Hot Springs, located about an hour from Little Rock, has quietly become one of the best spots for tourists and locals alike thanks to its nature trails, historic downtown, theme parks and museums.
If you are looking for something fun to do this summer, check out these not-so-hidden gems in Hot Springs.
Hot Springs Mountain Tower
A must visit if you are visiting Hot Springs, is the historic Hot Springs Mountain Tower, which has been an area landmark since 1877. The tower offers beautiful panoramic views of the Ouachita Mountains, Hot Springs Mountain, and Diamond Lakes area.
Starting Memorial Day weekend, the Hot Springs Mountain Tower is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. It is also available for weddings and other special events.
Passes to the tower cost $8 for adults, $4.50 for children ages 5 to 11 and $7 for seniors ages 55 and older. Admission is free for children 4 and younger. Parking at the Hot Springs Mountain Tower is free.
Mid-America Science Museum
If it is too hot outside and you are looking for something fun to do inside, the Mid-America Science Museum has more than 100 hands-on exhibits. According to its website, midamericamuseum.org, the “Mid-America Science Museum has been a resource for innovative STEM education since its opening in 1979.”
The newest addition to Mid-America Science Museum is the Oaklawn Foundation DinoTrek, which is the state’s first permanent outdoor dinosaur exhibit. Guests can hike among the dinosaurs dispersed throughout the museum’s 21-wooded acre outdoor landscape.
The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m. It is located at 500 Mid America Blvd in Hot Springs and can be reached at (501) 767-3461.
There is no better or infamous Hot Springs attraction than Magic Springs: Arkansas Theme & Water Park. As Arkansas’ only Theme & Water Park, features big rides, big slides and also a summer concert season. The park features two water rides and five roller coasters. Magic Springs offer admission for $59.99 every Saturday and $49.99 at the gate Sunday-Friday.
From hamburgers and fries to chicken and pizza, there are eateries for every taste conveniently located throughout the park. Daily parking is $20 per vehicle.
For more information, visit magicsprings.com or call (501) 624-0100.
A Tour of Crystal Ridge Distillery
Hosted by a member of the Crystal Ridge team, the one-hour tours and tastings “offer an opportunity to learn more about the history and ingredients that go into our moonshine,” according to the distillery’s website, crystalridgedistillery.com. and can accommodate any sized group and kids are allowed on the tour. Guests will experience the beauty of the 1920 built building, which has been revitalized with modern amenities while keeping the 1920s authenticity.
Reservations are not required for tours or tastings.
Located within walking distance of Central Avenue and Bath House Row – other spots of interest for those visiting Hot Springs – Crystal Ridge Distillery sits on the corner of Broadway and Grand.
Tastings are offered every 30 minutes. No reservation required. Call (501) 627-0722 to schedule a tour.
All ages are welcome!