Hot Springs is more than just its namesake. For instance, since 1904, Oaklawn Park has been holding Thoroughbred Races from late-January to mid-April. It's a nice race track, and it has simulcast races from May to January.
We were also pleased to find that there are some great golf courses.
We didn't go, but I think that people with children would like Magic Springs Theme Park nearby.
Garvon Woodland Gardens, Lake Hamilton, and Lake Ouschita (Arkansas's largest reservoir) provide plenty of good fishing and abundant water sports.
As I love architecture, I found the Art Deco architecture quite pleasing.
Also, there are many boutiques, art galleries, and restaurants located on or near Magnolia-lined Bathhouse Row. These are very elaborate buildings full of tile, brass, and marble fountains as well as incredible stained glass.
The Fordyce Bathhouse(401 Central Avenue) is the grandest of all the bathhouses. There's a statue of an Indian maiden offering a bowl of flowing spring water to deSoto used as its centerpiece. And, oh, the skylight is made up of 8,000 pieces of stained-glass depicting marine scenes. Once it offered a library, music room, a bowling alley, and a gymnasium. Today, it's the park's visitor center.
As in the photo, Buckstaff Bathhouse (501-623-2308) is the only bathhouse still offering baths to the public. It in Classic Revival style.
Behind the Maurice Bathhouse, there are two uncapped, free-flowing hot springs, which are quite fascinating.
Fondest memory: I really loved the Medical Arts Building (236 Central Avenue) because of the impressive Art Deco architecture. It's 16 stories high, and for many years was the tallest building in Arkansas.
I also like The Williams House (420 Quapaw Avenue). It's a Victorian brownstone that was built in 1891, remodeled in 1914, and now has been restored as a bed-and-breakfast inn.
The Mid-America Museum is also in Hot Springs. It's a science museum with an outdoor aquarium. It is filled with freshwater fish that are native to Arkansas. The museum also has hands-on exhibits about weather and flying.
Magnet Cove is just east of Hot Springs. Scientists have counted more than 100 kinds of minerals there. One of the minerals is magnetite. It acts like a magnet, attracting metal objects.
We also enjoyed Josephine Tussaud's Wax Museum.
Best of all was the Hot Springs Mountain Tower, a 216-foot observation post atop Hot Springs Mountain. Two viewing levels offer stunning views of the park and the Ouachita Mountains. Hot Springs National Park is the only nation park within a town.
Hot Springs is rather small (about 35,000), but it has a cosmopolitan flair about it. This city certainly has a colorful history.
Thousands of years ago, Indians used the hot springs in the area for bathing. They called the region "Valley of Vapors" because of the steam that rises from the hot springs. These baths were important to the Indians; so important that they called it their "neutral ground". thus, different tribes came to bathe in peace.
President Andrew Jackson signed a bill that set aside four parcels of land as a federal reservation. At about the same time, these springs were also attracting many settlers; eventually, a little town emerged as Hot Springs.
Soon, a railroad to Hot Springs was completed, and this new access lead to Hot Spring's development into a world-class resort in the early 20th Century.
Fondest memory: The city made up a slogan of "We Bathe the World"--their slogan turned out to be quite prophetic because famous people such as Harry Truman, Franklin and Theodore Roosevelt, Babe Ruth, and Andrew Carnegie came thus making Hot Springs the place to be.
That popularity did not last forever. The town fell on hard times, and most of the bath houses closed. But, because of a renewed interest in health and determined people who believe in restoration, Hot Springs has once again found a following. Bath House Row has been restored, and even though only two of these lovely bath houses are in use today (one as a welcome/information center and one as a working Bath House), they have all been brought back to their one-time grandeur.
Arkansas can brag about being North America's only diamond site, and it's located in the southwestern part of the state near Murfreesboro.
The story goes that John Huddleston discovered diamonds on his land about 1966, and he sold that land to Samuel Winston Reyburn for $36,000.00. Reyburn leased the land to several mining companies until 1949. In that time, thousands of diamonds were found.
