For those looking for a fun day trip, a whole slew of natural hot springs awaits visitors near San Francisco. Most are located in Calistoga, about an hour and a half drive north.
While there is one nearly within the city limits and overlooks the Pacific, it’s not reputed to be worth your time to visit. It’s still listed as the first one though for historical purposes. However, many more are located about 70 miles drive.
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Here is a list of the hot springs near San Francisco, CA, in order of proximity:
Steep Ravine Hot Springs – 22 miles
Note: This place is not reliable, usually trashed, and highly likely it isn’t worth your time for soaking. We include this “warm springs” just for its scenic views, as well as tent camping and cabin rentals. The steep hiking trail can be dangerous, so trek carefully and wear good shoes.
Steep Ravine Hot Springs, just on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge, is only accessible during low tides and offers a stunning ocean view. When the salt water recedes, it becomes a wonderful place to explore as you follow the faint trail north along the base of the cliffs to the hot springs grotto.
Park above the bluff and be careful on the steep and risky hike down. The cliffside is reported to be loose. Keep in mind that the water contains sulfur, and remember to clean up after yourself. Bring some flip-flops if planning on entering the water. Locals are in charge of maintaining the space, so help them out by packing out everything you pack in.
A 15-minute walk from the springs within the Mount Tamalpais State Park, the Steep Ravine Campground hosts campers in tents and basic, 1940s-era cabins. Cabins come with a wood stove, a picnic table, and an outdoor barbeque. Primitive toilets, water faucets, and firewood are shared.
Book a spot early if you want to avoid the precarious trek from the parking lot used by day visitors.
Meadowlark Country House & Resort – 73 miles
Head to Napa Valley for a luxurious stay at the Meadowlark Country House & Resort in wine country. It’s the only resort in the area with a clothing-optional wellness area. Perhaps that’s why it’s also adults-only and fully enforces their age 18 and up policy.
They offer a large, heated mineral water lap pool (80℉) and hot tub (100-106℉). Plus there’s a Finnish dry sauna, a massage room, garden areas for relaxation, and a sunbathing terrace.
Overnight guests who stay in one of the rooms, suites, or cottages are treated to a locally sourced and organic breakfast each morning in whatever part of the property you prefer. Day passes for use of the wellness facilities are available but don’t include breakfast.
The grounds of the breathtaking estate are also home to plenty of barnyard animals like horses and free-range chickens. As you’d expect, there are many activities to participate in only a short drive away, which the hosts help guests plan.
UpValley Inn & Hot Springs – 75 miles
Another award-winning option in Napa Valley is UpValley Inn & Hot Springs located in Calistoga. While the Meadowlark sits just outside of town for extra privacy, UpValley is conveniently located on the edge of it. A complimentary shuttle takes guests even further into town as well as surrounding wineries if they should so desire.
The picture of tranquility, guests can enjoy light-filled rooms from simple to suites, the latter of which include balconies, fireplaces, and wet bars. Both the swimming pool and whirlpool are supplied with natural hot springs water. A steam room and a dry sauna offer other ways to soak up the heat.
Roman Spa Hot Springs Resort – 75 miles
In downtown Calistoga, you’ll find the Tuscan-style Roman Spa Hot Springs Resort amidst the foothills of Mt. St. Helena. It’s full of Old World charm amidst the palm trees and is an easy walk to a well-loved coffee shop, a bakery, and restaurants.
The onsite spa takes guests to a stress-free zone with massages, mud (101-103℉) and mineral baths, and a variety of other treatments. Hot springs mineral water also fills the outdoor pool (92-96℉), hot tub (103℉), an indoor pool (100℉).
Rooms are offered from standard to suites that include Jacuzzi tubs or even personal kitchens for more private relaxation. Many have private patios and views of the beautiful Mediterranean gardens on the property, and all come with plush robes and slippers to enjoy during your stay.
Calistoga Spa Hot Springs – 75 miles
Calistoga Spa Hot Springs is another Calistoga resort with all the amenities and lovely views any way you look. Spa-goers can participate in volcanic ash mud baths and massages. Fitness junkies can complement their downtime with a workout in the fitness center or with a class.
Outside, you’ll find four outdoor geothermal mineral pools (80-104℉), one of which is a whirlpool under a covered patio and one that is just for small children. There’s plenty of space to dry off and enjoy the day with patio chairs under vine-covered pergolas or a deck specifically for soaking up the sun. A nearby snack bar provides light fare and drinks throughout the day.
