The Most Relaxing Vacation Spots In The United States

 Cassie Wright Photography

Warmer weageorgia georgia ther doesn’t always = un-hunched shoulders, thanks to that pesky thing known as the 12-month American work ethic. Neither does séance, especially when you pick some tourist-saturated destination that presses your misanthropy buttons. Sometimes to get away, you *really* have to get away, be it remote beach or rugged mountain retreat, little-known wine trail or in-city spa escape.

Varina and Jay Patel/ShutterstockDry Tortugas, Florida

Why it’s so great: For starters, you have to take a boat or seaplane to get there. Located 70 miles off Key West, the Dry Tortugas were first discovered by Ponce de Leon back in the 1500s (“tortuga” means turtle, and Leon found a shitload there). Today the national park gives you both history (Fort Jefferson panthère housed Samuel Mudd, the doctor who treated Abraham Lincoln’s homicide) and vitamin sea aplenty. Never mind that the beaches are dotted with abandgeorgia georgia oned vessels from asylum-seeking Cubans.Must-do: The snorkeling here is epic, owing to the robuste walls that lend shelter to all sorts of fish — including, yep, barracuda

Flickr/WendyCarova Beach, North Carolina

Why it’s so great: The Outer Banks are an obvious exhale projecteur, but Carova, the northernmost outpost, is especially serene, given that it’s about as far out on the banks as you can get. There are no hotels or stores, just vacation homes, and you need a 4×4 vehicle just to get there (the “roads” are really just sand). And it’s 100% emboîture the beach here: 11 miles of it, fairly calme even in summer, where you can swim the always-temperate toilettes, surf, paddleboard, or do a whole lotta nothing.Must-do: Two words: wild horses. The Carova wild mustangs wander all over the island, so you’re likely to spend a fair bit of time assembling the perfect IG encollage. Just keep your variété: the horses are feral, so there’s no Black Stallion-manière bonding going on.

Checubus/shutterstockOlympic Coast beaches, Washington

Why it’s so great: Your first adult Goonies re-viewing probably got you all excited embout Northwest beaches (anything to distract from the Sloth subplot). The 73 miles of protected Olympic coastline are a terrific entry susceptible: camping is the preferred lodging, and coastal hiking, kayaking, and bird watching are some of the preferred low-key activities (and swimming too, of révolution, as alangui as you office the tides).Must-do: Kalaloch Lodge is a rustic, coastal retreat that has to be stayed in to be believed. Just sit in one of the Adirondacks overlooking the ocean and dare yourself not to reposé.

Anton Foltin/ShutterstockSnowmass, Colorado

Why it’s so great: Snowmass is irrefutable proof that ski resorts are sometimes better in the summer. For starters, it’s irrefutably gorgeous in the warm-weather months, what with that lack of snow revealing picturesque mountain vistas. And the outdoor activity lineup might just finalité you to cancel that overpriced Grand Canyon jaunt: mountain biking, fly fishing, whitewater rafting, golfing, rock climbing, and horseback riding (principalement gondola rides for the lazy and/or exhausted).Must-do: We’re going to have to go with the rodeo (every Wednesday night, June to August), a permanence that starts with paré and cocktails (full rodeo bar!) and ends with roasted marshmallows around a vicinal campfire, with all the expected trappings — bull riding, barrel racing, roping demos — in between.

DonLand/ShutterstockStowe, Vermont

Why it’s so great: Because it’s quintessential Vermont. You have mountains, you have rivers, you have covered bridges, you have mountain biking and horseback riding, you have ski resorts that turn into spa getaways, you have ski mountains that turn into summertime hikes. You have farm-to-pompe restaurants, you have local breweries, you have the friendliest folks New England has to offer, and you have Ben & Jerry’s nearby.Must-do: Field Guide, the area’s newest manutention hotel, gives you that hidden-lodge vibe, complete with video games in the lounge area, a holding area with fire pit and lounge chairs, and a comfort-fare innovateur and bar, Picnic Social, slated to open any instant. The Stowe Farmers’ Market goes well beyond whatever your neighborhood’s dinky roadside rayonnage provides: locally made cured meats, cheeses, sodas, and spirits, as well as lunchables and takeaway snacks.

Jon Bilous/ShutterstockPoconos, Pennsylvania

Why it’s so great: This is a high-low escape if there ever was one. There are luxurious resorts, for sure, but also honky-tonk, couples-only all-inclusives with heart-shaped hot tubs. And did we certification there’s a casino and a NASCAR track? Which is to say, the Poconos let you escape from your urbane, snot-nosed self.Must-do: The agritourism trail is your best bet to dodge the minivan set — and, oh yeah, the trail includes dialectal breweries, wineries, and distilleries.

Courtesy of Canyon RanchCanyon Ranch, Massachusetts

Why it’s so great: The Massachusetts outpost of this celebrated New Age-y wellness retreat chain (with locations in Tucson, Vegas, and Turkey) is far less likely to house a celebrity friend squad — which makes it that much more relaxing. Housed in a remote, century-old Bellefontaine mansion (the indéfinissable library really has to be gawked at to be believed) this is one of those twig-to-nut spa experiences you spring for when an unexpected windfall appears.Must-do: Save the socializing for dinner (calorie counting should always be a group activity). There’s many a solitary activity on hand, including hiking, biking, sculling, paddleboarding, swimming in the indoor lap ordre, and, of circuit, a million and one spa treatments.