Two other people (I've forgotten their names) owned sections of the diamond mine from 1952-1972. Then, in 1972, the state of Arkansas bought both sections and made them into a state park called Crater of Diamonds State Park.
Today, the diamonds still lie close to the surface, and companies don't think there are enough diamonds to make a profit so ordinary people are able to search for diamonds in the fields of this park, and they may keep any diamonds that they find.
Fondest memory: In the world's only diamond site that's open to the public, people have found more than 70,000 diamonds! There are about two diamonds per day discovered at this site.
The Arkansas Diamond Company found the largest diamond in 1924 which weighed 40.42 carats, and it was nicknamed "Uncle Sam". Also found were "a sixteen-carat Amarillo Starlight" and the fifteen-carat "Star of Arkansas".
In 1990, a woman visitor found a 3.03-carat diamond, and when it was cut, the jeweler found it to be without flaws! This particular stone was purchased by the Arkansas Parks Department and is on display at the park.
Exhibits and films at the park describe the areas geology and showcase "found diamonds".
People also hike on trails and camp in the park.
Park rangers also rent out digging equipment.
$4.50 entry fee
2.00 for children
Just off of Highway 26 near Murfreesboro about 43 miles from I-30
Click to see the canoe
There are so many great sounding places and events that I did not experience on my visits to Arkansas thus far. These are the places I want to go to when I return. Why don't you try them when you visit?
Blanchard Springs Caverns is located near Mountain View, and you are able to take a tour of these susposedly spectacular caverns. You are able to go past extraordinary cave formations and along a glistening cave stream. It sounds great.
Arkansas Air Museum located in Fayetteville is housed in an old wooden hangar. this museum features antique airplanes and exhibits about the history of aviation.
Ozark Folk Center is located again in Mountain View. It's a center that is dedicated to preserving traditional Ozark culture. You are able to watch craftspeople use traditional methods to make candles, baskets, and pottery. There are also performances of mountain music.
Fort Smith National Historic Site is located in Fort Smith. It is one of the first U.S. military posts in the Louisiana Territory. They advertise it as a taste of the Old West where you can tour the courtroom where Judge Isaac Parker, the Hangin' Judge presided over. You are also able to visit the jail in which prisoners were held.
Fondest memory: Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park is located in Prairie Grove. This is a park that features exhibits that bring the world of a Civil War soldier to life. You are able to visit a reconstructed 19th-century village. This is the spot that on December 7, 1862, Confederate and Union forces clashed in a bloody battle.
I'd like to take a trip down the Buffalo National River to go past towering cliffs and waterfalls. This river is in the Ozarks and was the first stream placed under federal government protection. It's a 150-mile-long stream that plunges down two thousand feet of mountainside to join with the White River.
Petit Jean State Park It's Arkansas's first state park that tops Petit Jean Mountain. It's about 69 miles from Little Rock. It has a 24-room lodge, cabins, and bridges made of stone by the Depression-era Civilian Conservation Corps.
I also want to go back to Little Rock to see President Clinton's Museum and Library.
Remember the opening scene in Gone With the Wind? That was the Old Mill Park. There are two stones on the road to the mill that are the original milestones laid out by Jefferson Davis. The Old Mill is an old waterwheel gristmill that is made of stone and is just lovely. The setting is incredible with all the natural stone, wooden log bridge, and the tall vine-covered trees.
Fondest memory: The Old Mill is located at Fairway at Lakeshore in North Little Rock.
Phone Number: (501) 791-8537
No entrance fee
Arkansas has some great scenic highways! Highway 7 and Highway 23. I jumped on Highway 7 near Hot Springs and followed it up to the Buffalo National River...from there I made my way over to Eureka Springs and went south on Highway 23. Both roads take you through the Ozark National Forest and the Ouachita National Forest...and the drive is incredible...with trees everywhere...driving though clouds (or was it fog?) in the higher elevations...plenty of scenic spots...small towns. Hit the road!
