Arkansas: The Natural State

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Hot Springs, I am in you.  I am here for your national parks, mountains, natural hot springs and healing waters, iconic bath houses, historic districts and so much more!

History:

Past- 3,000 years ago, between the years 1,000- 1,800 A.D. the Caddo Indian tribe migrated to Hot Springs. 200 years ago, in the 1800’s, the Quapaw Indians settled in Hot Springs. The hot springs were regarded as life waters amongst the Native American’s. Native American legends tell us that they communed with the Great Spirit, and the hot springs were sacred, healing grounds.

Present- In the 1800’s-1900’s grand bath houses were being constructed to offer visitors and locals a place to fully immerse in history and culture. Interestingly the geothermal heat coming up from the earth heats the water at the surface to 143 degrees! Today, there are 8  bathhouses in pristine condition showcased on the esteemed Bathhouse Row.

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Hot Springs National Park:

Hot Springs National Park offers for the best views of the Ouachita Mountains. Since I was adventuring, I knew I had to visit the Hot Springs Mountain Park and Hot Springs Mountain Tower. We were not sure what to expect on the drive up, but it was an exciting experience. We drove up the winding path around the mountain leading to the Hot Springs National Park Mountain Tower. Enjoy the drive up the mountain because they do have some visible wildlife.

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The Hot Springs Mountain Tower-

Inside the Mountain Tower on the floor level there is a gift shop on the first floor with everything from crystals and handmade soaps to memorabilia about the Bathhouses. The gift shop beneath the mountain tower is a nice touch not only offering souvenirs and such, but much valuable information on the Hot Springs Mountains and the history of the Bathhouse Row. Hot Springs is known as The American Spa and has the most well-preserved and operational bath houses in the nation.

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The Hot Springs Mountain tower is the way to go for a panoramic and scenic view of Hot Springs and surrounding areas. The mountain tower offers a birds-eye view of the lush Ouachita mountains. Hot Springs National Park, formally called Hot Springs Reservation, is a Federal Reserve. Hot Springs National Park is celebrated as the oldest and smallest national park.

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The mountain tower affords scenic views of all of the surrounding major mountains, including sights of the city of Hot Springs. The Hot Springs National Park is home to 40 springs and is the oldest national park in the nation! There were many mountains to view that collectively makes up the Hot Springs Mountain region. All of the massive mountains were tremendous and breathtaking.

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After studying the history of Hot Springs National Park and Bathhouse row we took the glass elevator going skyward. I was surprised that the elevator was glass, and on the way up you could see beautiful surroundings, but admittedly I was a tad bit nervous, too. The second floor was where we stopped and I spent some time here reading up on the history of all of the iconic Bathhouses, the medicinal healing waters of the Hot Springs, the Quapaw Native American Indian tribe, and the mountainous regions in Arkansas. There was a good deal of information and I appreciated learning many things I didn’t formerly know.

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When we were ready we went up to the third floor via the stairs and it opens up unto the verandah. The views were quite lovely. There were many visible mountains and peaks and you can witness. I knew while I was on this trip I wanted to see plenty of mountains and I did get to see the Ouachita, Ozark, Indian, North, West, Sugarloaf, and Music mountains. You can see creeks and forests and even the city.

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You can pretty well see the city side of Hot Springs on one side and the nature side of The Natural State from the other side. I was really overjoyed with our visit and the aerial views Ouachita and Hot Springs Mountain. all while 1200 +ft above the ground!

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Downtown Hot Springs:

Historic Bathhouse Row-

Bathhouse Row is a lively and bustling district in the historic downtown Hot Springs. The bath houses are lined up and located off Central Avenue. The grand architecture of the bathhouses is tremendous.The National Park Service ensures the integrity and the history of the Bathhouse Row lives on.

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Bathhouse Row is listed as a National Historic Landmark.
There are eight bath houses off Central Avenue. The area is lovely and consists of many antique stores, boutique shops, and restaurants. Down the way is also the grand Promenade walkway. I loved the Quapaw, Ozark, Lamar, Buckstaff, and Fordyce Bathhouses. The architecture and the history of the famous Bathhouse Row is to be preserved and appreciated.

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Grand Promenade-

The Grand Promenade is listed as a National Historic Landmark site. The Grand Promenade offers a scenic walkway with hot springs, gardens and trails. Here you can visit and take in all of the views of Arlington Lawn, The Hot Springs Cascades, Hot Springs Historic District Bathhouse Row, and Hot Springs Mountain. It’s a beautiful stroll down the brick walkway to steal a few moments of complete serenity.

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Visitors seeking the medicinal and therapeutic benefits of the healing waters have been visiting Hot springs for 200+ years! Hot Springs is known as The American Spa and has the most well-preserved and operational bath houses in the nation. In the renowned Hot Springs Central Avenue you can walk the strip of the downtown area to The Promenade and Bathhouse Row; it’s all so very vintage– I love!

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Hot Springs, AR has everything from revered Hot Springs at the famed Bathhouse row to the picturesque Ouachita Mountains. You can take a bath in the mineral water to soak up the natural healing properties. In Hot Springs you can visit national parks, state parks, iconic landmarks, historical districts, trails, rivers and so much more!

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With All My Love,

The Vintage Gypsy

“She was free in her wildness. She was a wanderess, a drop of free water.

She belonged to no man and to no city.” -Roman Payne

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