Take a Dip in America’s Oldest Warm Springs

published Dec 28, 2022
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Credit: The Omni Homestead Resort

Tourists and locals alike can take in a piece of history on their next vacation to Virginia with a visit to America’s oldest Warm Springs Pools. Reopened just in time for New Year getaways, the historic pools have undergone a 14-month, $4 million rehabilitation to help further preserve the centuries-old bathhouses. The stone basin of the Gentlemen’s Bathhouse was constructed in 1761, making it the oldest spa structure in the country. A second structure, the Ladies’ Bathhouse, was built around 1870.

Located at The Omni Homestead Resort in the aptly named Bath County, the Warm Springs Pools have several famous ties. According to Cardinal News, Thomas Jefferson spent three weeks at the pools—they were once named “Jefferson Pools” before returning to the original title in 2021—, while other visitors have included John Tyler and Franklin D. and Eleanor Roosevelt.

Omni Resorts announced plans for a rehabilitation in 2016, with work beginning in Fall 2021 and the goal being to preserve as much historic building fabric as possible while ensuring that the buildings are prepared to serve many years of future use.

Credit: The Omni Homestead Resort
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“It has been incredibly gratifying to these phenomenal structures restored to their former glory,” said Mark Spadoni, Managing Director at The Omni Homestead Resort, in a press release. “The bathhouses are a fundamental component of Bath County, and it was vital we dedicate time and effort into their preservation. Maintaining the historic integrity of the bathhouses was paramount.”

The pools are naturally fed by a 98 degree Fahrenheit mineral spring and flow at a rate of 1,700,000 gallons per day. Reported benefits of soaking in the Warm Springs Pools includes soothing the skin and boosting blood circulation.

Both the Gentlemen’s and Ladies’ Bathhouses are open between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., Wed. through Sun. Reservations are required and are available on the hour priced at $25 per person per 50-minute soak.