Tennessee Hot Springs

Discover the best hot springs in Tennessee!

In the center of Tennessee, just east of Nashville is a little hot springs oasis you need to visit! 

The little town of Red Boiling Springs is so named because of the singular natural hot spring that the town was built around. In this town, you can find Armour’s Hotel and Spa, which offers a luxury hot spring spa pampering experience!

If you are looking for an escape from the big cities like Nashville and Memphis, then Red Boiling Springs and its wonderful hot spring spa are the midwest oasis that you’ve been looking for. Why not steer away from the regular Tennessee attractions and try something a little different, like a soak in a natural hot mineral spring?

In this guide, we are going to explore Tennessee’s only hot spring and what this little gem has to offer, as well as give you some insight into the little town that is its namesake.

Only Hot Spring in Tennessee

Throughout the past hundred years, there have been many hot spring locations in Red Boiling Springs, but the only mineral bathhouse open today is Armour’s Hotel and Spa. 

Red Boiling Springs is northeast of Nashville in the Cumberland Mountains, so this little town of just over 1000 people is a little off the beaten path, but it means that it is a peaceful spot where you can completely relax away from the rat race of modern life.

This is the type of place that you go to find a moment of privacy and immaculate rest and relaxation away from the buzz of your regular life.

Now, let’s look at Tennessee’s only hot spring:

Armour’s Hotel and Spa

If you are looking for a full-service luxury mineral hot spring experience, then Armour’s Hotel and Spa is for you!

Built in 1924, Armour’s is less of a hot springs resort and more of a luxury hotel where the focus is serenity and relaxation. Before you even enter the spa, you are welcomed by lush, beautiful grounds and a stunning historical building with its original long porches.

The springs can be found in their spa, where hot tubs are filled with mineral spring water. Each person gets to soak in an individual hot tub so you can have a moment of peaceful solitude. The cost is a reasonable $29 for an hour’s soak in the healing mineral water.

These are sulfurous hot springs, so there might be a slight odor, and, as we mentioned before, the water will be slightly discolored due to the concentration of minerals. This is nothing to worry about as the water is perfectly clean.

The spa also offers several different services, including steam treatment. The spa provides some very interesting, state-of-the-art treatments like VibroAcoustic therapy, ZYTO EVOX, and a heated amethyst biomat. There are even unique color-coded personality consultations!

Guests are given first priority when it comes to bookings in the spa, but day guests are also welcome. If you want to stay at the hotel and take advantage of the hot springs on numerous occasions, there is a selection of stunning hotel rooms and suites for you to choose from.

The hotel has a Southern family-style restaurant that is open for breakfast and dinner.

Full List of Tennessee Hot Springs

Ok, so a list is a bit of an over-exaggeration since Tennessee only has one, but we must log it nonetheless.

The hot spring experience in this state is more about a serene spa experience, so it is a must-see for those of you that just want to sit back and indulge in pure relaxation. Unfortunately, there are no primitive hot springs in Tennessee, so there are no free options to enjoy. Luckily, the cost of an hour’s soak is quite reasonable.

Hot SpringLocation in TennesseeDeveloped or Primitive
Armour’s Hotel and SpaRed Boiling SpringsDeveloped

History of Red Boiling Springs

As we have explored, Red Boiling Springs was built around and got its name from the hot spring found in that area. However, the term is misleading because the spring itself is actually a warm spring that is perfectly comfortable to soak in.

The town gets its name from the blend of minerals found in the hot springs that give them a distinctive red hue. These minerals are deposited into the water as it interacts with black shale beneath the ground. The boiling refers to the rolling bubbles of the springs rather than the heat.

This hot spring was initially discovered by the Native Americans in the area, but it was first noted down by colonizers in the mid-1780s. It was initially named Salt Lick Creek because of the natural salt lick nearby that attracted wildlife and, in turn, the Native Americans to the area where they discovered numerous hot springs.

The town was renamed to Red Boiling Springs in 1847, just in time for the hot spring boom of the 1880s. This is a time when, across the country, the healing properties and practice of regularly soaking in natural hot springs became very popular.

Although the town is small, many visitors were drawn to the hot spring oasis. This was made easy due to the new railways and stagecoach lines that were set up at the time. This made traversing the United States easier and accessible to more people than ever before.

In the 1920s, over 52 active springs were recorded to be in operation in Red Boiling Springs, but this number plunged rapidly as the hot springs dried up and World War II wreaked havoc on the spa industry.

The town was also hit by significant flood damage in 1969, but it has prevailed and still stands today. As of 2018, three historical hotels are still operating, including the Armour’s Hotel and Spa, where the last hot spring can be found.

Tennessee is a state full of bustling cities and deep history, but it is also a great spot to enjoy a hot spring. If you are heading to Tennessee, why not pop by Armour’s Hotel and Spa and have a soak in the natural mineral water?