Midwesterners are characteristically modest when it comes to boasting, but greatness is literally written all over the region. From Great Plains to Great Lakes and traversed by the Mississippi River, the American heartland has rich traditions of exploration and creation. Native Americans, explorers, pioneers and immigrants have all been drawn to its fertile lands and fabled forests. Today, people visit its thousands of lakeside vacation spots—great escapes from the pulse of city life. Discover the spas of the Midwest to experience a famously friendly welcome, the healing properties of fresh water and fresh air, and uniquely wholesome wellness.

The Spa at French Lick, Indiana
The Spa at French Lick, Spas of America

Originally built in the mid-1800’s, the overall health and wellness of the guests at French Lick has been a priority. This legacy is deeply rooted in the famous “miracle waters” of the area’s naturally occurring mineral springs which were said to cure any ailment. The tradition of providing rest, relaxation and rejuvenation continues today, and it starts at their two world-class spas – The Spa at French Lick offering the best in classic American sophistication and leisure, and The Spa at West Baden, with European influences weaved throughout the décor and services, offers elegance and luxury.

Aspira Spa at The Osthoff Resort, WisconsinAspira Spa, Spas of America
On spring-fed Elkhart Lake, Aspira Spa at the Osthoff Resort is a world away from Milwaukee and Chicago, yet within easy reach. Amidst serene surroundings, the spa’s holistic treatments restore balance and harmony, drawing upon sacred local Native American traditions in signature experiences such as Sacred Waters and Ancient Cedar. Many ingredients for treatments and refreshments are local too, provided by Aspira’s organic garden.

Spa Shiki at The Lodge of Four Seasons, MissouriSpa Shiki, Spas of America
A sanctuary of health and wellness awaits at Spa Shiki at The Lodge of Four Seasons, a luxury resort on Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks. The array of facilities to enjoy along with your spa treatment or fitness class includes a mineral whirlpool, indoor/outdoor swimming pool, steam room, Himalayan salt infrared sauna and meditation lounges. Spa Shiki offers a complete escape.

Crystal Spa, Crystal Mountain Resort & Spa, MichiganCrystal Spa, Spas of America
Perfect for family vacations, Crystal Mountain Resort in northern Michigan is a year-round mountain playground. Its Crystal Spa is an elegant oasis inspired by the surrounding natural beauty and the changing seasons. The 18,500-square-foot spa offers massage, skincare and body treatments in a LEED-certified “green building.” Be sure to visit the Mosaic Garden and relax in the outdoor hot tub.

Evensong Spa, Heidel House Resort, WisconsinEvensong Spa, Spas of America
On the shore of Green Lake, Wisconsin’s deepest inland lake, Evensong Spa at Heidel House Resort draws upon ancient spa traditions in a modern setting. Find tranquility under the whirlpool waterfalls, walking the labyrinth or in the relaxation lounge with floor-to-ceiling windows with a woodland view, before or after treatments such as Balinese Massage or as part of a blissful Pure Balance Circuit Spa Package.

Spa Walden, OhioSpa Walden, Spas of America
Discover your own personal sanctuary and romantic Ohio country retreat at Spa Walden. Here, gracious service and thoughtful architecture coalesce in unrivalled hospitality. Spacious suites feature unique designs that redefine quintessential luxury – in human terms. All Spa Walden treatments take place in a private suite so you don’t have to leave your room between services.

Do you have a favorite Midwest spa? Let us know.

Christine Rowlands is a writer and editor who loves the natural therapy of bicycling and walking in the woods near Vancouver, BC. She edits for alive magazine and writes for Tourism New Westminster, YellowPages.com and subTerrain magazine. Email

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