We all need a spa-cation once in a while. And indulging ourselves in a relaxing visit to a spa is definitely one of Josh’s and my favorite things to do – especially on a vacation. Whether you’ve been working too hard, going through a difficult time or just in need of a little refresher, there’s no shame in enjoying yourself. And, if you do plan to take some time off, why not do it right? (That is, assuming you don’t want to go to the local massage place with questionable online reviews.) Here are the best cities to relax around the USA – as well as some of our favorite spas we’ve visited…or dreaming of visiting in the future!
1. Asheville, North Carolina
If you’re looking to reconnect with nature, Asheville, North Carolina is a great choice for anyone in the central areas of the east coast. Actually, Josh spent a number of years living in Asheville, and he truly loved being nestled in the wilderness and taking a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
When you’re not out hiking the mountainous terrain, you could be enjoying the Grove Park Spa at the Grove Park Inn. One of the top spa destinations in the USA, Josh actually worked there, so it’s got a special place in his heart & he definitely got spoiled!
This spa is partially nestled underground and has a variety of treatments to try–such therapeutic wellness pods and skin care scrubs and masks. The goal is to provide a tranquil experience that lasts all day, and even if you’re not getting a massage, you can still unwind in a magnificent setting and enjoy the mineral pool or sauna.
2. Sedona, Arizona
The unique, restorative energy of Sedona, Arizona is not something you’ll find anywhere else. Many speculate that this might have to do with the city’s red rock scenery, which comes from a rare type of sandstone only found here. Regardless of where it comes from, taking a drive or hike to admire the land formations and contrasting colors alone can be both stimulating and restoring. Add to that all the spa options, and you’ve got a great overall wellness vacation destination that will leave you refreshed.
While there are numerous spas around Sedona, the Mii Amo destination spa has been named the #1 Domestic Destination Spa of 2018. Mii Amo taps into the ancient energy of Sedona, offering several kinds of massage therapies, and providing art classes, yoga and hiking activities. It’s definitely the kind of place you will find us at – especially when we need to recharge our batteries for work and life in general.
3. Kailua Kona, Hawaii
Who doesn’t want a reason to go to Hawaii??? The sandy beaches and crystal waters of Hawaii make it the perfect place to unwind from it all. Located on the Big Island, famous for its active volcano and diverse landscapes, Kailua Kona is on the dry side of the island where rugged lava cliffs meet the sea.
When you’re not catching waves or swimming with the famous Manta Rays, you can always head down to the Four Seasons Kona Spa and recover with a healing massage, acupuncture or sleep treatment. Body scrubs, masks and wraps are all made with local ingredients so that you can truly experience the natural energy native to this region of Hawaii.
If you are looking for a bit more affordable option in a spa in Kona, then definitely check out our experience visiting the Ho’Ola spa at the Sheraton Kona. Josh and I were lucky enough to spend some time there on our last trip to Hawaii, and we absolutely fell in love with this hotel and the spa.
Our favorite part was having a massage outside, just above the lava cliffs. We could listen to the sound of the waves crashing while we were pampered, and afterwards there was a private Jacuzzi outside where we could sit with a beverage and gaze out at the sea.
4. Santa Fe, New Mexico
If Sedona doesn’t fit your tastes, maybe Santa Fe, New Mexico will. The oldest state capital in the country, Santa Fe is rich in history and culture. And for the spicy-food-lovers out there, you’ll have a hard time choosing between the green and red chili options on nearly everything (personally, I’m a fan of the green chili – but they’re both amazing!).
Again, being a popular spa destination there are a number of great spas to check out at varying budgets in Santa Fe. For us, one of the places that has been on our “spa wish list” for the last year is Ten Thousand Waves Spa. What we LOVE about this spa is that it is modeled after Japanese mountain hot spring resorts…and it’s dog-friendly!
The spa treatments here are designed to be individual to someone’s specific needs so that you can find exactly what you’re looking for. There are a variety of soaking pools to choose from, and you can easily combine soaking time with different treatment packages.
The rooms are a mix of Japanese inspiration with a hint of New Mexico charm, and many of them have private courtyards / gardens outside – again, great for the dog! Ten Thousand Waves seems like the perfect place to de-stress, meditate or and relax our tired muscles.
5. Calistoga, California
Nestled in Napa Valley, Calistoga, California embodies a spa-cation. While the Napa Valley area is famous as a wine region, some visitors don’t realize that Calistoga actually sits on top of thermal springs. So a number of hotels and spas in the area offer treatments as well as hot springs and mud baths for soaking.
During our recent visit to Napa Valley, we stayed in Calistoga and visited the Calistoga Hot Springs Resort Spa. Located right in the center of downtown, this central location is all about natural relaxation: along with fitness training, they also have a volcanic ash mud and mineral bath that will melt away stress and pain. If that isn’t your style, you can still try one of the many skin care or massage treatments offered.
What we really enjoyed about this spa was the wonderful variety of thermal and mineral pools outside, and all the relaxation areas. It was a wonderful way to spend a day after having an amazing massage.
6. Granby, Colorado
While most people are familiar with the big-name resort towns in Colorado, such as Aspen or Vail, living in Colorado has given us the chance to find lesser-known and just as awesome (or better) smaller towns for our weekend getaways. Just a couple hours from Denver and at the center for any and all Rocky Mountain activities, Granby, Colorado is also where the Lazy U Ranch is located.
