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Apr 09

Bathhouse Row: Hot Springs National Park

BathhousesBathhouse Row is the main thoroughfare of Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas.  Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1987.  Bathhouse Row is home to eight bathhouses that made the town of Hot Springs a major tourist attraction during the early part of the 20th century.  Two of the eight buildings, the Buckstaff and Quapaw, still offer the opportunities to take a rejuvenating bath.  While the Fordyce is the park visitor center.   The Fordyce also offers a self-guided tour of a turn of the century bathhouse and is a great place to start when visiting Hot Springs National Park Bathhouse Row Garden Area
It is easy to be swept back in time when taking a stroll down Bathhouse Row.  Pushing aside the outside world and focusing on the architecture.  We were taken back in time to mobsters, famous ball players, and everyday people mingling down Bathhouse Row.  Hot Springs must have been a pretty happing place in its heyday.  Who would have thought that a little town southwest of Little Rock would have saw the likes of Babe Ruth, Cy Young, and Honus Wagner.  Or was guests to underworld figures like Al Capone, Lucky Luciano, and Bugs Moran.  Definitely a spot to see the who’s who of the 1920s. 
Gym areaI am a history teacher so I always enjoy walking in history.  Bathhouse Row offers that opportunity.  It is amazing to see that what was once considered R and R almost looks unbearable today.  Gymnasium filled with gymnastic like apparatus, “electro” and “mechano” therapy devices, and hammer looking massage tools.  An interesting place to learn about a fascinating time period.  Bathhouse Row
Bathhouse Row was a lot of fun.  Plus, as an added bonus for those that believe in the healing power of mineral water,there are free mineral water spigots at several locations along the walkway.  We saw several out of state cars loading up to the brim with bottles of the stuff.  We did not partake but lots of people there did.  Not for sure what it tastes like or if it’s worth its weight in minerals, but it is worth your time to take a walk down Bathhouse row. 

To see our review of other National Park attractions, click here

Bathhouse Row
Located at 115-119 Central Avenue, Hot Springs
Cost as of this Posting: Free
Hours vary at the different areas of the street
For more information visit the national park service website at
https://www.nps.gov/hosp/learn/historyculture/bathhouse-row-today.htm

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