Hot Springs, ArkansasSource: Arkansas Dept. of Parks & Tourism: http://www.arkansas.com
Hot Springs and Hot Springs National Park owe their existence to an array of springs that still supply naturally heated water for thermal bathers. The Fordyce Bathhouse, located on famous Bathhouse Row, serves as the park's visitor center.
Hot Springs is the smallest and oldest of the parks in the National Park System. It dates back to 1832 when Congress established, 40 years ahead of Yellowstone, the first federally protected area in the nation's history.
Hot Springs Reservation, which was renamed Hot Springs National Park in 1921, was created to protect the 47 naturally flowing thermal springs on the southwestern slope of Hot Springs Mountain.
The city, which is the boyhood home of former U.S. President Bill Clinton, is located in Garland County. Along with the national park it is home base to live Thoroughbred racing at Oaklawn Park, Magic Springs/Crystal Falls theme and water parks, the 210-acre Garvan Woodland Gardens, The Gangster Museum of America, and a renowned arts community.
The city is also known for many annual events including the Hot Springs Music Festival Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival, Valley of the Vapors Independent Music Festival, Hot Springs Jazz Festival, Hot Springs Blues Festival, the downtown Bathtub Races and the World's Shortest St. Patrick's Day Parade.
Illegal casino gambling thrived in the city during the 40s, 50s and 60s, until Governor Rockefeller closed the casinos in 1967. The Gangster Museum of America focuses on the 1920s-40s era of the town, when gangsters such as Al Capone and Lucky Luciano vacationed there.
Bank of the Ozarks Arena is connected to the Hot Springs Convention Center and hosts concerts, sports, and shows. Outdoor activities in the area include mountain biking, hiking, golf, horseback riding, and fishing, digging for quartz crystals, and water sports that center around lakes Hamilton, Ouachita, Catherine, Ouachita, and DeGray. More outdoor options can also be found at the Ouachita National Forest.
Learn more about Hot Springs and Hot Springs National Park by visiting the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism at: www.arkansas.com
You can also visit the Hot Springs city website that contains a wealth of information about attractions and events by pointing your browser to: www.hotsprings.org