The Lazy U Ranch is a luxurious mountain spa, (think glamping) and they offer six tents (two of which are suspended over the river) of massage treatments. While you wait for your massage, you’re free to relax by the fire or grab a hot cup of tea. Or, if you want, you can always watch the waters below–which are visible through the glass flooring.
While we have been to the Granby area a few times recently for camping and other outdoor activities (it’s quite close to Rocky Mountain National Park too), we just recently found out about the Lazy U Ranch. And after reading all about it and looking at the photos, I guarantee you that Josh and I will be taking a trip up there very soon. Possibly in the winter – because it seems like such a special and unique winter spa experience!
7. Disney World, Florida
Disney world is already a magical place, but not just for kids. We’ve written a lot about how Disney is a great vacation destination for adults due to their extensive offering of top quality resorts, restaurants, entertainment…and yes, spas!
Spending a little time at the Grand Floridian Resort’s Senses Spa will really make you feel enchanted. Much like the Victorian hotel it’s located in, the Senses Spa is decorated with a magnificent mural of old Florida. Unique services such as warm stone massages, sugar exfoliation body treatments and citrus facials only add to the mystical atmosphere. For anybody looking for the royal treatment, there’s even princess pedicures and magical manicures.
There is also a Senses Spa at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort as well, offering many similar treatments but in a different setting. Finally, you will find Senses Spas on the Disney Cruise Line ships as well (which we will be experiencing ourselves in the next couple weeks – so stay tuned!).
8. Austin, Texas
Austin, Texas is a cultural hub of activity. The music scene in Austin is an absolute must for music-lovers, and that BBQ is something special! In addition to all its quirky culture, historic sights, music and food, there are also plenty of relaxing spas to enjoy.
The Lake Austin Spa, in particular, has been voted as one of the Top Resort Spas in the US for ten years. For good reason, it’s quite large and has so many different areas for you to soak-away your cares in their luxurious oasis. With over a hundred different treatments to choose from, an Olympic-size swimming pool in a “Pool Barn” plus an outdoor palm pool. There’s also a private garden suite with a hot top, private showers with state-of-the-art sound systems and a cafe on-sight. The Lake Austin spa truly is a place where you can get away from it all!
9. Telluride, Colorado & Nearby Ouray
Most people associate Telluride, Colorado with its world-class ski resort, but this mountain town has more to offer than just wintry slopes. The Peaks Resort and Spa draws its energy from the surrounding San Juan mountains and strives to create a tranquil experience for everybody that ventures through.
Past guests have raved about the oxygen inhalation lounge, the steam rooms and the variety of soothing massages. If you’re not looking to hike the Rocky’s, Peaks Resort also takes care of your fitness needs with a lap pool, and an indoor-to-outdoor pool.
Another must-mention spa destination is nearby Telluride and often overlooked by many out of state travelers. Ouray, Colorado is a small town located just on the other side of the mountain from Telluride – and is only about a half hour drive.
Famous for its natural thermal hot springs, incredible scenery and great hiking, this small town is referred to as the Switzerland of Colorado. We visited Ouray last year and thoroughly enjoyed soaking in a hot tub around sunset and awaiting all the stars to come out. A truly lovely way to spend an evening in this quiet and scenic town.
10. St. Georgia, Utah
Looking for a little adventure with your spa vacation? St. Georgia, Utah is the place to be. Located near Zion National Park, St. George’s scenery is breathtaking with the contrast of the bright red rocks…and there’s a natural sense of outdoor fun in the local atmosphere.
Near St. George, Red Mountain Resort Spa’s goal is to give guests the ultimate mind, body, and spirit experience: you’ll get relaxing massages to ease your mind, local mineral and mud blends for your body. Plus, there are loads of hiking/biking trails through nearby red rocky cliffs to lift your spirit and other adventurous activities to get your adrenaline pumping.
Red Mountain Resort is the perfect place to combine some adventure and fun with some peace and relaxation. Plus, Red Mountain resort is a pet-friendly and is an affordable option for a destination spa vacation.
11. Catskills, New York
When most people hear ‘New York’, they think of the bustling chaos of NYC. However not too far from the city, Catskills, New York is far from the stress of the city. The local Forest Preserve and abundant wildlife make it the perfect escape to reconnect with nature for people in the Northeast or NYC area.
If you really want to be refreshed, a trip to Copperhood Spa might just do the trick. Alongside massage treatments, Copperhood also offers a variety of indoor and outdoor activities like hiking, yoga, and skiing. There’s also a range of programs oriented towards getting healthy (such as their raw food diets, fitness renewal and detox juice fasting).
This combined approach to tranquility has yielded positive results in the past, and many guests have left feeling refreshed–physically and mentally.
A Spa-Cation May Be Just What You Need
It’s one thing to take a day off and say you’ll chill out (even if you know you really won’t), and it’s another thing to totally commit yourself to relaxation. Spa-cations are meant to be time that’s just for you–time to be pampered, spoiled and de-stressed. Whether you end up in the historic Santa Fe, New Mexico or exotic Kona, Hawaii, one thing is for sure–all of these top spa destinations in the USA will leave you with a renewed mind and body.