Arlington Lobby DrinksWhether you have a special occasion to celebrate or you just need some time away with your favorite ladies, Hot Springs is the PERFECT destination; how can it not be with a nickname like “Spa City?!” There are so many things that are girlfriend friendly, and we would hate for you to miss…so, may your relaxing start NOW! We have it all planned! But remember, NO BOYS ALLOWED!!

Kick it off

We mean your shoes and the party!  Start the weekend by going straight into relaxation mode. Leave those uncomfortable work shoes behind, put on your favorite sandals and pamper your feet with a fabulous pedicure.  Chic Nails is located in mid-town, with enough pedicure chairs for you and nine of your favorite ladies – you will want to call ahead for appointments so that they can be sure to accommodate your group.  When you leave Chic Nails, you will be looking pretty and feeling stress-free! 

Gelato at Dolce GelatoIf you have a little extra time on your hands before dinner, you might want to head over to Cornerstone Plaza to check out some of the great local offerings like Luxe Boutique. You could find the perfect outfit for the night, and if you are super lucky you might even meet Bowser, the store mascot!  And if you are not concerned about spoiling your dinner you could stop in Dolce Gelato for a scoop (or two) of cool refreshing gelato.  They have these great tiny spoons for tasting – you’re sure to find your perfect flavor.

While this is a girl’s trip, you still need to include a few things that make the guys jealous (then you are guaranteed to get a trip back real soon)… and we know just how to do it! Back Porch Grill. It sounds big, bad and manly but the “Cowboy Cut Cajun Ribeye” is a woman’s best friend, too!  However, if you stopped in Dolce Gelato earlier – you might want to stick with the grilled chicken - you can still get the twice baked potato casserole though.

After dinner head upstairs to Martini’s on the Bay - just make sure everyone in your group is 21+. Martini’s offers a full bar, dance floor and juke box. Yes, one of those great digital jukeboxes with your favorite dance jams – before you know it you and your sisters will out on the floor partying like it’s 1999!  And if Martini’s proves to be too much fun for your crew, be sure and call a local cab service or Resort Shuttle.  Resort Shuttle has 12 passenger vans so that your girls can all ride together.

A Full Day Full of Fun

Start your morning off with a downtown fixture, The Pancake Shop.  They have been flipping flapjacks in downtown Hot Springs since 1940.  You will feel like you are eating at your best friend’s houses, because to many of those who work at The Pancake Shop, it is home.  And if you can’t tell by the name what you should order, it’s the pancakes.  But if you are looking for a little more of a savory meal, try “the special”. Remember that on Saturday & Sunday mornings there can often be a wait – but they do southern hospitality right, and will steer you towards The Savory Pantry next door for hot coffee and shopping while they get your table ready.

Soap at the Bathhouse SoaperyAfter you fill up on pancakes, we recommend a casual stroll on Central Avenue.  Walking up Central Avenue (South) you will pass many great locally-owned specialty shops and art galleries. The Bathhouse Soapery will have your nose not knowing where to go next – from their soaps to scrubs, everything is made in house. You can even make a custom scrub with your favorite scents! And if you discover something that you cannot live without before your return trip to Hot Springs, they also offer online ordering. And sprinkled in-between all the great shops on the southern part of downtown are many art galleries – stop in a couple, you might find that perfect piece to remember the weekend by!

Cross on over to the other side of the street and head back to the north – when you get to the long row of beautiful Magnolia trees, you are in the National Park. Hot Springs is a unique town in that its name is actually Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas. Being the very first National Reservation, the United States government asked Hot Springs to change its name to represent the park that sits smack dab in the middle of town – and of course they obliged!  Here you can walk Bathhouse Row and admire the architecture… or if you are more of a nature buff, take the walkway between the two eagles up to The Promenade. You will not be able to resist all the beauty - Go ahead and Instagram it, we always do! Buckstaff Bathhouse

Continue north past The Arlington Hotel, cross over when you get a chance (but be sure and use the crosswalks!), there are a few shops in the 100 block that you will not want to miss.  Blue Brick Boutique & Madison’s Closet offer some of the latest trends including Kendra Scott jewelry and Simply Southern apparel.  The next shop is super sweet and has received national attention (like the Cupcake Wars kind), Fat Bottom Girl’s Cupcakes.  The selection varies but the Lemon Lavender and Salted Carmel are always a hit. If you have an appreciation for good food and enjoy cooking, Evil-O Oil & Vinegarshas a selection of oils and vinegars that will make you swoon!

At the end of Central Avenue near the fountain is Kollective Coffee & Tea, a perfect spot to take a break and watch the crowd go by. In addition to coffee and tea they have an artisan inspired menu with some light lunch options.  Double Crème Brie and Triple Berry Sandwich, Mortadella on a baguette and double chocolate cake are a few of the items on the menu.

Following lunch you should experience the reason Hot Springs National Park, AR is The Spa City.  Hot Springs is full of spas and bathhouses (that is another post for another time), but we will tell you about a couple of options for you to enjoy Mother Nature’s healing waters. The Buckstaff Bath House offers a traditional bathing experience and can accommodate groups.  Try the “Whirlpool Mineral Bath,” it includes: a hot bath, hot pack, Sitz Bath, Vapor Cabinet & Needle Shower.  The Buckstaff does not take reservations, so there may be a wait depending on the season and the size of your group.

The Quapaw bathing poolsAnother bathing option is Quapaw Bath’s and Spa, offering a modern spa experience with the thermal water.  When you enter, you will see the group bathing pools (perfect for everyone to hang together). The group pools are at various temperatures and the bathers wear swim suits – they also offer private tubs if you want to soak in (the) peace and quiet.  And for a once in a lifetime experience, your group may want to try out the natural steam cave, created by the water bubbling out of the side of the mountain!  You can also add additional services such as; massages, scrubs, and facials.

Rocky's PizzaAfter you have truly experienced Hot Springs and her thermal waters, give yourself some time to chill before heading out for one last night on the town with your girls. For dinner, Rocky’s Corner on Central Avenue has a menu with genuine Chicago Style deep dish pizzas that will make your mouth water –like the “K.O.” and the “Heavyweight.” 

When the plates are cleaned and the pitchers are empty, head over to Oaklawn Racing & Gaming and checkout their newly expanded gaming center. And for those in the group that are not feeling so lucky, enjoy live music and drink specials in one of Oaklawn’s two great bars, Pop’s Lounge and Silk’s Bar & Grill.  If you want to see what other live music there might be while you are in Hot Springs check out this post about The Spa City Music Scene.

Recap and Refresh

Gather for breakfast over hearty potions of hash browns & bacon at Phil’s Family Restaurant to recap your weekend with your girls. You also might want to get an order of biscuits and chocolate gravy – a southern delicacy that you should not miss!

Full Moon Bridge at Garvan Woodland GardensTake Central Avenue to the bypass and head out Carpenter Dam Road to an oasis on the lake. Garvan Woodland Gardens is a tranquil garden that has been designed to please during every season.  It is the ideal place for you to stroll with 4 ½ miles of shoreline on Lake Hamilton and multiple bridges and waterfalls to explore.  It will help you clear your head and leave you feeling refreshed after an eventful weekend with your favorite ladies.  And if you want to grab a bite to eat before hitting the road, stop in the Chipmunk Café – they offer sandwiches and salads, along with daily specials.

Don't forget to take plenty of pictures of your crew and tag them with #VisitHotSprings!