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New book '100 Things to Do in Hot Springs Before You Die' releases today

100 Things to Do in Hot Springs

In a partnership with Reedy Press Acquisitions, The Hot Springs Post has worked with the community to compile and publish a book of 100 Things to Do in Hot Springs Before You Die under the authorship of Cassidy Kendall. Categories featured in the book include food and drink; music and entertainment; sports and recreation; culture and history; and shopping and fashion.

The book officially released today. A launch party open to the public will be held from 5-9 p.m. Tuesday on the second floor of Spencer's Corner. Books can be purchased here. To book a speaking or signing event, email Kendall at

About the Book

Hot Springs National Park is unlike any other national park you will visit. It’s a unique oasis in Arkansas, and not just because the park is home to ancient thermal water springs thought to be medicinal. A vibrant community has worked to develop this national park and Hot Springs, the city that surrounds it, into the fascinating destinations they have become today. In 100 Things to Do in Hot Springs Before You Die, readers will get a taste of what Spa City has for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, you’ll be inspired to try the unique things that keep Hot Springs zany and fun. Find out where you can locate fountains to indulge in the thermal waters, as well as what historic bathhouses allow you to bathe in them. Learn of the town’s history in an illegal gambling era that drew in infamous gangsters like Al Capone and Owney Madden at The Gangster Museum of America. Explore the three lakes and numerous hiking trails in and around the city or attend the largest celebratory bashes the city holds annually, like the World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Local author and journalist, Cassidy Kendall, guides you through the quirky and intriguing history of the place she’s loved for years. With no stone unturned and no hidden gem remaining in the dark, this book will help you decide where to begin when experiencing and exploring Hot Springs and Hot Springs National Park.

From the Author

Like many, I was first introduced to Hot Springs as a vacation destination. During my childhood in Southern Arkansas, my sweet grandparents would regularly whisk me and my two sisters away to enjoy a week of lake life during the summers. The excitement we felt seeing the sparkle of Lake Hamilton as we crossed the bridge coming in on 70 West after having traveled nearly two hours is just as vivid today as it was many years ago. We knew what these weeks brought: mist on our faces as we cruised the lake in our family’s party barge; the joy found in a friendly game of putt-putt at Pirate’s Cove; a beautiful drive up Hot Springs Mountain and into the Mountain Tower to see the breath-taking views; and a stroll through downtown to window shop and simply enjoy the days spent in the Spa City.

After childhood, I thought my magical summers in Hot Springs were over as I grew older and went out into the world. But as fate would have it, I was brought back here on a more permanent basis after I graduated college. I had the rare opportunity to be reintroduced to the most magical place I had ever been to. And while I still got to enjoy all the things I had before, like the lake, nature, and yes, still games of putt-putt at Pirate’s Cove, I found there was a whole other world of beauty and magic to be experienced in Hot Springs year-round.

As a local newspaper journalist I quickly got acquainted with the community after moving here. I learned it’s the locals that keep the town that magical destination I had remembered from so many years before. I discovered a laugh brought by the community theatre at a Pocket show, a profound thought incited by a Wednesday Night Poetry, the beauty found in a downtown Gallery Walk, the quirkiness of a World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade, and the glamour of a documentary film festival having run longer than any other in North America. I also found a library that would go above and beyond to accommodate its community, more hiking trails and swimming holes than I could ever imagine, and a historic Bathhouse Row that still has some bathhouses for bathing—but also one that brews beer with the local “magical” thermal water, and another run by the city’s Mayor offering a grand hotel and one of the best brunches you’ll have in your life. I could go on and on, but the point is I got lucky enough to meet Hot Springs twice in my lifetime, and now I would like nothing more than to share the country’s best-kept secret with the readers of this book.

Hot Springs is known as the Spa City for the millennia-old thermal waters deriving from the mountain that drew in people from all over the world for medicinal bathing and soaking. Tasting and bathing in these waters today are the obvious “must do’s” when finding yourself in Hot Springs, but whether you’re visiting or living here, count yourself lucky and enjoy it for all it’s worth.

In this book you will read 100 things I have deemed important enough to do while in Hot Springs before you die. I’ve lived in Hot Springs for three years, but have frequented it my entire life, so I hope to appeal to both the visitor and local in these pages, which will introduce you to some of the best foods, businesses, places, events, and historical tidbits in the area, as well as insider tips that will help you make the most of your time spent in one of the best places on earth.

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