California is home to some of the most top-notch hot springs in the country. Be at one with nature, experience spiritual restoration and re-discover your potential, it’s all there and waiting to be explored by you.
Here you’ll discover or revisit some of the most diverse geothermal pools of numerous purposes, properties, shapes and sizes.
So if you’re curious about the best commercial springs in our very own Cali, read on to see which ones made the list.
Harbin Hot Springs
Located only 2 hours north of San Francisco in Middletown is Harbin Hot Springs. A digital-free spiritual getaway which is also the birthplace of Watsu Bodywork – a unique massage done in water combining Shiatsu massage with Zen meditation.
With eight pools to choose from, Harbin Hot Springs has something for everyone, be it a cold swim in their Cold Plunge or a soak in their Mainside Pool Area, featuring a collection of five thermal pools. The average temperature ranges between 110°F-115°F
Note: Harbin Hot Springs is a clothing-optional facility where most of its guests choose to soak nude for heightened rejuvenating pleasure. Clothing is optional during yoga and the rest of their programs too.
This is a great place for anyone who loves soaking in their birthday suits and would love to take their spiritual energy to a higher level.
Average price for an adult is $33.
Ojai Hot Springs
Only 9 miles from the famous and celebrity-frequented town of Ojai, you’ll come across one of California’s thermal treasures known as Ojai Hot Springs *shocker*.
With its digital-free policy and five pools of varying depth and temperature, Ojai Hot Springs guarantees its visitors a very memorable stay. With a small waterfall that cascades into the man-made rocky pools as well as two other pools with a cafe-life effect, Ojai HS sure has one of the most stunning hot springs sceneries in the area.
With a minimum donation of $20, you’ll be supporting a good cause by maintaining this gem, all the while enjoying the wonder of the place.
Murrieta Hot Springs
You can consider this one as an honorable mention more than anything else, seeing as Murrieta Hot Springs will very soon be turned into something that this facility has never seen before.
Murrieta Hot Springs has had many roles and purposes over the years. Most recently we knew it as a Christian retreat that also combined a Christian College and Conference Center. However, in only a few years the entire territory will be presented as one of the biggest luxury resorts and tourist destinations in southeastern Cali.
Soon enough, Murrieta Hot Springs will be all palm trees, olympic-size lap pools and geothermal springs of all sizes and temperatures, but right now, all we can do is sit back and wait until it welcomes its eager visitors.
Tassajara Hot Springs
Officially known as Tassajara Zen Mountain center, it is the place to go if you’d like to discover or rediscover your spiritual energy and learn all about Buddhism.
Tassajara Hot Springs is all Japanese-style architecture, man-made rock-walled pools and a Buddhist monastery nestled at the heart of Los Padres National Forest.
The thermal water temperature ranges between 100°F to 140°F
Tassajara HS is also very famous for its Onsen Hot Springs soaking experience and Buddhist workshops led by residing religious acolytes of this digital-free facility.
Accommodation options are also available whether or not you’d like to take part in their spiritual workshops and with an adult admission of $35, visitors can also enjoy the pools for day-use.
Slates (Esalen) Hot Springs
Slates Hot Springs has one of the most beautiful layouts and infrastructures in the entire country. While soaking, you have the chance to enjoy the mighty waves of the Pacific Ocean crashing into the rocky shores, seeing as most of Slates’ pools are perched on a cliff overlooking the sea.
Here you’ll get to experience numerous soaking options of 98-110°F.
However, it’s not possible to use the springs in the daylight unless you’re enrolled in Esalen Hot Springs self-help programs that usually last for a few weeks. If you’d like to have a one time dip in their geothermal tubs, you’ll be able to do so from 1am to 3am.
Slates Hot Springs is another eco-friendly facility that values a complete digital detox, which is perfect for those who’d like to untether themselves from corporate responsibilities for a while.
Vichy Hot Springs
You have to keep an open mind while visiting Vichy Hot Springs. Even though this inn and spa has an unassuming look, it’s extremely popular amongst visitors nonetheless. With its long operating history, vintage look, special Vichy mineral-rich tubs and 700-acre private land that’s fit for exploration, the unassuming look of the facility takes a backseat.
Thermal water temperature can go up to a toasty 104°F. The lowest temperature is 98°F.
You can also enjoy numerous spa services and an olympic-size lap pool.
Obviously, overnight accommodation options – including tent sites – are also available for a comfortable stay.
2-hour-day-use is $35 per adult.
Mercey Hot Springs
The all-inclusive, eco-friendly and solar powered Mercey Hot Springs is located in Little Panoche Valley, boasting near-perfect service, 144-acre private land for your outdoor exploration (similarly to Vichy Hot Springs), a vast choice of thermal pools and private tubs!
On top of the amenities listed above, and at only $50 extra, you can enjoy private hot tubs, a chlorinated swimming pool and a dry sauna.
The average thermal water temperature is 102°F to 106°F. Clothing is optional only in specific areas and the private tubs.
It’s also important to note that this is a completely pet-free establishment (not including service dogs), and by that we mean that they’re unfortunately not even allowed on the premises while leashed.
One of the best things about Mercey Hot Springs is its diverse range of accommodation options. From RV sites to cabins to communal lodges, there’s a little something for all visitor-preferences.
Mono Hot Springs
If you’re looking for something rustic and secluded, Mono Hot Springs is the place to go. It’s all proper back-country-style looks and immaculate vibes with riverside hot springs, spa and soaking tubs.
We’d say that the main gems of the place are the Iodine Springs, which at the first glance may not be that much to look at, but with the scenic environment encircling these tubs, their appearance will be the last thing on your mind.
The thermal water temperature is 100°F but can easily reach 104°F.
The on site restaurant is also available to either quench your thirst or take care of an empty stomach.
Mono Hot Springs is one of the best options for those who are just getting a taste of what it’s like to explore the outdoors. As we said, the rustic vibes of this place are absolutely immaculate and can help you connect with nature and your spirituality. We’re fairly positive that it’ll be a memorable stay!
The Do’s & Don’ts
Every hot spring has its own quirks. They all have a set of rules that visitors need to follow regardless of what kind of spring you’re visiting. For more general and very important “hot springs etiquette,” we highly recommend you take a moment to check out our carefully compiled easy-to-read list of “dos and don’ts” here. And always, always respect our nature – pack out what you pack in and LEAVE NO TRACE.
These are some of Cali’s signature commercial hot springs. As you can see, there’s a vast selection to choose from. Obviously, this does not include every single option found in Cali, but this offers you enough of a picture of what you can expect when you go exploring the area for geothermal lagoons. Cali has a little something for every type of guest and won’t leave anyone disappointed.
If you’re also looking for the best free and all-natural hot springs picks, you can find them here.
At this point, all you need to do is just sit back, relax and let your corporate responsibilities fall away.
While we at Traxplorio do our very best to give you the latest information about these hot springs sites, life happens, weather happens, and property owners happen. We always recommend you go to the official hot springs’ web page and/or the relevant state authority page to check conditions, times, and prices (where relevant) before you head out. Thanks for understanding, and enjoy your soak!