The small Texas town where you can sip AND soak in mineral water

In the early 20th century, Mineral Wells was known as 'Where America drinks its way to health.'
a small town street with one and two-story buildings
Mineral Wells, Texas has a population of 14,820 people and is named after its famous mineral wells. Image: Renelibray, Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

You may not think of Texas as a hotspot for health and wellness. Indeed, the state as a whole is more often known for its oil fields and cattle farming than a health resort destination. But Mineral Wells, Texas was designated the official Wellness Capital of Texas by state legislators in 2023. The small town outside Dallas earned the distinction for one main reason: its one-of-a-kind mineral waters.

Yes, in this homey north Texas town exists a natural anomaly: nine underground wells with impressive mineral content. But it’s not just any old spring water packed full of macro and micronutrients like calcium, selenium, and magnesium that makes the water here unique. On the contrary, it’s also the only mineral water in Texas that’s suitable for both drinking and bathing and it’s packed with goodness.

One-of-a-kind destination

Sure, across the country and around the world there are mineral wells and natural springs brimming with nutrients, but most destinations that tout their healing and/or healthful waters only offer it in one form: for bathing or drinking.

Not so in Mineral Wells, where the water that gets pumped from the underground wells is ready for soaking and imbibing right from the source (after basic carbon and sediment filtration, of course). And it’s been used for both since the late 1800’s when early settlers began digging wells and almost immediately realized the water’s health potential.

In fact, many new residents started bottling businesses and began selling the water shortly after settling down. The only one that still exists today is Crazy Water, formerly Famous Water. In 1913, residents opened a water bar, which is still located inside the town’s Crazy Water Hotel, to sell hydration by the glass. Doctors even prescribed bottles of the stuff to ailing patients, often a mixture of water from the various wells that boast different mineral contents.

As a result, in the early 1900s up to the 1960s, the area became known as the place “Where America drinks its way to health.” A slogan not far off-base given the well-researched benefits of mineral water—whether you choose to soak or sip.

a five-story yellow brick building with hotel sign
The Crazy Water Hotel. Image: Wikimedia Commons, Renelibrary – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

Minerals for health

According to experts, including Dustin Strong, certified holistic nutritionist and certified applied clinical nutritionist, the benefits of mineral water are often understated. After all, most of these nutrients are necessary for health and survival, including calcium and magnesium, which are abundant in the waters in Mineral Wells.

“Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the human body. We need calcium for nearly every physiological function,” Strong explains. “It’s so profoundly involved in all the biochemical functions in the body.” Magnesium takes a close second. But the water also contains manganese, zinc, potassium and bicarbonate, among other minerals, all of which the body needs to function at peak performance.

After all, mineral water in one form or another has been shown to reduce anxiety, boost gastrointestinal function, improve sleep quality, and much more. And since most of these nutrients are not produced naturally by the body, they must be consumed.

Drink to your health

So why not just wash down a vitamin supplement with a glass of regular water? Strong says these supplements often claim to supply all of your daily requirements for necessary minerals, but they’re often in non-bioavailable forms, which means your body has to work way harder to break them down. When you drink these minerals, however, your body can shuttle them off to necessary organs and operations immediately.

Likewise, the minerals found in water are vastly more bioavailable (i.e. usable) by the body than the same minerals found in food, Strong says. The extraction of minerals from food requires sufficient stomach acid, which many people don’t have a sufficient supply of due to eating while stressed or low zinc levels, he explains. Getting calcium from water means lack of enough stomach acid isn’t a limiting factor and the body can literally drink the nutrient up (via ingestion or soaking). 

three images: the outside of a house, taps of water, and a bathtub
Images: Courtesy of Crazy Water

And while other mineral waters might do the trick, the concentration of minerals in the water in Mineral Wells is impressively high. It would take four or more bottles of most bottled spring water, even the ones with higher mineral content, to get the same nutritional value as one bottle of Crazy Water. To be a mineral water, you have to have a total dissolved solids (TDS) over 250 mg/liter. According to Rose Jordan, Director of Tourism, the Crazy Water #3 that’s bottled and used for bathing has a TDS of 900-1100 mg/liter.

Fortunately, in Mineral Wells you can order sodas, coffee, tea, or just plain water at the Crazy Water Coffee and Water Bar inside the Crazy Water Hotel or pay to fill bottles or jugs inside the Famous Water Pavilion. They’ll even ship bottles across the country.

Soak it up

But drinking isn’t the only way to usher nutrients into your system. In fact, studies have shown bathing in the same stuff can also boost overall health and wellness with the added benefit of easing skin conditions.

That’s because some minerals can absorb transdermally, Strong explains. As in, your skin can pull nutrients from its surroundings if you’re soaking in water. Your skin is, after all, your largest organ. Why you might consider soaking in addition to drinking is that during bathing, transdermal absorption means nutrients are available to the body locally and can be absorbed exactly where they’re needed. Think psoriasis flare-ups, rashes, or minor bacterial infections.

That’s because when you consume nutrients via food and water, Strong says, those minerals get pushed to your vital organs to power necessary bodily operations first. Your heart, brain, liver, etc. get first dibs because they’re responsible for keeping you alive. But any issues in your extremities or less vital areas like skin or cramping calves only get what’s leftover—if there is anything leftover. So soaking means skin conditions like eczema, even your gut microbiome, get first dibs on the healing powers of the water, but can also boost mood and immune function.

Want to try it? In Mineral Wells you can enjoy a soak at Crazy Water Bath House and Spa where micro bubbles in the tub help open up pores for better mineral absorption. In 2025, the Crazy Water Hotel will also offer spa services including mineral water soaks. 

Meaning whether you choose to sip or soak, you can still drink (and bathe) your way to a boost of minerals in this Texas town.