Hot water hunting: How to find the best hot springs
3 min

Are you contemplating where to book a last minute vacation rental? Look for one near hot springs! Hot springs can be a relaxing place to chat with loved ones or an energizing experience to meet new friends! But, where should you look to find the experience you want? 

Consider natural or structured.

Do you prefer rural hot springs with rocky pools and untouched surroundings? Here, you might bring your dog to romp along the pool edges as you take in mountain views. Or, are you ok with a man made pool full of naturally hot water? Some spas bring the water in, while others are directly next to natural springs. Each option has its own vibe that may fit what you’re looking for. Read up on how hot springs are formed, spring quality and soaking effects and choose a type that works best for you!

Ask around.

If you know people in an area with hot springs (hello, Utah and Idaho!), query pals where they go to soak. If you got a sweet vacation rental deal somewhere new, try talking to area experts, aka residents! Head to a yoga studio, or cafe, and ask someone if they can please point you to a hot spring. They can share local intel, including where to pick up a bottle of wine and an amazing sandwich to take on your adventure.

Woman soaking in natural hot spring in the forest

Woman soaking in natural hot spring in the forest

Consult a map.

Want to nerd out on some geography? Check out the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s thermal springs map. This interactive tool shows hot spring names, locations, and temperatures to give you an idea of what to expect. The map is color-coded, featuring dots for boiling water (too hot!), orange for hot, yellow for warm, and black for info not available. There’s none in the Midwest, so you’ll want to head West where there are tons to explore.

Do a search.

Many apps and websites that show hiking routes will feature trails that lead to hot springs. Type in a location and “hot springs” and see what comes up! Peek at the reviews to see clothing requirements, whether dogs can join you, and when is the best time to visit. You can also search some National and State Park websites for official updates on water temps and conditions. Locations may close in winter, so check for road closures if you want to dip during the cold months! And of course, if you’re waiting to monitor weather or travel conditions in region you wish to soak, you’ve got no reason to worry–Whimstay offers the best deals on last minute rental cabins and lodges, so you can get away on a whim!

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