Looking for someplace to relax and soak away the stresses of daily life? Look no further than California’s many amazing hot springs! There is something special about soaking in a hot spring. Whether you are surrounded by the stunning scenery of nature or the hustle and bustle of the city, hot springs provide a unique and memorable experience. In this post, I’ll share with you 12 of the Best Hot Springs in California, including both natural and developed options.
Best Hot Springs in California
1. Desert Hot Springs
If you’re looking for a top-notch California spa destination, look no further than Desert Hot Springs. This small town, situated about 100 miles east of Los Angeles, is famous for its hot mineral springs and luxury spas. For centuries, the Native Americans have known about these healing waters and used them for their health and wellbeing.
Today, you can still enjoy the therapeutic benefits of the hot springs by soaking in one of the many public pools or taking a dip in one of the private hot tubs. There are more than 20 commercial hot springs resorts here, each offering its own unique experience. The water temperature ranges from 95 to 109 degrees Fahrenheit, so it’s quite comfortable even for those who don’t normally like hot baths.
Two Bunch Palms is one of the most popular hot springs resorts in Desert Hot Springs. The property includes a spa, restaurant, and bar. Other top-rated hot springs resorts in the area include Miracle Springs Resort & Spa, Desert Hot Springs Spa Hotel, and Aqua Soleil Hotel & Mineral Water Spa.
If you’re looking for things to do in Desert Hot Springs, there’s plenty to keep you busy. In addition to soaking in the hot springs, you can go hiking, camping, golfing, and horseback riding in the nearby desert. You can also visit Joshua Tree National Park, which is located just a short drive away.
2. Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa
One of California’s top luxury resorts is the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa, a AAA Four-Diamond property set on 177 acres in the historic Sonoma Valley wine country. Surrounded by rolling hills and vineyards, the inn dates back to 1928, when it was first built as a six-room mission-style guesthouse.
Today, the inn has more than 200 elegant guest rooms, suites, and villas, many with fireplaces, private balconies, and scenic patio views. However, the main highlight for visitors is the 1,100-foot Willow Stream Spa, which is one of the best hot springs in California not to miss.
The springs that feed the spa were used by Native Americans for centuries, and the mineral waters are known for their healing properties. Today, the springs feed a network of resort hot tubs, including the five pools in the resort.
The spa is known for its European bathing ritual, which includes starting with an exfoliating shower, followed by a soak in one of the pools, a dip in a hot pool, a mega shower, and then a stop at the sauna or steam room. The ritual ends with a cup of tea in the relaxation room.
Adventurous can explore the surrounding Sonoma Valley wine country on horseback or by hot air balloon, or take a Jeep tour of the local vineyards. There are also plenty of things to do on the property, including golf, tennis, and croquet.
3. Sespe Hot Springs
If you’re looking for top California hot springs that are a bit off the beaten path, consider a visit to Sespe Hot Springs. This natural hot spring is located in the remote wilderness of Los Padres National Forest. You’ll have to hike several miles just to reach the hot springs, but it’s worth the effort.
The Sespe Hot Springs is located along a creek in a secluded canyon. There are several pools of varying temperatures, so you can find one that’s just to your liking. The water is said to have therapeutic properties and is thought to be helpful for various ailments such as arthritis and skin conditions.
Because the hot springs are located in such a remote area, there are no facilities or amenities. You’ll need to bring all your own supplies, including food, water, and camping gear. And because the area is so remote, I recommend you go with a group of friends and make sure someone has a GPS device.
The best time to visit the hot springs is during spring or fall when the weather is milder. Avoid visiting during the summer, when temperatures in the canyon can get extremely hot.
All in all, visiting the Sespe Hot Springs is definitely one of the best things to do in California for nature lovers and adventurous types. Just be sure to come prepared.
4. Calistoga Hot Spring
Calistoga is a lovely small town in California’s Wine Country, and it’s home to some of the best hot springs in the state. It’s no wonder that Calistoga is known as the Spa Capital of Northern California.
There are numerous hot springs resorts in Calistoga, each with its own unique charm. Visitors can enjoy mud baths, mineral baths, massages, and other spa treatments. Many of the hot springs resorts also offer wine tastings, making Calistoga the perfect destination for a wine lover’s getaway.
