My Solo Trip to Hot Springs, Arkansas – the natural state – was an adventure!
Updated 2022. Not only did I take a road trip to central Arkansas by myself, but I also stayed in an Airbnb for the first time. Read along to learn what I did on my solo trip to Hot Springs, Arkansas, and what I thought of my first experience staying in someone’s home. The adventure was real, and I can’t wait to do it again – solo! This might be one of the best road trips I’ve taken this year.
This trip isn’t my first solo trip but my second. My first was on my 40th birthday when I took a trip to Hawaii. I worked for Delta Air Lines years ago when flying non-rev was easy (before 911), and I flew everywhere. Yep, I went to Hawaii all by myself.
My Solo Trip to Hot Springs, Arkansas
I had time alone while my son was off to church camp. I looked around and checked out places that weren’t too far for me to drive to, and I discovered Hot Springs, Arkansas. It was a little over 5 hours from home, and I hadn’t been to Hot Springs very long. Visiting natural hot springs would be great.
I chose to stay in an Airbnb rental. I love staying at Marriott and Hilton for points, but I planned to stay three nights, and three nights in one of these hotels were out of my price range for this trip. It was a last-minute trip idea for me, and this mountain home in Hot Springs Village for three nights totaled $152. You can’t beat the price. I had a nice room, private bathroom, modern amenities, and great hospitality, and the mountain view of the Ouachita Mountains from the back balcony of this home was spectacular. Plus, breakfast was ready for me each morning. This was my first experience staying with Airbnb, and I think it was perfect!
Hot Springs, Arkansas
The town of Hot Springs has much to offer its visitors, such as its historic buildings and historic bathhouse row, and at 5,550 acres, Hot Springs National Park is the smallest national park in the United States worth a visit. Stop by the visitor center for more information about the hot springs area.
Quachita National Forest
First, if you’ve never been to the Ouachita National Forest, it’s one of the most scenic drives I’ve ever taken. Not knowing the area well and precisely where the Airbnb home was, I arrived knowing one thing: GET OUTDOORS & ENJOY NATURE. From zip lining to nature walks through a gorgeous garden, experiencing a bathhouse for the first time, enjoying the downtown area, and then topping off my solo adventure trip on horseback wellness, self-care, and adventure all rolled up in one.
Ziplining In Hot Springs, Arkansas
The first outdoor activity I found to do was zip lining. Not only did I zip line, but I also zipped 10 lines!! AND…I was the only zipper there. Nothing too scary, just fun enough with two guides, nature, and the ground below me! Check out AdventureWorks in Hot Springs.
Gorgeous Anthony Chapel In Hot Springs
The Anthony Chapel is a favorite venue for weddings and is the first thing you see before entering the Garvan Woodland Gardens. It’s free to walk in and around the chapel. This chapel with somewhat of the same structure as the famous chapel in Eureka Springs. It may be by the same architect. To go further into the gardens, there is an admissions fee.
Garvan Woodland Gardens Hot Springs, AR
I walked around the most beautiful place in Hot Springs. I paid $15, but the new adult price is now $20. The natural beauty of the gardens was the best. I even witnessed a beautiful peacock walking right toward me, then right past me. I wasn’t sure if it would charge at me or walk on by me. Luckily, it passed on. I did get that on video (see below).
Be prepared to spend an entire day here. It’s that gorgeous and so relaxing walking around. Take your time.
Fairy Garden Village At Garvan Woodland Gardens
I love these tiny fairy houses and want to make one. Aren’t they cute?
My Peacock Encounter
My solo adventure trip to Hot Springs just went up a notch. See how close this peacock came to me in this video. Eck!
Children’s Adventure Garden at Garvan Woodland Gardens
This treehouse! So extraordinary and so worth the trip to see it.
If you’re ever in the area, Garvan Woodland Gardens is worth a visit.
Bathhouses In Hot Springs
Guests who also stayed at the same Airbnb as I referred me to the Buckstaff Bathhouse. I think it’s the oldest one there. They enjoyed their visit, so I thought I would too. Though I did, it was not the highlight of my visit to Hot Springs. I got there early and waited in line for over 25 mins. The hot water in the tub was good, but the air conditioning wasn’t working because it was stuffy. Not sure why people go crazy over the bathhouses. I didn’t find it to be a big deal. If I return, I’ll look for a more luxurious bathhouse that perhaps fancies my taste better. But that’s just my opinion. It is, however, a perfect place to go for your first visit to a bathhouse. Otherwise, you might want to explore the other bathhouses before selecting. I did feel good the next day.
Horseback Riding At De Gray Lake Resort State Park, Arkansas
When I left Hot Springs, I took another route towards DeGray Lake, which I’ve heard only great things about. I had picked up a brochure about guided trail rides there, and since I love to ride horses, I wanted to ride on this trip. So, I made a last-minute reservation and drove about three hours south. The time was right as I was the only person who signed up to ride, so my guide and I were off, and I got the whole spill like a private lesson. We saw a couple of doe with their fawns mingling in the trees. It was a lovely ride.
DeGray Lake is a place I’d go back to with my son. So much to do there, including fishing, camping, swimming, hiking, and biking, and we would go horseback riding too—lots of outdoor adventures in one place.
What an adventure I had: Ziplining, Garvan Woodland Gardens, Bathhouse, wine, shopping, eating great food, hiking trails, driving down some beautiful paths, and horse riding – this is my way of taking care of myself! One of the best things in life is taking care of yourself.
Catherine State Park
That’s it, my trip to Hot Springs, Arkansas, will be solo ….again!! Next time I go, I’ll be sure to visit Lake Catherine State Park, Lake Ouachita, and Lake Hamilton, as I hear these are some of the best places to go with spectacular views.