Every once in a while we just need to “get away”—to venture out to a calm, quiet, and super secluded retreat to let go and unwind from all the hustle and bustle of everyday life. What better way to escape stress and to rejuvenate by having yourself a “wellness” vacation that’ll not only relax the mind, body, and soul, but also improve on your overall health and wellbeing at the same time?
Whether you’re looking to find restoration in outdoor adventures, by engaging in some soothing waterfront yoga, or by pampering yourself with a bunch of glorious spa treatments, there are plenty of places all across the nation offering something unbelievable and worthwhile for every type of health-conscious traveler. Atlantic to Pacific, activities and amenities focusing on every aspect of wellness await. So do some much needed de-stressing, get some much deserved R&R, and escape to someplace beautiful so that you can come back ready to take on the world! Here are eight places to go for your wellness vacation in the United States.
Wellness Travel Destinations in the U.S.
The Golden State is home to plenty of spaces to allow for a true mind-body-spirit connection. Disconnect from the urban jungle and have a digital detox with daily yoga, spiritual, and meditation sessions near Palm Springs at La Quinta Resort and Club, where you’ll find rare spa treatments including rose quartz facials, body polishes with Napa Valley white grape seeds, and massages with sacred stones. For more active folks, head on over towards Santa Barbara to Bacara Resort & Spa, a Mediterranean-style luxury resort offering views of the scenic Gaviota & Santa Ynez Mountains, as well as tons of customized fitness programs with personal trainers that’ll get you in tip top shape for sure. Trek south to Golden Door in San Marcos, a Japanese-style spa resort located a little over a mile off Route 15 that invites guests to seek a healthy body and spirit within traditional ryokan inns boasting immersive spa experiences such as a Watsu water therapy pool or Reiki chakra-balancing massages. Private Zen gardens and moon viewing decks all across the 600-plus acres add an extra special touch.
Also towards the border near San Diego is Cal-a-Vie Health Spa, an exclusive oasis allowing visitors to spend a weekend away at a French Provencal-inspired retreat that you'll never want to leave—all while enjoying balmy SoCal weather. Do some hiking on the hillside trails, groove out with Pilates and Zumba Latin dance classes, or quiet your mind with meditation classes inside a centuries old chapel. Or, just beeline straight towards the spa for a variety of therapies like hot stone foot treatments and oxygen facials. Let’s just say that no matter where you are in California, there’s a spot to easily find wellness for a wonderful vacation to remember. What are you waiting for?
When it comes to places to seek wellness, Arizona is definitely the place to go. In Tucson, there’s Canyon Ranch, which basically sets the standard for “healthy resorts.” It’s a long-time favorite desert retreat for celebrities and business executives that’s best known known for its “life enhancement” and weight loss programs. It’s also a fabulous place to get in touch with nature through a primitive outdoor skills program that teaches survival techniques and wilderness strategies. Also in the Sonoran Desert is the Miraval Resort & Spa, a luxurious, health-minded, sleep-away camp minus all the unneeded teenage angst. Run trails in the nearby Santa Catalina Mountains or do some aerial yoga classes followed by hours of meditation. Then retreat to the spa at the end of the day to indulge in a hot stone massage or an Ayurvedic treatment.
If you’re wanting even more Yin, Yang, and Zen, head over to Sedona—the ultimate yogi paradise. There’s 7 Centers Yoga Arts, the original yoga studio of one of the world’s premiere energy hotspots. It’s a mecca for the spiritually curious, complete with spectacular rocky vista views that’ll literally take your breath away. Reconnect and find yourself by balancing out those seven chakras through various yoga practices and by enjoying some delicious organic meals. Then zone out in some fantastic rooms at the chic Sedona Rouge Hotel & Spa. Or, keep those good vibes coming at the Mii Amo Spa, which offers spa "journeys" amidst rose-colored, adobe casitas surrounded by twisting cottonwoods at the foot of the Boynton Canyon buttes. Spa treatments from organic facials, acupuncture sessions, and watsu, to stretching, joint work, and Shiatsu are also available. There are even classes on topics such as vortex energy, cooking, dance, and medicine plants, as well as spiritual therapies, such as tarot card readings and reiki.
Of course, there’s also Scottsdale, Arizona, where you’ll find one of the top resorts in the Southwest: the serene Sanctuary, which continues to impress high-profile guests with fine cuisine, unmatched spa treatments, and gorgeous suites. Check out the meditation garden, as well as all the New Age therapies such as hypnotherapy and astrology. Plus, you’ll be greeted everyday with desirable views of Praying Monk Rock and the desert -- not nasty suburban sprawl. Love indeed.
Sitting on the eastern edge of Texas Hill Country, Austin may be well known as the “Live Music Capital of the World,” but surprisingly, it’s also the ultimate place to get some R&R. Cozy up on almost twenty acres of scenic land in a beautiful landscape along a gorgeous lakefront at Lake Austin Spa, a luxe-fitness focuses resort offering classes for fitness, yoga, and meditation. Water sports are also super popular in the area, so give kayaking or even hydro-biking a try after downing some of the finest chef-prepped cuisine in the Southwest focusing only on locally-sourced organic foods. Plus, there are tons of spa treatments to choose from as well.
Work out against the backdrop of the majestic Red Rock Canyons and truly get in touch with a healthier lifestyle at spots such as Movara Fitness Resort, a wellness destination in Ivins, Utah, boasting a vast fan base and a breathtaking setting. On site life coaches provide proven structured courses to help create personalized plans to transform your life, while masterful chefs offer low-calorie spa cuisine. There are also more than twenty indoor and outdoor group classes focusing on daily hikes to help you feel the burn. Relax and unwind from that great outdoor adventure with an afternoon body treatment or soothing massage, as well as some acupuncture and reflexology. Also in Ivins is the Red Mountain Resort, where nature lovers can get in shape and rejuvenate their minds on over fifty acres of crimson desert filled with aromatic mesquite trees. Secluded deep in southwestern Utah’s Grand Circle area, Red Rock has over eighty southwestern-style rooms and almost thirty suites to allow for rest amidst red-rock cliffs, majestic canyons, and black lava flows in a region that’s home to three outdoor wonders: Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, and Snow Canyon State Park. What’s more is that most resorts in the area are super pet-friendly, which means you won’t ever have to leave your favorite four-legged friend at home. Make sure to trek down to the holistic spa to receive the Canyon Warm Stone Massage, which incorporates indigenous rocks and local herbs. Your mind, body, and soul will be giving thanks.
Nestled in the gorgeous, rolling hills of The Old Colony State, there are many mainstay wellness retreats offering guests with chances to create long-term change in their lives via gentle yoga, educational programs, dance, and music. Outdoor experiences like kayaking and swimming are also available at lakeside havens such as Kripalu Retreat Center in Stockbridge, Massachusetts or Canyon Ranch Lenox, where you can get reacquainted with your better self amid the beauty of the Berkshires. Plenty of personalized services and spiritual growth programs will help you recharge, and a meal or two at the Bellefontaine Mansion dining room with healthy organic cuisine, followed by a Euphoria body treatment at the lavish spa, will leave you feeling better than ever. Even go super spiritual by adding in a metaphysical aspect to your stay with Tarot card readings, Feng Shui sessions, and astrology charts!
Tucked into the majestic Rocky Mountains, Colorado is a go-to spot for wellness vacations. For plenty of relaxation, adventure, and natural beauty, check out the Peaks Resort & Spa in Telluride which lets you bike, hike, fish, ski, golf, rock climb, and explore the good old outdoors to your heart’s content. After an adventure-filled day, head back to the resort to take advantage of the amenities at Colorado’s largest spa, complete with a full-service salon, an indoor water slide, a two-level fitness center, tennis courts, as well as ski-in/ski-out privileges. What’s more is that the resort is dog-friendly and kid-friendly—a perfect destination for the entire family!
Reconnect even further with a Retreat and Renewal Package at the Shambala Mountain Center, where yoga, meditation sessions, guided hike during the day, and massages at night will have bring you peace and utter harmony. You can even take a stroll to the Great Stupa, a Buddhist sculpture on site. The Centennial State also boasts bunches of rejuvenating vacations that double down as terrific snowy destinations too, such the St. Regis Aspen Resort, a unique and exciting twist on the everyday wellness retreat. Soak in the vibes of Yin and Yang all throughout this Western state amongst snow-covered hills, river canyons, and arid desert lands.
There’s nothing like recharging in paradise, especially on the Big Island. There’s the Kalani Experience package where can participate in hula classes, tai chi, or enjoy an aquatic bodywork session. Even go on a Hawaiian “holoholo“ outing on Oahu before settling at an aquatic-themed spa such at Ko Olina Resort and Spa which is situated on a white sand lagoon, a world-class marina, and amidst traditional Hawaiian elegance. Most of the spacious rooms offer ocean views as well as luxurious marble bathroom fixtures. The spa even has massages, facials, and a variety of body treatments, including color light therapy and detoxifying wraps. Or, there’s The Spa at Travaasa Hana on the picturesque eastern tip of Maui, a soothing sanctuary providing both indulgence and a luxurious island getaway. The local fave emphasizes Earth's natural healing powers and provides services that uses only organic, bioenergetic products so that guests can pamper themselves with nurturing services such as calming massages, purifying scrubs, therapeutic body wraps, and detoxifying beauty treatments—all within a lush tropical setting. The facilities also have steam rooms, a plunge pool, and an outdoor lava rock whirlpool and lounge, where you can enjoy views of the spectacular Hana Bay. What’s not to love?!
While taking in the scenic beauty of the Appalachian Trails and alpine tundra at elevations of more than 4,000 feet, you’ll be able to find wellness and goodness for sure. Find no-frills, New England-style accommodations at New Life Hiking Spa, a Killington sanctuary that has been offering folks with fulfilling days hiking or partaking in activities like chi kung, water aerobics, Pilates or Zumba. There are even opportunities to indulge in evening entertainment, such as relaxation classes and cooking demonstrations. Don’t forget to wind down with one of those hot stone or bamboo massages.
In wooded Ludlow, there’s Green Mountain at Fox Run, a low-key, women-only health retreat at a 26-acre retreat providing lucky ladies with hiking in beautiful, natural settings, Zumba or meditation courses, cooking classes, strength training workshops, as well as guides to help you stay positive. Really, the possibilities to reinvigorate in the Green Mountain State are endless.
This article was written by Pamela Chan.