Hot Springs, ARK July 16th - 24th, 2011

Hot Springs, Arkansas

July 16th - 24th, 2011

Bob, Debe, Eric, Dee, Daniel, Tara, Aiden, Denali, Micah & Chelcy

After loading the 15 passenger van and driving for 8 hours, we finally made it to Hot Springs, Arkansas. We had never been here but heard a lot about the place. Our time sharing units were at Hot Springs Village and they were very nice. Two bedroom units with LOTS of room. From what we understood, the Hot Springs Village covers a huge place and we were staying at the Los Lagos Escapes in Hot Springs Village.

The first night we all had to stay in one unit since the second unit wouldn't be available until the next day. It didn't even seem crowded but it was nice getting the second unit first thing the next morning. The first night we cooked, ate dinner and everyone headed to mini golf and go karts while Debe stayed back with the little kids. Both the golf and go karts were a blast even though go karts were cut short due to reckless driving. lol

Sunday morning, up early for a day at the water park/amusement park named, "Magic Springs and Crystal Falls. If you are going there for more than one day - so worth getting season tickets. Which is what we did for almost everyone. Bob, Micah and Chelcy would be flying home on Tuesday (two more days) so they used "bring a friend" coupons that the others received with their season passes. So all worked out great. But if you know you will be going here - you can save money by buying a season pass online the beginning of the year. Saves $10 per person. And/or when you need the season passes, call and they might have a coupon code so you can order them online and save money. We were able to do that.

On Monday - we decided to have a day in the main town of Hot Springs. We thought it would be fun to get Bob's picture walking beside the Bill Clinton sign but he stayed on the back sidewalk instead of walking on the walkway right beside it. lol But today was filled with walking around, some shopping, visiting the Hot Springs Visitor Center where you find the Fordyce Bath House Museum inside and other things. It is free to walk thru the museum and it shows you exactly how the bath houses were back in the day when they were used.

It was said that we did other things also. Well, the other things were - for those that wanted to - use a real bath house. Yes, an old timey hot bath. For $30 you can do the hot bath that last right about an hour and includes the big tub, needle shower, steam case, spitz tub, and hot towels table. Others (Debe and Tara) chose to have the massage included which doubled the price to $60) And Daniel and Eric chose to pass and stay with the little kids.

Since the Buckstaff Bath House is the only working bath house that still uses the old time tubs, steam cases, etc... we decided to go to that one. Just wanted to get a feel of exactly what it was like back in the days. And boy was it great. Everyone had their favorite thing of what was done but altogether it was great. And well worth the money. But not sure who would do it again. lol

Very close to the Welcome Center you find the Hot Springs Walk of Fame. Yes, Arkansas has some famous people that have come from their state even though we didn't know a lot of them. But, in the below photos, you will see just a few that we did regonize the names.

That afternoon it was off to the lake and some fun in the sun. And the water. We decided to rent a pontoon boat for a couple hours and hit the lake. We also rented a tube and gosh did everyone have a great time. The first tube lasted about 15 minutes before we had to head back to the rental place and give them the shredded tube. But they gave us another one and added time on our boat rentalso back out we went. As you can see in the photos - even the little ones took part in this adventure.

On Tuesday, Bob, Micah and Chelcy headed back to Missouri so they could go to work on Wednesday. The rest of the family settled in for the rest of the trip. Tuesday was a relaxing day around the time sharing units including swimming at the pool. But Wednesday was back to the water park. Today the little kids enjoyed riding the rides in the amusement park side of the place. And then cooling off in the pool once the "record" temps were to much.

On Thursday, it was time to do something different. So we packed up the van with everyone and headed into Hot Springs for a day other activities. First, to the Alligator Farm. The cost to go in was $6 per person and you received some bread to feed the animals in the petting part of the farm. The kids enjoyed trying to feed the animals but Denali had her hands full since she couldn't feed them as fast as they wanted to eat. Overall, these places do kinda smell (to be expected) and alligators are just not appealing. You can't feed them, pet them, or get close to them.

After some shopping, it was lunch. We took our prepacked cooler to Hot Springs National Park (which all of this area is the Hot Springs National Park) but to the Gulpha Gorge. When I think of a gorge I think of high walls made of stone/rock and water running thru the bottom. Well, there was water (very little) but didn't see the tall walls. But we did get to enjoy lunch at the campground then skip rocks in the water.

On Friday, Daniel's family and Debe headed back to the Magic Springs/Crystal Falls while Eric and Dee did some roaming around Hot Springs on their own. They headed to the spring itself (which is very hot) that comes up from the ground in Hot Springs town. Then had some "old timey" photos made and enjoyed a nice lunch in town. While they battled the heat - the rest of us stayed cool in the water at Magic Springs. Might as well get our money's worth on those season passes. ;)

On Saturday, our last full day, it was time to visit the popular Observation Tower in Hot Springs. We had tried earlier in the week but the road was closed due to resurfacing so you couldn't get up to it. Today, it was back open. On the way up to hilly & windy road, we stopped at a lookout for some group photos. It was a very nice day even though the record temperatures in Arkansas continued. But we made the best of it.

Once at the top, we parked and headed into the entrance/store at the bottom of the tower. This is also where you pay the $7 entrance fee and ride the elevator to the top. You have a choice to go to the top which has an outside viewing area, or go to the level below which had an inside viewing area with many photos, articles and artifacts regarding Hot Springs, its hot baths and things that made Hot Springs famous. We chose to go to the top first and we would stop on the way back down on the other level. Daniel and Aiden took the steps down to the enclosed observation deck while the rest of us took the elevator.

After spending time enjoying the tower, it was back to our time sharing unit, (we had to move out of one of the units Friday night and now we're all in the other unit), swimsuits and beach toys packed and off to the beach for the afternoon. This would be the final hours of our trip and we wanted to enjoy every minute of it doing things that all ages would enjoy.

What a blessing it is each year to take time with family and enjoy life together. Some of our favorite trips together have been with the kids traveling. But, this was another year of a great trip. The kids and grandkids had so much fun visiting Hot Springs and taking in all it has to offer. And all within driving distance for everyone.

Next the planning begins for the 2012 year. So many places to pick between.

Thanks again to everyone that takes the time to visit our blog. I know all our trips aren't as exciting but I do hope you enjoy some of these family trips that give us lasting memories as well as the ones that are around the world. Thanks again for sharing your time reading about our trips.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for your comment. If you have any questions from our travels, please email me at

If you have any travel needs, you can visit my travel site