In addition, this town also has its own geyser, which is quite a rare sight in California. The Old Faithful of California is located in the Calistoga Hot Springs Resort, and it erupts every 30 minutes or so.
If you’re looking for things to do in Calistoga, hot springs top the list. But there are also plenty of other great things to do in this charming town. Stroll down Calistoga’s historic main street, visit a winery or two, take a hike in nearby Bothe-Napa Valley State Park, or tour the Sterling Vineyards.
Calistoga is located in Napa Valley, about one and half hours drive from San Francisco. It’s the perfect place to relax and rejuvenate, surrounded by natural beauty.
5. Orr Hot Springs Resort
Nestled in a remote canyon in Mendocino County, Orr Hot Springs Resort is one of the best hot springs in California for those who want to experience the natural beauty of the state.
The resort has been a popular destination since the late 1800s, when it was founded as a health spa. These days, the resort attracts a mix of tourists and locals who come to enjoy the beautiful setting and relax in the hot springs.
There are two communal pools located in the central bathing area. The larger pool is fed by a hot spring and maintained at a comfortable temperature for soaking. The smaller pool is cooler and usually more crowded. The resort also has a number of private baths, which can be rented by the hour. These are ideal for couples or families who want some privacy.
Orr Hot Springs Resort is located about 3 hours north of San Francisco. It is open all year round, but the best time to visit is in the spring or fall when the weather is mild.
6. Vichy Springs Resort
Just a few minutes drive from Ukiah in Mendocino County, Vichy Springs Resort is one of California’s top natural hot springs destinations. The resort has been welcoming guests since 1854, and the natural hot springs have been used for centuries by the Pomo people for their healing properties.
Vichy Springs Resort offers a range of accommodations, from camping and RV sites to luxurious spa suites. The resort also has a pool, tennis courts, and a restaurant.
But the main attraction is definitely the hot springs. There are 14 mineral baths; four outside and ten inside, all with different temperatures. The water in the springs comes from a natural underground aquifer and is rich in sulfur, magnesium, potassium, and other minerals. It’s said to have therapeutic properties and is good for the skin.
The best time to visit Vichy Springs Resort is in the spring when the weather is mild. However, the hot springs are open year-round, and even in winter, the waters are a welcome respite from the cold.
7. Sierra Hot Springs Resort & Retreat Center
Next on my list of the best Hot springs in California is Sierra Hot Springs, a beautiful natural hot springs retreat set amidst towering evergreen trees. This 700-acre resort offers visitors a chance to experience the benefits of hot springs therapy in a serene and natural setting.
The mineral pools at Sierra Hot Springs are open to the public, and there’s also a clothing-optional spa for adults. There are several pools of varying temperatures, and visitors can soak for as long as they like. In addition to the hot springs, there are saunas and a cold plunge pool.
The resort also offers massage therapy, yoga classes, and a variety of workshops and retreats. There are several overnight accommodations available, including rustic cabins, dormitories, and RVs.
Sierra Hot Springs is located next to Lake Tahoe, about two hours from Sacramento. This means that it’s possible to combine a visit to the hot springs with hiking and biking in the summertime or skiing in the wintertime.
8. Wilbur Hot Springs
Wilbur Hot Springs is a remote retreat center and resort in the mountains of Northern California, about 90 minutes from San Francisco. The springs were first developed in early 1865, and they quickly became a popular destination for people looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. Today, Wilbur Hot Springs is still a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.
You can enjoy the springs’ healing waters in three flumes of different temperatures. They include the open-air Fluminariuman (no conversation allowed here), an outdoor mineral pool (quiet conversations permitted), and finally, cool off in the spring-fed swimming pool.
The resort offers a variety of massage therapies, and you can also book treatments such as facials and wraps. There’s also a sauna and a fitness center if you want to stay active during your visit.
The resort is located on a 1,800-acre nature reserve that includes hiking trails and horseback riding. The property is also home to several species of wildlife, including deer, coyotes, and bobcats. And if you’re looking for a place to stay, Wilbur Hot Springs offers a variety of accommodations, from camping to private rooms and suites.
