Hot Springs Arkansas-Let’s Go Cheep

The Cool History of Hot Springs, Arkansas

 

A true Arkansas Treasure loaded with so much to do and full of rich history. Absolutely wonderful for weekend getaways with you’re sweetie, vacations and holidays with the family that most certainly won’t cost a fortune or break the bank. Voted top three most affordable destinations by TripAdvisor and US Travel.

The Spa City – America’s First Resort

 

Hot Springs, Arkansas, gets its name from the naturally thermal spring waters found here.  Flowing out of the ground at an average temperature of 143 °F, the hot springs produce almost one million gallons of water each day.

It’s hard to tell exactly how long people have been visiting the springs. Native Americans called this area “the Valley of the Vapors,” and it was said to have been a neutral territory where all tribes could enjoy its healing waters in peace.  

Spanish and French settlers claimed the area in the mid-1500s. In fact, famous explorer Hernando de Soto was the first European to visit Hot Springs in 1541.

The hot springs were such a coveted natural wonder that in 1832, President Andrew Jackson designed Hot Springs as the first federal reservation.  Hot Springs Reservation was essentially America’s first national park, predating Yellowstone National Park by 40 years.

In just a decade, the area changed from a rough frontier town to an elegant spa city centered on a row of attractive Victorian-style bathhouses, the last ones completed in 1888.  When Congress established the National Park Service, Hot Springs Reservation became Hot Springs National Park in 1921.

Today, you can still soak in the thermal waters on historic Bathhouse Row.  The hot springs are also pumped into several downtown hotels and spas. The water is even available at public fountains.  The beautifully restored Fordyce Bathhouse now serves as a visitor center.

 

CHEAP HOTELS AND VACATION RENTALS

The Site of Infamy – A Haven in the Gangster Era.  Al Capone actually had a favorite suite. Rumor has it when he would show up unannounced in town the Arlington Hotel would quickly clear out any guests using the room.

Visiting Hot Springs, Arkansas, today, it’s hard to imagine the city as a hotbed for organized crime, such as gambling, prostitution and bootlegging.  But from the late-1800s through the mid-1900s, especially in the 1930s, Hot Springs was a popular hangout for

Al Capone,

Frank Costello,

Bugs Moran,

Lucky Luciano, and other infamous mobsters.  

The safe, secluded scenic location of Hot Springs made it the ideal hideout.  In order to understand how and why they chose this site, it’s necessary to reflect on the corruption that had been going on here for decades.

As early as the mid- to late-1800s, Hot Springs had been involved in illegal gambling.  At that time, two families controlled these activities: the Flynns and the Dorans.  The two families constantly fought over the city’s gaming rights – a competition that eventually led to the famous Hot Springs Gunfight in 1899.

The Hot Springs Shootout 1899 — Lawmen vs Lawmen

Hot Springs incorporated on January 10th, 1851, it later became home to illegal gambling, speakeasies and gangsters such as Al Capone in the 1930s, horse racing at Oaklawn Park, and the 42nd U.S. President Bill Clinton.

It is said that illegal gambling became firmly established in Hot Springs during the decades following the Civil War. The town of Hot Springs, Arkansas, had a long history of illegal gambling and violence by the late 19th century.

During this realm of local rule, hotel rooms, saloons, and back alleys were the hotspots for cards and craps and casino-type gaming of all kinds.  Hot Springs offered Las Vegas-style amenities before there was a Las Vegas.

Gangster Museum Of America

Located right across the street from the National Park you will find the Gangster Museum of America. In the 20’s, 30’s and 40’s Hot Springs was a popular place for Gangsters to come and visit.

You will take a tour that will bring you up to speed on Hot Springs in the the early to mid 1900’s. And how the gangster population visited here. You will also get a chance to play in the antique casino!

Remnants of the city’s notorious past can still be found inside 

The museum features classic relics, including old roulette tables, vintage slot machines, Madden and Capone exhibits, weapons, and a documentary in the museum’s theater. 

There are many places today to stay when visiting Hot Springs, Arkansas, but we highly suggest THE ARLINGTON HOTEL to get a true feel for where you are. They never remodel this hotel, just refurbish…  The hotel’s fee averages around $100 per night.  Another tip I can share is about parking. If you self park on the property it’s  $15 per night, if you valet it’s $24 per night. If you don’t mind walking one block north there is free parking that the hotel owns but they do not share this info with you unless you ask.

HISTORY OF ARLINGTON RESORT HOTEL & SPA IN HOT SPRINGS

About The Arlington Hotel

The colorful history of the three eras of Arlington hotels is not architectural beauty and uniqueness alone. Always the center of activities in Hot Springs, the Arlington has hosted hundreds of grand balls and social events since 1875. Politicians, dignitaries, actors, gangsters and entertainment and sports legends bathed in our bath house, danced to our music and enjoyed our splendor and charm.

The Arlington has survived a devastating fire, economic downturns, changing social attitudes and much more. Steeped in history, The Arlington is truly a legend.

A Storied Past: The History Of The Arlington

The present Arlington opened Dec. 31, 1924 with a gala New Year’s Eve dinner dance. Although the third Arlington architecturally differs from the first two, there is one holdover – the twin towers.

For 30 years, windows and door louvers ventilated guest’s rooms until 1955 when air conditioning and a heating system were installed. The three guests elevators, in operation since 1969, replaced the original hand-operated elevators installed in 1924. Around from the main elevator is the original bath house elevator – lined with beveled glass and shining brass – still manually operated.

Tony Bennett, Barbra Streisand and Yoko Ono have all luxuriated at the hotel. A Winning Location

The Spa at the Arlington is still very operational and is a great option if you would like to stay on the property instead of taking a beautiful short walk to Bath House Row

On the back side of the Arlington built into the side of mountain is a connector walking bridge that leads to a great swimming pool and a second area cut out that fills up with flowing hot, natural spring water right out of the mountainside. It’s free to the guests of The Arlington Hotel.

STAY AT THE ARLINGTON HOTEL AN ABSOLUTE WONDERFUL EXPERIENCE! – RESERVE HERE

 

OTHER CHEAP HOTELS AND VACATION RENTALS

NOW LETS TALK ABOUT -BATHHOUSE ROW-

Great Place with thrilling rides, swimming pools, water slides, food etc…

 

RIVER BOAT DINNER AND DANCE CRUISE

 

hot spring map

 

 

BEST RESTAURANTS IN HOT SPRINGS, ARKANSAS

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ENJOY ONE OF A KIND HOT SPRINGS!

CHRIS

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