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Thinking about an Anniversary Trip

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Thinking about an Anniversary Trip

Was thinking about taking a short (in terms of driving distance) for our anniversary. We live in TX.

What all is there to do in Hot Springs? Would you say it would be a pretty affordable trip (I know that is a very relative and broad question, but I guess Im just looking for your general experiences). Thank you

little rock arkansas
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1. Re: Thinking about an Anniversary Trip

My family always likes Hot Springs. We ski on the lakes, go to a fine kids' science museum, eat at nice restaurants, take short hikes in the national park and occasionally go to the horse race track. Whether there is enough in Hot Springs to hold the interest of a young married couple on a special first anniversary trip, I can't say for sure. There are some special things about it - The famous bath house row, a series of historic bath houses in a beautiful park setting, offers a great newly restored and opened bath house www.quapawbaths.com, another historic operating bath house and one turned into a museum www.nps.gov/hosp/planyourvisit/fordyce.htm. The other bath houses are regrettably closed. The shopping street across from bath house row offers several real interesting art galleries www.hotsprings.org/things_to_do/the_arts, and a few other viable businesses. However some of the street is owned by a family who has failed to restore the beautiful historic properties and rented to t-shirt shops and similar vendors. There are some great restaurants in Hot Springs, and the race track, open for live racing for a few more weeks, is top rate www.oaklawn.com There are several lakes, ranging from busy developed lakes where skiing is popular to large undeveloped natural lakes, where some great fishing occurs. Hot Springs is extremely affordable, with a large range of well priced lodging. I noticed that you have been active in the Carribean forums and after such travel, I really can't say for sure Hot Springs is what you search for. One idea might be to combine a Hot Springs visit with several other fun Arkansas locations. For example, you might drive up through historic Old Washington www.historicwashingtonstatepark.com, then to DeGray Lake www.degray.com, then to Hot Springs www.hotsprings.org , then head for the mountains such as Mt Magazine www.mountmagazinestatepark.com or Petit Jean www.petitjeanstatepark.com , and end up at the Switzerland of the Ozarks - Eureka Springs www.eurekasprings.org then make your way back to Texas! The Arkansas land, particularly west and north of Hot Springs is strikingly beautiful.

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2. Re: Thinking about an Anniversary Trip

Thank for all that info. Yeah, we went to Jamaica for our Honeymoon, which was gorgeous. It was a gift though!!!! We don't have a whole lot to just blow in the wind. We really want a time to relax more than anything else. Not anything heavy on schedule, just to be able to pick and do things as we go, relax and unwind with each other. I haven't heard a whole lot about Hot Springs, but just after the little reading I have it kind of looked peaceful.

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3. Re: Thinking about an Anniversary Trip

BTW, what is Bath House Row?

little rock arkansas
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4. Re: Thinking about an Anniversary Trip

Hot Springs can be a busy place. If you are looking for a laid-back and peaceful vacation town, you might take a good look at Eureka Springs. The surrounding mountains are gorgeous, shopping is interesting, and the cafes are excellent.

Planned right, it can be very affordable. It's more driving though.

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little rock arkansas
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5. Re: Thinking about an Anniversary Trip

Once Hot Springs' main attraction was drawing people who bathed in the hot spring water in public bath houses to improve their health. Bath House Row is a row of the remaining very beautiful historic buildings which once were all bath houses. The popularity of public bath houses faded over the years and most of the bath houses closed. One has recently been reopened. It is all in a park setting with the hot waters flowing down a waterfall and many big trees around. The main historic shopping atreet of the town is across the street from Bath House Row.

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6. Re: Thinking about an Anniversary Trip

Well driving to either one is fine (Only 5-6 hr drive from Dallas).

I just know my wife will like to do the SPA type stuff, shop, maybe walk around, eat, etc. So maybe Ill just look into both and see.

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7. Re: Thinking about an Anniversary Trip

For a peaceful and relaxing trip, I'll throw my vote in for Eureka Springs. Less populated, prettier wooded surroundings and very laid back. Plenty of places to eat, shop, and stay. Quite a few different things to do, when and if you get ready for them.

There are several spa choices in E.S.:

At The Crescent Hotel - www.newmoonspa.com

At The Palace Bath House - www.palacebathhouse.com/bh.html

www.gryphonsroost.com

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8. Re: Thinking about an Anniversary Trip

We live in Tulsa. I love time spent in Hot Springs, even in comparison to Eureka Springs. My husband and I take "time out" there, and my friend and I do spa weekends. I love this historic town, and there is always something new to investigate. BUT I do prefer my services at some of the newer, trendy establishments. The best weekend package you could pay for is with proprietor Faith Kramer at Hilltop Manor Bed & Breakfast (not cheap but not over the top, exquisite surroundings and pleasant interaction) www.hilltopmanorhotsprings.com

The best hamburger can be found at BubbaLu's Bodacious Burgers, reasonably priced. Fabulous steak dinner at The Porterhouse, or trendy Central Park Fusion www.centralparkfusion.com. An event can always be found, check out the updates and newsletters available at www.hotsprings.org You can make it as inexpensive as you like, or step it up when you can. For your wife, check out Chrysalis Day Spa www.chrysalisdayspa.com; pay for a day with her indulgence in mind and you will be pleased by her happiness.

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9. Re: Thinking about an Anniversary Trip

We just got back from an Arkansas spring break trip. We stayed at the Panther Valley Ranch outside of town. Most of the cabins are duplexes, fully furnished. The setting is beautiful; you can ride horses (for an extra fee), fish on the lake across the road or just relax on a dock or on your cabin porch. The cabins have tv and dvd players.

We ate lunch one day at the Brickhouse Grill and it was really good; six adults ate for $60. We had dinner one night at Belle Arti - Italian food, of course. A very eclectic menu and everything was delicious. We went in jean but quite a few people were dressed up. Both of these places are on Central in the historic district.

We did the thermal bath at Buckstaff Bath House. It's cheap - $22 for the works ($55 if you want a massage) but very clinical and women go to one side and men to the other. Since you are on a honeymoon, maybe one of the other spas would be more romantic. Quapaw Bath House is right on Bath House Row and is in one of the old restored spas. There are several others along Central but not in the old bath houses.

If you wait awhile to go, there is an amusement park called Magic Springs. It doesn't open til mid-April but it looked like a lot of fun.

Lake Hamilton is right there as well and you can rent pretty much any water sport equipment you want to tool around on the lake.

Have fun whatever you decide to do!

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little rock arkansas
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10. Re: Thinking about an Anniversary Trip

Thanks for the trip report. These reports help the regulars on this site answer questions and give recommendations. I'm hoping others do the same. Glad you liked Hot Springs.