Sunday, October 28, 2007
Hot Springs, Arkansas
Yesterday, we decided to check out Hot Springs, Arkansas. It is a resort/tourist town, known for it's Hot Springs of course. But back in the day, it was known for it's bathhouses. They lined the street and it was quite the destination as well as the aristocratic thing to do. People came from all over to enjoy the healing power of the Hot Springs thermal baths. Joe Dimaggio & Marilyn Monroe spent their honeymoon in Hot Springs. Baseball teams such as the yankees, red sox, and the cardinals would go there to practice... Babe Ruth was even seen in Hot Springs a few times. It was a hideout for Al Capone. It is the boyhood home of Bill Clinton as well as Billy Bob Thornton. James Garner retired to Hot Springs and has a home on Lake Hamilton. We spent most of the day walking Historic Bathhouse row. Most of them are shut down. The Fordyce Bathhouse has been turned into a museum. The Buckstaff Bathhouse is the only one currently still open and running... prices for thermal baths start at around $80.00. (And it was packed!) The Quapaw is currently under rennovation and will open in the Summer of 2008. It was all really interesting. It was a little crazy to see how the rich hung out on their vacations. On the opposite side of bathhouse row are tons of little hole in the wall shops and cafes. We enjoyed lunch in the National Cafe and then got ready to take a "Duck Tour." We then boarded our bus boat and enjoyed the sites. The bus turned into a boat and took us out on the lake and showed us around. It was so pretty! The tour guide told us it was Open Gator Season and that we just might see a gator. We were so excited, but no such luck. Hot Springs is also home to Oaklawn Racing Track. I'm not sure if any good races are held there, but it was a pretty big track. After our Duck Tour we went to the Trousseaud's Wax Museum... I decided wax museums are really kinda creepy. There was so much to do and so much to see, but our day ran out before we had time to see everything. We got home late and were so tired from walking, but it was a great day!