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Points of Interest at Hot Springs National Park

Hot Springs National Park is a small and unique park situated in central Arkansas. Renowned for its natural thermal baths, Hot Springs National Park holds historic significance dating back centuries. If it’s your first time visiting the park, you’ll want to make sure to see all the main points of interest. 

Fordyce Bathhouse Museum and Visitor Center 

From 1915 to 1962 the Fordyce Bathhouse functioned as a luxurious spa, offering a variety of treatments and natural thermal baths. The bathhouse has been preserved and today operates as a museum and the Hot Springs National Park’s visitor center. Come here to learn about the park’s fascinating history and speak with a park ranger. 

Bathhouse Row

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Bathhouse Row is home to eight historic bathhouses built in the 1800s. Sitting directly over natural hot springs, the historic bathhouses are no longer in use. Though the Fordyce Bathhouse visitor center and the Buckstaff bathhouse, which still operates as a spa, are exceptions.

The Grand Promenade 

A scenic walkway leading behind Bathhouse Row, The Grand Promenade offers visitors views of the hot springs and historic bathhouses. This half-mile trail leads from Bathhouse Row into the nearby mountains, making for a pleasant and scenic stroll. 

Buckstaff Bathhouse 

Situated on Bathhouse Row, Busckstaff Bathhouse is the only of the historic bathhouses still in use as a spa. Offering a variety of all-natural treatments and services, Buckstaff still makes use of the healing waters of the hot springs this national park is known for.

Hot Springs Mountain Tower

An enormous observation tower located on Hot Springs Mountain, Hot Springs Mountain Tower offers unbeatable panoramic views of the hot springs, the Ouachita Mountains, and the surrounding areas. Guests to the tower can also visit the small gift shop and cafe. 

Places to Visit After Hot Springs National Park

Hot Springs National Park is located in central Arkansas and protects 47 natural hot springs. For centuries people have come from all over to bathe in the healing thermal waters and tour the historic bath houses that populate the area. Once you’ve had your fill of Hot Springs National Park, continue on to the following destinations.

Hot Springs, Arkansas – The city of Hot Springs borders Hot Springs National Park to the south. Hometown of former President Bill Clinton, this city is situated in the scenic Ouachita Mountains and offers a host of attractions. This city makes for the perfect stop before or after your visit to Hot Springs National Park.  

Ozark National Forest – Under 2.5 hours outside of Hot Springs National Park sits Ozark National Forest covering 1.2 million acres. The forest is home to breathtaking landscapes and the stunning Ozark Mountains, making it a scenic stop on your way to Hot Springs National Park. 

Ouachita National Forest – About 2 hours from Hot Springs National Park, the Ouachita National Forest offers a variety of hiking paths, camping opportunities, scenic drives, and beautiful overlooks. Head to Ouachita National Forest before or after your visit to Hot Springs National Park.

Little Rock, Arkansas – Only an hour drive from Hot Springs National Park, Little Rock, Arkansas provides the natural next stop along your way. Here you can explore the Bill Clinton Library and Museum as well as other historic Arkansas museums and monuments.

Memphis, Tennessee – About 3 hours outside of Hot Springs National Park, Memphis, Tennessee is a bustling city situated on the Mississippi River. A historic hub for blues, rock n’ roll, and soul music, visitors to Memphis will love exploring Elvis Presley’s Graceland mansion and the iconic Sun Studio.

Basic Facts About Hot Springs National Park

Situated in central Arkansas alongside the city of Hot Springs, Hot Springs National Park is home to 47 natural thermal springs and today protects a number of historic bathhouses. The smallest national park in America, Hot Springs is also the hometown of former President Bill Clinton. 

History 

The first officially protected reservation in the United States, Congress deemed the region Hot Springs Reservation in 1832. In 1921, the park was reestablished and renamed as Hot Springs National Park. The park preserves 47 hot springs as well as the historic “Bathhouse Row”, a National Historic Landmark District which includes eight formerly luxurious bathhouses. 

