Hot Springs, Arkansas
Recently we took a short family vacation to Hot Springs. It's about a four and a half hour drive from Bentonville, regardless of the route you drive. Hot Springs quite a history, including a chapter filled with gambling and gangsters. The most famous, or infamous attraction in town is "Bathouse Row". Eight bath houses, built around the early 1900's offered spa type services featuring mineral water from naturally occurring hot springs. Over the years they were home to gambling, gangsters, and all sorts of illicit activities. All of the bathouses are now on the National Register of historic buildings and owned by the National Park service. I believe only one is still operating purely as a bathouse.
The Superior Bath House might be my favorite. The brick work and details are just beautiful. It is currently a micro brewery and features products made with those same hot mineral waters that were thought to cure what ails you back in the day.
The Fordyce Bathouse is the most ornate of the structures. The brick pattern is amazing and the cast stone window details are stunning.
Hot Springs sits adjacent to Lake Hamilton and is about 45 miles southeast of Little Rock. There are a multitude of condos for rent on the lake as well as hotels in the historic district. It is a tourist town and always has been, so there are a lot of things to do. Sitting next to a lake means you can rent boats or bring your own with all of your water toys. There are a lot of good restaurants along with all of the usual fast food chains. It's easy to see why Hot Springs has been a popular vacation destination for over one hundred years.