Making Crime Pay at The Gangster Museum of America

Crime may not pay, but visitors will have to if they want entry into The Gangster Museum of America in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

Hot Springs is known for it historic downtown area, and now with the addition of the recently opened Gangster Museum, it’s edgy history from the 1920-40’s is also showcased.  After all, back in “the day” Hot Springs was a popular vacation spot for many members of the mob, including Al Capone (in mug shot above) and Lucky Luciano.  It’s said that they came for the waters, the healing powers of the area’s hot mineral baths.

Inside the museum are exhibits from the town’s history, including artifacts a slot machine and a roulette wheel from the Southern Club, and dice and poker chips from other local gambling clubs.

There’s also a Tommy Gun (a Thompson submachine gun), a 1928 Cadillac owned by Al Capone, and a Victor Victrola, believed to have been owned by Ralph Capone, Al’s brother, on display.

Features of the museum include video presentations and an “underground” tunnel designed to disorient people.  Photos from the era are also on display, and tell the story of how the mob and Hot Springs came to have such a close relationship.

The Gangster Museum of America is located at 113 Central Avenue, Hot Springs, Arkansas, and is open daily from 10 am – 10 pm.  Admission is $8 adults; $7 seniors; and $4 children (under 12).

Photo credit:  public domain


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Mary Jo Manzanares is a traveler, travel blogger, and podcaster. In addition to her blog, Traveling with MJ, she hosts the Where Else to Go podcast, and is the founder and the editor-in-chief of The Traveler’s Way, an online travel magazine. Her travel ethos is value luxury - luxury for real people - and her goal is to help travelers know when to splurge and when to save. Mary Jo has been a speaker at various industry events around the world. When she’s not traveling, Mary Jo likes lingering over a cup of coffee, wandering in a museum, sipping wine at a cafe, and sharing it all with friends and readers. Her most recent travels were to Stockholm, a Baltic cruise, and Universal Orlando Resort.

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