For centuries, the natural thermal waters of these springs have been used to heal ailments and unwind. In the 1800s and early 1900s, Hot Springs National Park saw many visitors who came for the healing treatments of the waters. As modern medicine advanced, many of the bathhouses closed and were preserved as museums. 

Landscape 

As the name suggests, Hot Springs National Park is filled with an abundance of naturally flowing thermal hot and cold water springs. The surrounding areas boast lush, mountainous terrain sprinkled with creeks and valleys. The park is brimming with wildflowers, shrubs, as well as oak, hickory, and pine trees.

Points of Interest at Redwood National Park

One of the United States’ most iconic national parks, Redwood National Park is home to vast groves of giant ancient redwood trees. The park also protects prairies, woodlands, grasslands, and stretches of beach, which make this an incredibly unique and versatile natural getaway. Be sure to explore Redwood National Park’s main points of interest during your visit!

Fern Canyon 

A stunning canyon with ferns dramatically enveloping its walls, Fern Canyon is so scenic it was used as a filming location for one of the Jurassic Park films. Enjoy this one-mile loop around the canyon which will take you past hidden waterfalls and lovely lush scenery.

Lady Bird Johnson Grove

Lady Bird Johnson Grove is a gorgeous grove of redwood trees which honors the former first lady, “Lady Bird” Jonson, who was an environmental activist. Enjoy the 1.5-mile scenic loop while you admire the ancient redwoods along your way.

Klamath River Overlook 

This breathtaking overlook offers views of the Klamath River where it runs into the sparkling Pacific Ocean. A wonderful place for wildlife viewing, at Klamath River Overlook you may have the opportunity to see whales or sea lions!

Big Tree Wayside

As its name suggests, Big Tree Wayside is home to an enormous tree! Thought to be about 1,500 years old and standing at 300 feet tall, this spectacular tree is certainly worth a visit. The walk to Big Tree Wayside is quick and easy, making for a nice short stop along your way.

Trillium Falls 

The 1-mile round trip hike to Trillium Falls offers plenty of wildlife viewing opportunities, and you’re likely to catch a glimpse of elk along your way. The trail leads to Trillium Falls, a beautiful 10-foot waterfall in the heart of the forest.

Tall Trees Grove

Tall Trees Grove is home to several of the tallest trees in the world. This 4-mile round trip hike is moderate, so be prepared with sturdy hiking shoes and plenty of water. A permit is also required to hike this trail so be sure to look into the requirements ahead of time! 

Places to Visit After Redwood National Park

A scenic national park located on the North Coast of California, Redwood National Park is defined by the giant ancient redwood trees that it protects. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this national park offers much to explore. Once you’ve had your fill of Redwood National Park, continue your journey at the following destinations!

Lassen Volcanic National Park – Just over 4 hours from Redwood National Park, Lassen Volcanic National Park offers a unique variety of natural wonders, including thermal and geologic features, volcanoes, and more. You’ll enjoy the contrast of this natural park to the lush scenery in the Redwoods.

San Francisco, California – About 5.5 hours away from Redwood National Park lies San Francisco, one of America’s most impressive cities. Make your way over to the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, take a tour of the infamous Alcatraz prison, and hike in the city’s breathtaking mountains.

Eureka, California – Only 45 minutes from Redwood National Park, Eureka makes for a great stopping point before or after your visit to the park. Eureka also provides plenty of overnight lodging accommodations if you plan to stay in this charming city during your visit to Redwood National Park.

Humboldt Redwoods State Park –  Head to Humboldt Redwoods State Park an hour and a half outside of Redwood National Park to explore a greater variety of ancient redwoods. Take a drive along the scenic Avenue of the Giants highway for striking views of this state park.

Shelter Cove, California – Situated on California’s Lost Coast, Shelter Cove is a stunningly beautiful natural destination to continue onto from Redwood National Park. Here you can explore the black sand beaches, go fishing, hiking, swimming, surfing, whale watching, and more.