Arkansas Journals

Arkansas - Leaf Peeping

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An October 2006 trip to Arkansas by two cruisers

In the Historic District Photo, Hot Springs, Arkansas More Photos
Quote: Fall is a great time to drive the scenic highways. This year we drove in Arkansas to see the gorgeous fall color.

Arkansas - Leaf Peeping

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Overview

In the Historic District Photo, Hot Springs, Arkansas
Quote:
Touring Arkansas in late October and early November provided us with some pre-holiday relaxation and the opportunity to leaf peep. Over the years we have seen the glorious fall colors along the Southern New York State Parkway, Long Island’s Gold Coast, awesome Connecticut and Massachusetts, and along the Great River Road in Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota. Arkansas measures up those high standards.Our timeshare was located at Sunbay Resort on Lake Hamilton in Hot Springs. This community is quite unique as a good chunk of the old downtown area is a National Park. Part of the park is accessible by car or on foot trails. The most unique part of the Park is Bath House Row. For centuries the hot spri...Read More

SunBay Resort

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Hotel

SunBay Resort Photo, Hot Springs, Arkansas
Quote:
Sunbay Resort has location, location, location. And that makes up for some of its peculiarities. Its location on a small arm of Lake Hamilton provided a lovely view and great sunsets. On Hwy 7 Central Avenue connects it to the scenic highway drive and the National Park and most of Hot Springs’ major shopping, eating and tourist areas. Its location was surprisingly quiet for being on a major highway.Our unit had two bedrooms and two baths and was located on the fourth floor of the main building. Other units were in low-rise buildings flanking the bay. The unit is advertised as sleeps 8 because there is a Murphy bed and a sofa bed in the living room. That would be pretty tight quarters. O...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 1, 2006

SunBay Resort
4810 Central Avenue
Hot Springs, Arkansas

Waffle House

Restaurant

Quote:
They are ubiquitous in the South. The distinctive yellow and black signs lure us off the highway and into the comfort of another era. Waffle House is a down-home diner, long and very narrow in shape. Booths are a tight fit, so we always sit at the low counter at the end of the cooking area. The clientele are mostly locals who are known by the waitresses. The tourist stands out in the crowd. But don’t let that deter you from eating there. The friendly waitresses treat you like family.Why go there? First, they are conveniently located near major intersections. Second, they are economical and quick. Third, they serve the best coffee of any chain restaurant we have ever been in. Fourth… scattered ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 1, 2006

Waffle House
2017 Central Avenue
Hot Springs, Arkansas 71901
(501) 623-8681

Granny's Kitchen

Restaurant

Granny's Kitchen Photo, Hot Springs, Arkansas
Quote:
Granny’s Kitchen has got it right. This restaurant in Hot Springs, Arkansas is located on Central Avenue directly across the street from the town’s main attraction, Bathhouse Row. This location guarantees them customers. Their staff handle the crowds beautifully. This is a storefront restaurant, a cavernous area filled with a variety of sizes of tables to accommodate families and groups touring together. Dark green walls serve as a backdrop to a lot of memorabilia. We arrived mid afternoon for coffee and dessert. The place was still full of the lunch crowd. Bill had the specialty dessert blueberry cobbler. I had an old fashioned chocolate malt. Yummy.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 1, 2006

Granny's Kitchen
362 Central Ave
Hot Springs, Arkansas 71901
(501) 624-6183

City Bakery

Restaurant

City Bakery and cafe Photo,
Quote:
Editor's Note: City Bakery has closed. When in Rome… or in our case, when in Hope, Arkansas, do as the natives do. Between visiting the Bill Clinton sites we needed a lunch break. Although it may have been appropriate to visit the local McDonalds we decided to seek out some local color. We found it, too. City Bakery proudly displays signs stating it won the best bakery and the best lunch spot for various years. Located across the street from a major bank and about a block from a deteriorating downtown district the customers tend to fall into two groups: businessmen and tourists. On one wall in the dining room is a primitive style mural depicting the life in and around Hope. The furniture was ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on December 1, 2006