Spend a few days in heavenly rooms with modern decor set to fit a range of budgets, all of which have kitchenettes for dining in and blackout drapes for sleeping in. You’ll find all the comforts of home at Calistoga Spa Hot Springs Resort with the added luxury of geothermal activity and a view of the surrounding vine-covered hills.
Dr. Wilkinson’s Backyard Resort – 75 miles
Down the road in Calistoga, is the Instagram-perfect Dr. Wilkinson’s Backyard Resort & Mineral Springs, built in the 1950s. The long name comes with a long list of amenities including indoor and outdoor spring-fed pools, cabanas, a full-service spa, mud baths, a spa garden, fire pits, tree swings, and more. You can even bring your pet along for the fun.
The House of Better bar and restaurant serves rustic, Southwest-inspired food and uses a wood-fired oven and a New Mexican chile roaster for their creations. It’s health-forward without sacrificing flavor with drinks like adaptogen teas, infused water, and house-made kombucha, to name a few.
Rent a room or rent an entire house. There’s a setup from any group whether you’re a couple, a family, or a large group of friends. Picturesque views of the natural landscape of Napa Valley are built in.
Indian Springs Calistoga – 75 miles
Continuing a little further down the road, you’ll find Indian Springs Calistoga, where guests can stay overnight in Mission Revival-style buildings, historic cottages, or bungalows. They have all been carefully built to take advantage of the views of the four thermal geysers on the property and extensive gardens and walking paths.
The Olympic-sized mineral pool (92-102℉), built in 1913, is centrally located amongst the 17 acres of well-landscaped property covered in olive trees, palms, lavender, and roses. Another option is the adults-only pool (82-92℉), smaller and designed to be a peaceful place for peace and reflection.
Kids have a play area of their own at Indian Springs Calistoga, and kids at heart can join in garden games like bocce ball, shuffleboard, and croquet.
The Chaise Lounge offers poolside food and cocktails while Sam’s Social Club serves American fare from breakfast and dinner. Work up an appetite using the complimentary bicycles to explore the area or take a post-meal name in the hammock garden. There’s even a small onsite shop to pick up pampering gifts used in the resort’s full-service spa.
Golden Haven Hot Springs Spa & Resort – 75 miles
The Golden Haven Hot Springs Spa & Resort offers another lovely option in Napa Valley. Though it includes many of the same amenities–a full-service spa with volcanic ash mud baths, hot springs, plush rooms, complimentary bicycle use, a sundeck, etc.–this resort is unique.
Here, mineral water is piped into each room so guests can enjoy private showers in the healing springs. Eight of the rooms take advantage of the water in the form of private whirlpools. Spring water also fills the covered outdoor pool (85-88℉) and two jetted tubs (98-104℉).
While there are no day passes at Golden Haven, there are several packages you can purchase that add even more value to your booking. Off-property dining is easily accessible.
Calistoga Motor Lodge & Spa – 75 miles
Calistoga Motor Lodge & Spa offers similarly spectacular views from retro camper-inspired rooms complete with the king suite hosting corner booth seating for dining. Vista rooms come with–you guessed it–sweeping vistas of the valley. Dog-friendly rooms sport dog beds and treats with a deposit.
Guests can get social with tons of fun games like bocce ball, hula hoops, cornhole, and board games. For those looking to venture out and around the local vineyards, bicycles are complimentary here as well. The five-acre property sits near the start of the Silverado Trail for anyone who wants to get some elevation.
When you’ve worked up an appetite, head to the Fleetwood Calistoga where delicious Italian and Mediterranean wood-fired cuisine awaits, locally sourced. The spa is set up like the Calistoga bathhouses of the 1880s for an extra fun ambiance as you make your way through mineral baths, massages, facials, mud baths, etc.
There are three pools at the Calistoga Motor Lodge & Spa: the main pool (80-84℉), a wading pool (90-96℉), and a mineral spa whirlpool (100-104℉). All three are fed from the hot springs and are surrounded by cabana beds and loungers to enjoy while drying off and soaking in the sun.
San Francisco isn’t just the gateway to America’s most famous wine country. It’s en route to some of the best hot springs in the state! Plan a stay at one of these resorts on your next trip to the Bay Area, and leave your worries at home.