Hot Springs, Arkansas -
Top Free Things To Do
Visit the Fordyce Bathhouse Museum & Hot Springs National Park
Visitor Center then stroll down bathhouse row and the Grand
Promenade. Tour through the visitor's center in the
restored Fordyce Bathhouse, the only bathhouse that had a
bowling alley. After your tour is complete stroll past the
other bathhouses on Bathhouse Row then up to the Grand Promenade
where you can see a natural hot spring but be careful it comes
out at 143º F. Also make sure to see
the hot spring water cascade down to the Arlington lawn area.
Take a look at the blue-green algae. One of these hot
water varieties is so rare it is only found in 5 other places on
2. Take a scenic drive
up Hot Springs Mountain
(North Mountain). This is a must do sharp hairpin
curve drive! This drive has great views of the Hot Springs
National Park forest and the city. To see North Mountain
from the visitor's center take a right just before the Arlington
Hotel (Fountain Street) then follow the signs for Hot Springs
Mountain. There are several pull-offs where you can stop,
get out and take in the views. This drive also leads to
the Hot Springs Mountain
3. Take a scenic drive up
4. Have a picnic on the
Grand Promenade, Hot Springs Mountain, West Mountain, or at
Gulpha Gorge. Can you think of a better way to enjoy
the outdoors than to have a picnic and enjoy the scenery at any
of these sites?
5. Take a drive on the
Arkansas Scenic 7 Byway (Central Ave). This was
Arkansas' first state-designated scenic byway. It goes in
both directions but I recommend driving north to pass through
the Ouachita National Forest and all the way to Russellville if
you have the time.
6. Go on a hike through the
national park forest.
Dead Chief Trail - The Dead Chief Trail is approximately 1.4
miles in length. It intersects the Gulpha Gorge Trail. It
goes from Bathhouse Row to the campground at Gulpha Gorge.
Gulpha Gorge Trail -The
Gulpha Gorge Trail is approximately 0.8 miles in length. This
trail starts either at Gulpha Gorge campground or at the shelter
on Hot Springs Mountain.
More hiking trail information at:
Downtown Hot Springs Art Galleries
More and more art galleries are opening in downtown Hot Springs
bringing a vast variety of paintings, glass, and other forms of
art. Be careful, while browsing is free you might find
something you want to take home.
8. Fill up your water jugs
with hot spring water for free!
These water filling stations are located near the corner of
Central Avenue and Reserve Street. I used to go with my
grandmother to fill up a hundred jugs at a time back before
people ever considered paying for bottled water.
Hot Springs Water Filling Station - Free Water, Just Bring a
9. Visit Mountain Valley
Spring Water Visitor Center
Mountain Valley Spring Water
was being sold long before buying bottled water was cool.
Mountain Valley Spring Water got its start in 1871. The water
comes from a spring near Hot Springs, Arkansas that was
recognized for its purity and beneficial mineral content. The
water was soon distributed from a building on Central Avenue not
far from where the headquarters and visitor’s center is now
located. Mountain Valley Water is touted as the only American
water distributed nationally under one label. The visitor center
offers free samples and self guided tours of exhibits including
historic photographs and antique bottles. On the second floor it
has a gallery with art from local artists on display.
Mountain Valley Spring Company
Central Avenue, Hot Springs, Arkansas