Wellness Travel: 5 Relaxing, Renewing Vacations

Discover all that wellness travel has to offer. From wellness spa retreats to stress relief lectures, plan your next relaxing vacation with Alamo! Relax in the infinity Jade Pool at Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur, California. Photo by Kodiak Greenwood.

Vacation gives people the chance to disconnect from daily life, but with jam-packed itineraries, long layovers and jetlag, travelers often come home from a trip more exhausted than when they left.

Enter a solution: wellness travel — curated vacation packages in picturesque locations designed to help you reconnect with your relaxed inner self, reinvigorate your psyche and return to your life with a new sense of energy. From yoga classes and guided hikes to spa treatments and organic menus, a wellness vacation is a chance for travelers to escape and rejuvenate.

Check out this guide to five wellness vacations.

Enchantment Resort, Sedona, Arizona

Nestled into the red rocks of Boynton Canyon, a sacred place to the native Yavapai people, this resort offers a variety of daily activities including stargazing, tennis clinics and Woga, a signature class combining yoga and a nature walk. The property also features several hiking trails, Southwestern-style restaurants, heated pools and the Mii Amo Spa, which is open to all guests during their stays.

Enchantment Resort Watch the sun go down over Sedona’s red rocks as you warm up around a fire pit at Enchantment Resort. Photo courtesy of Enchantment Group.

For those looking to have a more introspective experience, the spa also offers three- to seven-day retreats with daily lectures on stress relief and spiritual exploration as well as unique spa treatments, like a prickly pear butter massage or Aura-Soma color reading, a healing method that makes use of vibrant colors, crystals and aromas.

How to get there: Fly into Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. Enjoy the scenic route and red rock views along the two-hour drive, or catch a flight to Flagstaff Pulliam Airport for a shorter, one-hour drive.

Kalani Experience, Big Island, Hawaii

How can you go wrong with Hawaiian sunsets, plumeria-scented air and pineapples galore? This tropical retreat offers an in-depth opportunity to become one with the peaceful acceptance of life that Hawaiians call “the spirit of aloha” with either an overnight visit or an all-inclusive “edu-vacation.” Located on the southeastern coast of the Big Island, Kalani provides guests with more than 50 classes and events each week, including hula, ecstatic dance, yoga and meditation. The program also includes daily wellness treatment sessions from massage to psychic readings and Holoholo outings, which are activities to do just for pleasure’s sake, like lava viewing or swimming in a volcanically heated pond.

Kalani Experience in Hawaii Breathe in the cool air coming in off the ocean as you meditate at sunrise during the Kalani Experience in Hawaii.

How to get there: Drive south from Hilo International Airport past lava flows about an hour along Highway 130.

Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite, Fish Camp, California

You can rough it amid the deep valleys, ancient sequoias and plentiful waterfalls of Yosemite National Park, or forgo the tent and sleeping bag for a wellness retreat within the Sierra National Forest. Use the resort as your basecamp for adventure — horseback riding, glacier viewing and snowboarding are all on offer. After an active day, savor a relaxing seasonal treat, such as aromatherapy with autumn scents at the Ascent Spa or a breath of fresh mountain air during a summertime yoga class outdoors. Make sure to indulge at one of the resort’s many restaurants. Try Summerdale BBQ, where you can toast s’mores and unwind around an open fire while listening to the house string band and gazing up at the stars.

Tenaya Lodge Dip your toes in the water or unwind at the spa at Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite in Fish Camp, California. Photo courtesy of Tenaya Lodge.

How to get there: Tenaya is best accessed from Fresno International Airport, about a 90-minute drive north through California’s Central Valley.

Mountain Trek Fitness Retreat and Health Spa Program, Ainsworth, British Columbia, Canada

Be warned: If you choose to vacation with Mountain Trek, you’ll be on your feet all day to take advantage of the endless hiking and snowshoeing options through the vast wilderness of British Columbia. Not to worry, though. Therapists at its award-winning spa will pamper and revitalize you enough that you’ll wake up the next day refreshed and ready for more adventure.

Mountain Trek Take a hike through the incredible British Columbian landscape while focusing on wellness and fitness during the Mountain Trek Fitness Retreat and Health Spa Program. Photo courtesy of Mountain Trek.

Staff members at Mountain Trek are trained not only to offer guests a meaningful experience, but also to help them concentrate on health and wellness through organic, calorie-controlled spa cuisine, lifestyle lectures and daily yoga. Designed with the hope of prolonging wellness benefits after guests return home, Mountain Trek’s boot camp-style schedule is built around six core components — fitness, nutrition, de-stress, sleep, detoxification and support.

How to get there: Fly into Spokane International Airport and drive about four hours north through the Colville National Forest and over the Canadian border.

Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur, California

Full of hot springs and phenomenal views, Big Sur is known across the globe as a healing destination. Discover the area’s appeal at the sought-after Post Ranch Inn, a luxurious resort that sits 1,200 feet above the Pacific Ocean.  Treat yourself to a soak in one of this resort’s two cliff-top hot basking spas overlooking the Pacific Ocean after a morning yoga class, then sample vegetables and herbs on an edible tour of the property’s chef’s garden, and you’ll have a new appreciation for life and its indulgences. The resort’s spa offers wellness treatments like coconut paradise facials, renewal rituals, energy-balancing massages and shaman sessions. Bonus: You can even sleep in a treehouse.

Post Ranch Inn’s freestanding treehouses Relax and enjoy views from the treetops inside Post Ranch Inn’s freestanding treehouses. Photo by Kodiak Greenwood.

How to get there: Fly into the closest airport at Monterey Regional Airport and drive about an hour south along the Big Sur coast, or fly into San Francisco International Airport and drive about two and a half hours south.

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About the Author

Yael L. Maxwell is a Connecticut-based writer covering health, wellness and medicine and who loves travel in all forms. Whether on a weekend Hudson Valley wine country tour or a multicountry European jaunt, she will always be found with her camera and a sense of wanderlust for what’s next.