12 Best Hot Springs in Virginia

Virginia is home to a remarkable array of geothermal springs that have drawn visitors for centuries. These natural wonders offer a unique opportunity to soak in mineral-enriched thermal waters, each with its own distinct characteristics and allure. As part of the editorial team at OutdoorCommand.com, we’ve delved into the depths of research to bring you a list of Virginia’s best hot springs you simply must explore.

Exploring Thermal Springs in Virginia

Let’s start our journey with some of the top hot springs in Virginia. Each of these springs is unique, offering different temperatures, experiences, and activities to indulge in. So let’s dive in:

1. The Omni Homestead Resort


Photo courtesy: visitbathva

Located in the heart of the Allegheny Mountains, The Omni Homestead Resort offers a rejuvenating experience like no other. These historic pools have been drawing travelers for centuries. Fed by natural healing springs, they provide a tranquil escape surrounded by the beauty of the Allegheny Mountains. Let’s take a closer look at what makes them so special.

  • Location: The Omni Homestead Resort, Allegheny Mountains, Virginia
  • Temperature: Varies
  • Things to do: Relax in the Jefferson Pools which are naturally heated and Serenity Garden Pool surrounded by lush greenery.
  • Best time to visit: Year-round
  • Cost: Check with the resort for current rates
  • Fun Fact: These historic pools have been a popular destination for visitors almost since the 1700 A.D.

2. Alum Springs


Photo courtesy: love0373

Alum Springs, a hidden gem in Fredericksburg, Virginia, known for its consistently pleasant temperature. Nestled within Alum Springs Park, this thermal spring maintains an inviting average temperature of around 72 degree Fahrenheit. Beyond its warmth, Alum Springs offers a serene environment that’s perfect for family outings.

  • Location: Fredericksburg, Virginia
  • Temperature: 72°F
  • Things to do: Enjoy the thermal spring within Alum Springs Park, a perfect spot for picnicking and family outings.
  • Best time to visit: Spring and summer
  • Cost: Free
  • Fun Fact: Alum Springs offers a consistent temperature and a serene environment for relaxation.

3. Bolar Spring

Photo courtesy: @jenn_hiner

Moving on to Bolar Spring, located in the charming town of Warm Springs, Virginia. With a median temperature of 73 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s a larger spring that offers a refreshing experience. If you choose to visit, consider staying at the Bolar Mountain Recreational Area for breathtaking views and fantastic camping opportunities.

  • Location: Warm Springs, Virginia
  • Temperature: 73°F
  • Things to do: Visit Bolar Mountain Recreational Area for stunning views and camping opportunities.
  • Best time to visit: Spring and summer
  • Cost: Check with the recreational area for camping fees
  • Fun Fact: The blue waters of Bolar Spring are a sight to behold.

4. Bragg Spring

Now, let’s explore Bragg Spring, a unique thermal spring situated in Raleigh County, near Charlottesville, Virginia. Bragg Spring offers lukewarm waters, averaging around 75 degrees Fahrenheit. The founding Bragg Family once renamed this location, adding a touch of history to the experience.

  • Location: Raleigh County, West Virginia (near Charlottesville, Virginia)
  • Temperature: 75°F
  • Things to do: Enjoy the lukewarm waters of Bragg Spring and explore the surrounding area.
  • Best time to visit: Year-round
  • Cost: Free
  • Fun Fact: The spring was renamed by the local Bragg Family.

5. Falling Spring


Photo Courtesy: @shelbylhernandez

Our next destination is Falling Spring, an enchanting natural thermal spring located in Covington, Virginia. This spring is home to a natural waterfall with an impressive height of 80-foot, reckoned as “remarkable” by none other than Thomas Jefferson. With temperatures maintaining a steady 77 degrees Fahrenheit, it offers a blend of natural beauty and warmth.

  • Location: Covington, Virginia
  • Temperature: 77°F
  • Things to do: Admire the 80-foot tall natural waterfall and the largest waterfall in the state of Virginia.
  • Best time to visit: Year-round
  • Cost: Free
  • Fun Fact: Falling Springs Falls was described as “remarkable.” by Thomas Jefferson. This warm spring is also the largest waterfall in the state of Virginia.

6. New River White Sulphur Springs

Continuing our journey, we arrive at The New River White Sulphur Springs, nestled in the famous Appalachian Mountains, near the Virginia border. It is a natural thermal spring that maintains a comfortable and constant temperature of 85 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the year. The surrounding New River Gorge National Park and Preserve, along with the iconic New River Gorge Bridge, adds a layer of natural beauty to the experience.

  • Location: Appalachian Mountains, West Virginia (near Virginia)
  • Temperature: 85°F
  • Things to do: Explore the surrounding New River Gorge National Park and Preserve and the iconic New River Gorge Bridge.
  • Best time to visit: Year-round
  • Cost: Free
  • Fun Fact: New River Gorge Bridge is an arched bridge in Victor, made using steel materials and known as one of the longestand highest bridges in the world.

