This post about things to do in Hot Springs, Arkansas is in collaboration with Visit Hot Springs.
I can promise that no one had more fun on St. Patrick’s Day than me and the Babes That Wander. We spent St. Patty’s Day weekend in Hot Springs, Arkansas, and had the absolute best time. This was one of the coolest press trips I have ever been on and I’m excited to recap everything we did in Hot Springs in today’s post!
Things to Do in Hot Springs, Arkansas
We were in Hot Springs specifically to cover the World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade. The parade is on Bridge Street’s 98-foot length in the downtown area and the weather that day was perfect, seventy and sunny! This year the parade starter was Danny Trejo and the grand marshall was Cheech Marin. We got to meet both of them at the VIP lunch before the parade started and fuel up before all the parade festivities began.
The babes got to live out their dreams of being in a parade! We were the first thing people saw when we drove through on a fire truck. There were at least 20,000 people there and it was so fun smiling and waving to everyone! Then when we were finished, we got to stand in front of the stage and get a front-row seat to the parade. There were the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders and the World’s Biggest Potato and everyone was throwing mardi gras beads and candy at the crowds.
We had the best time and kept saying it was kind of a surreal experience. Smiles were on our faces the rest of the night and we kept talking about how much fun the day was.
Foghat played a concert after the parade was over and the next night Sugar Ray put on a free concert in the same place. We got to meet Sugar Ray before their performance and they were the nicest group of guys! They put on an amazing show.
Hot Springs goes all out with St. Patrick’s Day so I recommend booking your hotel in advance and coming for all the fun! All the fountains are green, the people are so friendly and nice and you’ll have an absolute ball.
Where to Stay
Reserve – We didn’t stay at Reserve but we did enjoy an incredible breakfast there one morning and toured the grounds. The owners bought the house after they retired and breathed life back into a place that needed some TLC. The decor is a mix of victorian and modern but is so warm and welcoming. The interior decorator did an amazing job and I wish my house was as fabulous! The Reserve has the main house, a garden house in the back with a private room, and then a separate house, Legacy. The Reserve also has a beautiful outdoor area and would be a stunning place for a wedding or elopement.
Book this B&B in advance because when they have availability, it doesn’t last long! And definitely enjoy the breakfast, we definitely did!
Woodlawn Tudor & Cottage – The babes stayed at this quaint Air BNB close to Woodlawn. We had the full house to ourselves as well as a great patio and backyard area. If we had more time we would have spent more time in the backyard area! The space sleeps 5 with a room with twin beds, a queen bed in another room, and a pull-out couch. There’s also a full kitchen, dining room, and washer/dryer at your disposal. The decor was so quaint and charming and I loved the beds. Some of the pillows were Tempurpedic and I slept so well! Book this cottage here!
What to Do
Garvan Gardens – We got all dressed up and got to Garvan Gardens bright and early. Some of the tulips were blooming and we learned all about them! All the tulips are planted by hand and there are thousands of them. Different colored tulips also bloom at different times. When we were there the white and yellow bloomed and the pink was just about to bloom. The tulips are done by mid-April and the bulbs are dug out and sold.
Also on the property is the stunning Anthony Chapel. This property is breathtakingly beautiful with floor-to-ceiling windows. There are different packages you can purchase if you want to get married there. On the grounds, you’ll also find the Japanese garden, fairy garden, and treehouse. Wear comfortable shoes and get to exploring!
Quapaw Baths – In case you didn’t know, Hot Springs has a lot of history in its city. People used to come from far and wide to take advantage of the healing powers of the hot springs. The springs were known to help with ailments like polio, arthritis, and much more. So why not take advantage of it while you’re there! We hit the Quapaw Baths as soon as they opened. There are four different baths and you spend 15 minutes in each. They all vary in degrees and you make sure to stay hydrated while enjoying the hot baths. After walking so much in heels on St. Patrick’s Day, my feet felt so much better after soaking in the hot baths.
Bathhouse Soapery & Caldarium – After the baths, we headed across the street to the Bathhouse Soapery. We met the owner Pam and learned all about her business. She also did a demo on their bath bombs that expand in the bath. We got to smell so many of their amazing scents, the raspberry mango was my favorite. Pam is an amazing lady and business owner, she’s the definition of a boss!
Fordyce Bathhouse – If you’re interested in more of the history of the bathhouses, visit Fordyce for a self-guided tour. We requested a tour guide, Ashley, and she was amazing! She shared all her knowledge with us and answered all our questions. It really is a cool place to learn and see what the bathhouses used to be like, plus it’s free entry.
Hot Springs Mountain Tower – Another cool thing to do in Hot Springs, Arkansas is to go up the elevator in the Hot Springs Mountain Tower. In the spring and summer, the view is incredible and you get a panoramic view of everything in the Hot Springs.
Oaklawn Racing, Casino & Resort – One of the highlights of our trip was going to Oaklawn and taking in the horse races and casinos. We dressed to the nines and took in the races. We got a great tour and got to see all the action up close. Then we headed to the rooftop to take in a race from above. We did a group bet for one race and even though we lost, it was thrilling! There are also lots of places to eat and enjoy a cocktail at Oaklawn. I’ll talk a little more about it below.
Avant Mining – Want to mine for crystals? Well, you’re in luck in Hot Springs! Avant Mining Fisher Mountain has a rock shop and public + private crystal mining experiences for individuals and groups. While we didn’t do any mining ourselves, we got a tour of where the magic happens and saw a few crystals for ourselves.
Where to Eat
The Rooftop at The Waters – The only rooftop bar in Hot Springs is where it’s at friends! The Rooftop is the bar on top of The Waters hotel. You can valet your car out front and take the elevator up or come visit if you’re shopping and exploring the main downtown street. It was here that the babes had their first interactions with The Shenanigans. They’re basically us but they travel all over America for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. You could tell who every member of their group was because they all had matching green shamrock suits.
At The Rooftop, we had cocktails, wine, and dinner all while enjoying the rooftop view of the Hot Springs. If you can, make a reservation to see it for yourself.
Superior Bathhouse Brewery – As a female-run group, the babes love supporting female-run businesses! Superior Bathhouse Brewery is female-owned and operated and welcomes anyone from any walk of life. The brewery had some of the best brews and food in Hot Springs! We had chicken tenders, fries, and a flight of all their beers. My favorite was the strawberry lemonade hard cider! The ladies who worked there were so friendly and accommodating. I wish I was there eating lunch right now.
McClard’s BBQ – You absolutely cannot go to Hot Springs and not get some BBQ at McClard’s! I love any kind of barbeque I can get and McClard’s didn’t disappoint. It’s a business that has been in the family for generations and so much love and attention goes into their meat.
Pop’s Lounge at Oaklawn – While we were at Oaklawn we popped into Pop’s for some refreshments. It was such a fun spot! They had live music and dancing and there was a couple out on the floor the entire time showing us how it’s done! The music is a mix of country and old classics and will have you clapping your hands or tapping your feet the entire time. Plus it was a laid-back atmosphere and a good place to stop in if you need a break from the slots or betting on horses.
The Bugler – An upscale dining experience at Oaklawn was The Bugler. I felt like I was at a five-star restaurant with its delicious cuisine and excellent service! I’m a mashed potato connoisseur and I will give theirs 9/10. They were so creamy and yummy! We all were stuffed by the end of the meal but that didn’t stop us from inhaling the delectable creme brulee. Make a reservation, dress up, and come for an anniversary or date night.
Splash Wine Bar – After the Sugar Ray concert in downtown Hot Springs, everyone went to Splash for a nightcap and cheese board. The front of the bar is more upscale and great for a girl’s night but then head to the back patio for fun and live music.
Copper Penny Pub – In the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day, the Copper Penny Pub was the place to be! It was right on the main street and only a block away from where the parade was. We didn’t get to enjoy a drink there because they were so slammed and busy but would recommend it if you’re there during a slower time.