Summer’s the perfect time to cross a wellness retreat, weekend reset, or trip to a far-flung healthy destination like Ubud or Cape Town off your travel bucket list. But it’s totally possible to plan a great escape without using all of your PTO, passport, or a serious amount of disposable income. That’s the beauty of a road trip: All you need’s a set of wheels, full tank of fuel, and stockpile of healthy snacks from a gas station. Adding a BFF—or two—into the mix isn’t a bad idea, either. Mobile women’s circle anyone?
Once you’re ready to hit the road, here are 10 high-vibe destinations within a three-hour drive of a major US city that offer unique, healthy, stress-busting activities. Think surfing in Montauk, glamping in Texas hill country, or jumping into a cold spring on Monterey Peninsula. Just make sure to switch your OOO to BRB before putting the car into drive.
Scroll down to see 10 healthy road trip destinations to travel to this summer.
1. Go surfing at Ditch Plains Beach
Catch a wave at Montauk’s surf haven, about a three-hour drive from New York City—or take lessons if you’re a newbie. Either way, it’s guaranteed to be a good time, whether you hang ten or not.
2. Decompress at Kohler Waters Spa
Yes, the faucet company owns a glamorous resort and spa! Best of all? It’s just a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Chicago, which means you can have breakfast in the Windy City, enjoy an entire day of self care, and still be back in Chi-Town by dinnertime. Or, stay a little longer and keep the good vibes going with a class at Yoga on the Lake.
3. Recharge in a Himalayan salt cave
Schedule a salt therapy session or yoga class at the largest underground Himalayan salt cave in North America (60 tons of pink rock, for the record). It just happens to be in the heart of healthy hotspot Santa Barbara, making it easily accessible by car from anywhere in SoCal—especially Los Angeles.
4. Take a dip at Turner Falls
You’ll work up a sweat hiking to this swimming hole, but the views from Turner Falls in Oklahoma are totally worth it. Plus, it’s just an hour and a half from Dallas.
5. Thermal pool hop on the Monterey Peninsula
Head to Carmel-by-the-Sea (about three hours from San Francisco) and take the plunge in the hot and cold pools at Refuge Spa—or create a self-care circuit à la Nina Dobrev by adding trips to its eucalyptus steam room and cedar sauna into the mix.
6. Spend the day on an organic farm
If you’re in the Atlanta area, hop in the car and head over to explore Serenbe, the new wellness-focused community sprouting up right outside the city—it’s being dubbed “the Hamptons of the South.” Tour the town’s 25-acre organic farm, plus its 40-acre arts complex, and then brunch at one of 3 farm-to-table restaurants.
7. Go earthing in the Allegany Mountains
Whether you’ve got jet lag or just want to reconnect with Mother Nature, if you’re in the Washington, DC area, go for a guided walking meditation at StoneSong Awareness and Nature Center, a mountain retreat center tucked away in a peaceful valley in Western Maryland.
8. Glamp in Texas
Should you find yourself in the Lone Star State this summer, book an adorable tiny house at glamping destination Mystic Quarry. It’s a three-hour drive from Houston, and can be your home base for a weekend of hiking and biking in Texas Hill Country—not to mention tubing along the Guadalupe River.
9. Sweat it out in the Berkshires
Fitness wonderland Canyon Ranch’s Lenox Health and Wellness Resort and Spa in the Berkshire Mountains is just two hours away from Boston. Load up your schedule with classes on everything from indoor cycling to barre, HIIT, hiking, and more.
10. Take an aqua yoga class in a mangrove cove
Miami is a magical place, but if you’re looking for a truly mind-blowing experience, head just under two hours south of the city to Islamorada near the Everglades. It’s gorgeous, of course, but what you really want to do, besides snap pictures of the sunset, is sign up for an Aquaholic Adventure—AKA paddling out to a secluded mangrove cove for a yoga class on anchored boards. Trust, there are few things as FOMO inducing.
Originally published August 9, 2017. Updated May 27, 2018.
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