7. Warm Springs

As we continue our tour of hot springs in Virginia, Warm Springs beckons from Bath County and Rockingham County. Here, you’ll discover the main springs, including the renowned Jefferson Pools. These thermal springs can reach temperatures of 95 degrees Fahrenheit, providing a warm and cozy experience.

  • Location: Bath County and Rockingham County, Virginia
  • Temperature: 95°F
  • Things to do: Enjoy the warmth of Jefferson Pools and the healing properties of these thermal springs.
  • Best time to visit: Year-round
  • Cost: Check with the specific springs for current rates
  • Fun Fact: Bath County and Rockingham County offer branches of the main springs with high temperatures.

8. Berkeley Springs


Photo Courtesy: @jennifer.parde

Now, let’s venture to Berkeley Springs, nestled in Berkeley, West Virginia, just a stone’s throw from Virginia. This warm spring maintains a temperature of slightly over 74 degrees Fahrenheit. Berkeley Springs State Park, situated at the heart of the historic Berkeley Springs, features a spa with a legacy dating back to colonial times.

  • Location: Berkeley, West Virginia (near Virginia)
  • Temperature: 74°F
  • Things to do: Visit Berkeley Springs State Park and experience spa services, saunas, massages, mineral baths, and more.
  • Best time to visit: Year-round
  • Cost: Varies based on spa services
  • Fun Fact: The park has a rich history and has been a destination for centuries.

9. Blowing Springs


Photo Courtesy: @Chris_Clark

As our journey continues, let’s talk about Blowing Springs, a unique hot spring experience situated near the renowned Jefferson Pools and the famous Omni Homestead Resort. These natural springs draw their heat from the Earth’s core, offering a comforting warmth that radiates from below.

  • Location: Near Jefferson Pools, Virginia
  • Temperature: Varies
  • Things to do: Immerse yourself in the comforting warmth radiating from the natural springs.
  • Best time to visit: Year-round
  • Cost: Free
  • Fun Fact: These spa-themed natural waters are a unique experience.

10. Healing Springs

Next, we arrive at Healing Springs, also known as Rubino Healing and Sweet Alum. This fantastic natural hot tub in Warm Springs, Virginia, offers a soothing and relaxing experience with a maintained temperature of 86 degrees Fahrenheit. Known for their healing properties, these springs are perfect for soaking and enjoying the rejuvenating effects on your skin.

  • Location: Warm Springs, Virginia
  • Temperature: 86°F
  • Things to do: Soak in the soothing waters, which are known for their healing properties.
  • Best time to visit: Year-round
  • Cost: Free
  • Fun Fact: Separate sections are available for men and women.

11. Shenandoah Hot Springs

Our next stop is Shenandoah Hot Springs, situated in the serene town of Luray, Virginia. Shenandoah Hot Springs have evolved into a public water park, offering visitors a unique experience. The outdoor areas are open to the general public when the temperature is at least seventy degrees Fahrenheit. During cooler times, you can still enjoy the indoors of Shenandoah. If you’re in the mood for further exploration, Shenandoah National Park is situated against the Blue Ridge Mountains, providing fabulous camping sites.

  • Location: Luray, Virginia
  • Temperature: 70-72°F
  • Things to do: Explore Shenandoah National Park and enjoy outdoor and indoor portions of the hot springs.
  • Best time to visit: Year-round
  • Cost: Check with Shenandoah Hot Springs for current rates
  • Fun Fact: Shenandoah Hot Springs has evolved into a public water park.

12. Hot Springs

Our final destination is the city of Hot Springs, Virginia, where the history of hot springs in the region dates back to Native Americans, over five thousand years ago. Hot Springs isn’t just the name of the town; it’s the epicenter of hot springs and thermal springs that invite you to savor their soothing mineral waters.

  • Location: Hot Springs, Virginia
  • Temperature: Varies
  • Things to do: Explore the historical hot springs and experience the soothing mineral waters.
  • Best time to visit: Year-round
  • Cost: Varies based on the springs you visit
  • Fun Fact: Hot Springs in Virginia have a rich history dating back to Native Americans.

