Top 10 Wellness Vacation Destinations

This feature via Sunset, our partner for all things travel + outdoor living in the Western US.

Making time for relaxation and de-stressing are crucial to your overall well-being and mental health. We at GWS are all for the work hard, play hard (or rather relax + rejuvenate) idea—and for us, travel is KEY! For those looking for a weekend breather, or a refreshing get-out-of-town kind of trip, we’re sharing these wellness vacation destinations, via our friends at Sunset Magazine!

above photo by Carlie Statsky from this Girls’ Getaway Guide: Glamping at AutoCamp in Northern California

Oahu, HI

Volcanic landscapes, dramatic coastlines, and turquoise waters make wellness the default setting on this island paradise. Paddleboard Kailua Beach Park, hike Maunawili Falls Trail, grab a pitaya bowl from Da Cove Health Bar & Cafésurf the North Shore with Hans Hedemann Surf School and aloha your worries away.

photo from this Travel Diary: Oahu, Hawaii

Sedona, AZ

This red-rock wonderland has it all. Vortex seekers can soak in the sacred energy (and crystal stores), fitness buffs can hike and bike world-class trails (Devil’s Bridge Trail is a must) and vegetarians can indulge in the organic, plant-based menu at ChocolaTree. Stay at Mii Amo, the ultimate spa retreat.

Tofino, B.C., Canada

This tiny surf town on the westernmost tip of Vancouver Island may be small—the population is under 2,000—but it’s mighty in terms of wellness. Forest-bathe among towering pines at Pacific Rim National Park Reserve and soak in picturesque tide pools at Hot Springs Cove.

Ojai, CA

In this SoCal town nestled in the Topa Topa Mountains, instead of corporate chains (none exist within city limits) you’ll find yoga studios (Arrow Heart Yoga), health-conscious cafés (Farmer and the Cook), and five-star spas (Ojai Valley Inn & Spa). Must-do: Enjoy the famed pink sunset from Meditation Mount.

photo by Megan Welker  from this Ojai Girls Weekend

Venice, CA

Whether you’re strolling Abbot Kinney Boulevard or rollerblading the boardwalk, you can’t go two feet without hitting a healthy hotspot. Grab a smoothie at Moon Juice, shop for organic beauty potions at Living Libations, downward dog at Love Yoga, pick up a vegan treat at Café Gratitude, and people-watch at Muscle Beach.

photo by Bryan from For the Love of It from this Solstice Bride Wedding Salon in Venice Beach, California

Telluride, CO

A true all-seasons wellness escape, come in summer for the Telluride Yoga Festival, fall for mountain biking, winter for epic powder skiing, and spring to whitewater-raft the mighty San Miguel. And with three waterfall hikes within walking distance of downtown, you don’t have far to go to burn calories.

photo by Paige Jones from this Dunton Hot Springs Colorado Mountain Wedding

Big Sur, CA

Simultaneously stunning and serene, this coastal gem lets you get in touch with your spiritual and outdoorsy side. Whether hiking in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park or Andrew Molera State Park, taking one of the many wellness workshops at Esalen Institute, or sleeping amid the towering redwoods, Big Sur offers unplugging at its best.

photo byAutumn Nicole Photography from this Intimate + Laid-Back Cliffside Wedding in Big Sur, California

Santa Fe, NM

A hotbed for healing arts, Santa Fe offers a veritable buffet of body treatments: a desert sage scrub at Inn and Spa at Lorettoa hot stone massage at Sunrise Springs Spa Resort, a purifying body wrap at Ojo Caliente Resort & Spa, a Balinese facial at Absolute Nirvana Spa & Gardens, a mineral bath at Ten Thousand Waves…and the list goes on. Why not spa-hop to them all?

photo from this Travel Diary: Santa Fe, New Mexico

Banff, AB, Canada

Whether you strap on skis, trail runners, hiking shoes, ice skates, or snow shoes, this Canadian Rocky Mountain destination is a paradise for any outdoor adventurer. Canoe Lake Louise, bike Banff National Park, ski Sunshine Village, and soak in the waters of Banff Upper Hot Springs, all while surrounded by pinch-me panoramas.

photo by With Love & Embers  from this Romantic + Intimate Elopement in Banff National Park

Malibu/Topanga, CA

Linked by the Santa Monica Mountains, Malibu’s sun-soaked beaches and Topanga’s hillside hikes make for a dynamic duo. Between the healthy eateries (SunLife Organics and Topanga Living Cafe), and bootcamp-like retreats (notably The Ranch Malibu and The Ashram), you’ll eat, sleep, and breathe wellness.

photo by Sanaz Photography from this “Over The Moon” Inspired Wedding 

Images courtesy of Thomas J. Story of Sunset Magazine, unless otherwise stated. 

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