Favorite thing: I loved the old houses in the Ozarks! I only took 3 pictures on my 2 day trip through Arkansas. The weather was bad and at the time taking alot of pictures wasn't a Priority. I did enjoy the drive through the area and would love to return to check it out more.
Favorite thing: As you enter Arkansas on US Highway 49 from Mississippi you come to the Welcome Center in West Helena. Here you can get discounts for hotels and a variety of information to help you enjoy your stay in the state.
Favorite thing: For some reason pictures of old, rundown buildings are beautiful to me! Hope you enjoy them too. When I saw this house I could picture Jed, Grannie, Ellie May, Jethro, and Cousin Jethrine all living in here! And Old Duke sitting on the porch!
Fondest memory: Searcy is a small town located about 50 miles northeast of Little Rock on US-67. It is a small town, primarily a rural farming community. You will find your usual run-of-the-mill things here like grocery stores and a post office, but not much more than that.
Arkansas is nicknamed "The Natural State." As you can see here, it looks, well....natural!! It's kind of hard to explain, but if you drive through Arkansas and avoid Little Rock, you may be able to see the Ozark Mountains, and other unspoiled beauty around the state. Many unspoiled streams, lakes, and landscapes cover the entire state.
To me, Arkansas may not offer much to do in some places, but exploring and relishing the natural beauty it offers will make the trip to or through well worth it.
Arkansas is the only place in North America where diamonds are produced, and that fact is celebrated in the Arkansas State Flag, a diamond on a red field.
There are twenty-five white stars around the diamond because Arkansas was the twenty-fifth state to join the Union. The star above "Arkansas," inside the diamond, represents that Arkansas was a member of the Confederate States of America immediately before and during the War Between the States. The other three stars inside the diamond represent Spain, France and the United States, countries that had earlier ruled the land that today encompasses Arkansas.
Arkansas State Flag
Just enjoy as much scenery as you can, lots of great places even on a daytrip or a roadtrip
Fondest memory: It was one of the most prettiest, greenest, cleanest states I have been too
Good place to relax or enjoy quiet outdoors without alot of interruptions or the fast-paced city life. Lots of good countryside.
When visiting Arkansas you must visit the Ozarks. There are many places you can choose from. Fayeteville, is the home of the Razorbacks, go and experience the fury of the game. Visit the historical downtown, during Christmas time, it is amazing the display of luces there. You can't miss it.
Lake Wedington is just about 10 minutes from the city. It is a peaceful place where you can go and do many things, from fishing to navegate in a canoe on the lake.
Visit Siloam Springs, a small city with a incomparable beauty. Its historical downtown and its beautiful parks will make you feel in a place where peace and beauty will reign forever. Siloam Springs is the home of John Brown University, one the best universities in the US.
And don't forget to visit Eureka Springs. This city surrounded by the Ozarks mountain will make you experiece a little of Switzerland. Its narrowed streets with their beautiful buildings will make you experience a little bit of Europe while visiting Arkansas.
Fondest memory: What I like most about Arkansas, is the experience of enjoy the four seasons of the year. You can enjoy from a funny snow war during winter to a nice swimming day in one of the many lakes of the region in the summer. Of course, the majestuosity of the fall is amazing, the green leaves of the trees turn into orange, yellow and red leaves. And the beauty of the springs with a lot of flowers everywhere. you have to experience this!!!
PS: Here is a pic of me during the winter season.
Favorite thing: ADMISSION TO STATEHOOD: June 15, 1836. AREA: 53182 sq.mi. AREA CODES: 501 - 870. AGRICULTURE: Poultry and eggs, soybeans, sorghum, cattle, cotton, rice, hogs, milk. INDUSTRY: Food processing, electric equipment, fabricated metal products, machinery, paper products, bromine, vanadium. GEOGRAPHIC CENTER: Pulaski, 12 miles northwest of Little Rock, which is the state capital. HIGHEST POINT: Magazine Mtn (2753 feet). NICKNAME: The Natural State. ORIGIN OF STATE´S NAME: French interpretation of a Sioux word 'acansa,' meaning 'downstream place.' POPULATION: 2,673,400
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