Spring Break Road Trip from Chicago to Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas

Why visit?

The natural geo-thermal springs, as the name suggests.
Hiking and biking trails in the scenic Ouachita Mountains
Perfect spring break destination for Mid-westerners thanks to mild temperatures during end of March.
For the Hot Springs National Park

How to Plan your visit?

  • For accommodation, I would recommend an independent house with Airbnb or VRBO if you are planning with few families, a lot more fun for the kids when they stay together. We stayed at the Airbnb cottage on Lake Balboa with 2 families.
  • Please have a natural hot water bath experience at one of the bath houses, some of them have been around for decades.
  • Some other recommended places/experiences:
    • Choose the hikes/trails in the vast Ouachita National Forest. One of the most popular trails is Horsethief Springs Trail, an 11-mile long trail that starts at Cedar Lake and loops across numerous streams and through magnificent forests with many different tree and plant species. The trail loops back taking you down the northern face of Winding Stair Mountain back to Cedar Lake. More details here.
    • Walk around the Grand Promenade in the evening
    • Hot Springs Mountain Tower
    • The Anthony Chapel

Our Trip Details from Naperville

March 25 – March 28, 2016

Road Trip
Naperville to Hot Springs Village, AR. ETA is 11 hours with couple of breaks.

384$ for 2 days.

Travel Photologue

The Cottage

Extremely calm and serene vacation home around Lake Balboa. 



Hot Springs Mountain Tower 

Wonderful views from up top and goes without saying, very windy. You can climb too instead of taking lift, if you trust your legs.

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Lake Catherine State Park



Other Places to Visit not covered by us due to short trip.

  • Hot Springs Mountain Scenic Drive – You could also do a trail starting from the base of mountain tower.
  • Garvan Woodland Gardens.
  • Anthony Chapel for its unique looks and photo-ops.

That’s it.

Loved Hot Springs? Share your ideas and experiences via the comments.

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