By HomeAway's Travel Expert, Melanie Fish
Here’s the one thing I learned on a trip to Hot Springs, Arkansas: There’s a brewery in a national park. I found this out on a Thanksgiving week trip to see my Arkansas-dwelling in-laws. I booked two nights at a HomeAway on Lake Hamilton to break up the trip and explore Hot Springs National Park, which was actually set aside by the federal government in 1832 to preserve its use as an area for recreation, before the idea of national parks even existed.
Let’s skip the sciencey stuff about how the steaming, reputably healing water comes out of fountains around town—let’s get to the first brewery in a national park. One of the old bathhouses, where people used to go to take hot baths to heal their aches, pains, and even syphilis, is now the Superior Bathhouse Brewery.
Instead of sitting in a locked steam cabinet like a giant lobster, you can sit at a bar with a sampler of all their bathhouse-brewed beers. I didn’t try all 18, but I tried enough to tell you the Beez Kneez brew is delicious. It’s made with the local spring water, locally grown basil, and Arkansas honey. So whether you try that or the spring-made root beer, my one thing about Hot Springs is to visit the only brewery in a national park.