Hot Springs, Arkansas - childhood home of Bill Clinton, hideout of Al Capone, hangout of Bugsy Segel, and home to baseball’s first ever 500-foot homerun by the Sultan of Swat himself, Babe Ruth. Little over one hour away from Little Rock, Arkansas, I found myself scouring “Bathhouse Row” for good food and adventure. Oh, didn’t I mention Hot Springs is full of Bathhouses? From the lux, to the mainstream, each one has its own amount of charm and beauty.
The first stop on my list was The Ohio Club. Founded in 1905 as a bar and casino, the present-day bar and restaurant is swimming with history from turn of the century A-Listers. Upon entering, I bellied up to the bar for a Manhattan as Louis Armstrong’s “La Vie en Rose” danced across the airwaves. If you get the chance, I highly recommend wandering upstairs to see one of the original roulette tables they upcycled into a small dining table, along with more of the bar’s antiques covering the walls. After finishing my drink, I decided to move on to the next stop of the adventure.
Across the street I found the National Park Museum located inside of Fordyce Bathhouse. Beautiful architecture is combined with decade old spa equipment, that is free to view throughout your self-guided tour. Behind the building they also have one of the few spots where the water from one of the hot springs’ surfaces, averaging 143° F. The opening is big enough for you to dip your hand into for an idea of the temperature, but too small to bathe in – trust me, it’s frowned upon.
My last stop on the adventure was arguably my favorite - Superior Bathhouse Brewery. Delicious food with over 18 craft beers on tap. My recommendation? The 18 craft flight and one of their super-sized pretzels to help soak it all up. The pretzel, served with hot melty beer cheese and stone-ground mustard, was second best, only to the peach sour ale.
These are just a few examples of the many adventures to be had. I am sure you will find something new and exciting too! While the opportunity to visit Arkansas might not present itself often - but if it does, I recommend adding Hot Springs to the itinerary.