7 Must-See Destinations Near Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort

Attractions Near Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort

Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort is a popular gaming destination in Hot Springs, Arkansas. And while you’ll find remarkable gaming, racing, and other fun things to do right at the resort, Hot Springs is a hot tourist destination regardless of whether you’re into the gaming scene.

This is what today’s post is all about.

If you’re looking for fun things to do, or just a list of potential must-see destinations during your time in town, check out this list of suggestions. And remember, this is not a complete list, but it’s a good way to gain an idea of what’s hanging out around you in the Hot Springs area.

Are you ready to see what Hot Springs, Arkansas offers? Keep reading for more.

1 – Garvan Woodland Gardens

A winner of the TripAdvisor Travelers Choice 2020 Award, come out and enjoy this walk into nature between the hours of 10 am and 6 pm daily. They charge for admission, but it’s more than worth a trip into fairytale land.

No, really, you’re going to think someone teleported you to Middle Earth or a land where a towering palace stands at the edge of this vast forested region rich with the University of Arkansas’ 210-acre botanical garden, located right on the edge of Lake Hamilton.

Interested in taking time off from Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort to check out the gardens? Head over to 550 Arkridge Road in Hot Springs, Arkansas, for a walk into picturesque paradise. It’s also a great place to visit if you’re interested in venturing over to nearby Anthony Chapel, Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf, and the Central Avenue Marketplace—all of which rest within three miles of the gardens.

2 – Bathhouse Row

If you’re looking for a historical look into the area’s architecture, then you will love all of what Bathhouse Row offers. It is here that people of the community ventured to during the early days of the 20th century when they were looking to immerse themselves into hot springs baths.

Yet another recipient of the 2020 Travelers Choice Award, Bathhouse Row sits at 101 Reserve Street in Hot Springs. You will find other hot places here that include the Fordyce Bathhouse, Hot Springs National Park, and the Grand Promenade.

Bathhouse Row Arkansas

It’s also a great place to take a walk, and you’ll find both historical descriptions along with photos of what life was like at the bathhouses during their heyday. You can also take a tour of the bathhouses, but most reviewers recommend you to walk through the Fordyce Bathhouse, which also hosts the Visitors Center.

3 – Hot Springs National Park

Yet another recipient of the 2020 Travelers Choice Award via TripAdvisor, Hot Springs National Park is a great place to entwine yourself in the region’s nature scene. And it’s a great place to visit when you head over to Bathhouse Row, considering its proximity to the venue.

Reviewers on TripAdvisor describe the park as if you’re walking, or driving, into another dimension, since you’re in the midst of a bustling city one minute, before you’ll find yourself immersed in wild country the next minute.

So, technically speaking, you’re never leaving the City of Hot Springs. You can remain in the car and check out the scenic drive, or if you’re in the mood to stretch your legs some, feel free to do so on their hiking trails.

Regardless of what choice you make, you’re in for some breathtaking overlooks of the surrounding countryside and even the city itself—especially if you make the climb up nearby Mountain Tower.

Unlike most National Parks, this is a smaller one, if not the smallest in America. They also boast free entry, along with a dynamic duo of springs. Reviewers on TripAdvisor often agree that Hot Springs National Park is by far the most unique they’ve come across.

If you’re looking for a smaller park close to the city, yet gives you some sensational views of the surrounding countryside at the same time, Hot Springs National Park is the place to be. And despite its small size, most reviewers will tell you to plan on spending at least half a day here.

4 – Lake Catherine State Park

If you’re looking for even more recreational opportunities outside Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort, check out Lake Catherine State Park. Its “About” section reads, “[The park] offers good hikes, but can be humid.”

So, if you’re cool with the humidity, then this is the ideal hiking spot for you, especially if you’d like to engage in some picturesque scenery. If that’s the case, head over to 1200 Catherine Park Road and you will run right into it. This is also a great choice if you plan on venturing to nearby Lake Ouachita.

Because of its remarkable scenery, many reviewers recommend the Falls Trail Hike. It’s a shorter trail, too, lasting just 2 miles. However, given the number of obstacles and challenging terrain, you should at least be in decent shape to undertake this trail.

Lake Catherine State Park In Hot Springs Arkansas

It’s also a good trail to hike when you don’t have young kids with you, considering its challenges. However, many will just hike the final half-mile of the trail, given the flatter and far less challenging terrain offered.

Reviewers have also praised the trail’s cleanliness along with its shady campsites, which are ideal if you’re camping out here during the summer months. Plus, it’s a good place to camp whether you’re here with the RV or if you’d like to engage in old-fashioned, primitive camping.

The waterfall is the top attraction within this scenic attraction, but reviews are mixed. Some love what they see, while others have stated they’ve seen better. However, one reviewer noted that the falls are at their best following heavier rains in the region, as opposed to dry spells.

5 – Lake Ouachita

We mentioned Lake Ouachita in passing in the previous section, and it’s a great place to pair with Lake Catherine State Park given the three-mile proximity between the two destinations.

This lake, the largest in the state of Arkansas, covers 48,300 acres, making it the ideal place for some serious recreation (ideally fishing and boating, among others).

One reviewer on TripAdvisor had made a return trip to the lake after 50 years and they praised it for its continued cleanliness, even after five decades. Clearly, this attraction has stood the test of time.

They also boast some longer trails than Lake Catherine State Park, and there are several beaches, swimming areas, places to picnic, nature watch, and so much more.

If you’re looking for a moderately challenging trail, make sure you check out the Caddo Bend Trail, which lasts about four miles. This trail takes between 2.5 and 3.5 hours to complete, and it provides excellent spots to take some scenic pictures and views.

Reviewers warn that you should wear a decent set of hiking shoes given the rocky terrain.

6 – Mid-America Science Museum

We’ve talked a lot about nature, outdoor, and recreational opportunities in the must-see destinations surrounding Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort. So, let’s head indoors and talk about a rather popular museum in the region, the Mid-America Science Museum.

You’ll find it at 500 Mid America Boulevard in Hot Springs and if you’ve traveled to the venue with kids, brace yourself, as you can expect to be here a few hours. Their mission is to promote the understanding of and to spark the interest of science in younger minds, and they have the exhibits to accomplish it.

Mid-America Science Museum in Hot Springs Arkansas

You’re getting plenty of interactive exhibits here along with a slew of activities and workshops which is sure to spark increased curiosity in the subject for both you and the youngest in your travel group.

Best yet, they operate with an informal approach to education, so it’s far different than what you will discover in a classroom or a workplace. If your kid has a lack of interest in the subject that stems from the formal approach, the Mid-America Science Museum can turn the tides.

7 – Hot Springs Mountain Tower

This is another attraction we touched on earlier that you will find at Hot Springs National Park. It’s a popular destination for hikers who frequent the area, and it provides sensational views of both the city and the surrounding country.

Oh, and they also offer a popular ice cream parlor nearby. If you’re in town on a hot day and you’d like to cool off a little, make sure you grab some on the way down before you return to hot springs.

So, hit the trails, climb the tower, and treat your eyes to some picturesque scenery involving lush mountains and rolling hills as far as your eyes can see.


Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort is one of the better casino resorts in the south to frequent. But given its location in Hot Springs, Arkansas, it’s just one of many fun things to do in the region, especially if you’re into outdoorsy activities.  In case you didn’t notice, the area offers many nature-based attractions.

So, build that casino vacation itinerary, and remember, today’s list only shows you just a few of many must-see destinations near Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort.

Let us know if you’re ever visited Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort or any of the fun destinations within its vicinity, or any of the other casinos in Arkansas! We look forward to reading more about where you’ve been!