The Golden State has the most U.S. hot springs attractions, with the current total at around 60. Since the 1850s, people have flocked to the restorative waters at what is now Grover Hot Springs State Park. Hot springs also are a highlight of a retreat and conference center in Truckee.

For those who prefer wining and dining, Calistoga is at the north end of Napa Valley and at the heart of geothermal fun. Or sample Japanese-style soaking at a Zen monastery when driving along the Big Sur coastline.

The highest concentration of geothermal waters is in Desert Hot Springs near Palm Springs. In central California, look for hot springs near Hollister and on the edge of Ansel Adams Wilderness or head south for Death Valley National Park and the options in Tecopa. Another option is setting your compass for Los Angeles, where hot springs were discovered near downtown and Beverly Hills in the 1930s.