Eastern United States

Armour's Hotel & Spa (Red Boiling Springs) - Tennessee


There are few hot springs in the southern United States today.

However, if you look back in history, you will find several hot springs that declined with the development of medicine and the diversification of leisure activities.

I visited the last remaining hot springs in Tennessee.

Ruby Falls

Ruby Falls, Tennessee is said to be the world's largest waterfall that exists in an underground space.

Ruby Falls

Joshua Forrest - Ruby Falls (2014)
CC BY 2.0

A waterfall with a drop of 145 feet flows down from the ceiling of the cave, which is located deeper than 1,000 feet underground.

The water is a mixture of rainwater and mineral spring water, but of course swimming is not allowed here.

Awesome looking water

From the Ruby Falls, it is about a two-hour drive to Nashville, the capital of Tennessee.

An hour and a half further out from Nashville, near the Kentucky border, is a small town called Red Boiling Springs.


In the 1920's and 1930's, there used to be more than ten hotels lining the street, and this is the only one that is still in business today.

Exterior 01

Founded in 1924, it is a small, family-run hotel with 12 guest rooms.


As I stood at the entrance, the strong sulfur smell, which was typical of natural hot springs, hit my nose immediately.


The basic idea here was to use the signature water as a set with a massage.

Massage Tables

I walked through the massage room to the only bathroom in the hotel.


The dark bathroom was reserved for private use and was equipped with two small clawfoot tubs.

The tubs were covered with mineral deposits and looked unclean, but in reality, there would be no hygienic issues.

The cold mineral spring and the boiled version of it were mixed in the tub to adjust the right temperature.


In general, a hot spring cannot always be said great if the water temp is high.

In some cases, the low temperature of the spring suppresses the transformation of the ingredients, and its characteristic quality can be realized.

This water was a good example, and after leaving it for an hour, the substance responsible for the strong smell precipitated out, causing the water to become opaque.

It looks weird.
It's a kind of medicine.

The name of the place "Boiling" does not actually mean boiling, but refers to this feature.


It was powerful water that I could understand why it was once used for medical purposes, and I thought its appeal should be more widely known.


Armour's Red Boiling Springs Hotel, Red Boiling Springs, Tennessee, U.S.

My rating

Type: Walk-in (spa), Lodging

Rule: Private pool

Chlorination: Not detected

Water temp: Artificially heated water

Official website

  • Writer

Hot Springer Ken

A hot spring enthusiast based in Japan. Toured over 300 North American hot springs while working in Texas from 2016 to 2022. For updates, visit X or Instagram!

-Eastern United States
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