We're constantly searching for ways to unwind, whether it's through meditation, journaling, or a little at-home self-care. But for centuries, people have turned to geothermal pools as a source for relaxation and healing—and have traveled all over the world for a coveted soak. The way it works is groundwater is geothermally heated from the earth's crust. As the water forces its way to the surface, it carries along dissolved minerals to create some of the most beautiful, detoxifying springs that many call a natural wonder.
Iceland is home to one of most iconic geothermal pools in the world—Blue Lagoon—which hosts about one million visitors a year. The breathtaking volcanic landscape is just part of the experience as guests submerge their bodies into a bath rich in silica, algae, and minerals for a complete healing experience. But you don't need to go all the way to Iceland to experience the magical benefits of geothermal pools right. In fact, there are six we love right here in the U.S.A.
Glenwood Springs, Colorado
Located between Aspen and Vail, guests at the Glenwood Hot Springs Resort can take in the stunning Rocky Mountain views while soaking up all the natural benefits that come from two geothermal pools. These are filled with nearly 3.5 million gallons of naturally heated mineral water from the Yampah Spring and stay a toasty 90 and 104 degrees, respectively. With water containing 15 dissolved minerals, including calcium, sulfate, potassium, and inflammation-reducing magnesium, this resort is a destination worth the flight. "The warm water quickly goes to work soothing sore and tight muscles, providing bathers with a sense of deep relaxation and calm," says Vicky Nash with Resort Trends, Inc.
Submerged beneath a 55-foot calcite rock lies the Homestead Crater where scuba-divers travel to swim deep into the geothermal, 90-degree water. Walk through a cave-like path before reaching the crystal-clear mineral pool that's dimly lit through an opening in the crater. No matter how cold it gets outside, divers (and bathers!) take refuge here and soak in these naturally heated waters year-round.
White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia
Soak in White Sulphur Springs' rich water before indulging in a signature treatment at the Greenbrier Spa. Toxins get broken up from bathing in the sulfur-rich water, and is the opening act for what’s to come—a Swedish massage that'll melt your stress and tired muscles away.
Visit Hot Springs State Park and end a day of hiking, skiing, or bison-spotting in a muscle-melting 100-plus-degree-pool at the free State Bath House. This pool is filled with bluish-green healing waters that stem from the Big Spring, which has attracted visitors for years in the hopes of soaking in the restorative benefits.
With the glorious Sierras mountains as a backdrop, the Travertine Hot Spring in California State Park is a haven for those looking to ease aches and pains in 100-degree mineral water. These pools are clothing optional, so beware if you're traveling with the family.
Bear-sightings, hiking, and the Northern Lights are huge attractions in Alaska. Another big grab? The rock-encased geothermal pool at the Chena Hot Springs Resort. With snow sprinkled on the ground, a dreamy mist hovers over the rock lake that's rich in minerals like silica, iron, calcium, magnesium, and sulfate. It's heated by Uranium decay, coming out at 165 degrees Fahrenheit and is monitored to a pleasurable 102 to 104 degrees. Soak inside the tension-releasing pool and, "you are going to want to take a nap or go directly to sleep," says marketing director, Javier Villasenor-Gaona. "It is completely worth it."