Best Places To Relax in the U.S.

by AOL Travel Staff Subscribe to AOL Travel Staff's posts Posted Sep 29th 2009 06:05 PM

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Best Places To Relax in the U.S.

With school and work schedules on overdrive as Summer shifts into Fall, it's easy to forget about the need to take a break. But don't head into winter without an escape plan in place--before you know it the holidays will be here and you'll be feeling the stress in body and mind.

Carve out time between now and February for some healing R&R. After all, research shows that relaxation has some pretty significant health benefits, including improving immune function and lowering blood pressure.

To help you on your journey, we've rounded up some of the best places to unwind in America. Some of these restful oases, like Manoa Falls, HI made our list because of the sheer natural beauty of the destination, others, like Mii Amo Spa, because they have releasing stress down to a science. If you have time, schedule a visit-you'll be glad that you did.

Best Places To Relax in the U.S.

The Southwest has developed a reputation for spiritual healing and while that may be difficult for non-believers to swallow, no one will argue with the soothing power that the desert landscape has on frayed nerves. If you're looking to unwind, a trip out to the small Arizona town of Sedona, known for its red cliff canyons and artsy vibe, is a sure bet, but if you're looking to master the art of relaxation, book a stay at the Mii Amo Spa. The 24,000-square-foot destination spa retreat takes full advantage of its location with Native American rituals and ingredients designed to refresh both mind and body (we recommend a "smudging," an indigenous ritual designed to cleanse the spirit with the smoke of sage grass, followed by their signature facial).

For more information, visit: www.miiamo.com.

Best Places To Relax in the U.S.

If you're looking for a pristine, coastal escape, look no farther than Sanibel Island in Florida. Fifteen miles of unspoiled, white-sand beaches provide the perfect retreat for those seeking to lose themselves to sunbathing and swimming. Wildlife lovers will be in heaven here--the J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Preserve, which occupies over 50 percent of the island, is home to hundreds of creatures, including 230 types of birds, 50 types of fish, alligators, and dolphins. There are also opportunities galore for biking, canoeing and kayaking.

For more information, visit: www.sanibel-captiva.org

Best Places To Relax in the U.S.

Sometimes relieving stress is as simple as letting loose and giving in to a little debauchery, and in that department, Las Vegas rules the roost. Between the casinos, the clubs, and the shows it doesn't take much to find the "sin" in this city. If you're looking for true relaxation, however, schedule a spa treatment at the Wynn Resort for the morning after a night on the town. There's something about being able to escape the neon and noise of the city into the comforting cocoon of the spa, with its warm peach and brown hues and feng shui-friendly design, that puts both mind and body at ease. Unwind with a stone ritual massage or a coconut crème scrub and then cap it all off with dip in the Jacuzzi.

For more information, visit: wynnlasvegas.com

Best Places To Relax in the U.S.

Few places in the U.S. retain the wild feel of the Western Frontier like Montana, with its wide-open prairies, blue-skies, and snow-capped mountain ranges. For outdoor-lovers, it's the perfect place to find a little R&R and Runamuk Guest Ranch caters to just such a clientele. The 18,000-acre dude ranch in Roundup, Montana has been owned and operated by the same family since it first opened in 1886 and has developed a loyal following of visitors from across the country who come to ride horses, move cattle, practice yoga and soak up great scenery, hearty meals, and massage all in one fell swoop. For individuals looking to live out a cowboy fantasy and de-stress at the same time, this is the place.

For more information, visit: www.runamukguestranch.com

Best Places To Relax in the U.S.

Just two hours east of Los Angeles lies the pristine oasis town of Desert Hot Springs, known for its natural hot springs--one of the few geothermal springs in the world that doesn't exude the unpleasant odor of sulfur. Some people claim that soaking in heated mineral water can do everything from increasing blood circulation to stimulating your metabolism to reducing pain, but one thing is for sure--it certainly eases stress, which means relaxed muscles, a calmer mind, and lower blood pressure. Two Bunch Palms resort is one of the best places to soak up these benefits. The starring attraction is, of course, the geothermal mineral pools, but the resort also offers a tantalizing array of spa treatments from Shiatsu massage to waterdance therapy, where therapists gently cradle and stretch your body into yoga-like poses in one of their private, outdoor pools.

