There are several points throughout downtown Hot Springs where people can fill jugs of water up directly from the hot springs in Hot Springs. :)
Not only was Hot Springs known for its bathhouses, it also had some "side" businesses of ill-repute like gambling and brothels. Maxine's was a famous brothel back in the 1950's and had some "high-class" clientele including both politicians and mobsters.
We continued walking up "Bathhouse Row". The buildings have been beautifully restored and a few of them still operate as bathhouses.
The first one we walked in was the Lamar.
The Lamar no longer operates as a bathhouse but has a nice little gift shop in front. I did find a nice big tub in the gift shop. :)
|Can somebody get my back?|
|Don't you love my cap!|
|Ah...nothing like a soak in the tub. |
I may take a nap! :)
Our next stop was the Fordyce Bathhouse that now serves as the Visitor Center for Hot Springs National Park.
The Fordyce was open from 1915 to 1962 when it closed due to declining business. It remained vacant until it opened as the Hot Springs National Park Visitor Center in 1989. The bathhouse has been restored so you can see what it looked like when it was operational.
| Behind all the doors are individual big tubs|
for soaking in the hot springs mineral water.
|The stained-glass window above was beautiful.|
|An individiual stall with the big tub.|
|Saunas...not for me!|
|Is this a shower or a car wash??|
|The Cooling Room where ladies|
rested and cooled off from the hot baths.
What is really interesting is that in this the 100th year of the National Park Service, we learned that Hot Springs was the first U.S. "reservation" to protect a natural resource.
|Notice the sign says:|
"U.S. Hot Springs Reservation"
After leaving the visitor center, we continued down Bathhouse Row stopping at Superior Bathhouse Brewery and Distillery for some good ol' Arkansas ice cream called Yarnell's. Chuck and I shared the Whoo Pig Chewy which was delicious!
Next, we stopped at the Hot Water Cascade where you could actually see the hot springs coming out of the ground and cascading over the rocks. The water comes out of the ground at a piping 143 degrees! A little warm for a soak in the tub! The bathhouses cool the water to keep it at 104 degrees (like most hot tubs today).
Next, we walked across the street to the historic Arlington Resort Hotel & Spa.
While the original Arlington was built in 1875, after demolition of the original wooden structure and a fire of the next Arlington building, the current building opened New Year's Eve of 1924 and has been operational ever since.
Can you imagine some of the parties and balls the Arlington may have hosted over the years???
|O.K. kids. Stop running up and down the stairs!|
We walked by another open hot spring where you can see the steam coming off the water.
Most of the 47 hot springs are capped off with these big green boxes to prevent contamination.
At the end of the Grand Promenade is the Army Navy Hospital that was built in the 1930s.
After returning to their truck, we rode a very windy road up Hot Springs Mountain and took the elevator up to the top of the tower...
,..where we could look out and see the green hills of Arkansas.
|Downtown Hot Springs|
|Magic Springs Amusement Park|