About Hot Springs
Source: Arkansas Dept. of Parks &
Hot Springs and Hot Springs National Park owe their existence
to an array of springs that still supply naturally heated water for thermal
bathers. The Fordyce Bathhouse, located on famous Bathhouse Row, serves as the
park's visitor's center.
Hot Springs is the smallest and oldest of the parks in the
National Park System. It dates back to 1832 when Congress established, 40 years
ahead of Yellowstone, the first federally protected area in the nation's
history. Hot Springs Reservation, which was renamed Hot Springs National Park in
1921, was created to protect the 47 naturally flowing thermal springs on the
southwestern slope of Hot Springs Mountain.
The city, which is the boyhood home of former U.S. President
Bill Clinton, is located in Garland County. Along with the national park it is
home base to live Thoroughbred racing at Oaklawn Park, Magic Springs/Crystal
Falls theme and water parks, the 210-acre Garvan Woodland Gardens, The Gangster
Museum of America, and a renowned arts community.
The city is also known for many annual events including the
Hot Springs Music Festival Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival, Valley of the
Vapors Independent Music Festival, Hot Springs Jazz Festival, Hot Springs Blues
Festival, the downtown Bathtub Races and the World's Shortest St. Patrick's Day
Illegal casino gambling thrived in the city during the 40s,
50s and 60s, until Governor Rockefeller closed the casinos in 1967. The Gangster
Museum of America focuses on the 1920s-40s era of the town, when gangsters such
as Al Capone and Lucky Luciano vacationed there.
Summit Arena is connected to the Hot Springs Convention Center
and hosts concerts, sports, and shows. Outdoor activities in the area include
mountain biking, hiking, golf, horseback riding, and fishing, digging for quartz
crystals, and water sports that center around lakes Hamilton, Ouachita,
Catherine, Ouachita, and DeGray. More outdoor options can also be found at the
Ouachita National Forest.
Learn more about Hot Springs and Hot
Springs National Park by visiting the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism
You can also visit the Hot Springs city website that contains
a wealth of information about attractions and events by pointing your browser