When most people think of spas, they envision posh, exclusive resorts frequented by the rich and famous. Berkeley Springs, West Virginia—which is widely considered to be the location of America’s first spa—is home to an accessible, affordable state park which features several mineral-rich mountain springs. For as little as $32, visitors can soak in pristine water that has long been celebrated for its healing, rejuvenating properties.
In the mid-1700s, future United States President George Washington first visited the area now known as Berkeley Springs. Washington raved about the healing springs he encountered in his diary. Washington became such a die-hard fan of Berkeley Springs that there is an open-air brick tub, a replica of a bath he frequented during his lifetime, with a plaque that reads “George Washington Bath Tub.”
Berkeley Springs State Park features a charming gazebo surrounded by cherry blossoms where visitors can relax, take selfies, and several shallow canals with crystal clear water that visitors can wade into. The bulk of the water in Berkeley Springs State Park is naturally a little over 74 degrees Fahrenheit—comfortable but not piping hot.
If you are a fan of piping hot water, the Main Bathhouse in Berkeley Springs State Park features a private walk-in Roman Bath full of fresh spring water that is heated to 102 degrees Fahrenheit. For a mere $32, visitors can sign up for a luxurious 30-minute soak in water rich in minerals such as magnesium, potassium, and iron. Since the first Native Americans started bathing in the waters of Berkeley Springs centuries ago, visitors have claimed that the springs help alleviate a wide variety of skin, nervous system, and bone and joint ailments.
The Bathhouse Spa at Berkeley Springs State Park offers a full menu of affordable spa treatments, including hot stone massage, deep tissue massage, and a sauna. For a mere $46, visitors can bathe and shower in the curative waters of Berkeley Springs and decompress in a sauna.
Those who wish to ingest the curative waters of Berkeley Springs can visit a rustic structure called the Gentlemen’s Spring, which features two stone taps where visitors can quench their thirst. Berkeley Springs State Park officials encourage visitors to fill up as many jugs of water as they can haul away. Berkeley Springs enthusiasts often praise the water’s soft, smooth…