Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Hot Springs Arkansas.. good camping, hiking, history, food, shopping & art!

Hot Springs Arkansas was the first National Park in North America.  The people here are proud to share their history with visitors. You walk into any store, and the history lesson begins.  They'll tell you how people like Al Capone would come to use the spas. Affluent women and men would come.  Separate quarter for each sex of course. People would soak and drink.  Mayors & police chiefs didn't live a long life in the day.
 One of the Bath Houses in Hot Springs. 
 The Hot Springs National Park's Visitor's center is also a museum, showing us what the bath's use to look like. Fun to take a quick peek through the four floors.
 I'm in one of the shows! (pretending..)
 This are the steam chambers
 This was the women's room, where they'd put hot towels on you after a soak.
 This was where the women hung out, reading and playing piano.

 Out side in the street, they had some nice statues.
 The old bath houses had some lovely stained glass. (Almost as nice as my dads'!)

 Jerry's standing in the men's area of the Bathhouse, you can see a billiard table in the back.
 One of the message rooms for the women.
 I loved this room, it was their gym. 
 One of the therapeutic tubs.

Now, the National Park owns the rights to the water, and they have two Bathhouses still in operation for the public, and they've given the rights to some of the hotels in town as well. There are a number of springs through out the mountain that surrounds Hot Springs, they're all locked and sealed. They're all at around 147degrees.

The city itself has some interesting stores, fun to shop in, plus they have excellent food.  We ate at Rolando's and the waitress we spoke with their, Rhonda, was wonderful.  Actually, the food there was good enough to be a DDD.  The food was Ecuadorian food, very good.. Similar to Mexican, with a touch difference.  We both loved our food there. We are going to email the DDD folks upon our return and suggest the check them out!

Cool art throughout Hot Springs

My new jewelery Jerry bought me in Hot Springs.. I love it!

Crazy shops through out Hot Springs, Arkansas

Excellent food in Hot Springs Arkansas

This was actually the BEST sangria I've ever had.. I'd go back to Hot Springs JUST for Rolando's Sangria!
Avocado Dip at Rolando's

There are trails everywhere throughout Hot Springs.  If you aren't into the trails, they have a bus service from every parking spot, which circles every 30mins, for free.   The bus driver gives you a tour of what to do and what you are driving by.  Very friendly, proud, and helpful.

The camping and trails where wonderful too.  We had a good camping spot right next to the gorge and  there where miles and miles of trails.  Not really good running if you like street running, but, excellent trails, stairs, up & down hills, it was actually very challenging.  Duke & I enjoyed it.

We'd love to come back to Hot Springs Arkansas with friends, and enjoy their various live music venues too!

Tomorrow we start our way north, first night outside of Memphis, with a stop at an excellent DDD in Memphis, in Graceland for some BBQ! Then camping in the woods just north of Memphis.

That's if for now! (Jerry hasn't edited this yet.. he will!)

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