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  • Writer's pictureMonica Stanley

Travel Time - Family Style - Hot Springs, Arkansas

It's repeat time - with a twist!

I was only in Hot Springs, Arkansas a short 10-months ago, but when I asked the girls where they wanted to go for family vacation this summer they said (much to my surprise) Hot Springs because, "It's one of your favorite places and you've never taken us. We want to see it too." That was all I needed to hear! The hotel was booked within the hour.

My mom, step-dad and nephew joined us on this adventure and the cousins got to make some really great memories together. Mom and grandma are a little tired, but we survived!

We only went for a few nights, but we crammed a lot of fun and food into that time. All three kids said it was the best vacation they've had and my nephew said the food was the best.

I won't go into all the details of Hot Springs and all the things to do, or overly explain it's history. This will be more of a quick-hitter album since I was just here last year. You can find the original post here that covers some things in more detail.


We stayed at the Staybridge Inn & Suites on Lake Hamilton. One, because they had an indoor pool and I wanted to make sure we had a backup plan with the kids if needed. Two, because I told the girls we'd stay at a less "fancy" place than we have before so we can shop and do all the things we want. And Three, because they had a heck of a good deal available on Hotwire at the time. I like a good deal!

It's a great location and they have a good view, staff, and the included breakfast makes it easy-peasy with the kids!


First up, especially for my youngest, shopping! We wore these poor kids out, but figured it was best to get all of the shopping out of the way on Day 1 so we could focus on lighter activities the rest of the time. There was a LOT of shopping...


An absolute bucket list item for a kid - and apparently my mother - is the Duck Boat Tour. So... we did it. We had a blast, enjoyed some breeze, and my nephew and I agreed that our driver/tour guide had the BEST dad jokes we had heard! Yes... those duck bills are duck quackers that we've heard the "quacks" of ever since...

You do get to learn about Hot Springs, get a nice ride on the lake, and get to see some really beautiful homes that are on Lake Hamilton.


You read that right! We happened to be in town for the World Championships of the Tub Races. The kids had a blast looking at all the tubs and meeting the teams. They really wanted to watch the races the next morning but were all so exhausted they didn't manage to wake in time. But they really loved the Ghostbusters tub!


My prior blog post has a ton more pics of Garvan Woodland Gardens, so I didn't focus too much on that this time. I just tried to make sure the kids were safe, enjoying it, and getting breaks when needed! A few of our snaps... I'm a liar... it's a photo dump... sorry not sorry!


As I mentioned previously... my nephew loved the food - as did we! We kept our stuff kid friendly and didn't take them to one of the many amazing and more costly restaurants because they weren't really in the headspace to appreciate it. One day...

We had so much great food, including my hands down favorite, the empanadas from the Argentinian Coffee House downtown and a twice-in-this-trip jaunt to Fisherman's Wharf because 1) the food was bomb, 2) it was a beautiful and relaxing patio, and 3) because the kids stayed occupied feeding the wildlife!


To wrap this up... a few shots of the fam. So thankful for my girls, my family, and the opportunities to do these things together - especially in one of my favorite, and highly underrated, places!

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