Breitenbush Hot Springs. Credit: Wonderlane via Flickr CC
Unplugged Breitenbush Hot Springs, Oregon
Breitenbush Hot Springs sits on 154 acres of wildlife sanctuary in Oregon's Willamette National Forest, about a five-hour drive from Seattle. Seven unique, relaxing pools with intricate stonework and nature-infused views are the star attraction, but the center offers much more — a steam sauna, yoga and meditation classes, hiking trails that wend through the woods, three vegetarian meals a day served family-style — all ensconced in a mellow, crunchy Oregon vibe.
Accommodations, ranging from dormitory-style bunks to cabins with private baths, are rustic but not uncomfortable. Daily rates are per person and include all meals (organic and vegetarian), yoga and other wellness classes, and 24-hour access to the hot springs. Bring your own bedding, robes, towels and toiletries and leave pets, alcohol and video games at home. Reservations are required.
The pools here are clothing-optional, and many people choose to soak in the nude. If you prefer a bathing suit, by all means, suit up. Breitenbush has a respectful atmosphere: This is not a flirty pick-up joint. It’s also an alcohol-free zone, and family-friendly, though it’s worth noting that adults must accompany children ages 12 and younger at all times.
Breitenbush is also a terrific place for a quick getaway or retreat with your partner or a friend, offering a robust set of workshops all year long in themes ranging from singing to yoga. The resort typically offers several family-oriented weekends a year, which may even include child care. And it’s truly unplugged — there is no wifi or cell phone service, though there is a landline on the grounds in case of an emergency.
Location: In the Oregon Cascades, about 60 miles east of Salem, Ore.
Info and reservations: online or by calling 503-854-3320.
Editor's note: This article was originally published in 2014 and updated for 2019.