Marty and I love to get away on little Spring Break getaways. One day, while perusing the internet looking for something quirky to do when we came across The World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Marty got this huge, silly smile on his face when he told me that the whole parade route was only 98 feet in length! Well, of course, I’m in!!! We immediately started researching other things to do in Hot Springs and thus decided to share with you.
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Things to do in Hot Springs, Arkansas
World’s Shortest St. Patty’s Day Parade
The World’s Shortest St. Patty’s Day Parade is what drew us to Hot Springs. The thought of a parade that is only 98 feet in length is just quirky enough to get my attention. Couple that with a chance to dress up and be silly, and you know I’m in.
If you are in Hot Springs in March, be sure to check out this parade. Don your best St. Patty’s Day costume and head out. Be sure to get there early to claim your spot, as this small area fills up quickly.
Visit the Hot Spring
You will notice the hot springs everywhere in Hot Spring National Park. Walking down the street, you will see the steam coming out of the water, just letting you know that the warm water is flowing and waiting.
Be sure to stop by and dip your hands (or feet) into the natural hot spring waters. Be careful, the waters flow out at an average temperature of 143 degrees, so it’s pretty hot!
Garvan Woodland Gardens
Located on the shore of Lake Hamilton, the Garvan Woodland Gardens is a relaxing way to spend an afternoon in Hot Springs. The garden contains beautiful walking trails with quaint bridges, natural foliage, and serene lake views.
Marty and I were lucky and happened to visit during the spring tulip bloom. Of course, I was super excited as tulips are one of my favorite flowers! Thousands of daffodil and tulip bulbs are carefully planted to celebrate the end of winter. During our trip, one of the gardeners explained to us that they planted over 13,000 tulips!
As you can see from the photos, the tulips created a blanket of color. They were stunning!
Hot Spring’s Bath House Row
A trip to Hot Spring would not be complete without a visit to Bath House Row. For centuries, the natural hot springs found in this area drew visitors from far and wide to experience the healing waters. After a long day of sightseeing, a relaxing spa treatment is just what the doctor ordered. I recommend the Buckstaff Bathhouse for your spa experience. It is the only remaining continually operating bathhouse. The Buckstaff doesn’t accept reservations, so get there early to ensure you have time for your treatment.
You should stop in at the Fordyce Bath House. The Fordyce Bath House is now the visitor’s center for Hot Spring National Park. Take time to tour the Fordyce to learn about the history of these thermal waters. During the tour, we were especially surprised at some of the “contraptions” used during the bathing ritual. I mean really, some of these things have to be illegal right? Some form of cruel and unusual punishment?
Food and Drinks
One of the joys of visiting a new area is experiencing the food and wine, and I don’t mean the chain restaurants! We like to go to local places, eat street food, and just dive in like a local! A couple of our favorites from this trip are:
Fat Bottom Girls Cupcakes: I first learned about Fat Bottom Girls while watching an episode of Cupcake Wars. I have to admit, I wanted to run to Hot Springs immediately and get one of their cupcakes! I had the salted caramel cupcake, it was the perfect balance of sweet and salty! Marty had the Ooey Gooey Buttercake. The crumb on this cake is incredible, but even if it hadn’t been, you wouldn’t care. The cream cheese frosting and the gooey vanilla layer between the cake was decadent!
Bathhouse Row Winery: If you show me a sign that says “free wine tasting”, you better get out of the way! Marty knew we were going in the minute I noticed this sign. Bathhouse Row Winery is a small storefront that carries an assortment of Arkansas wines as well as some wine related products. I really enjoyed my tasting but was extremely surprised at the tax that is applied to alcohol in Arkansas. Buyer Beware!
Rolando’s: You know that Marty and I are from Texas, so we are picky about our Mexican food. I do admit, we are suckers for TexMex, that is just what we have grown up on! Honestly, we didn’t go to Rolando’s for any reason, but to enjoy the patio. I know, I know, that sounds rude, but it’s true! It was St. Patrick’s Day, so I wanted a fun green drink. Since I don’t drink beer at all, much less green beer, it only seems fitting that I have a margarita! We really had a great time at Rolando’s. The patio was super cute and the service was really good. We had the queso flamado and some taquitos with our margaritas.
As you can see, there are so many things to do in Hot Springs. We had such a fun time visiting this historic city.
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