Posted May 24, 2010 by Jaclyn Liechti
Hot Springs, Arkansas, lays claim to an enviable locale in the Ouachita Mountains, with three nearby lakes offering water sports and activities for visitors. But the hiking and camping play second fiddle in America's First Resort, where the town's hot springs have been drawing people since Native Americans inhabited the area and enjoyed the healing waters. Hot Springs National Park was the nation's first federally protected land, so today's guests can still experience the one million gallons of water produced daily. The town is also a popular antiquing destination, with nearly 20 antique stores in the area.
Buckstaff Bath House: The only bath house still operated within Hot Springs National Park, Buckstaff Bath House offers a traditional spa experience you can't miss. Take part in a Hot Springs tradition that was established by Europeans in the 1800s. First, you'll soak in a private tub filled with 100-degree spring water. Then, head to a two-minute steam that will help relieve sinus and lung congestion. A 10-minute session in the Sitz tubs, filled with 108-degree water, and hot pack applications will help to relieve aches and pains. Cool down in the Needle Shower, then relax with a 20-minute Swedish massage. Packages for mineral baths without a massage cost $24; packages with a massage cost $55.
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(Photo: Hot Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau)