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Why Do People Visit George Washington’s Bathtub (and Where Is It)

Why Do People Visit George Washington’s Bathtub (and Where Is It)

Over almost 250 years of American history, there have only been 46 presidents. You can find monuments, libraries, and national parks that all pay homage to many well-known individuals serving as POTUS. However, there’s one very unique monument that honors the country’s first president; a bathtub.

Today, we’ll look at one of the most distinctive presidential landmarks in the country. You’ll learn everything you need to know to visit this exciting landmark. Let’s dive in! 

What Is George Washington’s Bathtub?

Presidents are ordinary people with much more power and authority; however, many still enjoy a good soak. George Washington may have been the first president, but he wanted a good bath. George Washington’s bathtub is a landmark that preserves the spot where President Washington would relax and soak.

Washington loved the spot so much that he and some wealthy companions worked to create the first spa in 1776. The remains of Geoge Washington’s bathtub are nothing more than a hole in the ground lined with stones. However, as simple as it may be, Smithsonian Magazine included the tub on its list of six most breathtaking baths in 2016.

While the tub pays tribute to George Washington, it’s not the exact tub Washington would have used. The water source would be the same, but Washington would have used one of the pools at an attached health resort. This landmark is a replica of the bathing experience he would have enjoyed.

Where Is George Washington’s Bathtub?

George Washington’s bathtub is Berkeley Springs State Park in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia. However, at the time Washington would have visited, people knew the town as Bath. The name changed in 1801 as the town grew to include a post office, but there was already a town recognized as Bath in the state. Berkeley Springs State Park sits less than two hours from Washington D.C. and Baltimore.

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Statue of George Washington
Visit the place where George Washington did his best thinking in West Virginia!

Why Do People Visit George Washington’s Bathtub?

The George Washington bathtub is the only outdoor monument that pays tribute to Presidential bathing. Many people visit the bathtub while also going for a soak. While visitors come year-round, the town hosts its annual “George Washington’s Bathtub Celebration.”

The celebration includes dollar sales and food specials from local shops. Visitors will also have the opportunity to hear and experience some of the local histories while relaxing to music. The festival is on the weekend nearest March 18, the anniversary of Washington’s first trip to the town in 1748.

How Often Did People Bathe in the 1800s?

Personal hygiene is much different now than it was in the 1800s. While a shower may be a part of your daily schedule, that wasn’t the case in the 1800s. Those lucky enough to have a bathtub would bathe a few times a month, and only the more affluent individuals could afford a tub. 

Those not nearly as financially blessed would typically only bathe once a year. Bathing wasn’t as easy or convenient as today, and many doctors discouraged bathing. They believed it hurt the health and negatively affected the appearance of an individual’s skin. Luckily, we’ve learned a thing or two about personal hygiene over the past 200 years.

Woman hiking in Berkeley Springs State Park
Explore Berkeley Springs State Park while searching for George Washington’s bathtub.

What Else Is There to Do in Berkeley Springs State Park?

George Washington’s bathtub may bring you to Berkeley Springs State Park, but that’s not all there is to see and do. The park has various bathhouses offering spa services like massages, saunas, baths, and showers. 

While visiting Berkeley Springs State Park, you’re not far from the 6,000-acre Cacapon Resort State Park. You’ll find golfing, swimming, and camping activities that make it a fun place to enjoy while visiting the area. While it’s not home to George Washington’s bathtub, this park offers a spa with various spa services.

Can You Get in the Springs at Berkeley Springs State Park?

If you want to dip in Berkeley Springs State Park, you’re in luck! The park has an outdoor pool filled with natural spring water. It’s open from Memorial Day through Labor Day from noon to 5 PM, except Tuesdays. The water maintains a constant 74.3 degrees and is an ideal spot to relax and enjoy a natural pool.

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Is George Washington’s Bathtub Worth Visiting? 

If you love history and are looking for a relaxing time, the George Washington bathtub is an excellent spot to visit. It may not be overly flashy or appealing to everyone, but walking along the sidewalks and over the landscapes in George Washington’s footsteps can help you experience history.

It’s not every day that you can say you soaked in a president’s bathtub. We recommend planning your visit to the town’s annual celebration in March. You’ll have the best shot of experiencing the history like a local.

Would you soak in George Washington’s bathtub? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!

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