Considerations Before Enjoying Virginia’s Hot Springs

Planning to soak in the mineral-rich, geothermally heated waters of Virginia’s hot springs? It’s a fantastic idea, but before you take the plunge, here are some essential considerations to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

  1. Temperature Check: Hot springs can range from pleasantly warm to scalding hot. Always check the specific spring’s temperature before diving in to avoid discomfort or burns. If you’re unsure, seek advice from local authorities or resort staff.
  2. Health Concerns: If you have health issues, consult a medical professional before visiting a hot spring. The minerals and heat can affect various conditions. People with heart problems, respiratory issues, skin sensitivities, or pregnant individuals should be cautious and seek medical guidance.
  3. Stay Hydrated: Soaking in hot springs can lead to substantial sweating and dehydration. Ensure you’re well-hydrated before your visit and keep drinking water during your soak. Avoid alcohol and caffeine, as they can dehydrate you.
  4. Respect Nature: Hot springs are often in pristine natural settings. Use them responsibly and leave no trace. Don’t use soaps, shampoos, or chemicals in the springs, as they can harm the environment. Follow trails and adhere to any posted rules.
  5. Dress Smart: Many hot springs lack changing facilities. Wear your swimsuit under your clothes and bring towels, robes, and footwear for comfort. Don’t forget sunscreen and a hat for open-air springs.
  6. Embrace Water Variety: Hot springs have unique mineral compositions, which can affect water appearance, smell, and taste. Don’t be surprised if it’s different from a typical swimming pool.
  7. Be Considerate: Hot springs are popular, and others seek tranquility. Keep noise down, avoid loud music, and respect fellow visitors’ space and privacy.
  8. Access Check: Confirm the accessibility of your chosen spring. Some may require hiking, while others are easily reachable by car. Be prepared and check for any fees or permits.
  9. Timing Matters: Visit during off-peak times to avoid crowds. Early mornings and weekdays are often less busy than weekends and evenings.
  10. Prioritize Safety: Safety should be your main concern. Avoid submerging your head for too long, as water temperatures can fluctuate, posing risks. If you feel lightheaded, dizzy, or too hot, exit the spring and cool off.

By keeping these considerations in mind, you can make the most of your hot springs adventure in Virginia, ensuring a safe, enjoyable, and memorable experience. Enjoy the healing benefits and the tranquility of these unique geothermal treasures.

The Healing Benefits of Hot Springs

Hot springs have long been celebrated for their therapeutic qualities, and Virginia’s hot springs are no exception. If you’re considering a visit, here are some of the benefits you can expect to enjoy:

  1. Soothing for the Skin: Hot springs are rich in minerals, particularly sulfur, which can be highly beneficial for various skin conditions. Soaking in these mineral-rich waters can help alleviate symptoms of skin irritations, rashes, and infections. It’s like a natural spa treatment for your skin.
  2. Relief for Aching Muscles and Joints: The heat from hot springs can provide much-needed relief for sore muscles and achy joints. Whether you’ve been hiking in the mountains or just need to unwind, the warmth of the water can help ease tension and reduce discomfort.
  3. Improved Mood and Relaxation: The serene environment of hot springs, often nestled in beautiful natural settings, can have a calming effect on your mind. The warmth of the water, combined with the soothing sounds of nature, can help reduce stress and improve your mood.
  4. Natural Detoxification: Soaking in hot springs can induce sweating, which is one of the body’s natural ways to eliminate toxins. This process can leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated, as if you’ve had a deep detox.
  5. Balneotherapy and Hydrotherapy: Balneotherapy, which involves the use of mineral-rich water for therapeutic purposes, is common in hot springs. It can help alleviate various ailments, from skin disorders to arthritis. Hydrotherapy, a related practice, focuses on using water to relieve muscle and joint pain.
  6. Enhanced Circulation: The warmth of hot spring water can help improve blood circulation, which is not only good for your cardiovascular health but also for delivering essential nutrients and oxygen to various parts of your body.
  7. Pain Relief: Hot springs can be particularly beneficial for those suffering from conditions like arthritis, as the combination of heat and buoyancy can help reduce pain and improve joint flexibility.
  8. Relaxation and Stress Reduction: One of the simplest and most enjoyable benefits of hot springs is relaxation. There’s something incredibly soothing about immersing yourself in warm water, especially when surrounded by nature. It’s a perfect way to unwind and forget about the stresses of everyday life.
  9. Enjoyment of Nature: Many hot springs are located in beautiful natural settings, allowing you to connect with the great outdoors while enjoying the therapeutic properties of the water.
  10. Money and Energy Savers: Unlike man-made hot tubs that require electricity to maintain temperature, hot springs are heated naturally by the Earth’s core. This means you can enjoy warm water without worrying about high energy bills.

Conclusion

In summary, Virginia’s hot springs offer a unique blend of history, natural beauty, and therapeutic benefits. These geothermal wonders provide relaxation, healing, and a connection with nature. Remember to prioritize safety and responsible usage when visiting. Whether you seek relief for aching muscles, soothing skin treatments, or simply a tranquil escape, these hot springs promise a holistic wellness experience. Enjoy the serene landscapes and healing benefits as you immerse yourself in the warm waters of Virginia’s extraordinary geothermal treasures.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Virginia’s Hot Springs

What are hot springs, and how are they formed?

