For the school's winter break, we monitored the weather around the holidays, looking for a warm few days within a manageable distance. We found an opening - Hot Springs!
We booked a site at Catherine’s Landing Resort, a campground we previously visited in 2016. The campground is on Lake Catherine and about 15 minutes from downtown. We had a large, level concrete site at the sparsely populated campground. This campground is packed in season and offers great services and amenities- beautiful bathhouses, a lodge with campstore, gym, game room, pool, splash pad, disc golf, boat rentals, pavilions, zipline, hiking trail, and a playground.
We visited Mid America Science Museum Sunday afternoon. We only had a short time here and could easily have spent a day. They had a lot of exhibits that were geared toward older kids too, and not just the young kiddos. They offer indoor and outdoor exhibits, a favorite may have been an elevated cargo next as well as an underground Arkansas challenge.
We worked up an appetite and looked forward to pizza and beer at SQZBX. We had pepperoni chips, a huge family salad, and pizza.
That afternoon we walked Hot Springs Downtown. We got coffee and snacks at Kollective Coffee and Tea. That evening, we had sushi rolls at Crazy Samurai.
On New Years Eve we headed back downtown and to explore Hot Springs National Park. We returned to Kollective Coffee and Tea for breakfast, they serve our favorite coffee, Onyx.
Andrew Jackson established Hot Springs Reservation in 1832 to protect the 47 thermal springs. This designation was forty years before the NPS was formed and Yellowstone designated. Those in Hot Springs believe this makes Hot Springs the first National Park.
We are not sure if it’s first or not, but Hot Spring National Park is a neat place. The park includes the bathhouses, two Ozark mountain peaks, and 47 miles of trails. We toured Fordyce Bath House, drove up West Mountain, hiked up Hot Springs Mountain, and drank water from the Springs. We wrapped up our day downtown with a late lunch at Hale Hotel Restaurant.
As we left Hot Springs, we fully intend to make a return visit soon. We think Crater of Diamonds, Mid America Science Center, and SQZBX deserve a return visit soon, and would like to partake in some of the water attractions available.
Shane and Jessica
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