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Parco nazionale di Hot Springs
Parco nazionale di Hot Springs

Parco nazionale di Hot Springs

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È tutta una questione di acqua al Parco Nazionale di Hot Springs, acqua termale con una temperatura media di 143 gradi (62 gradi C). Questo posto è unico come i parchi nazionali, nel senso che circonda una città, l'estremità nord di Hot Springs, in Arkansas.

Conosciuta dagli indiani d'America già nel 1700 ed esplorata da una squadra inviata dal presidente Thomas Jefferson per esplorare dopo l'acquisto della Louisiana all'inizio del 1800, non ci volle molto perché la città e Bathhouse Row crescessero intorno alle famose acque termali. La città divenne nota come "American Spa" e i visitatori venivano da vicino e da lontano non solo per assorbire i rinomati benefici per la salute dell'acqua calda, ma anche per bere dalle sorgenti fredde del parco.

Oltre a visitare lo storico Fordyce Bathhouse, i visitatori possono anche concedersi un bagno tradizionale o un'esperienza più moderna in stile spa. Il parco raccoglie 700.000 litri d'acqua ogni giorno da utilizzare nelle fontanelle e negli stabilimenti balneari.

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Quotidiano
515 Central Ave., Hot Springs, Arkansas, 71901

The basics

This national park is unique both for its thermal springs and for the fact that it surrounds a city: Hot Springs, Arkansas. Indeed, highlights of the park include the storied Fordyce Bathhouse and Bathhouse Row in the city’s historic district, as well as the Display Springs and Hot Water Cascade. Outdoor enthusiasts can set off along the trails through the surrounding wooded hills or hike or drive to the Hot Springs Mountain Tower to take in the views. Visitors with more time to linger can indulge in a traditional bath or more modern spa-style experience. The park collects 700,000 gallons (3.2 million liters) of water every day to use in its bathhouses and drinking fountains, so be sure to take a soak or dip while in the park.

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Things to know before you go

  • Hot Springs National Park offers guided tours with official park rangers; information is available at the visitor center.
  • If you will be visiting a bathhouse, be sure to bring swimming attire and a towel; if you will be exploring the outdoor trails and attractions, dress for the weather and pack a hat and sunblock.
  • Whether visiting the park attractions in town or in the countryside, you will be doing quite a bit of walking, so choose comfortable footwear.
  • Younger visitors can become Junior Rangers through the park’s kid-friendly program and also enjoy drinking spring water directly from the many fountains.
  • Wheelchair accessibility varies between park attractions, so ask for information and assistance at the visitor center.
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How to get there

The park’s visitor center is on Central Avenue in the town of Hot Springs; there is limited parking so use the city's free parking garage on Exchange Street if arriving by car. Take either US Highway 70 or Arkansas Highway 7 to reach Hot Springs. The closest major airport is in Little Rock, 60 miles (100 kilometers) away.

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When to get there

Hot Springs National Park can be visited year-round, though the park is a popular summer destination when visitors can enjoy its scenic trails and outdoor springs. Plan a spring or fall trip for mild weather and less crowded bathhouses.

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The History of the American Spa

Known to Native Americans as early as the 1700s and explored by a team sent by President Thomas Jefferson after the Louisiana Purchase in the early 1800s, it didn’t take long for the town of Hot Springs and its Bathhouse Row to grow around the famed thermal waters. The town became known as the “American Spa,” and visitors came from near and far not only to soak up the reputed health benefits of the warm water, but to also drink from the park’s cold springs.

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