Attractions in Hot Springs

An unexpected world of adventure...

When you think of Hot Springs Arkansas , the first thing that probably comes to mind is the hot springs, and they are a definite must-see. But there is so much more to experience in this Ozark Mountain city . From outdoor recreation, to live music and discovering the history of this town, there are endless ways to fill the perfect vacation!

Experience the great outdoors with hiking and biking trails that lead you up mountains or through lush forests, perfect for a peaceful stroll or an invigorating workout. You can also catch some rays on Lake Hamilton, or take in the sights and sounds of Downtown Hot Springs. With a variety of attractions, activities, and sites to explore, Hot Springs offers something for everyone.

Here are a few of our favorite, can’t-miss attractions!

Downtown Hot Springs

This is the main attraction in Hot Springs and definitely a must-see. You can find plenty of walking paths, hiking trails, bike paths, guided tours, and more here that are perfect for burning some calories or just enjoying a leisurely stroll with your family or pet. Be sure to check out their website so you can pick a trail according to your skill level. Hot Springs National Park is also home to some of Arkansas’s most beautiful wildlife, which makes it an ideal spot for bird-watching and nature photography. Hot Springs National Park is located in the Ouachita Mountains, so you can expect plenty of breathtaking views while visiting. Do not miss this natural beauty while you’re here!

Garvan Woodland Gardens

Just a quick 20-minute drive from downtown, Garvan Woodland Gardens is a forest oasis, with walking trails and events for people of all ages.

Garvan Woodland Gardens is home to some of the most beautiful and unique natural habitats in Arkansas. The gardens feature a variety of wildflower meadows, wetlands, native grasses, trees, and shrubs all carefully managed for areas of natural beauty, scientific research, and educational opportunities. Visitors can take self or guided tours to explore the gardens and observe Arkansas’ diverse flora and fauna. The gardens contain over 1,000 species of plants, 95 species of birds, 25 species of fish and numerous mammals, reptiles and amphibians.

Along with the gardens and museum, Garvan Woodland Gardens offers incredible hiking trails that lead through some of Arkansas’ most picturesque scenery.

If you’re in town during the holidays, take the whole family to see the Holiday Lights or Winter Garden Festival. From 4-9pm nightly (excluding Thanksgiving and Christmas Day), take a stroll through this wonderland of lights. Mystical scenes like light tunnels, giant flowers, and a myriad of illuminated creatures make this a “must” each holiday season.


Ouachita National Forest

Ouachita National Forest is the biggest national forest located in the south, and it runs from western Arkansas to parts of eastern Oklahoma. The forest provides a stunning landscape for any visitors looking to go hiking or mountain biking, and there are plenty of different lakes for boating and swimming. The Ouachita Trail is a popular hiking trail that runs from Talimena State Park in Oklahoma to Pinnacle Mountain State Park in Arkansas. This trail offers an incredible view of the forest as well as plenty of opportunities for wildlife viewing, making it perfect for avid hikers and nature lovers alike. Ouachita National Forest is also where In The Trees is located, so you can enjoy breathtaking views right from your own treehouse and be fully immersed in the beauty of the forest!

Lake Catherine State Park

Lake Catherine State Park encompasses 2,180 acres in the beautiful region and has many different outdoor activities for visitors to explore. The lake has a full-service marina for boating, there are horseback trails, hiking trails, and playgrounds. It’s a great place to relax for a day and explore nature! Visitors can also take advantage of the swimming area or take in an educational program offered by park personnel on weekends during the summer months. The park also offers plenty of recreational activities for visitors. There are several picnic areas with tables and grills where visitors can prepare meals, or take advantage of the snack bar located near the lake’s shore. The park also has an 18-hole golf course, an archery range, a disc golf course, and even miniature golf. Lake Catherine State Park is a great place to explore nature, enjoy some time outdoors, or just relax for a day! Check out the website for more info, here!

Lake Ouachita State Park

Lake Ouachita is the largest lake in Arkansas and a lovely landmark year-round. On the water, visitors can enjoy boating, water sports, kayaking, fishing, and more! Off the water, visitors can go hiking, camp, or enjoy a picnic on the water. There are several boat ramps throughout the lake, making it easy to launch a boat and explore the area. The lake is also home to a variety of wildlife, including bald eagles and ospreys and a wide array of fish. Their website offers more details so be sure to check it out. When you need to reconnect with nature and spend some time by the water, Lake Ouachita is a great option!

Lake Hamilton

Lake Hamilton, set in the heart of Hot Springs, Arkansas, effortlessly fuses natural beauty with urban excitement. Only minutes from downtown Hot Springs, the lake’s shores are adorned with restaurants, luxury resorts, and grand vacation homes. Visitors can hop off their boat to grab a pizza, dine on the wharf, or shop for essentials at dockside stores. With more guided boat expeditions than any other lake, including pontoon and duck boat tours, there’s adventure for everyone. Numerous marinas offer a variety of boat rental options for those who prefer to be at the helm.

Northwood Trails

If you’re serious about mountain biking, then you’re seriously going to love Northwoods Trails. They offer over 31 world-class mountain biking trails including  Green, Blue, and Black single-track, multi-track, flow trails, jump lines, and the Lucky 13 expert section. This is also the place to experience some of the country’s best mountain bike festivals throughout the year. Be sure to visit their site to see what’s happening next!

