While historically, Illinois at one time had a bit of a hot springs heyday, today, there’s only one resort left to soak. It’s found in southern Illinois and open year-round for hot springs soaking and overnight stays. In addition to that, there are several natural springs found at various federal, state and public parks. These are cooler natural swimming pools only good for the summer.
The Original Springs Hotel – Okawville, Illinois
Known as a site of relaxation, and rumored paranormal activity, The Original Springs Hotel in Okawville, Illinois is a place of both relaxation and supernatural phenomenons. The quaint hotel will transport you back in time while you soak in their private mineral baths or swim in their indoor heated pool. History As Rudolph Plegge stood …
List of Hot Springs in Illinois
Located in Okawville, IL, the Original Springs Hotel provides interested visitors a chance to experience their magical, healing water. So book a hotel room and head to the spa. Guests there get their own private soaking room completed with a hot springs filled tub. You’ll find this hot springs retreat roughly 40 miles east of St. Louis, Missouri, and a full 300 miles south of Chicago.
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Guide to Illinois Hot Springs
Typically, you don’t think of Illinois, situated in the heart of the midwest, as a treasure trove of hot springs. After all, winter can hit Illinois hard, and swimming in its open waters is only pleasant in the summer months. However, those seeking off-the-beaten-track options for mineral bathing have options in the prairie state.
Soaking in Natural Hot Springs
If taking the waters indoors sounds good, visiting The Original Springs Hotel in Okawville is a must. At this hotel, rebuilt in 1893, you can rent a room and visit the spa where the mineral baths are located. Spa admission grants you admittance into the dry heat room, a dip in the mineral baths, a relaxing swim in the indoor pool, and a locker for your personal use.
Cool Mineral Water
Illinois also has natural springs in several recreation areas and public parks. These include:
- Bell Smith Springs in Ozark
- Silver Springs in Yorkville
- Mineral Springs Park in Pekin, IL
At Mineral Springs Park, there’s both a lagoon to swim in and a children’s water park, DragonLand, that utilize the town’s healing waters.
A history of health bathing
Illinois used to be a hotbed of hot springs. The culture of taking the waters to restore health and vitality was as strong there in the late 1800s and early 1900s as anywhere in the United States.
Proof of that exists in the ruins of Vishnu Springs, a town where the entire economy was based on hot springs tourism. Today the settlement, which once boasted a hotel for travelers, a racetrack, and a horse and buggy taxi system, is a ghost town. The wooden skeleton of the hotel still stands, although no one has used the building in decades. Once able to provide for groups of up to 2,000 people, there are no residents on the land.
Mineral Springs in Pekin also used to have a thriving hot springs culture. A large public pool fed with the spring water and a bathhouse used to sit at the city center. Now, the town has paddle boats, hiking trails, and picnic pavilions on the grounds and in the water.
So for now, head to the Original Springs Hotel in Okawville, Illinois for a unique spa-like experience. You’ll feel completely restored and ready to take on other US hot springs. Or opt for a cool, refreshing summer swim at Pekin, Illinois’ Mineral Springs park.