Garvan Woodland Gardens#4 in Best Things To Do in Hot Springs, AR
The Garvan Woodland Gardens boast an impressive assortment of natural and man-made attractions. Surprisingly, flowers are not the garden's main draw. The Anthony Chapel Complex in particular appeals to architecture enthusiasts with its latticework of wood and glass. The Joy Manning Scott Bridge of the Full Moon, one of the most photographed features within the gardens, is equally admired for its nod to the ancient stone bridges of western China. Meanwhile, green thumbs appreciate the attraction's natural areas, including the bonsai garden and woodland walk, which covers just a fraction of the Garvan Woodland Gardens' diverse green spaces.
Reviewers suggested visiting the gardens during the winter for its stunning annual Christmas lights display. Recent travelers said the spring season, when the garden's array of flowers begin to bloom, provides an excellent alternative if you don't visit during the holidays. Regardless of when you visit, be sure to stop by the spectacular Anthony Chapel, which serves as the garden's primary attraction according to visitors.
Admission to the Garvan Woodland Gardens costs $15 for adults and $5 for children age 4 to 12, while children 3 and younger can enter for free. Golf cart rentals are available for $15, and the gardens welcome dogs for an additional $5 fee. Parking at the Garvan Woodland Gardens is also free, which is particularly helpful as the only way to reach the gardens is by driving about 8 miles south from downtown Hot Springs. The gardens open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and the Chipmunk Café serves visitors daily from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information about the Garvan Woodland Gardens, check out its website.
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#1 Hot Springs National Park
Given that Hot Springs National Park shares a name with the nearby town, it should come as no surprise that the 5,500-acre park serves as the main attraction in Hot Springs. The park's thermal waters are its primary draw, and visitors can still soak in the historical establishments lining Bathhouse Row, including the Fordyce Bathhouse Visitor Center and the Buckstaff Bathhouse. Additionally, numerous trails weave throughout the park. A majority of the trails are concentrated between the Hot Springs and North Mountain trails as well as the West Mountain Trails. Both these areas offer short, interconnected trails, while the approximately 10-mile Sunset Trail provides a more challenging trek for experienced hikers.
Past visitors suggested taking on the 2.6-mile Sugarloaf Mountain segment of the Sunset Trail, which includes a short spur trail to the Balanced Rock that rewards hikers with one of the most stunning views in Arkansas. They also appreciate the park's attractions in the middle of town, like Bathhouse Row and the Grand Promenade.
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