Hot Springs Day Three – 5/4/21

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For our last full day in Hot Springs we had a bunch of stuff planned. Ava required more pool time, so we went swimming basically as soon as we got up and had breakfast.

We came back to the room and got ready to visit Hot Springs Mountain Tower. It’s a 216 foot tower on the side of the mountain offering panoramic views of the national park and surrounding area.

The drive up there is awesome, it’s a winding, one-way path through the national park. I need to go in a convertible next time.

Unfortunately, when we got to the top of the mountain, we learned that the tower was closed due to a power outage. Boooo! At least it looks cool from the bottom.

There’s another place right down the path from the tower where you can sit and look off the side of the mountain. It’s the 1920’s Observation Gazebo. While it’s a little less impressive than the massive tower, it’s still pretty nice. Interesting graffiti too.

We made the drive back down the mountain and parked at the visitor center where they have free Level 2 electric car chargers. NICE!

From there we decided to just do the tourist thing and walk down central. We popped into the Fordyce Bath House, which is now a museum. They have a ton of exhibits that show how Hot Springs bath houses appeared in the early 20th century. Very cool.

We kept going down central and I decided it was time to have a drink.

The plan was to go to The Arlington Hotel and grab a drink from the bar, and sit out on the patio and chill for a minute while we decided on dinner. Unfortunately the bar was closed and we were all thirsty, so we didn’t stick around long. Very pretty bar area though.

We were now on an all out quest to find a good patio, and everyone says Rolando’s is the best downtown. We’ve actually eaten there quite a few times before, but I never even knew they had a patio because it’s up the stairs and out back and it’s obscured by the building.

They do in fact have an awesome patio, and awesome food too.

I got a Rogue Dead Guy ale and the tilapia tacos, Daisy got tamales, and Ava got a cheese quesadilla with beans and rice. Everything was awesome, and the patio kicks ass. It’s kinda nestled into the side of a rocky hill.

On the walk back to the car, we saw a Popcorn Shop, and decided to grab some to snack on the next day on the ride home. Ava got rainbow popcorn and Daisy picked the cheese popcorn. Both were way better than we expected. And we expected them to be good.

Instead of a powder, it’s like they used an actual sauce that the popcorn gets tossed it, super flavorful, but also the worst thing in the world for eating while driving because it absolutely coats your fingers in cheese sauce. I would still go get some, just maybe go on the first day and snack on it in your hotel room.

We hung out in the hotel room for a bit because we were all pretty exhausted, but at 5pm the Embassy Suites does a happy hour thing at the lobby bar where you can get free drinks until 6:30, so like duh we have to do that.

Daisy and I had a couple of the complimentary drinks and Ava and Alicia the Possum had some Chex mix.

Finally, we all felt kinda snacky since we ate “dinner” at like 3pm, so we got an order of chicken tenders and fries from the hotel restaurant to share.

They were pretty good! I mean, chicken tenders and fries after a few drinks is kinda hard to mess up, but these were pretty tasty and the portion size was more than big enough for all of us to share as a snack.

That was it for our last full day in Hot Springs. We had a great time, despite missing out on the Mountain Tower. I totally see why Rolando’s patio is highly recommended, it’s a very neat little place, and I can’t really say anything bad about a hotel that gives you free drinks.

We had a great time in Hot Springs in general. There’s something about this little town that totally draws me to it. The combination of city and nature right in the downtown area is amazing, and there’s a thriving local restaurant scene too. We’ll definitely be back, as Hot Springs is our go-to destination for weekend getaways since it’s close and there’s a lot to do.