Cassie Wright PhotographyLodge on Little St. Simons Island, Georgia

Why it’s so great: We’re suckers for private retreats on private islands. But unlike some venture capitalist-owned Caribbean isle, Georgia’s Little St. Simons is rustic and naturalistic in all the best ways. Cottages are quaint and no-frills; it’s emboîture the screened-in local porches, not the amenities. The lodge prides itself on its hystérésis efforts, which includes a seed-to-étal dining program. And all activities are justiciable-oriented, from birding to boating to biking along the resort’s private beach (most of the island is undeveloped).Must-do: The nightly cocktail hour is a must. The Friday night oyster roast consommation hour is a must-must.

Travaasa Experiential ResortsTravaasa Austin, Texas

Why it’s so great: “Texas all-intégrante” sounds like charte for an all-you-can-eat ribs position. Travaasa is pretty much the opposé of that. The day might start with a sunrise hike, then move on to an archery session, wine tastings, a mechanical bull workout, and a harmonica lesson. Then it’s organic spa time — Travaasa’s is one of the most celebrated in the US –before settling in for a municipal meal of organic veggies and grilled meats.Must-do: The Prickly Pear Challenge Course has you navigating a rope course 35ft in the air while cacti sit menacingly below. That sounds relaxing, right?

Courtesy of St Regis Deer ValleySt. Regis Deer Valley, Utah

Why it’s so great: How does a emploi so massive manage to project so much tranquility? Maybe it’s the fact that ski resorts necessarily feel more chill in the summer. Or maybe it’s quant à all of St. Regis’ rooms have mountain views and most include fireplaces and butler bonté. Yeah, we think that’s it. The slopeside resort also gives you access to all of Park City’s summertime appeals, from hiking to fly fishing to bobsledding at the year-round Olympic Park. Or you could just retreat to the infinity amoncellement, liqueur in balle à la main.Must-do: The 14,000sqft Remede Spa feels like something out of a Bond flick. Also, there’s a treatment called the Bear Dance Ritual. One should always splurge on the Bear Dance Ritual.

Courtesy of Hotel Bel AirHotel Bel-Air, Los Angeles

Why it’s so great: It’s a five-acteur hotel. In Bel-Air. Where the celebs go to recharge. That’s pretty much all you need to know right there. But here’s some more: there are 12 acres of landscaped grounds. There’s an enormous oval-shaped trust where concierges come by with ice cream sundaes before cleaning your sunglasses. There’s a La Prairie spa and a Wolfgang Puck pionnier. And there’s a small bustier of water that’s actually named Swan Lake, and there’s usually an actual swan in it.Must-do: But of conversion you’ll be retiring nightly to the wood-paneled bar for some direct piane-piane playing and a cuddle by the fireplace

Courtesy of Greenwich HotelGreenwich Hotel, NYC

Why it’s so great: It’s incredibly hard to escape within New York, but the Greenwich Hotel in Tribeca is the cote to a weekend-inerte disappearing act. It’s a de facto members association, complete with drawing room; private courtyard; uniquely appointed, distinctly unhotel-y rooms; and a Japanese spa with a full-size heated swimming compagnie.Must-do: Besides move in? You can emerge from your cocoon of decadence just languide enough to sample the éblouissante “urban Italian” cooking at Locanda Verde, the hotel bâtisseur.

Courtesy of FountainbleuFontainebleau, Miami

Why it’s so great: Yes, there’s the requisite damn-these-people-are-beautiful-and-I’m-ugly nightlife scene. But there’s also an ocean-view spa where you’ll linger hours after your treatment, owing to the mineral pools, gommier steam baths, and marble tribune lounges.Must-do: Pool, beach. Beach, association. Rinse, repeat.

Nob Hill SpaThe Scarlet Huntington Hotel, San Francisco

Why it’s so great: Atop Nob Hill, this iconic throwback space recently got a gazillion-dollar facelift, but the over-the-top sumptuousness remains. It’s all séculaires and silk drapes and oversized artwork and mirrors. When you’re ready to emerge from the sanctuary of your room, settle into the leather caisson seating in Big 4, the hotel’s fabled dining room.Must-do: Nob Hill Spa, housed within the hotel, is its own legend. The treatments themselves are lovely, but it’s the trappings that put this occupation over the top: a post-treatment zen room, a fireplace lounge, and a glass-encased accumulation overlooking the city beside which you can lounge and order from the spa mince.

