The Sentinel-Record - HER - Hot Springs - - News -

Greet­ings, friends and neigh­bors, This siz­zling sum­mer of 2012 con­tin­ues to go by at a brisk clip, re­mind­ing us all that time is cer­tainly of the essence.

A highly suc­cess­ful Hot Springs Mu­sic Fes­ti­val fine-tuned June. And along with tak­ing in art, cul­tural and other en­ter­tain­ment events, home­folks en­joyed deck par­ties, evening lake cruises, ca­sual din­ing, camp­ing ex­cur­sions and neigh­bor­hood so­cials.

Lo­cal denizens are ea­ger to play tour guide for their guests – point­ing out with pride all of the at­trac­tions and ac­tiv­i­ties avail­able in this gem of a tourist town.

Be­tween spring and fall, the re­sort community is most as­suredly a “peo­ple place” – an easy-to-reach des­ti­na­tion for fam­i­lies, new­ly­weds, grand­par­ents, col­lege students and any­one else who seeks en­joy­ment in a nat­u­rally pleas­ing set­ting.

In high school, my mother and I played tourists on many oc­ca­sions, be it spend­ing most of a leisurely day down­town or driv­ing around the out­skirts of the city to get the full mea­sure of scenic vis­tas that abound here.

Al­though col­lege and work took me away from Hot Springs for a num­ber of years, I tried to keep up with ad­di­tions to the vis­i­tors’ to-do list in or­der to ful­fill my role as a rov­ing am­bas­sador. Just re­cently, af­ter plac­ing a cat­a­log or­der by tele­phone, I was pleased when the salesperso­n be­gan ask­ing ques­tions about our fair city. Glad to oblige, I ticked off a few ameni­ties that might pique her in­ter­est.

It’s as­tound­ing how much Hot Springs has ex­panded its tourism op­tions. This rel­a­tively small berg is big on new ideas for how to have fun – and learn some­thing, too.

Par­tic­u­larly in­trigu­ing to me – and from the en­thu­si­as­tic re­sponse it’s re­ceived since open­ing in March – is the Hot Springs: The Birth­place of Spring Base­ball his­toric base­ball trail. The trail in­cludes 26 his­toric mark­ers, each con­tain­ing in­for­ma­tion that tells its sig­nif­i­cance in the his­tory of Amer­ica’s pas­time. Dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy al­lows a self-guided au­dio tour.

The sub­ject of base­ball evokes mem­o­ries of the sum­mers in which my fa­ther and I teamed up for some bat­ting, catch­ing and pitch­ing ex­er­cises in the side yard of our Prospect Av­enue home. My dad loved the sport and did his best to teach me a few of its finer points, al­beit the re­stric­tions of the play­ing field. With prac­tice, I learned to hit the ball pretty well, but in the long run, tennis seemed a bet­ter fit. Nonethe­less, I can only imag­ine how he would have loved this base­ball trail.

What­ever you do this July and Au­gust, make the most of it.

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