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Need a Vacation? Visit Hot Springs, Arkansas! (Plus: Tips to Recreate Vacay at Home)


Imagine this: You desperately need a mini vacation, and you’ve just found a place that satisfies every travel itch. Here, you take a leisurely hike in bright, warm weather and reward yourself with a dip in natural hot springs. You visit a local brewery in the national park — which uses hot spring water to make its craft beverages! — and order a loaded baked potato and a tap house burger. After a quick refresh at the local bed and breakfast of your choice (or a log cabin if you’re the rugged type, or a historic hotel if you want a feel for old-world brilliance), you peruse the vast array of antique shops in the center of town.

Where can you find such a perfect vacation spot? Right here, in the states: It’s called Hot Springs, Arkansas.

Planning a Day in Hot Springs, Arkansas

Hot Springs National Park
Hot Springs National ParkGetty Images

Relax, recharge, and reconnect with yourself in the “Spa City”! The perfect blend of urban sophistication and natural beauty, this resort town offers eclectic boutiques and eateries, tranquil lake cruises, captivating museums, and so much more!

Start your day with a Hot Springs Trolley tour to cruise through the city, then up into the mountains to take in the views. You can even stop to fill your water bottle with natural spring water right from the mountain.

Next, make your way to The Ohio Club for lunch. Once a popular hangout for gangsters and baseball players, the city’s oldest restaurant serves up delicious burgers, beer-battered onion rings, and rum runners.

The Quapaw Baths in Hot Springs, Arkansas
The Quapaw Baths in Hot Springs ArkansasSean Pavone/Alamy Stock Photo

After a day of adventures, wind down with a visit to Quapaw Baths & Spa. Soak in a private aromatherapy bath complete with nourishing salts to relieve muscle tension and feel replenished. There’s no better way to finish off your day!

Can’t visit? Just imagining a vacation brings joy.

Beautiful art deco architecture throughout town, a national park with miles of hiking and biking trails, and soothing thermal springs make Hot Springs, Arkansas pure gold to visit!

But visiting this town isn’t the only thing you can do to lift your spirits. Studies show that simply looking at beautiful travel photos — like these — releases oxytocin in the brain, helping you feel calm, focused and energized. It’s a mini vacation for your brain!

Take a mini vacation — at home!

There’s another way you can bring Hot Springs to your home: by enjoying your version of the local eats and cocktails. After a juicy, homemade burger or citrus-y fish tacos, try out a grasshopper martini. It’s a Hot Springs classic because the town is famous for its St. Patrick’s Day parade.

St. Patricks Day Parade in Hot Springs Arkansas
St. Patricks Day Parade in Hot Springs, ArkansasTourism Arkansas

Though St. Paddy’s day has already passed, there’s no reason you can’t celebrate this joyous holiday all spring!

Frozen Boozy Mint Grasshopper Cocktail with Creme de Cacao
Brent Hofacker/iStock

Here’s what you’ll need for a Grasshopper Martini:

  • 1 ⁄4 cup crème de menthe
  • 1 ⁄4 cup white chocolate liqueur
  • 1 ⁄4 cup heavy cream
  • Fresh mint sprigs

Instructions: In ice-filled cocktail shaker, combine crème de menthe, chocolate liqueur, and heavy cream; cover. Shake. Strain into two martini glasses. Garnish with fresh mint sprigs.

A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.

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