Jefferson Pools, Warm Springs
Categories: Hot Springs, Nature & Parks
The Jefferson Pools, also called Warm Springs Bathhouses and Warm Springs Pools, are two spa structures near Warm Springs, Virginia. The name was changed in the 20th century from "Warm Spring Pools" to "Jefferson Pools". The spa is part of The Homestead, a resort hotel.The Gentlemen's Pool House is the oldest spa structure in the United States. The octagonal wood building was built in 1761. The spas are naturally fed by a 98°F mineral spring. The men's spa holds 40000USgal of constantly flowing water.The Ladies's Pool House was built in 1836. The buildings have changed little over the years, being made of wood with a central pool and a roof that is open to the elements. There are small alcoves around the pool for clothes, and it is usual to bathe naked. Famous bathers include Thomas Jefferson, who spent three weeks in 1819 bathing three times day and described the waters in a letter to his daughter, Martha Jefferson Randolph, as being of "first merit".The site was listed as Warm Springs Bathhouses on the Virginia Landmarks Register on November 11, 1968 and the National Register of Historic Places on October 8, 1969.Make Jefferson Pools part of your personalized Warm Springs itinerary using our Warm Springs trip itinerary builder.
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We soaked for an hour and left feeling as though we had an hour long massage. The pools are lovely. The staff could be a little friendlier but for $17 you can't beat the experience. We will definitely... read more »
This was a great experience to visit the essentially untouched 200+ year old springs. Looked and felt very historic. You only get 1 hour for $17 pp. I thought this was a bit over priced with that time... read more »
There's a reason people have been "taking the waters" here for hundreds of years. Whatever the mineral balance is, it is incredibly healing and relaxing. Truly a magical experience. Once a year, I fly... read more »
They now have a no cash policy...fine for some, but I didn't like it. I always payed with a 20 & had $3 change to tip the attendant. The friendly personnel must've had the day off...the ones there today weren't surly, but definitely not friendly. I always enjoy a soak & will probably return, just not as often. It is dilapidated, so you do have to be careful. It seemed like everything was more slimy today than usual.
Totally bummed we drove 2 hours out of our way to come visit these bath houses... unfortunately we had our kiddies and could not bring them in as clothing is optional. One day hopefully I'll be able to return by myself
Absolute must! The most tranquil and serene experience I've had in a long time! I plan to visit here again and again!
We drove up the scenic route from NC and absolutely LOVED the waters. The on-site staff were sweet and hospitable. We enjoyed our time in both bathhouses but preferred the gentleman's one more. Being only 5'2", I was unable to touch the bottom but treaded water easily due to the high mineral content and also held onto the large pole in the middle of the pool. The light filtering through the water from above was beautiful and we felt AMAZING from our extended soak afterwards. Do take off any jewelry before getting in or itwill tarnish. Also, they are rather strict about you msintaining the "Quiet - tranquil area" rule in women's bathhouse, was sadly unfortunate because my husband is hard of hearing and we were "shushed" when trying to converse prior to getting into the waters. The men's side was much more understanding. We highly recommend going just overlook the 1700's architecture, it is in disrepair but gave it a funky, cool feel. We can't wait to go back.
The obvious draw to this place is the history - Jefferson took the waters here in 1819, when he said that the place was of the "first merit." Overall, a worthwhile stop, but don't go out of your way to visit as I did. Pros: - Water is warm and pleasant - Plenty of room, not overcrowded (I visited at 4:00 pm on a Sunday) - Nice little gift shop - Reasonably priced, $17 for a soak - 10 minute drive from the Omni Hotel Cons: - Outright dilapidated condition - The wood everywhere is rotting - Glass panes on the ceiling have holes in them - Nobody enforced the tranquility policy (group of middle aged women squawking the whole time)
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