Wandering Wednesday: Hot Springs, AR

As you all know I was on vacation last week and I got to travel up to the lovely Hot Springs, Arkansas! I adore this little town! Walking around Hot Springs is like stepping back in time. The architecture and beautiful sculptures are reminiscent of a bygone era. So let me take you back in time today as we tour the charming town of Hot Springs!

The town gets it’s name from the thermal springs that flow from the ground. The water averages at about 143 degrees year round. There are places around town that you can feel the water as it flows from the ground!

Back in the 1800s people from all over the country would flock here to relax in the thermal springs. Because of this the town started to build bathhouses for people to enjoy a more spa-like experience. Today as you walk down the main street of Hot Springs you can’t help but notice the incredible Bathhouse Row which is made up of 6 beautiful historic buildings.

Each building housed their own thermal spring baths. Many of the hotels also have their own baths for you to unwind in! You should definitely visit the Fordyce Bathhouse which has been turned into the Hot Springs Visitors center! It shows what it was like back in the old days to visit a bathhouse in the town!

Starting in the late 1800s to the 1930s Hot Springs became a popular site for gangsters. Al Capone and Lucky Luciano were said to frequent the town. The Gangster Museum in Hot Springs can give you lots of  information about the notorious gangster town. They will also let you try on some sweet fedoras!

Nowadays the town has slowed down and there are many adorable shops lining the streets just waiting for your arrival. One of my favorite shops is called Bathhouse Soapery. This cute little shop has lots of different handmade soaps, perfumes, and lotions that are sure to put you in a relaxing mood.

Their foaming body scrub is amazing!  I suggest Mud and Minerals or the Oatmeal Creme scrub, both smell amazing and make your skin incredibly soft! Bathhouse Soapery should be a definite stop on your next trip!

If you’re craving something sweet you have to check out Fat Bottomed Girls Cupcake Shoppe! They were featured on Cupcake Wars and the Food Network.

This place has your classic cupcakes like Chocolate on Chocolate or Red Velvet (my personal favorite) but they also have some that are a little out there like Salted Caramel (Jackson’s favorite) and Lemon Lavender. Whatever you get it is sure to be delicious!

The last shop I encourage you to visit is an antique store called Tillman’s. From the outside you can look in the window and see a lot of really exquisite antiques.

When you step inside the whole shop shimmers! Pearls the size of a quarter and gold encrusted clocks are waiting to be seen behind glass cases. If you’re lucky, a man named Davis will be in. If he is there let him tell you about some of his historical pieces!

They have everything from crown jewels that belonged to Russian Royals to a staff from a Moroccan Sheik!

Davis’ stories are absolutely fascinating and you will not want to miss a chance speaking with him!

As you walk around you will no doubt see a large grand hotel. This hotel is called the Arlington and it was built in 1924. The building is so beautiful and the inside is just as grand!

As I mentioned before there are many different bathhouses on Bathhouse Row. There are several of them that are still in operation today. Since you are in Hot Springs I recommend wholeheartedly to take a bath in the springs. Some of the bathhouses have public bathing areas, but I enjoy a more private setting. The Buckstaff Bath House is fantastic.

Men and women are separated and each person is given their own private bathtub. I have done the Whirlpool Mineral Bath. You start by getting in your designated tub filled with the hot spring water. There is a little jet in the tub so it feels somewhat like a hot tub. They give you cool towels to place on your neck and arms so your body doesn’t overheat. You relax in there for a bit. When you get out they lay you down and put hot towels on your arms and legs and give you cold water to drink. At this point you’re about ready to die of happiness and relaxation. After that you enjoy a Sitz bath and a vapor cabinet. And finally you end with a needle shower (which is not as terrible as it sounds, it’s basically a massage shower). After your spa day you will never want to leave and you understand why so many people came to enjoy the springs!

If you want to venture a little outside the town there are lakes and mountains to explore! There is a large observatory that looks out onto the town below and the mountains surrounding! The lakes are beautiful and make for a fun afternoon of swimming!

Hot Springs is a charming place filled with beauty and history! I encourage you to step back in time and enjoy the simple things in life! Happy Wandering Wednesday everyone!

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