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.
My Solo Trip to Hot Springs, Arkansas – the natural state – was a success …and an adventure!
This trip isn’t my first solo trip, but it’s 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 I could. Yep, I went to Hawaii all by myself. It’s definitely a great place to go for solo travelers. It was indeed an experience and one I’m glad I did. Now, some years later, here I am in Hot Springs, Arkansas, alone.
Hot Springs, Arkansas
The town of Hot Springs has much to offer its visitors, such as its historical buildings, historic bathhouse row, and at 5,550 acres, Hot Springs National Park is the smallest national park in the United States worth a visit. Be sure to stop by the visitor center for even more information about the hot springs area.
I had some time alone because my son was off to church camp, and my husband had to work. I looked around and checked out places that weren’t too far for me to drive to, and I discovered Hot Springs, Arkansas, to be a little over 5 hours from my home. Not only that, but I had been to Hot Springs before, but many years ago, so visiting natural hot springs would be great.
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 was wellness, self-care, and adventure all rolled up in one.
Staying In My First Airbnb During My Solo Trip To Hot Springs
I’m not sure why I chose Airbnb, but I’m glad I did. I love staying at Marriott and Hilton for their great hotel rooms, but I planned to stay three nights, and three nights in a hotel was a little out of my price range for this trip. It was a last-minute idea for me, and this Airbnb for three nights was a total of $152. You can’t beat the price, plus I had a nice room and bathroom to myself …not to mention the view, as I explained below. This was one of the best deals I’ve come across this year! If this is the average price of an Airbnb rental, I’ll be searching for others when I travel again.
My first experience staying at an Airbnb was the bomb. It’s one of the best vacation rentals out there, and I can’t believe it took me this long to book with them. I did a pretty good job finding the best. Janis’s mountain home, modern amenities, and her hospitality were unmatchable –I will stay there again. The mountain view of the Ouachita Mountains from the back balcony of her home was spectacular. Plus, breakfast was ready for me each morning. That was something she said she loves to do. We ended up having more in common than we both thought. I love her all-natural approach to living a healthy life – SCORE!
To find the place I stayed in Hot Spring Village, AR – go here (my affiliate link) >>>> https://www.airbnb.com/c/kimb27474?currency=USD and search for Hot Springs Village, AR – host’s name is Janis. She offers two bedrooms in her home.
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.
Garvan Woodland Gardens Hot Springs, AR
For $15, I took a walk around the most beautiful place (I think) in Hot Springs. The natural beauty of the gardens was the best. I even witnessed a beautiful peacock walking right towards me, then right past me. I wasn’t quite sure if it was going to charge at me or walk on by me. Luckily, it walked on by; I could get that on video (see below). Be prepared to spend an entire day here.
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 gardens. It’s free to walk in and around the chapel. There’s a chapel with somewhat of the same structure as this in Eureka Springs. It may be by the same architect.
Fairy Garden Village At Garvan Woodland Gardens
I fell in love with these tiny fairy houses, and now I 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, the Garvan Woodland Gardens are every bit worth $15 to see it all. I had a good time.
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 I think 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 go back, I’ll look for a more luxury 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 bath houses before making your selection. 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 off I went 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, biking, and we would go horseback riding too—lots of outdoor adventures all 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.
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 where the views are spectacular.