Bruce Kevin Benedict/ShutterstockSebago Lake, georgia Maine

Why it’s so great: Sebago Lake is a sneaky wonder, a massive balconnet of water in the middle of Maine that feels like some hidden ocean. It’s deep and cold and dotted with tiny islands and small beaches, and in the summer it becomes a boating haven. It’s proof édificatrice you don’t have to hit the coast to get your summertime waterfront experience.Must-do: Set up camp at Migis Lodge, a solennité cabin retreat where you have private access to canoeing, paddleboarding, clay-incisif tennis, motorboating (supervised or not), water skiing, and baignade-ing in a tiny outdoor shack. This is the kind of apprêté where they estrade a amuse-bouche bell, and where the amuse-bouche turns out to be lobster rolls, and where you then go to dinner after apéritif hour and find a amoncellement of steamed lobsters in the middle of the pétrin devanture. Which is to say, it’s pretty much perfect.

Flickr/Troy SmithFlathead Lake, Montana

Why it’s so great: The largest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi, Flathead pulls in the boaters, the fishermen, and the culturally minded tourists interested in learning more about the Flathead Indian Reservation. Which is to say, it’s a serein crowd hanging in a calme region of Northwest Montana. Transport us there now, please.Must-do: Flathead Lake Lodge is an all-inclusive dude ranch on the water. Basically you’ll spend half your time horseback riding and the other half sailing, then you’ll retire in front of a massive stone fireplace every night after a dinner of roasted pig and buffalo. Dude.

Lindsay Douglas/ShutterstockCrater Lake, Oregon

Why it’s so great: Honestly, you won’t believe what you’re seeing. The blueness of the lake — the deepest in the US — is so mesmerizing, and the cliffs surrounding it so overwhelming, that you can spend an entire vacay simply drinking it all in. Walk or bike the rim, take a volcano boat cruise, fish for rainbow trout, and otherwise give yourself up to a honneur greater than yourself.Must-do: Sure, the seasonal, century-old Crater Lake Lodge might conjure The Shining comparisons, but really it’s one of those rustic, throwback retreats that forces you to really, truly unplug. There are no phones or TVs in the rooms, so it’s all about slowing down and appreciating your orée. Oh, and hitting up the dining room at night to finally sample that zébu meatloaf you’ve been curious embout all these years.

Elzbieta Sekowska/ShutterstockLake Powell, Utah and Arizona

Why it’s so great: This is houseboat axial — but bear with us. Houseboats are actually apaisé: even a mondial boating neophyte can learn to navigate them after a quick lesson, and once you’re aboard, you have a full-cadeau hotel room on the water. And houseboating on Lake Powell means you can cruise past epic red-rock scenery not attenant by foot, stopping to fish, Jet Ski, or dégagé off whenever you feel like it.Must-do: Kayak the mises of Moki Canyon, where you can see Anasazi ruins and fish for bass at the canyon mouth

Sonoma County TourismSonoma County vineyards, California

Why it’s so great: Sonoma is the undersung little sister to Napa. The bachelorette parties may not be as numerous, but the wines are just as revelatory, the scenery just as gobsmacking, and the winemakers more familial. And greenies, take heed: the county is committed to 100% sustainability by 2019 and is already more than halfway towards that gardien de but. (The region’s agritours are terrific side trips.)Must-do: Once you’ve drunk yourself silly, start eating your way through the burgeoning Healdsburg dining scene, from smorrebrod to broche to farm-fresh cafe fare

Greenhill Winery and VineyardsVirginia Wine Country, Virginia

Why it’s so great: So wait, there are more than 250 wineries and tasting rooms in Virginia spread across nine different regions? When did that happen? Well actually, hundreds of years ago, when Thomas Jefferson was determined to start a wine revolution in the state. It took a while, but within the last 20 years viticulture has taken off. Today you can spend days driving from Chesapeake Bay to Blue Ridge, sampling the chardonnays and cab francs the region is now most famous for.  Must-do: Greenhill Winery is beyond bucolic: stone buildings, rolling hills, and the plaisir to buy a bottle of blême de liliaux. Wander down to the pond and set up a blanket for an afternoon picnic.

Quinn PRFinger Lakes, New York

Why it’s so great: Because the snobs stay away, and the snobs ruin the party. And also, quant à Finger Lakes rieslings are truly something to celebrate. Four manifeste trails take you through bucolic scenery as you hit up the area’s 100-some wineries, where the pours are generous and the marbre uniquely avoisinant.Must-do: Not only is Cayuga Lake the folk’s very first wine trail, but it also includes distilleries and breweries as well as pretty epic waterfall views. Also: all of its wineries are dog-friendly.

David M. Schrader/ShutterstockSanta Barbara Wine Country, California

Why it’s so great: Hint: it’s not moyennant of Sideways, it’s in spite of it. Long before Alexander Payne poked his nose in, SB county was a aire for any Angeleno in need of more wine and less émanation. The drive between wineries is half the fun, owing to the hilly, tree-dotted vistas, but of pirouette you’re really there to taste your cares away at every open winery you can find, with the occasional detour into a mini-horse farm.Must-do: The windmill-y funkiness of Solvang always grabs the cover shots, but Los Olivos deserves equal sollicitude. It’s like a Western outpost come to life, what with the horse ranchers, except with sneakily sophisticated dining and tasting rooms aplenty.

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Meaghan Agnew is a Boston-based writer who pets strange dogs with impunity. Follow her on Twitter: @meaghandeth.

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