Hot Springs National Park

Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas – “America’s First Resort” – is both the oldest and smallest of the National Parks in the United States. Built around 47 natural mineral springs, the historic downtown area is home to “world famous Bathhouse Row”, nine architecturally diverse spa structures that have literally bathed the world. In addition to the famous mineral water, the city is surrounded by three lakes that offer many types of water recreation, including swimming, boating and championship fishing. Hot Springs is also a great place for camping, hiking, trail walking and mountain biking.

In recent years, Hot Springs has become an international center for the arts. USA Today listed “this town inside a national park” 1st in their “Top 10 Places” feature (April 28, 2005) for having “big-city art” with a “small-town feel.” This year the city was also ranked the #4 Small Art Town In America (The 100 Best Small Art Towns In America, by John Villani). Artists from all over the world come to Hot Springs to be inspired by the natural beauty and the creative, healing nature of the “Valley of the Vapors”.

Hot Springs also has a rich musical history, especially in jazz. It was in a little bar on the north end of Central Avenue that Tony Bennett first sang “I Left My Heart In San Fransisco”; Bill “Mr. Bojangles” Robinson tap-danced his way down the main street to celebrate his birthday; many jazz greats, such as Duke Ellington, could be heard playing late into the night at the famed National Baptist Hotel; top show-biz entertainers from Buddy Rich to Liberace filled the clubs around the city. Today, Hot Springs hosts many music and art festivals and has a rich nightlife that allows fans to hear virtually all styles of live music, from jazz to blues, from rock to folk, from hip-hop to country.

For lodging, restaurant or tourism information about Hot Springs National Park