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Hot Springs, Arkansas & Hot Springs National Park Weekend Trip

Hot Springs, Arkansas & Hot Springs National Park Weekend Trip

Old Mar 6th, 2012, 07:44 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 6
Hot Springs, Arkansas & Hot Springs National Park Weekend Trip

I am planning a short trip to Hot Springs, Arkansas for about two days.

My ideal trip would be:
Friday night (get in around 9:00) - meet friends at a bar or restaurant; all crash at a hotel for one night
Saturday - wake up early, get into the national park, hike, adventure, wear ourselves out all day. Grab Mexican food for dinner that night, and camp out somewhere on Saturday night.
Sunday - wake up early, all have a good breakfast, and head home.

So my main questions are:
- advice on restaurant/bar for Friday night; good Mexican restaurant for Saturday night; good breakfast spot for Sunday
- the best day hike/adventure in the National Park (none of us have ever been to Hot Springs National Park, so any advice is great & much appreciated!)
- advice on camping in this area - should we camp in the National Park? Is there a good spot somewhere outside the park, so that we could leave the park for dinner and stay out that night?

Like I said, any advice would be great! Thanks so much!
Molly_Ryan is offline  
Old Mar 6th, 2012, 09:36 PM
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 183
Hi I don't do alot of hiking but I just wanted you to know that Hot Springs has some wonderful spa/bath houses and you must check out The Arlington Hotel and The Majestic Hotels. They are very old and have awesome charm to them.You will find several both houses up and down the main stip in Hot Springs. Have fun.
gatlinburglover is offline  
Old Mar 7th, 2012, 05:33 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,981
Agree with the above poster regarding The Arlington. We've stayed there twice and enjoyed going to the Buckstaff Bath house right down the street. The Park is right behind the hotel and the Bath House. For $55 you get an hour of hot packs and massage. Great for a hiker!
cd is offline  
Old Mar 7th, 2012, 07:43 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,960
We recently enjoyed camping at Lake Ouchita State Park just outside Hot Springs. The national park does not have showers. The state park had very nice facilities and nice views of a pretty lake.
Connie is offline  
Old Mar 7th, 2012, 07:56 AM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 7,443
Hot Springs ranks dead last as far as the National Parks I have visited(i've been to 29 of the 58). It's the only one that I consider a dud. And it's the only one that is within 3 hours of me. There are just a few hot springs. Most of them have been capped. There is some hiking, but I don't really consider those to be true hikes really. The bathhouses might be a good option. Lake Quachita and the other lakes in the area have fair hiking. I do like going to the horse races there.

I think by far the best hiking in Arkansas is around the upper Buffalo National River. Mt Nebo, Mt Magazine, and Petit Jean are all nice places to hike as well.
spirobulldog is offline  
Old Mar 7th, 2012, 09:13 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,960
Agree totally.
Connie is offline  
Old Mar 7th, 2012, 01:41 PM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 7,443
Falls Creek Trai at Lake Catherine is a decent hike. Hunt's Loop Trail is ok trail(it's not on a lake). Little Blakely on Lake Quachita is a hodgepodge of connecting trails- so you can go just a bit or forever on this one. I don't know how long the Bald Eagles stay there. I have been in winter a few times to see them there.
spirobulldog is offline  
Old Mar 8th, 2012, 10:18 AM
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 3
I suggest staying at Catherine's Landing, an RVC Outdoor Destination. It's a new outdoor resort on Lake Catherine. I visited a few weeks ago with friends and loved it. You can rent a boat to go on the lake, buy wine, or walk along their nature trails. It's just really modern and nice. We stayed in a cottage, which was only like $120/night but they also have yurts that are cheaper (looked them up on the website). The location's awesome because it's literally in the middle of all the Hot Springs attractions - downtown Hot Springs and bath house row and Garvan Gardens, so we explored the city for a lot of the time. The concierge gave us recommendations of a few restaurants and shops that were pretty cool.
kb1010 is offline  
Old Mar 8th, 2012, 12:44 PM
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 18
If you go to Mt.Magazine rent one of their cabins they are very nice so is the lodge with an indoor swimming pool. Instead of just hiking we did geocaching (I think of it as hiking with a treasure hunt)the adults and the grandkids loved it.
gigi11 is offline  
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