Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Free and Frugal Things to do in Hot Springs, Ar.

Last night I was looking over my old blog from about ten years ago and an article I wrote on visiting Hot Springs for under $20 a day per person. Coming home yesterday I was thinking of all the things I like to do in my hometown that don't cost much and how I should share with others. So here is my updated list.

When I have people come visit there are many things I share with them that are not on your local websites because there is so much beauty around Hot Springs. Here is my quick list.

  1. The Stueart Pennington Memorial Running of the Tubs, the bath tub races are free and so much fun. This community event was thought up by my late step father and runs every spring or early summer. https://www.facebook.com/RunningoftheTubs/
  2. Hike: Go to the visitors center for maps. Hot Springs has more trails than you could ever imagine for those who tire easy to the adventure seeker. My favorite hike is the trail at Lake Catherine to the falls. There are trails downtown, trails at Lake Catherine, Degray, Ouachita and more.
  3. Go swimming at a local beach. My favorite beach is in Hot Springs Village, Balboa beach,  but you will need to be a guest or get a day pass to go. It's so clean and nice. I feel like I'm in Florida when I am there. 
  4. The Village also has amazing hiking trails. 
  5. Downtown you can walk the Promenade, visit the Fordyce Bath House (My dad gives tours here), walk bathhouse row, visit the park at Arlington Lawn, stick your hands in the Hot Springs, and remember to bring your glass water bottles and jugs. Hot and cold springs abound and the water is free. Go to the visitors center for a map of the springs. 
  6. Take a drive to Hot Springs and West Mountain located in downtown! This is free, beautiful and fun. 
  7. Have a picnic at the Gorge, also part of the National Park and free.
  8. Go swim at one of the many beaches at Lake Ouachita.
  9. It's not free but you have to eat so pick up lunch and beef jerky at "Burls' Country Store" when visiting the beaches at Lake Ouachita.
  10. Visit the local library. Need a cool place to take a bathroom break, rest, check your email, check out our local library. It's fantastic. The kids library is amazing and everyone can enjoy a little quite time. They also offer lots of free events from Blue Grass Music to movie night. 
  11. Tuesdays is $5 movie night and cheap popcorn and cokes at the Cinema 10 in HS. Our movie theaters are not truly that up to date but they do the job and they are clean and friendly. You will need to give your phone and email to get the movie pass. 
  12. Flea market shop. Hot Springs has lots of great flea markets and antique shops. Google and visit for cheap take a ways for home. 
  13. When my kids were little we food packed when we traveled. It would be worth your while to rent a house, condo or hotel with a kitchen. Pack your food or visit our local Health Food Store "Good Earth" and pick up food, salads, soup, and goodies. Eat lunch and dinner at home and get lunch out. Lunch is much cheaper than dinners in Hot Springs. Places that have lunch specials that are good are La Hacienda, Rolando's, Hunan's, Cracker Barrel, and I am sure there are more but these are some good ones. I love Pho Hoang My, it's  great for dinner and very inexpensive. At La Hacienda I would recommend sharing the La Hacienda Nacho's. Cracker Barrel is also pretty good and inexpensive and has something for everyone. 
  14. We have many great city parks as well. My favorite is Energy Park for walking, fishing, and playing on the playground. Hollywood park is amazing too. 
  15. Visit Lake Charlton outside of Hot Springs. It's a cold spring and has waterfalls, picnic areas and ice cold water perfect for a hot southern day. 

Please feel free to ad to this list and thank you for reading!