The Arkansas park turns 100 on March 4.


Hot Springs National Park is celebrating its 100th birthday this week with plenty of fanfare, including photos, cupcakes, and even a horse-drawn carriage.

The Arkansas park, sometimes known as "America's Spa," has planned a COVID-safe 100th birthday celebration for March 4.

Hot Springs National Park
Credit: zrfphoto/Getty Images

The festivities will kick off with an official proclamation from the city, declaring March 4, 2021 as "Hot Springs National Park Day." The message will be delivered with plenty of pomp via horse-drawn carriage.

From 11 a.m. until 3 p.m., the Friends of Hot Springs National Park will set up on the front porch of the park's visitor center and hand out birthday cupcakes. Visitors can stop by a birthday-themed photo booth and take pictures, which will be included in an anniversary video.

At the Mid-America Science Museum nearby, visitors will be able to continue the celebrations on March 6 with a "Build Your Own Bathhouse" event to learn more about the history of the unique bathhouses in the national park.

The park's bathhouses are one of its defining features and offer a unique chance to soak in both history and the thermal waters.

Everyone is asked to maintain social distancing while celebrating.

Hot Springs National Park became known as "America's Spa" for the potentially healing powers of its thermal waters. People came from all over to "quaff the elixir" (drink the water) from the 47 natural springs at the base of Hot Springs Mountain.

The park became a public reservation in 1832, making it one of the oldest federally protected sites in the country. On March 4, 1921, Congress deemed it Hot Springs National Park, the 19th national park in the country.

Today, almost 1.5 million people visit the park each year to drink the natural thermal water, soak in Bathhouse Row and hike the park's trails.

And visitors can continue the birthday celebrations at Superior Bathhouse, the first brewery in a national park in the country and the first in the world to use thermal spring water as its main ingredient, Forbes reported. The brewery's menu boasts "beer baths'' for $30 for visitors who want to sample all 18 brews on tap.

The centennial celebrations will continue throughout the year with a block party in May, a Thermal Springs Festival in September, an Archaeology Day in October and many more.

Cailey Rizzo is a contributing writer for Travel Leisure, currently based in Brooklyn. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, or at