Best Time to Visit Hot Springs Arkansas

Hot Springs, Arkansas attracts millions of visitors every year, who come to enjoy the warm and soothing waters of the springs, the natural beauty all around, and endless activities in the city. The best time to visit depends on your personal preference and what you are looking for in a vacation. Here is a detailed guide to help you choose the best time to visit Hot Springs Arkansas. 

Spring (March - May)

Spring is a great time to visit Hot Springs, as the weather is getting warmer and the city is in full bloom. This is the perfect time of year to enjoy long hikes, visits to Garvan Gardens, and take in the scenery as nature defrosts. In March you’ll start to see the temperatures creep up into the 60s, and by May you can enjoy 80 degree days and comfortable nights in the 50s. 

Hot Springs is known for its World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade.  On March 17th every year, downtown bursts to life with vendors, concerts, a Blarney Stone Kissing Contest, a “Zero-K” Footrace, costumes, and finally, the famous 98-ft. Parade. 

Spring is the peak of horse racing season at Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort, with the Arkansas Derby in early April.  When the weather is nice, Oaklawn opens the infield of the track, where guests can enjoy baggo tournaments, petting zoo animals, bounce houses and live entertainment.

The city’s many parks and gardens come alive with color, providing a picturesque backdrop for both a relaxing and adventurous vacation. The city’s famous spring-fed swimming pools and hot tubs are open during this time, and activities like kayaking and paddleboarding on our many lakes are back, offering visitors a variety of options to enjoy the waters. With pleasant weather, fewer crowds, and a plethora of outdoor activities to choose from, spring is a great time to visit. 

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Photo Credit: National Park Service

Summer (June - August)

Summer in Hot Springs, Arkansas is peak tourist season and the city is alive with festivals, concerts, and other events. This is a wonderful time to visit if you are looking for a lively and energetic experience, and don’t mind being around other tourists.

Summers can be hot though! So if you’re looking to defrost from a colder winter and spring then head to Hot Springs for temperatures in the high 80s and low 90s from June through August. These are perfect temperatures to enjoy all of the water activities the area has to offer such as kayaking, paddleboarding, boating, and swimming in one of our many gorgeous lakes. There’s also the family favorite Magic Springs Theme and Water Park, a great option for summer fun. 

Summer wouldn’t be summer without festivals too! Throughout the summer months Hot Springs offers everything from live music festivals, to bike fests, and a plethora of events around Memorial Day and Independence Day. If you rode  into town on a bike, then you won’t want to miss Hot Springs BikeFest which takes place every June.

The city’s many attractions, such as the Hot Springs National Park and the baths, are all bustling, offering plenty of opportunities for sightseeing and exploring. Summer is a time for outdoor activities and adventure, and Hot Springs, Arkansas has it all. 


Fall (September - November)

Many people consider fall to be the best time of the year here in Hot Springs. The weather can be stunning, and the heat of the summer starts to slip away. By October you can expect to experience days in the 70s and nights in the 50s. We then drop another 10 degrees as we head into November.

Fall in Hot Springs is all about the fall foliage! Autumn comes alive with color as the leaves begin to change. During this time, the city is ablaze with colors as the leaves of the trees change to shades of red, orange, and yellow. You can start to see the leaves change as early as mid-October, with November being the peak. Enjoy their beauty by car on one of our scenic drives, zipping through a mountain bike course, or on a hike through the Ouachita Mountains.

Fall is also a fantastic time for festivals. Whether you’re interested in the world-class Güdrun Mountain Biking Festival, the Hot Water Hills Music & Arts Festival, the Big Steam jazz festival, a comic-con or film festival, Hot Springs in the fall has them all. Fall is also a great time to explore the city’s many hiking trails, as the cooler weather makes for more comfortable hiking conditions.


Winter (December - February)

If you are looking for a more intimate and peaceful experience, then winter might be the best time for you to visit. The weather is chilly with high temperatures in the mid-50s and lows around 30 degrees, but the chill adds a romantic feeling to the air! The city is less crowded during this time, and the bathhouses provide a warm and soothing respite from the cold weather. Winter is also a great time to explore the city’s many art galleries, museums, and theaters. 

Don’t count out nature though! With the right layers you can stay warm and enjoy the truly beautiful surroundings. Take a wintry hike through Hot Springs National Park or the Ouachita Mountains or hit the numerous mountain bike trails for an exhilarating ride. Then defrost in one of the thermal baths at any of the bathhouses on Bathhouse Row. 

Thinking of visiting for the holidays? There are lots of festive things you can do to create a magical holiday vacation. Take in the numerous light displays around the area including a massive Christmas light display in downtown Hot Springs and the Wonderland display at Garvan Gardens. So grab a hot cocoa and enjoy making your way through all the festive displays! 


Hot Springs, Arkansas, is a beautiful city that offers visitors a unique and enjoyable experience all year round. The best time to visit Hot Springs, Arkansas, depends on your personal preference and what you are looking for in a vacation. Whether you visit in the spring, summer, fall, or winter, you are sure to make memories that last a lifetime!

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