Cedar Glades Park

Cedar Glades Park has something for everyone! With 10 miles of mountain biking and hiking trails, 18 holes of disc golf, a climbing wall, a playground, an amphitheater, and more, you’re sure to find something that gets you enjoying the great outdoors. At the trailhead, you’ll also find a bike skills park. Plus the park connects to Northwoods Trail and is only 1 mile from the resort!

Hot Springs Off-Road Park

The Hot Springs Off-Road Park is a sprawling 1,242-acre outdoor adventure destination that offers off-road riding adventures, day-use trail passes, trail guides, side by side rentals, and more. This park boasts a diverse range of off-road trails that cater to all types of enthusiasts. Whether you’re in search of stunning year-round scenic vistas or seeking the adrenaline rush of tackling challenging rock-crawling terrain, this park has something to offer everyone. It’s a must-visit destination for anyone looking to enjoy the great outdoors and experience thrilling off-road adventures in a beautiful natural setting.

Grand Promenade Trails

The wide brick path running behind Bathhouse Row downtown provides access to several trails that lead to the Hot Springs Mountain Tower, where you can enjoy panoramic views of the city. This is where you can feel the heat of the hot springs! Check out over 200 acres of the botanical garden, with 4.5 miles of trails, including a 1.7-mile loop through a nature preserve. If you’re here in the Christmas season, you HAVE to go see the lights! Get there before dark to avoid long lines. Find more info at their website.

Private Paths on Property

In the Trees is a 500-acre nature preserve that you can explore on bike or on foot. Rent our e-bikes and meander through 3-5 miles of path, or grab your hiking shoes and find some of the most tranquil spots in the Ouachitas. Remember, you’re exploring during the very beginning of the In the Trees resort, so you’re sure to find a glimpse into the future phases of the resort under construction. We love for you to take a peek, but please don’t disturb any construction sites or equipment and stay on the path.

More Hot Springs Attractions

If you’re looking for more activities, that aren’t nature-related, don’t worry – there’s plenty more to choose from! From golfing and museums to shopping and spas, you’ll find something to keep you busy and entertained. Here are a few of our favorite attractions in town that will please everyone from couples to families and friends!

Bathhouse Row

Downtown Hot Springs hosts eight different historical bathhouses that used to use the natural hot springs for their baths and hydrotherapy treatments. Some of them are still in use and if you want to experience a modern bathhouse spa experience check out Buckstaff Bathhouse. To tour a preserved historical bathhouse, check out the Fordyce Bathhouse which offers visitors a self-guided tour. The Fordyce Bathhouse also operates as the visitor center for the National Park. The Lamar Bathhouse has a small boutique inside where visitors can find unique souvenirs and spa goods. You can even grab a quick beer at the Superior Bathhouse which has been turned into a brewery. And because Bathhouse Row is located downtown, there are lots of other shops and restaurants to explore.

Mid- America Science Museum

Mid- America Science Museum is a great place to explore science and the natural world. With interactive exhibits on animals, nature, and science, it is sure to be an exciting experience for everyone who visits. Visitors can learn about physics, chemistry, geology, astronomy, biology and more while exploring the museum’s various galleries. The museum also offers educational programs such as workshops and classes to help visitors understand and appreciate the world around them. In addition, there are special events throughout the year such as lectures, demonstrations, and shows that cover various scientific topics. The Mid-America Science Museum is a great place to spend time with family and friends while learning something new!

Hot Springs Mountain Tower

This 216-foot tower offers panoramic views of the surrounding lakes, mountains, and the National Park from high up in the air! It is open all year round but be sure to check the times on the website as they vary throughout the seasons. The Hot Springs Mountain Tower is a fun attraction for all ages. See Hot Springs from a new perspective!

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Magic Springs

Magic Springs theme and water park offers fun for the whole family right outside of Hot Springs. Experience thrilling roller coasters, crazy water slides, and classic theme park attractions. They have rides and attractions for all ages too! Find a list of special events, park hours, tickets and more, here!

Oaklawn Racing & Gaming

Oaklawn Racing & Gaming is an Arkansas institution, providing a full range of entertainment services, including live thoroughbred racing, simulcast betting on horse races throughout the country, and more than 1,500 gaming machines. Visitors can also enjoy a variety of dining options in the clubhouse, as well as a luxurious spa to relax after a day at the track. Their sports bar, Mainline Sports Bar, is a family-friendly spot that includes bays with TopGolf Swing Suites, where you can not only test out your golf skills but also play games like baseball, soccer, hockey, plus carnival games to hit bottles, break plates and dunk clowns! Book your bay in advance for a fun day at the races. With its convenient location in Hot Springs, just a short drive from Central Arkansas, Oaklawn Racing & Gaming is the perfect destination for a day out.

Maxwell Blade Theatre of Magic

Maxwell Blade Theatre of Magic has been a staple in Hot Springs, Arkansas for over 20 years. It is the perfect venue for those looking to experience magic up close and personal. Every show features an array of talented magicians performing incredible illusions, levitation, mentalism, comedy and more! The theatre itself is decorated with grandiose props and decorations from all around the world , adding to the already unique atmosphere. Audience members can enjoy libations from the concession stand, or even a full meal before the show begins. From local magicians to world-renowned performers, Maxwell Blade Theatre of Magic is sure to leave you spellbound!

Alligator Farm & Petting Zoo

Hot Springs’ oldest attraction! It’s a small petting zoo, so you won’t need to spend much more than an hour, and it is a great price for admission. Features an emu, goats, sheep, monkeys, and of course, GATORS! Find more information at their site, Arkansas Alligator Farm and Petting Zoo.

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