Hot Springs, VA
This exquisite four-season resort has a long, illustrious history of famous visitors, many traveling here to “take the waters.” George Washington, the Robert E. Lee family and Thomas Jefferson have all visited numerous times.
Today’s guests come to the Homestead for the scenic beauty and variety of activities; also, for the excellent food and sumptuous accommodations. But the original draw has always been the natural mineral baths found in this region.
To take the waters, hotel guests must book a 50-minute spa treatment (day passes are also available for $75), then they may experience the Serenity Garden and The Homestead’s legendary Octagon Pool—beloved for its health-inducing minerals like potassium, calcium and magnesium. The pool was remodeled in 2013. Guests can also enjoy the natural hot springs in a pressurized Deluge Shower and River Reflexology Walk.
At this writing, the nearby Jefferson Pools, which had operated here for more than 150 years, are closed.
Note that during the COVID-19 era, the resort is operating at reduced-capacity limits and scheduling modifications to ensure social distancing. Drive time is 3.5 hours.
Capon Springs, WV
Capon Springs is an all-inclusive family-friendly resort with dozens of activities from golf, hiking, fishing, tennis and, most memorable of all, swimming in their invigorating spring-fed pool.
This vintage property is made up of cottages, historic lodges and guest rooms that retain heritage and traditions like a beloved birthright, keeping guests returning year-after-year. Generations of families have come here, many to take the healing spring waters, but also for the home cooked meals, including daily fresh baked goodies and farm collected eggs.
Capon’s Hygeia Bath House & Spa has individualized Roman-style soaking baths heated to 102 degrees, but that same healing water comes out of the tap, and is found throughout the entire resort, including the kitchens and in the pool.
The springs are scheduled to reopen for the 2021 season on April 29. Guests are only allowed in the spa with an appointment and will need to wear a mask unless they are in a private bath. Drive time is 1.5 hours.
Berkeley Springs, WV
West Virginia opened Berkeley Springs State Park to allow visitors and locals to benefit from its renowned mineral springs, and the facilities and treatments are quite affordable. The recently renovated bathhouse offers separate accommodations for men and women with therapeutic whirlpools, steam rooms and showers. The historic Roman Bath House, also in the park, has nine individual walk-in tubs inside private chambers. Everyone has access to Berkeley Springs’ water through the town’s public tap and outdoor pool.
Another option is the Renaissance Spa at The Country Inn with multiple spa treatments incorporating the historic town’s spa water, said to be George Washington’s favorite. Drive time is two hours.
White Sulphur Springs, WV
Since its founding in 1778, guests of the Greenbrier came for many attractions, both natural and man-made, but what put this resort on the map for most royalty, celebrities and presidents, was the hotel’s healing waters.
Today, guests can soak in private rooms bathing in Sulphur-rich water; take an invigorating Swiss Shower and Scotch Spray; detox with a purifying bath; and luxuriate in rejuvenating waters from the region’s Alvon Springs.
Note that during the COVID-19 era, temperatures will be taken before entering the spa and guests will be required to wear face covering throughout their spa appointments.
West Virginia’s hot springs source is rich in minerals and salts, and is known to heal sore muscles and increase circulation. Drive time is four hours.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published June 21, 2018.