Discover the 5 Best Hot Springs in Arkansas For Year-Round Swimming

Written by Angie Menjivar
Updated: May 1, 2023
© Bram Reusen/
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In Arkansas, there is a city named Hot Springs. Adjacent to it is Hot Springs Natural Park, where visitors arrive from throughout the globe to take in the beauty and get a taste of what it’s like to soak in thermal waters. Hot springs have been a popular attraction in Arkansas since the 1920s. Today, it continues to remain an inviting environment where rest and relaxation reign. Although you might envision soaking outdoors, the way to soak or swim in natural hot spring water is to visit a bathhouse or hotel, and spa in the area.

How Hot Springs Are Formed

The earth’s core continuously produces heat that then becomes a renewable source of energy called geothermal energy. This is the energy that heats up water and creates hot springs. There are two primary events that create hot springs. The first is the most common and occurs when rainwater seeps into the earth via cracks and pools into underground reservoirs called aquifers. The water then moves further into the earth and gets heated by magma. The other event occurs when below the soil, the earth’s own radioactive decay generates tons of heat and warms natural sources of water. Hot springs are the result of either of these two events. The already heated water gets pushed back through cracks to the earth’s surface, which is where you see the pools of bubbling water.

The 5 Best Hot Springs in Arkansas for Year-Round Swimming

1. Hot Springs National Park

Hot Spring, National Park, Arkansas, Color Image, Concrete
One of the best hot springs in Arkansas is in Hot Springs Natural Park next to the city of Hot Springs.


Hot Springs Natural Park is located in Garland County and sits next to Hot Spring city. It’s a culturally rich environment with impressive architecture, including two bathhouses (which made it to this list). However, there is more to explore around the park. You can experience several hikes through forestry areas, awe-inspiring geology, brimming creeks, and ancient thermal springs. Although the outdoors has plenty to offer, there are no outdoor places to soak in the park. You can, however, take a container to fill at the thermal spring and cold spring fountains. You can also reach in and touch the thermal springs in two spots throughout the park. Those spots include the display spring and the hot water cascade.

2. The Quapaw Bathhouse

Quapaw Bathhouse in Hot Springks, Arkansas
Quapaw Bathhouse has an extensive history dating back to 1922 and is a well-known hot spring-style place to visit in Arkansas.

©Jack Chmela/

To get the full soaking experience at Hot Springs National Park, head over to the Quapaw Bathhouse. This bathhouse was originally opened in 1922. It was previously the site of two other bathhouses, but they closed in 1984. It reopened in 2008 and has been open since. Here, you can enjoy a variety of luxurious options, including private baths and modern-day spa services. Additionally, you can settle into public pools and enjoy a one-of-a-kind swim. This bathhouse is open six days a week (closed on Tuesdays) from 10 AM to 6 PM.

3. The Buckstaff Bathhouse

Entrance of the Buckstaff Bathhouse in Arkansas
The Buckstaff Bathhouse has been in working condition since 1912 and is part of Arkansas history.

©Zack Frank/

Whereas the other bathhouse in the Hot Springs Natural Park went through some changes before eventually reopening, the Buckstaff Bathhouse has been in nonstop operation since its own first day in 1912. Here, you can enjoy a more traditional bathing experience. You can soak in thermal mineral water that pours in directly from a total of 47 protected springs. At its origin point, the water is a scalding 147 degrees. However, as it travels down from Hot Spring Mountain, it cools enough to be enjoyed. You can also request additional services including massages, facials, and manicures.

4. The Arlington Resort Hotel and Spa

Arlington Resort and Spa
Arlington Resort Hotel is the largest hotel in the state and offers a water spa where you can bathe in hot spring water that flows into it.

©Kirk Scheidt/

The Arlington Resort Hotel is the largest hotel found throughout the entire state. Inside, guests can enjoy a smoke-free environment and settle into one of the 500 available rooms and suites. You can enjoy the Venetian dining room and stop for a drink at their famous bar. More importantly, you can enjoy their spa services. The thermal water spa on the third floor is a must as you can bathe in hot spring water that flows directly to the hotel. You also have an option for additional services, including various skin and body treatments. Be sure to check their schedule and make appointments for services beforehand.

5. Hotel Hale

Skyline of Hot Springs, Arkansas
Hot Springs, Arkansas is home to the best hot springs in Arkansas.

©Sean Pavone/

Hotel Hale was built in 1892. It has been fully renovated and today it’s one of the highest-rated hotel experiences in the city of Hot Springs. Guests arrive from throughout the world to stay here and enjoy one of the nine individual suites the hotel offers. What makes this experience so sought after and unforgettable is that each suite has its own hot spring mineral water soaking tub to enjoy in the comfort of your privacy. When you’re done with a relaxing soak, you can enjoy the garden of Eden, where the food energizes you. If you pop in during the weekend, you can take advantage of their wonderful brunch offerings, including Bloody Marys and your choice of mimosas.  

1.Hot Springs National Park
2.The Quapaw Bathhouse
3.The Buckstaff Bathhouse
4.The Arlington Resort Hotel and Spa
5.Hotel Hale

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Hot Springs National Park
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About the Author

Angie is a writer with over 10 years of experience developing content for product and brand reviews, focusing much of her time on animals of all types. A cat owner herself, she enjoys writing articles on beloved pets that both inform and entertain her audience.

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