9. Sycamore Mineral Springs
I continue my list of the best hot springs in California with Sycamore Mineral Springs, located in the coastal city of San Luis Obispo. The resort, which sits on 100 acres, offers visitors the opportunity to experience natural hot springs and health-giving mineral water treatments.
This resort offers a unique opportunity to experience 14 different types of mineral springs, all in one place. The water is said to have therapeutic properties that can relieve stress and tension, improve circulation, and detoxify the body.
Reservations are encouraged, especially on weekends, as the springs are quite popular. The resort has a day spa that offers massages, facials, and other body treatments. There’s also an on-site restaurant serving healthy California cuisine.
The resort is surrounded by beautiful gardens, making it the perfect place to spend a day or two exploring everything this place has to offer. Guests can also enjoy hiking, biking, and horseback riding on the resort’s grounds.
If you’re looking for a place to stay, Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort has accommodations ranging from luxury suites to more rustic cabins. The resort is located just minutes from downtown San Luis Obispo and is a great base for exploring the city and all it has to offer.
10. Beverly Hot Springs
Beverly Hot Springs is a world-famous spa resort located in Koreatown, Los Angeles. The hot springs were discovered in the early 1900s, and the resort was developed in the 1920s. Today, Beverly Hot Springs is a top tourist destination for people from all over the world who come to experience the healing powers of the hot springs.
The water at Beverly Hot Springs is naturally carbonated and contains a high concentration of minerals, but sodium bicarbonate is the dominant mineral. The springs are also rich in iron, magnesium, and calcium. The water temperature ranges from 95 to 105 degrees Fahrenheit.
Beverly Hot Springs offers a variety of services, including hot spring baths, massages, facials, and body treatments. The resort also has a fitness center, a sauna, and a steam room.
The resort is open to day guests during weekdays. However, you must book a treatment in order to use the facilities during the weekend.
If you’re looking for a place to relax and rejuvenate, Beverly Hot Springs is the perfect destination. And if you’re looking for a romantic getaway, the resort offers couples’ packages that include massages, champagne, and roses.
11. Glen Ivy Hot Springs
If you are looking for California hot springs that are relaxing and invigorating at the same time, look no further than Glen Ivy Hot Springs. This beautiful spot in the Santa Ana Mountains features 19 pools of varying temperatures, plus a lazy river to float along.
The water in the pools comes from a local hot spring, and it is rich in minerals that are said to be beneficial for your skin. The pools are also surrounded by beautiful gardens, perfect for taking a stroll between dips.
In addition to the pools, Glen Ivy Hot Springs offers a variety of treatments, including massages, facials, and body wraps. You can also purchase a day pass, which gives you access to the fitness center, tennis courts, and other amenities.
If you are planning to visit Glen Ivy Hot Springs, I recommend that you purchase your tickets in advance. This California attraction can get quite busy, especially on weekends.
I should also mention that Glen Ivy Hot Springs is located about an hour east of Los Angeles, so it makes for a great day trip if you are visiting Southern California.
12. Esalen Hot Springs
Finally, I end my list with the Esalen Hot Springs, one of the most popular hot springs in California. The natural springs are located on the property of the Esalen Institute, a non-profit educational center that is dedicated to exploring new frontiers in the human experience.
The Esalen Hot Springs have been used for centuries by the native people of California as a place to heal and relax. The springs were developed into a resort in the early 20th century and became a popular destination for Hollywood celebrities and other famous people.
There are several baths here, both indoor and outdoor. The outdoor baths are located in a stunning setting overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The water is very hot, so you need to ease yourself into it gradually. You can use the pools for soaking, meditating, or just relaxing and enjoying the amazing views.
Although the public was previously allowed to use the baths, the Esalen Institute has now restricted access to guests only. However, you can still enjoy the experience by taking a workshop or attending a conference at the institute. There are many different workshops offered here, covering yoga, meditation, massage, and creativity.
So there you have it, 12 of the best hot springs in California. These natural hot springs offer a great way to relax, rejuvenate, and heal. So whether you’re looking for a luxury spa experience or a more adventurous getaway, one of these hot springs is sure to fit the bill.