Hot springs have long been known to have therapeutic value thanks to the complex mineral compounds they contain, but relaxation – like real estate – is all about location. These hot springs stand out not because their waters are perfectly heated or perfectly clear, but because the experience of getting to and being around the pools is soothing. The hot water is just a bonus.
Best Faux Springs
For all its geothermal pyrotechnics, Hawaii has relatively few actual hot springs and none that can remotely rival the Pools of Oheo, which offer hikers along the Pipiwai Trail the opportunity to steep in tiered tubs of fresh river water. Though they're not heated beneath the surface, the pools do owe their warmth largely to volcanoes. They are made largely out of igneous rocks that hold the heat from the bright Hawaiian sun, keeping the water temperate even at night, when the stars (and locals) come out. The scene is made all the more memorable by the lush forest and the 400-foot Waimoku falls that cascade down the slope of Haleakala a short hike away. Normally tranquil, the area can be dangerous and is best avoided during heavy rainfall.
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