Thousands of years ago, the first inhabitants of our country used the nourishing powers of mineral water to treat a variety of diseases. Today, hot (or warm) springs are exhilarating places to relax, reconnect with nature, and nourish your body and mind. Soaking in spring water is said to help treat circulatory ailments, increase oxygen flow, and relieve muscle, joint, and skin problems. From lush resorts to small country parks, here are five hot springs to browse.
Hot Springs Resort & Spa | Hot Springs, North Carolina
Located just outside of Asheville, these hot springs were discovered by the Native Americans, whose existence dates back nearly 5,000 years. Since 1778, the town has shared the benefits of spring water with locals and visitors alike. The mineral baths have moved to several locations since the early 1800s, and you can still visit the bath ruins from the 1860s. Whether you want to spend the night with a loved one or simply take advantage of the water to relieve pain and stiffness, Hot Springs Resort & Spa offers tremendous relaxation, along with a selection of cabin and camp rentals!
Hot natural mineral water constantly flows through hot tubs flowing from the depths of the earth. The resort has gracefully built ponds into gorgeous wooden decks tucked away along scenic Spring Creek and French Broad River. Open seven days a week, you can enjoy the hourly spa, starting at $50 for two. Reservations are required, and you can plan your visit here.
Quapaw Baths & Spa | Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas
Hot Springs, Arkansas, is home to Hot Springs National Park and a “hot spot” thermal spring. From 1880 until 1950, the city flourished as a health destination, culminating in 1946 when it was one million Baths were taken. The development of modern medicine has led to a decline in bathing care, but “Bathhouse Row” from Hot Springs continues to thrive today.
The huge indoor baths at Quapaw Baths & Day Spa are a popular place on the line. After a day of sightseeing and exploring in the vibrant hot springs region, there is no better way to unwind than with the world-famous spa.
Allegheny Springs at Omni Homestead | Hot Springs, Virginia
The main natural spring of the Allegheny Mountains passes through the Omni Homestead Resort. Since their discovery by Native Americans about 9,000 years ago, prominent Virginia figures such as Thomas Jefferson have touted the water’s healing powers, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors to the area each year. According to the resort, the USGS has determined that these springs are not affected by the change of seasons. It remains at normal body temperature all year round and flows at an amazing rate of 1.7 million gallons daily. The water is full of minerals but also so clear that you can read a book through it.
You can visit the springs across the resort. Allegheny Springs is a two-acre water park fed by the area’s natural springs. Babies and kids at heart will love two 100-foot water slides, a 400-foot lazy river, large outdoor pools, a plush 1904-built indoor pool, and relaxing whirlpools. But the main attraction for those looking for relaxation is the Serenity Garden’s outdoor pool, naturally heated, fed by springs. It’s open all year round, so imagine relaxing in a corner of the pool with hot tea and a book while it snows all around you.
Berkeley Springs, West Virginia
Less than two hours from Washington, DC, Berkeley Springs State Park is one of the most historic examples of ancient hot springs still open today. In 1730, the first European settlers learned about the ancient springs that attracted the ancestors of Indians from Canada to the Carolinas. Word of the mysterious and practical natural spring spread far and wide, and soon everyone was flocking to this holistic health mecca.
Inside the small state park in the heart of the city, you can indulge in idyllic Roman baths, rent a modern whirlpool – both heated to 102 degrees – or take a dip in the outdoor pool filled with the legendary warm mineral water that flows from the springs at a constant temperature of 74.3 degrees. Today, the springs still discharge about 2,000 gallons of sparkling water per minute from five sources close to the springs.
Warm Mineral Springs Park | North Park, Florida
According to TopHotSprings.com, Florida has 13 natural springs that range from warm (above 68 degrees) to hot (above 84 degrees), but they contain dozens More if you count the cool stuff too! Warm Springs Mineral Park is one of the warmest, oldest and most magical places.
From 85 to 87 degrees throughout the year, the enormous swimming pool is said to have been in general use for 30,000 years. The spring reaches a depth of 200 feet at some points, is constantly flowing and refills nine million gallons per day. Swim, soak, snorkel or choose a skin or facial treatment to take advantage of the water 50 nutritious minerals. No wonder this place was crowned as the “Fountain of Youth!”
These hot springs invite us to throw off our warm bathrobe and soak in the water. I hope the pursuit of this age-defying mineral magic that also calms the mind will spark some ancestral education and exploration of unknown parts!
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