"Old Time Spa Treatment" Top 5 Page for this destination Hot Springs by BruceDunning

Hot Springs Travel Guide: 124 reviews and 306 photos

Central Avenue is the Focus

This street of about 6 blocks is the hub of it all. One one side of the street are the bathhouses, and the other shops, promotions to take tours, and restaurants. In the old days, before 1884 the hot spring river ran through the middle and walk across bridges brought people to the various sides. Now the street paves over the stream, and water needed diverted into bathhouses, of drilled down under the buildings.

Parks Prevail for the Terrain

The town has one main street going through it called Central St. That is where the 8 remaining bathhouses are located. They were built from late 1980's until around 1920's, when hot springs bathes were the cure for ills. The Government has been involved with the area since 1832, when it took control of spring plots due to chaos of the people claiming rights. They improved the area through 1884, and even paved over the hot spring, and by 1920's the last good era was ending. By 1960's all bathhouses were closed. Park Service reopened Fordyce in 1988 as a tour of the past and replicated most rooms and areas.

This is Why YOu are Here

The eight bathhouses are along a row stretching a long block. They all are niucely preserved, but only two are available for entry; the Fordyce operated by Parks Service for tours of the era of heh days, and Quapaw which is private and offers some hot springs services and treatments. The magnificence of the architecture is what brought me here.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Wonderful trip back in time for a happy cure
  • Cons:Do not come here in season-traffic will create big delays
  • In a nutshell:Once you walk the strip, not much else is around to see
  • Last visit to Hot Springs: Apr 2009
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (26)

Comments (6)

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo
    Oct 3, 2012 at 8:50 PM

    Love historical places like this Bruce! A fantastic page!

  • Nov 23, 2010 at 6:05 PM

    Thanks for posting all the great photos of Hot Springs. I am searching for a place to call home & this is one of the possibilities. It helps to see images, & yours were all great & i like that you added a good description to each section. Thanks so much!

  • Pawtuxet's Profile Photo
    Aug 1, 2009 at 4:13 PM

    Ahhh, a spa... how lovely. I think I'd like to go and rest a while. . . Looks like a very pleasant and comfy place to visit.

  • jumpingnorman's Profile Photo
    May 29, 2009 at 12:14 PM

    I know - I did see a timber truck once and it looked scary and off the midline! But, nice work here on the Hot Springs - I do hope they revive the area...Norman :)

  • bandit76's Profile Photo
    May 6, 2009 at 5:56 PM

    Looks like a fun trip!

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    May 1, 2009 at 11:39 AM

    Hi, Bruce! I would like to pay a visit too....


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