We took a short trip to Hot Springs, Arkansas, where the kids and Chelle enjoyed some water time, but not the famous naturally thermal spring waters for which the town is named.
The 143° F springs are probably the best known part of Hot Springs, but there is much more history than many know about.
In 1832, President Andrew Jackson basically designated Hot Springs as America’s first national park, when he named it Hot Springs Reservation. When Congress officially established the National Park Service, the area became Hot Springs National Park in 1921.
In addition to the natural beauty of the area, Hot Springs was the home of organized crime from the late 1800s through the mobster golden age of the 1930s. The federal government put a stop to most of this activity in the 1960s. If you are interested in this this aspect of life in Hot Springs, you will want to check out The Gangster Museum of America.
Our visit to Hot Springs was too short. I am hopeful we can return someday.
Walt Disney World vacations are great, but they don’t always work for the schedule or the budget. Sometimes you want to get away from your home state, but stay within driving distance. Regional driving vacations are a great way to see new things, eat good food and relax.
Our family wanted to spend a few days together before school started, so we decided to check out southwest Missouri and Little Rock, Arkansas in a whirlwind 4 day trip. Our first full day started in Springfield, Missouri.
Springfield is the world headquarters of Bass Pro Shop, and it was a must-see for our family. Even if you do not hunt, fish, boat or camp, this is a phenomenal place to visit. There are numerous displays with mounted animals, live fish and other aquatic creatures, a firearms museum, the National Archery Hall of Fame and a restaurant.
A stop in the Springfield Visitors Center was a good use of time, as the gentleman was well-informed and helped us find some attractions that were not even in Springfield. He did not “home-town” the Springfield attractions. He was not negative about anything, but did give what seemed to be an honest assessment of the strengths and shortcomings of some of the area offerings. With limited time, we very much appreciated his assistance.
Our visit to Springfield was short as we had to move on to the wholesome family fun capital of the region -- Branson!
The Knapp Family writing about travel and leisure.