Dixie Cafe

Restaurant

Dixie Cafe Photo, Hot Springs, Arkansas
Quote:
Bill says he would eat at a Dixie Café all the time if it were available in our town. This chain restaurant that specializes in chicken dishes can be found in the area of Arkansas we visited. The one we patronized was on Central Avenue in Hot Springs. The name drew us in, but we returned because the wait staff were friendly and accommodating, the food was tasty, and best of all the tables were set far apart allowing plenty of elbowroom. We have been in some restaurants where the tables are packed so close the waitress had to hang her backside over our table while serving the next table. Yech! Our first visit we arrived for a mid-afternoon treat. Bill had cobbler and I had shortcake. When the w...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 1, 2006

Dixie Cafe
3623 Central Avenue
Hot Springs, Arkansas 71973
(501) 624-2100

Hot Springs National Park

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Attraction

Hot Springs National Park Photo, Hot Springs, Arkansas
Quote:
This is truly the most unique National Park we have visited. No entrance gate with a friendly ranger handing you a strict list of rules. No gravel parking lots. No log cabin style lodges. In fact it is nearly impossible to tell when you have entered the park because the primary part of it is situated in downtown Hot Springs. What this park does is celebrate that humans are attracted to water, especially water that presents itself in a unique way. Area rainfall seeps deep into the earth through rock fractures. The deeper it goes the hotter it gets eventually it meets rock fissures that drive the water up to the lower west slope of Hot Springs Mountain. American Indians came to this steam...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 1, 2006

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

Belle Riverboat

Attraction | "Belle of Hot Springs "

Belle Riverboat Photo, Hot Springs, Arkansas
Quote:
When presented with a long and calm lake it is only natural to create some kind of boat tour. Hot Springs has Lake Hamilton, a long lake created for hydroelectric power. It has two distinct parts to the lake. One is favorable for sailboats and the other for pontoons and bass boats. This is the section that The Belle of Hot Springs tours. Boarding fee differs between sightseeing cruises and luncheon cruises (about $13 or $19). Everyone boards at the same time, but the foodies get served a meal before leaving the dock. In fact the crew tries to have all the dishes cleared before leaving the dock. I think the idea is that they want the foodies to see the sights, too. A bar is open during the cruise selli...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 1, 2006

Belle Riverboat
5200 Central Ave.
Hot Springs, Arkansas 71913
(501) 525-4438

Garvan Woodland Gardens

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Attraction

Garvan Woodland Gardens Photo, Arkansas, United States
Quote:
Garvan Woodland Gardens is situated on a 210 acre forested peninsula jutting into Lake Hamilton. Originally part of a larger tract bought for its timber, much of the property was lost when the lake was built. Many years later Verna Cook Garvan, the heir to the property, visited and decided to build a private residence and garden on the peninsula. The house idea was abandoned but the garden idea grew and grew. Mrs. Garvan eventually decided to develop the garden for the public. She supplemented the area with native plants to develop its natural beauty. She added bridges and waterfalls and brought in some exotic plants.Admission is $8 for Adults, $7 for Seniors, $4 for Children 6-12. For that ad...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 1, 2006

Garvan Woodland Gardens
550 Arkridge Road
Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas 71913
(501) 262-9300

Oaklawn Park

Attraction

Oaklawn Park Photo, Hot Springs, Arkansas
Quote:
When Hot Springs was cleaned up in the 1960s the only gambling establishment left was Oaklawn, a racetrack. Horse racing is the game. There are three types of horse racing. First, in season the “ponies” actually run on a track. Second, races throughout the country are televised in a large drab room on big screen televisions. Third, a bizarre slot machine combines five row slots with video replays of past races. These images are on a tiny window in the corner of the screen. You can bet Win-Place-Show, or you can ignore that window and bet on the usual five-row game. There is very little variety in the games. Our experience was the slots are tight. I had to leave my camera with a guard before en...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on December 1, 2006

Oaklawn Park
2705 Central Avenue
Hot Springs, Arkansas 71902
(800) OAKLAWN