Arkansas Journals

Spring Break in Arkansas

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A March 2006 trip to Arkansas by callen60

Ozark Bathhouse Photo, Hot Springs, Arkansas More Photos
Quote: A 3-day excursion took us to Hot Springs, Little Rock, and the beautiful northern Arkansas countryside.

Spring Break in Arkansas

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Overview

Fordyce Bath House Photo, Hot Springs, Arkansas
Quote:
Spring break! Kids and parents looking for a little vacation! We headed south into central Arkansas, a new destination for us despite how long we’d lived nearby. With an overnight in Hot Springs and then in Little Rock, we found more than enough to keep us busy and bring us back. Hot Springs’ combination of fading, current and (possibly) returning glory; Little Rock’s revitalized downtown; the ...Read More

Hot Springs: Faded Glory?

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Story/Tip

Bathhouse, Central Avenue Photo, Hot Springs, Arkansas
Quote:
We drove down from Missouri on a beautiful spring afternoon. From Little Rock, you can take I-30 to US 70, which pleasantly winds through the moderately hilly pine-covered countryside. The city of Hot Springs is centered around the narrow gap between Hot Springs and West Mountains and spills out to the north and south. That narrow band of city actually splits the National Park, giving it the shape of a long, thin 'C' opening to the south. Due to a premature exit, we actually circled all the way around through the eastern portion of the park on Highway 7, and approached central Hot Springs from the north.This was one of America’s first resort towns. It began as a site for pilgrims in search of better h...Read More

Central High Museum and Visitor's Center

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Attraction | "Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site"

Quote:
Everyone in our family wanted to stop here. There’s something about the injustice of racism that really disturbs childrens sense of fairness and basic right and wrong, and when it intersects with the experience of others who might have been their peers, my children are transfixed. Their interest in the struggles of these years was heightened by the recent 50th anniversary of the Brown vs. Board of Education decision. The family of Linda Brown, the schoolgirl at the center of that case, moved to our town afterwards, and Linda graduated from the high school that my kids will attend. When we added Little Rock to our trip, this shot to the top of the itinerary.In the late 1950s, Little Rock co...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 6, 2006

Central High Museum and Visitor's Center
2125 W 14th Street
Little Rock, Arkansas 72202
(501) 374 1957

Fordyce Bathhouse

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Attraction | "Fordyce Bathhouse, Hot Springs National Park Visitor Center"

Fordyce Bathhouse Photo, Hot Springs, Arkansas
Quote:
Sixteenth-century explorer Hernando de Soto (well, allegedly) was the first tourist to bathe in the streams of Hot Springs Mountain. By 1825, people regularly came for healing baths in the 145° waters. Fearing damage to the area, Congress declared it a Federal Reservation in 1832, and changed it to a National Park in 1920. It has lots of distinctions—its history made it the "first protected area in the park system," set aside 40 years before Congress made Yellowstone the world’s first National Park. It’s the smallest (5500 acres), the only one in a city, and with Main Street bisecting the park. ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 7, 2006

Fordyce Bathhouse
Hot Springs National Park Visitor Center
Hot Springs, Arkansas

Hot Springs National Park

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Attraction

Fordyce Bath House Photo, Hot Springs, Arkansas
Quote:
After the visitor center, we headed out to the rest of the park. My youngest daughter was equipped with her junior ranger guide, which asked her to identify architectural features from each bathhouse. We didn’t need an excuse to stroll down Central Avenue, but we had one. There’s a variety of styles here, from vaguely Arabian to classical Roman. The exteriors are still in good shape, and Central is a great tree-lined street to walk....Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 7, 2006

Hot Springs National Park
P.o. Box 1860
Hot Springs, Arkansas 71902
(501) 624-2308

Hampton Inn Hot Springs

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Hotel

Quote:
A great deal of the new construction in Hot Springs isn’t terribly close to anything but the freeway. Most of the chains (both lodging and dining) have located their newer additions to the area six miles from Bathhouse Row, south of US 270 and near the Hot Springs Mall. It’s easily reached by freeway (I-30 to US 270), but not that convenient to anything else (Oaklawn is about halfway along your journey into town).We arrived at about 9pm, after finishing dinner and driving out from the center of town. Evidently, it was a busy night—I watched them turn one would-be guest away, and we found a message on our home phone asking if we were indeed planning to stay that night. We ended up in a firs...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 6, 2006

Hampton Inn Hot Springs
151 Temperance Hill Rd.
Hot Springs, Arkansas 71913
(501) 525-7000

Quote:
Arkansas clearly remembers and celebrates native son Bill Clinton. Hot Springs notes its role as "President Bill Clinton’s boyhood home," but that’s nothing compared to Little Rock. Clinton served six 2-year terms as governor here, starting at the young age of 32, and honed his considerable political skills throughout this small state.The Old State House (scene of the memorable 1992 election night celebration) and other Little Rock places contain exhibits, videos, banners, posters or other acknowledgements of the 42nd president. But the centerpiece of all this remembrance is the recently finished Clinton Presidential Center, in the River Market district just east of central downtown and ri...Read More

The Peabody Little Rock

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Hotel | "Ducks at the Peabody Hotel"

Quote:
One of the most famous traditions in the American hotel business is now playing in Little Rock. In the late 1930s—so the story goes—the general and assistant managers of The Peabody in Memphis were returning home empty-handed from a duck hunting trip. Arriving late at night with the live ducks they’d (legally) used as decoys, it may have been the influence of some Tennessee whiskey that led to the brilliant idea of releasing the ducks in the hotel fountain. Wherever it came from, they thought differently in the morning, but found an adoring crowd already clustered around the hotel’s new residents.Seventy years later, the ducks (or their descendants) remain, and have become synonymous with th...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 6, 2006

The Peabody Little Rock
3 Statehouse Plaza
Little Rock, Arkansas 72201
(501) 906-4000

Hampton Inn Little Rock I-40

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Hotel

Quote:
This hotel is across the river from central Little Rock, but still awfully convenient. It’s no more than 8 or 10 minutes from the Clinton Presidential Library, and about a half-mile from the first I-40 exit after the intersection with I-30. There’s some road construction that’s complicating things slightly, but didn’t really handicap us. There weren't a lot of dining options nearby, but we headed east on I-40 and then north on US 67 to East McCain St., chock-a-block with chain options. You can also get back to the River Market area in Little Rock so easily that it shouldn’t really matter.Having stayed at a number of Hampton Inn properties in the last year, I’ve noticed a number of differen...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 6, 2006

Hampton Inn Little Rock I-40
500 West 29th St.
Little Rock, Arkansas 72114
(501) 771-2090

Heifer Ranch

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Story/Tip

Quote:
Ending hunger,Caring for the EarthHeifer International Project is a terrific organization that focuses on helping families by providing long-term resources rather than short-term aid. Heifer helps people where they live, with livestock, animals, and training for long-term support, and asking those who’ve been helped to "pass on the gift" to others when their animals give birth. Over the last six decades, Heifer has changed the lives of over four million people all over the world. Our family has been a supporter for 6 years now. Their new headquarters are in a beautiful green (that is, LEED-certified) building in central Little Rock, but the Heifer Ranch near Perryville i...Read More