Where to soak in Portland

Relax in the water all year round at these soaking pools, float tanks and saunas.

_74a0984Relax in the warm soaking pool at McMenamins Kennedy School.
Ashley Anderson

Ready to relax? Practice aquatic self-care at these welcoming, all-weather soak spots.

Kennedy School Soaking Pool

Do you dream of sipping a craft cocktail while soaking in a ceramic saltwater pool? For about the cost of a latte (or free with an overnight stay), you can do just that at McMenamins Kennedy School, a picturesque former schoolhouse in Northeast Portland. Built in 1915 and restored in the mid 1970s, the historic building now functions as a hotel complete with restaurant, bars and movie theater. Bring your swimsuit and share the warm waters with patrons of all ages in this scenic setting.

Float On

Though the term “sensory deprivation” may sound odd, you shouldn’t knock it until you’ve melted away your stress in a soothing, futuristic cocoon. One of the largest float tank centers in the United States, Float On is open 24 hours a day and houses six different tanks filled with heavily-salted, buoyant water. For those frightened by the thought of lying in a small space, the center offers 6-foot tall tanks, and each unit has interior light settings and a private showering area for breaks, as needed.

Common Ground Wellness Center

For over 30 years, Portland’s Common Ground Wellness Center has been a home for alternative healing and care. The co-op’s services include acupuncture, naturopathy, massage and counseling, in addition to their communal soaking pool and sauna. The intimate space is mostly clothing-optional and all-gender inclusive, but designated hours are also reserved for only women, only men, and only trans and genderqueer-identified individuals. Book a “massage sandwich” to enjoy soaks before and after a relaxing rubdown.


Inspired by Scandinavian traditions, Löyly has beautiful, minimalist facilities in Southeast and Northeast Portland offering steamy cedar saunas, skilled massage therapists and rejuvenating skincare services. While it’s not a soak per se, you should be dripping sweat in no time. If you’re new to sauna culture, you can study step-by-step illustrated posters or consult the friendly staff. Check their website for monthly specials and affordable packages for maximum indulgence.

Breitenbush Hot Springs

Perfect for folks who daydream of tranquil retreats in picturesque woodlands, Breitenbush Hot Springs is nestled in the luscious Mt. Hood National Forest, two hours southeast of downtown Portland. The holistic center provides seven clothing-optional tubs of varying temperatures, as well as massage facilities, delicious vegetarian meals and rustic lodging. If you’re visiting for the day, the sliding-scale pass includes access to all pools, plus wellness programming such as yoga and meditation classes. Spots fill up quickly at this popular sanctuary, so be sure to book ahead.


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