If you haven't had the pleasure of camping in the Hot Springs area, then you are really missing a great adventure. When most people think of Arkansas, they think of hillbillies and hogs (razorbacks), but there is really much more to this state. I have visited many different areas of the state and so far I can't say that I have been in a bad place. My wife and I have stayed in the Hardy area, right on the Spring River. We have camped in the Newport area, along with Heber Springs and Village Creek State Park. When I was younger, my family made trips to Bull Shoals, but in my opinion the best for camping is the Hot Springs area. There is so much to do. If you like just roughing it, then any of the Lakes around this small town are perfect for you. If you like to fish, then you just hit pay dirt, as there are 4 big lakes close by. Did you say "golf"? Hot Springs have many, many golf courses. Do you like history, especially early to mid 20th century? Guess who visited this "vacation" paradise? Many of the gangsters either owned businesses, or where constant visitors. Al Capone occupied the entire 4th floor of the Arlington Hotel. arch enemy Bugs Moran and his gang were checked in at the Majestic Hotel, just one block away. There was no conflict, and no violence - both gangsters were on vacation!
My wife and I spent our first anniversary in the Arlington Hotel. It is as it was in the 20's and 30's. Hot Springs is known mainly for what else, hot springs. You can tour the many bath houses, while on a tour, or just walk in. Did you know that Bill Clinton lived in Hot Springs as a child?
Through the years Hot Springs has been visited by some of the most famous people in American history: Bat Masterson, Cy Young, Carrie Nation, John F. Kennedy, Billy Sunday, President Herbert Hoover, Helen Keller, Babe Ruth, Jack Dempsey and also Frank and Jesse James.
Visit "Belle of Hot Springs" riverboat. Enjoy an evening dinner, while viewing Lake Hamilton. Did you say that the kids are restless? Then head to Magic Springs and Crystal Falls, amusement and water park. Our grandkids just can't get enough of this place.
We use Hot Springs area as a central meeting point between my sister's family and mine. We have camped at each lake. This year, because we waited to long to make reservation, we are staying at the Cloud Nine RV Park, which is 10 miles from Hot Springs and on a mountain. It looks nice, but I'll let you know how it rates when we get back. We will be there the Labor Day weekend.
My only suggestion if you decide to visit. PLAN AHEAD, especially around 3 day weekends. Most of the campgrounds take reservation months in advance. We coudn't find a single spot 2 months before Labor Day this year. If you get a chance to visit, or have visited Hot Springs, please comment.