Hot Springs National Park

Hot Springs was the first national park in the nation. It is more of a town you visit than a proper park. The focus here is on the historic bathhouses. The ancient thermal springs have been drawing people here for hundreds of years to soak in and drink the water. It is believed by many to have healing properties for a wide variety of ailments and the locals will tell you to drink from specific springs for specific benefits. In addition to the hot springs there are some nice mountain views and forested hikes. It was the most unique park we visited.

Thermal Fountain

The water comes out of the ground here at 147 degrees so it is too hot to soak in outdoors. We ended up purchasing packages at the historic Buckstaff bathhouse so we could experience the thermal springs. This was basically a spa experience. We soaked in the tubs, we steamed, and spritzed, we exfoliated, we drank cold spring water, and we got massages. By the end of this my skin had never felt so soft and I was fully relaxed. I ended up coughing up the dough to buy fancy bath products from the store across the street and when I run out I intend to order more direct from there. We followed up by going to Superior Bathhouse brewery next door where we had an awesome lunch and enjoyed a humongous flight of unique craft beers.

Quapaw Bathhouse

Bald Eagle on Sunset trail

Besides the bathhouses there are some hiking trails in the park. We went on three different hikes while we were there and got some nice mountain views and saw some wildlife, including a bald eagle. Overall, this is definitely the park to go to for a nice in-town vacation with a bunch of relaxation and very little strenuous exercise.

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