Discovering the Nearby Towns Around Hot Springs National Park
Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas is renowned for its historic bathhouses and thermal waters. Nestled within the Ouachita Mountains, this unique park offers visitors a combination of recreational relaxation and rich cultural heritage. When you’re planning your trip, exploring neighboring towns can be just as invigorating as the park itself. A search for local accommodations and culinary delights will have you venturing into some of the charming towns around Hot Springs.
Hot Springs: The Heart of the Area
The most obvious place to start is the town of Hot Springs itself. As the park’s gateway, Hot Springs is peppered with a variety of hotels, from cozy bed and breakfast establishments to upscale resorts. The historic Arlington Resort Hotel & Spa and The Waters are popular choices that offer proximity to the famous Bathhouse Row. If you’re after a memorable meal, make reservations at one of the local restaurants featuring Southern comfort cuisine or sip on a craft beer at Superior Bathhouse Brewery, the only brewery in a national park.
Malvern: A Short Drive Away
Just a 20-minute drive east of Hot Springs is the small town of Malvern, known as the "Brick Capital of the World" due to its rich clay deposits. While it's quieter than Hot Springs, Malvern offers a selection of hotels and local eateries. You can enjoy a comfortable stay at Budget Inn Malvern or Holiday Inn Express & Suites Malvern. As for dining, try the family-owned Keeney's Food Market for some home-style cooking and local flavor.
Mount Ida: The Quartz Crystal Capital
Head north of Hot Springs to discover Mount Ida, which is about a 30-minute drive away. Surrounded by forests and clear lakes, it is renowned for its abundance of quartz crystals, earning the title "Quartz Crystal Capital of the World." While the town is smaller, it provides an intimate setting with local inns and lodges, such as the Royal Oak Inn. Eating spots like the Mount Ida Café dish out hearty meals that are sure to satisfy after a long day of crystal hunting or hiking.
Arkadelphia: College Town Charm
Traveling about 30 minutes south brings you to Arkadelphia, a college town home to two universities. With a vibrant youth culture, the town offers a variety of accommodation options from well-known chains such as Hampton Inn & Suites to the charming Captain Henderson House Bed & Breakfast. For food, Taco Mama and Slim & Shorty's serve up local flavor with a twist.
Glenwood: A Peaceful Retreat
Another nearby town is Glenwood, about 45 minutes to the east of Hot Springs National Park. It's a peaceful place ideal for those looking to escape the bustle. Riverwood Inn offers a comfortable stay, and the cafes in town, such as the local favorite Chopping Block Steakhouse, provide a range of meal options.
Famous Dishes to Try
When visiting these towns, there are some famous Arkansas dishes you should not miss. The traditional Southern fried catfish with a side of hush puppies is a must-try, found in many local diners and seafood restaurants. For breakfast, indulge in chocolate gravy, a unique Southern treat served with fresh biscuits. Barbecue lovers will want to dive into smoked pork shoulder, usually served with a tangy tomato-based sauce that has a bit of a kick.
During your stay in Hot Springs and its surrounding areas, tap into local word-of-mouth recommendations and experience the culinary diversity these towns offer. From soul food to fine dining, there's something to please every palate.
For more help planning your trip, consider the following websites:
- Hot Springs National Park Official Website for park information and updates.
- Hot Springs Visitor Information for a comprehensive guide to accommodations, restaurants, and attractions in Hot Springs.
- Arkansas.com for statewide tourist information, including insights into the local towns around Hot Springs.
- TripAdvisor for hotel and restaurant reviews to help make informed decisions based on other travelers' experiences.
By exploring towns near Hot Springs National Park, you can enhance your vacation with local experiences, southern hospitality, and delicious cuisine. Take the opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture and enjoy a fulfilling adventure in and around this beautiful national treasure.