"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in
its net of wonder forever."—Jacques Cousteau

April 19-22 Hot Springs, AR

“Without new experience, something in us sleeps. The sleeper must awaken.” –Anonymous 

Spring has arrived in south Texas and summer is quickly moving in, so it's time for us to begin our migration north. This spring we are taking a little detour through Arkansas and Kentucky. Exploring a few new places on our way first to Pennsylvania and then up to the lake to get The Pearl ready for another season.

Our first stop on our way north was Hot Springs, Arkansas. Hot Springs is a resort city known for naturally heated springs. It's home to Hot Springs National Park. This park is different from any other national park, because most of it is within the city of Hot Springs. 

Many people recognize Yellowstone to be the first national park in our country, but Hot Springs National Park was actually the first land set aside for recreational purposes by the United States Government for its natural beauty and cultural significance. Congress established the Hot Springs Reservation on April 20, 1832. Eighty four years before the National Park Service was created. It became a national park in 1921.

Bathhouse Row consists of eight bathhouses that were originally built between 1892 and 1923. Today, two of the bathhouses are still in use while the other buildings have been converted into museums and other businesses.

The Fordyce Bathhouse was once the largest bathhouse on Bathhouse Row, and is now home to the National Park’s visitors center and museum.
Inside the Fordyce Bathhouse
Superior Bathhouse Brewery is located on bathhouse row. The original bathhouse was built in February 1916. It's the first brewery located inside a U.S. National Park. They're also the first brewery to use thermal spring water as the main ingredient in brewing.
The original Arlington Hotel was opened in 1875. This building is the third and was opened on New Year's Eve in 1924.
The Grand Promenade is a half-mile walk on a brick pathway that takes visitors through some of the prettiest parts of the National Park. You can see the caps that cover the springs and walk next to a hot springs cascade. 
The cascade, which flows into Arlington Lawn, is left untouched and gives visitors a glimpse of what the springs looked like before the bathhouses were built.
Our second day in Hot Springs was a little wet and cold. The hot springs throughout town were putting off steam. It was very interesting.
We stayed at the Happy Hollow Inn. It's a 1950's motor inn just steps from Hot Springs National Park and shares its name with the historic Happy Hollow Spring, a cold-water spring.  We were just steps from hiking trails, Bathhouse Row and downtown Hot Springs.
Views from Hot Springs Mountain
One afternoon we hiked the Goat Rock Trail. It gave us wonderful views of the surrounding mountains and the city of Hot Springs.
Our first day we had lunch at the Grateful Head. It was a beautiful spring day and we enjoyed sitting outside while we shared a great pizza and sampled some local beer.
Rolando's served Central and South American cuisine in an 1800 building that seemed to be coming right out of the mountain.
Diablos Tacos & Mezcal

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