Hot springs National Park has been considered a national treasure since 1832 when the United States Congress passed an act to preserve the springs for future recreation. The concept of national parks was not around at the time, but these Arkansas Hot springs were seen as so important they were preserved by the government. Before the U.S. congress preserved the area for many centuries was treasured by the local Native Americans who believed that the waters contained medicinal properties. After the 1832 congress act, a thriving town of hot springs hotels and spas grew around the area. It was so popular it became home to Major League Baseball Spring Training, Illegal Gambling, prohibition speakeasies, and even home to major gansters like Al Capone.
The area was officially made a national park on March 4th of 1921. Most people come to the park for the soothing waters, but there are other activities at the park as well including hiking, picnicking, camping, visiting the Hot Springs Mountain Tower,and strolling through the Bath house row. For those wanting inside activities guests can visit the variety of bath houses for a traditional hot spring bath or other spa treatment. There is even a Bathhouse Row Emporium which holds souvenirs for guests to remember their fun experiences. The shop is open daily from April-September from 9 AM to 5 PM and October-March 10 AM to 5 PM.
For those wanting guided tours outdoor tours are offered during the summer season. They start at the Fordyce Bathhouse, travel to across Bathhouse Row, and eventually return to Fordyce. The tour covers a lot about how the hot spring works and the history of its use as therapeutic baths. The Fordyce itself offers tours of its establishment that was built in 1915. Reservations for this tour are not necessary for individual visitors, but groups must contact ahead of time to ensure proper staff is available.