Hot Springs, Arkansas, is the closest city to Hot Springs Village. Part of the Louisiana Purchase, it became famous for the natural hot springs that gave it its name, and the springs were protected as a national park. Hot Springs National Park gave rise to a bathing industry in the 1800s, as the springs were believed to have medicinal value. Today Hot Springs is known as Spa City, and visitors can still treat themselves to natural thermal waters in one of many spas and bathhouses.
The National Park Service preserves eight historic bathhouse buildings known as Bathhouse Row on Central Avenue. Downtown Hot Springs is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is known for its art deco architecture, horse racing and thriving arts community, including the annual Hot Springs Music Festival and Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival.
Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort is home to one of the top thoroughbred horse racetracks in the nation, and the newly expanded casino features slots, table games and sports betting.
Garvan Woodland Gardens is the largest botanical garden in Arkansas. Its annual Holiday Lights event is a winter wonderland of Christmas decorations with over 5 million lights!
Magic Springs Theme and Water Park and the Mid-America Science Museum are family favorites. Hot Springs hosts dozens of events and festivals every year, including the World's Shortest St. Patrick's Day Parade in March, and the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival in October.