If you live in the eastern part of the United States, where hot springs are scarce, you have come to the right place.
In North Carolina, you can soak in a natural hot spring while listening to the murmuring of the river.
Historical flowers in historical resort
There are very few hot springs east of the Mississippi River in the United States.
The famous Saratoga Springs in the New York State is also a cold mineral spring.
Reference:Roosevelt Baths & Spa (Saratoga Springs) - New York
Did you know that there are mineral springs in New York? It is a cold natural spring with powerful carbonated water. I took a soak in a historic bath house established in 1935. Drinking at Saratoga Springs A three-hour drive ...
Hot Springs, North Carolina, a small town deep in the Appalachian Mountains, is one of the exceptions.
It is a drive of less than four hours from Atlanta, Georgia, and a little more than six hours from Columbus, Ohio.
A caboose abandoned on the side of the road is the landmark.
The hot springs are located between the French Broad River and the Spring Creek.
Hot Springs Resort & Spa is the only spa facility in the town.
Across the main street to the south is its RV park and campground.
The vacation rentals are located on the north side.
Four of the rooms have hot tubs with natural hot spring water.
Walk-ins are also welcomed.
First, I drove through the vast lawn garden to the office.
In this beautiful garden, I found a place that looked strangely oriental.
Red spider lilies were blooming in front of mossy rocks.
The sight was so captivating that I looked it up later and found out that when Matthew Perry visited Japan on the Black Ships in 1854, the Navy Captain who accompanied him brought back three bulbs, which was the beginning of red spider lilies in the United States.
The bulbs were given to the Captain's niece, who planted them in her garden in North Carolina, where they grew wild and spread throughout the southern U.S.
It seems that I have unexpectedly touched a part of history, and this hot springs have a long history too.
It was in 1778 that whites discovered the hot springs used by the Native American Cherokee tribe.
In the early 1800s, with the opening of the railroad, the area was developed rapidly as a resort.
In 1886, the most magnificent hotel, the Mountain Park Hotel, was built.
It had the state's first golf course, four floors, 200 bedrooms, and 16 marble tubs in the main bathroom.
By the time World War I broke out, the resort's popularity had waned and it was rented out to the government as a prisoner of war camp for captured German merchant seamen.
After the war, the business was closed down without regaining its former glory, and was almost forgotten when it was purchased by the current owner in 1990.
There are still some remains in the site.
Now, all of the mineral baths available for walk-ins are for private use, and there are 16 bathrooms in all.
It is advisable to make an appointment by phone.
Standard Mineral Baths
I used one of the Standard Mineral Baths, the cheapest of the five grades.
It was the same for all grades in that it was semi-outdoor bath and faced the river.
Perhaps it was because it had been raining, but the river did not look a clear stream.
There were no doors in front of the private space.
The tub was a ready-made Jacuzzi, which a staff led me to.
I had the impression that it was a little too simple, but I decided to go in anyway.
The location was open to the river, but the other side of the river was in the forest; so it was safe to be completely naked.
The hot water was poured in from two outlets, each with a slightly different temperature of about 102 degrees F.
The clear, colorless water smelled faintly of dead grass, but perhaps it was because of the surrounding environment.
It was a great time to soak in the middle of nature without worrying about what others would think.
Since you are here, let's take a look at the most expensive Signature Tubs.
The basic structure was the same, and even the Jacuzzi was identical.
The difference was the luxurious space on the sundeck.
If the tub had been custom-made, it would have been more dreamy.