For more information, visit: twobunchpalms.com/the_resort

Best Places To Relax in the U.S.

Golf and beach lovers alike find relaxation and fun at the Barefoot Resort in North Myrtle Beach. The resort has made a name for itself among golf enthusiasts thanks to four challenging, championship courses designed by Golf greats like Greg Norman, Pete Dye, Davis Love III, and Tom Fazio. Of course, the white sand beaches of the South Carolina shore also have something to do with the resort's appeal. When visitors aren't out practicing their golf swings, they can be found swimming, sunbathing, sailing or taking advantage of boardwalk extravaganza that is Myrtle Beach. Summer is the most popular time to visit, but the resort attracts visitors year-round.

For more information, visit: www.barefootgolf.com

Best Places To Relax in the U.S.

Just a little over an hour from New York City, the Great Lakes Region of Pennsylvania has long attracted nature-lovers and urbanites seeking respite from the city. Visitors flock to the region for the opportunity to hike through lush forest, sail the sparkling waters of Lake Erie, and go bird-spotting. Nestled in the heart of this outdoor paradise is The Lodge at Woodloch--a winning spa that allows guests to simultaneously commune with nature and pamper both body and mind. In between exploring the surrounding woods and lake, guests can sign up for massages, yoga, meditation, kayaking, and even art lessons. In the evening, there is nothing more relaxing than curling up with a book in one of the rocking chairs on your own private veranda.

For more information, visit: www.thelodgeatwoodloch.com

Best Places To Relax in the U.S.

Napa Valley may have a reputation as the premier wine region in the United States, but you don't have to be a wine connoisseur to find beauty in the scenery here. The crisp, California air and miles of gently rolling hills and vineyards make this area a serene oasis from everyday life. Many visitors choose to enjoy the surroundings and the wine-tastings on their own, but the best way to experience the region is via the Napa Valley Wine Train, which chugs its way through the valley, introducing travelers to the countryside, wineries, and top-notch, seasonal cuisine (prepared and served onboard the train) all at the same time.

For more information, visit: winetrain.com

Best Places To Relax in the U.S.

The sound of running water is so comforting that many spas play recordings of the sound during treatments to help guests relax. Still, nothing beats the real thing. Streams and waterfalls exist throughout the United States, but only a few can rival the beauty of Manoa Falls in Hawaii. The awe-inspiring waterfall plummets down a sheer, 150-foot cliff into a small pool surrounded by a rainbow-streaked mist. The journey to the Manoa is just as inspiring as the vision of the falls themselves--the easy, 1.5-mile hike winds its way through lush, green rainforest and bamboo forest to the base of the Ko'oaus Mountains, where the grand finale--Manoa Falls--makes you forget about the stresses of everyday life.

For more information, visit: www.hawaiiweb.com

Best Places To Relax in the U.S.

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featherweightfool

Have you seen the Cartwright House Bed and Breakfast in Oriental NC? Oriental is the sailing capital of NC.

www.cartwrighthouse.com

August 20 2011 at 8:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
moneywhys

Two Bunch is a great destination. Unfortunately, Desert Hot Springs leaves a lot to be desired. Don't dispare, however, because Desert Hot Springs is in close proximity to Palm Springs, Big Morongo Preserve, White Water Preserve, Joshua Tree National Park, and all that the Sand to Snow proposed National Monument has to offer. So soak it up at Two Bunch Palms, then find the incredible natural beauty that is a drive nearby.

May 07 2011 at 12:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
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April 10 2011 at 8:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Nicole

This is absolutely nowhere near the Great Lakes!

March 17 2011 at 9:35 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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