Hot springs are natural geothermal features where groundwater is heated by the Earth’s internal heat and then rises to the surface. They are typically formed in areas with active volcanic or tectonic activity. In Virginia, these springs are often created by the natural flow of groundwater that encounters hot rocks deep within the Earth.

Are there any health benefits to soaking in hot springs?

Yes, hot springs are known for their therapeutic qualities. They can provide relief for sore muscles and joints, alleviate skin irritations, promote relaxation, and aid in detoxification. The mineral-rich waters in hot springs can offer various health benefits, including improved circulation and pain relief.

What should I bring when visiting hot springs in Virginia?

It’s a good idea to bring a swimsuit, towels, robes, and footwear for comfort, as many hot springs lack changing facilities. Additionally, don’t forget sunscreen and a hat if you plan to be in an open-air spring.

Are Virginia’s hot springs safe to visit?

Virginia’s hot springs are generally safe to visit, but it’s essential to prioritize safety. Water temperatures can vary, so be cautious not to submerge your head for too long, and always follow posted rules and guidelines. If you feel lightheaded, dizzy, or too hot, exit the spring and cool off.

Can I use soaps or shampoos in hot springs?

It’s generally discouraged to use soaps, shampoos, or any chemicals in hot springs, as they can harm the environment. Always respect nature and leave no trace when visiting these pristine natural settings.

Are these hot springs open year-round?

Many of Virginia’s hot springs are open year-round, but it’s advisable to check with specific locations for their operating hours and any seasonal variations. Some springs may have outdoor portions that are weather-dependent.

Are there any fees for visiting Virginia’s hot springs?

The cost of visiting hot springs in Virginia can vary. Some may be free, while others, such as those within resorts or state parks, may have admission or camping fees. It’s best to check with the specific spring or resort for current rates.

Can I camp near the hot springs in Virginia?

Some hot springs, like Bolar Spring and The New River White Sulphur Springs, offer camping opportunities nearby. Make sure to check with the respective recreational areas or state parks for camping fees and availability.

Are there any hot springs suitable for family outings?

Yes, several hot springs in Virginia, such as Alum Springs, Bolar Spring, and Shenandoah Hot Springs, offer family-friendly environments that are perfect for outings and picnicking.

Can I visit Virginia’s hot springs during off-peak times to avoid crowds?

Yes, visiting during off-peak times, such as early mornings or weekdays, is often a great way to avoid crowds. Hot springs are generally less busy during these times.

Do I need to book in advance to visit a hot spring at a resort or spa?

Booking in advance may be necessary if you plan to visit a hot spring located within a resort or spa. Check with the specific location for their reservation policies.

Are the hot springs easily accessible by car, or do some require hiking?

The accessibility of hot springs varies. Some are easily reachable by car, while others may require a short hike to reach. Be prepared and check for any fees or permits, especially for those located within state parks.

What is the history of hot springs in Virginia?

Hot springs in Virginia have a rich history dating back centuries, with some springs, like those at The Omni Homestead Resort, attracting visitors since the 18th century. The springs have been enjoyed for their healing and relaxation properties by generations of travelers.

Can I combine my visit to hot springs with other activities in Virginia?

Absolutely! Many hot springs are located in or near beautiful natural settings, allowing you to explore the surrounding areas. Consider combining your visit with activities like hiking, camping, or visits to nearby state parks and attractions.

Are Virginia’s hot springs eco-friendly and sustainable?

Hot springs in Virginia are generally eco-friendly and sustainable when visitors follow responsible usage guidelines. Using soaps and chemicals in the springs is discouraged to protect the environment and maintain their natural beauty.

Can I soak in the hot springs during all seasons?

While many hot springs can be visited year-round, the experience may vary depending on the season. Some springs offer open-air portions that are more enjoyable in warm weather, while indoor facilities are available for cooler seasons.

Is there a recommended hot spring for a romantic getaway?

Warm Springs, Berkeley Springs, and New River White Sulphur Springs are often considered romantic destinations due to their serene environments and beautiful surroundings. Consider these locations for a romantic getaway.

Are hot springs in Virginia suitable for individuals with health conditions?

If you have health issues, especially heart problems, respiratory conditions, skin sensitivities, or if you are pregnant, it’s essential to consult a medical professional before visiting hot springs. The minerals and heat can affect various conditions, so medical guidance is crucial.

What is the largest waterfall in Virginia?

Falling Spring in Covington, Virginia, is home to the largest waterfall in the state. Thomas Jefferson described it as “remarkable” for its impressive eighty-foot tall natural waterfall.

Are there any restrictions on the use of hot springs in Virginia?

While there are typically no specific restrictions on using the hot springs themselves, visitors are expected to follow responsible and respectful behavior. This includes not using soaps or chemicals in the springs, adhering to posted rules, and respecting the privacy of fellow visitors.

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