands-on exhibits that explore the wonders of energy, matter, life, and perception. In May, the center will become home to 18 life-like dinosaur replicas. The life-sized and scale model dinos will be featured in DinoTrek where visitors will be greeted by them as they enter the center and as they navigate through the pathway behind the center. ■ midamericamuseum.org
Hop in your go kart and challenge the family to a race at Hot Springs Family Fun Park. After, check out the bumper cars or take on one of the rope and zipline courses. It’s fun for the entire family, day or night. ■ hotspringsfamilyfunpark.com
Soak in the sun and fun at Magic Springs & Crystal Falls Water and Theme Park. This top Arkansas attraction has coasters for every family member from thrill rides to rides for the kiddos. They even have a special concert series this year featuring singers such as Martina McBride and Lauren Alaina. ■ magicsprings.com
Soar through the air with the greatest of ease on a zipline. Located at Catherine’s Landing, Adventure Works is home to 12 different ziplines and a Sky Bridge with observation deck. See native trees, plants, and wildlife from a bird’s eye view. ■ adventureworks.com
Take yourself back to the days of the 20s, 30s, and 40s when mineral water, gambling, bootlegging, and other extreme pleasures brought visitors from all over the world to Hot Springs, Arkansas at the Gangster Museum of America. Play in the antique casino or enjoy a relaxing tour with a guide who reveals the facts surrounding this fascinating period in American history. ■ tgmoa.com