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Bucket List Dreams- Hot Springs

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 bathhouses, 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 bathhouses 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 eight 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 hill 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 bathhouses 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 are as the oldest and smallest national park.

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The mountain tower affords scenic views of all of the surrounding significant 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, you can view. 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 bathhouses off Central Avenue. The area is lovely and consists of many antique stores, boutique shops, and restaurants. Down the way is 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 bathhouses 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

Categories
Bucketlist Musings Photography Travel Uncategorized

Bucket List Dreams- Eureka Springs

Eureka Springs, AR

The beautiful Victorian village of Eureka Springs is situated in the heart of the Ozark mountains. Eureka Springs is known for its picturesque Victorian houses and Hot Springs. Eureka sits high atop the mountains and many of the stunning and unique architecture of buildings and homes sit hillside. I imagine a time here when women wore Victorian gowns, donned parasols and had afternoon tea and tea cakes. It’s like something within a great novel coming alive.

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Downtown:

Downtown Eureka Springs and Basin Spring Park is the heart of the city. I had so much fun embracing all of the eccentricities and oddities. Eureka Springs is magical, enchanting, colorful and quirky. I also secretly adored all of the kitschy garden gnomes displayed throughout the city.

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Basin Spring Park is the bright and lively heart of Eureka Springs. Basin Spring Park is located in downtown Eureka and is a colorful and magical place to visit. Basin Spring Park showcases talented street performers and musicians playing live music. You can even grab some sweet and savory treats. We walked up the cliff area and to the Basin Spring.

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Hot Springs:

Eureka Springs has several hot springs that have been restored. Native American legend tells us that the natural spring water from the mountains contains healing properties. Many people still visit hot springs to soak and to sip the water for therapeutic benefits. These natural healing springs are revered by people from all walks of life. The healing mineral waters and natural springs are believed to be flowing life waters. There are many unique hot springs gracing Eureka Springs.

The famed springs in Eureka are Basin Spring Park, Magnetic Springs, Crescent Springs, and Grotto Spring.

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Top Places to visit:

Eureka Springs has many fantastic landmarks and points of interest. You’ll want to visit as many of these places as you can!

Thorncrown Chapel is a gorgeous glass chapel in the middle of the woods. Thorncrown Chapel has a tremendous architectural design that is truly inspiring. The drive to get to the Thorncrown chapel is very woodsy and beautiful. The Thorncrown Chapel is a glass and wooden structure situated in the woodlands. The Thorncrown Chapel has 425 stunning glass windows and 6,000 sq. ft. of glass. The ceiling has a cross-over stitching design and it’s arched so beautifully. This chapel is inspiring and a good place for reflection on life and purpose.

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St. Elizabeth of Hungary Catholic Church is tucked away on the hillside by the 1886 Crescent Hotel. St. Elizabeth was constructed in 1904 and showcases stunning Italian marble, limestone, rotunda architectural style and stained glass. Saint Elizabeth is the only church known that you enter through the bell tower. The dome shape is truly remarkable. The beautiful gardens and grounds offer pure serenity. The church also has a chapel room for prayer and reflection.

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Christ of the Ozark’s stands tall overlooking the great Ozark mountains. The Christ of the Ozark’s statue is housed at The Great Passion Play and Holy Land experience. The Christ statue has been here for over fifty years and stands 7 stories tall! It is truly a magnificent sight to behold.

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The Great Passion Play puts on the world-famous biblical passion play. The play is held in a large outdoor amphitheater and features a large cast and live animals. The Great Passion Play is said to be America’s number one outdoor drama. The Passion Play is held in a beautiful setting overlooking the Ozark’s and Christ of the Ozark’s statue. The Passion Play provides you with a window to the past complete with an interactive reenactment of the bible.

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Holy Land Tour brings you back into time with a replicated grounds of old Jerusalem. Here you can watch as The Holy Bible comes alive before your eyes. The cast and grounds at The Holy Land Tour are all reminiscent of biblical times as they share stories from The Holy Book.

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The Bible Museum and History Museum feature over 6,000 bibles and 3,000 artifacts from different eras and cultures. There are two museums located here where you can see Christian paintings, statues, and ancient bibles. There is also a gift shop where you can purchase religious items, bibles, and Holy Land souvenirs.

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Carry Nation House, Hatchet Hall is an interesting house built on the side of a cliff. During the Temperance movement and before the Prohibition Era Carry was known to go to taverns and break up the alcohol and beer kegs by way of an ax. The area her home is located in is nice and quaint. I loved all of the eccentric cottages along the winding road. The house is right on top of the street and the back of the house has a drop off a cliff.

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Pivot Rock and Natural Bridge is a good spot to check out some natural formations. The Pivot rock is actually the largest freestanding rock! The rock is so unique and it actually looks upside down. Also, The Natural Bridge was actually formed from the pure rock in the shape of a bridge.

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More things to do:

Onyx Cave offers self-guided tours of the underground onyx formations. The cave which was discovered in 1893 is popular for tourists and locals alike. Interestingly the cave stays at 57 degrees year round.

Blue Spring Heritage Center has a botanical garden, Blue Springs, and Native American history and artifacts. Here you can visit the gardens and grounds, admire the lagoon and spring, and take a walk down the Cherokee Trail of Tears.

Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge offers up-close safari encounters with rescued big cats.  Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge provides Safari Lodges to guests looking for a more natural and authentic wildlife experience. The Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge is home to 100 species of animals namely lions, tigers and bears.

Lodging:

In Eureka Springs you can stay in haunted hotels, quaint cabins, mysterious caves, unique treehouses, and magical hobbit holes!

Treehouses and Hobbit Caves:

Eureka Springs Treehouses will help make your fairytale dreams come true. At The Eureka Springs Treehouses, you can have an underground adventure in The Hobbit Caves, or have a dreamy night in The Magical Castle Treehouse, or a romantic night in the mesmerizing stoned underground Grottos caves! There are ten unique treehouses and themed accommodations at The Eureka Springs Treehouses.

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Historic Hotels:

The 1886 Crescent Hotel is America’s Most Haunted Hotel for good reason. I love the history of this spooky and beautiful hotel. The Crescent Hotel Ghost Tour has nightly tours and seances. The delightfully renowned 1886 Crescent Hotel and Spa offers guests an experience you will be talking about for years to come.

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1905 Basin Park Hotel is the sister hotel of the 1886 Crescent Hotel. The Basin Hotel is also regarded as haunted and there are The Spirits of the Basin ghost and cave tours. This grand Basin Park hotel fits perfectly in the quirky heart of Eureka Springs.

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Eureka Springs is a magical place with its native healing waters and enchanting well-preserved historic Victorian houses and buildings. Eureka Springs is perched high into the Ozark’s surrounded by mountains, forests, and lakes. Eureka Springs is such an inspiring city and especially perfect for lovers, artists, and all free-spirited folks.

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And my bucket list dreams just keep coming true!

With All My Love,
The Vintage Gypsy

“So, I love you because the entire universe conspired to help me find you.”- Paulo Coelho