Romantic Getaway with Natural Hot Mineral-Water Pools
More than a century ago, in the California town of Desert Hot Springs, both hot and cold natural mineral springs were discovered atop the aptly named Miracle Hill. As a result, resorts and spas popped up throughout the town to take advantage of the springs’ believed holistic healing properties. You can soak in these mineral-rich waters at Miracle Springs Resort & Spa, set on an acre in the foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains, making for a relaxing oasis just 12 miles outside of downtown Palm Springs.
The Mediterranean-influenced hotel, topped by a terra-cotta stucco roof and surrounded by lush gardens, pumps the 140-degree water straight from the earth before cooling it down to 90–105 degrees. The water then fills eight pools and hot tubs, which are open 24 hours. There, you can bathe in the waters for as long as you’d like—the hotel suggests dipping into the pools and tubs two to three times a day to reach total relaxation.
After a dip in the pool, keep unwinding with a massage or another service at the onsite spa, where aestheticians and massage therapists are on hand to perform facials, body wraps, and more. Guests can also enjoy breakfast, lunch, or dinner at the onsite Capri restaurant, which serve entrees such as top sirloin and gnocchi à la romano.
Desert Hot Springs, California: Spa-Centric Oasis Minutes from Palm Springs
In 1913, settler Cabot Yerxa was digging a well in the San Bernardino foothills when he unearthed natural hot springs bubbling beneath the Californian desert. This area later became known as Desert Hot Springs, a town that's thrived over the years as a spa-centric getaway thanks to Yerxa's find. The mineral waters, which hover around 148 degrees and are said to have healing powers, now flow directly into several local spas. Desert Hot Springs’ location, just 12 miles north of Palm Springs and two hours east of Los Angeles, also makes it an easy destination to reach for those looking for a relaxing escape from the big city.
You can see more of Yerxa's legacy at Cabot's Pueblo Museum, which sits within a Hopi-influenced pueblo home he built using materials found throughout the desert. The four-story museum stays open year-round and offers guided tours of the property and historic artifacts detailing Yerxa's life and travels.
After dark, take advantage of the area's light-pollution ordinances by driving 40 miles east to Joshua Tree National Park to stargaze and spy the glowing eyes of resident coyotes during a night hike. The roughly 800,000-acre park stretches across parts of the Colorado and Mojave Deserts and plays host to some of the country's most varied wildlife. The five fan-palm oases that are scattered throughout the park are the best spots to see native animals, such as snakes, bighorn sheep, and black-tailed jackrabbits.