More Than Just the Springs:

Things to Do in Hot Springs, Arkansas

Influence, power, discretion, and opulence sprinkled with notorious historical lineage contribute to the heat of Hot Springs, Arkansas, located 45 minutes from Little Rock in Garland County. My stay at Hotel Hot Springs made for an easy commute to breakfast starts at two favorite hotspots for morning vittles, The Pancake Shop and The Best Cafe and Bar.

Hot Springs Mountain Tower 

Take your welcome to the city selfie here, 1,256 feet above sea level, with sweeping views to ignite your travel urge. Inhale the panoramic views of the Ouachita Mountains and Hot Springs National Park. Towering above the city’s world-renown bath houses, Hot Springs Mountain Tower provides a bird’s eye view of the city, 216 feet up. Descend one floor below the tower’s observation deck to learn about the region’s geographical history in the museum.

Fordyce Bathhouse, Hot Springs National Park Service

Originally designed by Little Rock architects Mann and Stern, The Fordyce (pronounced “4 dice”) opened March 1, 1915. This now historic landmark and national park is approximately 28,000 square feet and the largest bathhouse on the Row. Exquisite construction and the finest material made this building extravagant and groundbreaking for its time. Today, the building still exudes royal finishes and the finest details that can’t be replicated today. Now, the Hot Springs National Park visitors can transform into a cosmopolitan sense of style from the Edwardian era where hydrotherapy was believed to be paramount in the power of healing the human body.

Superior Bathhouse Brewery

This is the only thermal spring water brewery in the world! Where there is a will, there is a way, and what a way to reimagine a building that stayed vacant for over 30 years? A crazy idea became a reality by reformed tuba player and owner Rose Schweikhart, a former student at The Royal Northern College of Music—one can say this female-owned and operated business can toot its own horn.

Hours of hard work aligned with a phenomenal business plan birthed the city’s first brewery. From modifications and manufacturing a persuasive plan to gather the support of the federal government, the Superior Bathhouse was reborn.

501 Prime

A former vagrant-infested tile store, 501 Prime is now a beacon of hope and celebration of African American culture in what was once deemed the Black Broadway of Hot Springs, Arkansas. Visionary Restaurateur and Executive Chef Matt Fuller is resuscitating Malvern Road, which once served as the epicenter of Black excellence of African American culture. 501 Prime isn’t just one of the hottest spots in the landscape of Hot Springs, it’s also where Fuller is leading the charge in gentrification through the stomachs of travelers and local citizens.

Serving an assortment of meats that are delicious enough to comatose or contribute to a full-bellied sleepiness at first bite, Fuller has plans of expanding his cuisine culture, experience, and movement. Strongly influenced by the teachings of his mother, Fuller empowers change in Hot Springs with empathy and a passion for restoration. In an homage to his mother, Fuller looks at 501 Prime and his businesses as his home where everyone is entitled to personable, inviting dining experiences.

Quapaw Baths & Spa

Established in 1922 and named after a Native American tribe, this facility’s pristine design elements inspire awe. Start your resort experience at Quapaw Baths & Spa. Enjoy relaxing mineral bath pools in a variety of water temperatures and experience what makes Hot Springs phenomenal. The warm waters soothe the skin and relax the mind. From the 1800s until World War II, hydrotherapy was believed to be an excellent tool in combatting rheumatism and arthritis. The therapeutic and healing properties of these warm waters garnered travelers from around the globe seeking cures for numerous diseases.

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