David Yerby

For more than 60 years, Stubby's Bar-B-Que has served its popular barbecue — a meld between Tennessee and Texas styles. But the restaurant isn't just a Spa City favorite. Stubby's barbecue sauce is well-loved and sold in grocery stores nationwide.

More entertainment, restaurants and shopping opportunities await you in the area of Hot Springs sandwiched between downtown and the lake district.

The jewel of this area is Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort, a thoroughbred horse track. It has drawn thousands of visitors over the years and has witnessed the rise of many champions, including 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah. In 2018, Oaklawn announced a $100 million-plus expansion with the construction of a high-rise hotel, event center and expanded gaming area. While horse racing is hosted only from Jan. 24 through May 2, Oaklawn is open year-round (except Christmas Day and Easter) for off-track betting, card and electronic games like poker and blackjack, and thousands of slot machines.

Further west, just off U.S. Highway 70, is the Mid-America Science Museum, Arkansas’ largest hands-on science center. Families can experience a wide range of interactive science exhibits, including a virtual-reality simulator on a roller coaster and the chance to explore an “underground cave.” The museum just completed a $7.8 million renovation and is one of only two Smithsonian Institution affiliates in the state.

Popular restaurants like La Hacienda and nationally acclaimed Stubby’s Bar-B-Que, bustling retailers like those at Oaklawn’s Winning Colors Gift Shop and luxurious spas like Destinations Day Spa, pepper the Midtown area with even more vacation fun.

WE RECOMMEND

PLACES TO EAT

  • La Hacienda
  • Silks Bar & Grill - Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort
  • Stubby's Bar-B-Que

PLACE TO PLAY

  • Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort

PLACES TO SHOP

  • Destinations Day Spa
  • Winning Colors Gift Shop - Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort

PLACE TO RELAX

  • Destinations Day Spa

PLACES FOR NIGHTLIFE

  • Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort
  • Pop's Lounge - Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort
  • Silks Bar & Grill - Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort