How to Plan Your Healthiest (and Best!) Vacation Ever

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ROAD TRIPS: The Overseas Highway; Florida

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Wear your swimsuit on this 113-mile drive: There are dozens of spots where you can pull over for swimming, paddling, and snorkeling. When your stomach starts to rumble, stop at one of the seafood markets selling freshly-caught fish, such as the popular Islamorada Fish Company. 

Photo: Andy Newman/Florida Keys News Bureau/HO

ROAD TRIPS: The Finger Lakes corridor; New York

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Technically two highways (routes 5 and 20), this 135-mile Finger Lakes “corridor” passes by local farms where you can sample home-grown wines, cheeses, and produce. Burn off the calories on one of the many biking and hiking trails, or in the winter months, snowtubing or skiing hills.

Photo: Liz Weeden

ROAD TRIPS: The Cabot Trail; Nova Scotia

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There’s no shortage of places where you can stop and stretch your legs on this 185-mile route. The northern section passes through Cape Breton Highlands National Park, where you can hike any one of the 25 trails. (Plus, 10 Other Picturesque National Parks Worth Hiking.) Pack your skis in the winter to take advantage of the cross-country and downhill skiing along your drive. 

Photo: Andrea Schaffer/Flickr (cropped from original)

ACTIVITY OUTFITTERS
: Yogascapes; worldwide

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Besides perfecting your crow pose, Yogascapes retreats give you plenty of time for hiking, surfing, swimming, touring local wineries and farms, and enjoying healthy and tasty farm-to-table meals, prepared with the help of a nutritionist. (From $599 for domestic trips; yogascapes.com) (Still a vinyasa newbie? Read up on the 10 Things to Know Before Your First Yoga Class.)

Photo: Yogascapes

ACTIVITY OUTFITTERS: O.A.R.S.; worldwide


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All you have to worry about is staying in the raft when you hit the rapids. O.A.R.S.’s guides transport your gear, set up camp, and do the cooking in some of the most gorgeous locations on earth, including the Grand Canyon, Fiji, and the Galapagos Islands. (From $300 a day per person for domestic trips; oars.com)

Photo: O.A.R.S.

ACTIVITY OUTFITTERS: DuVine Cycling and Adventure Co.; worldwide


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By day, explore destinations like Cape Cod, Zion National Park in Utah, and Normandy, France, while riding a top-of-the-line bike. At 
night, rest your tired muscles at a luxury hotel. (From $2,595 for a four-day trip; duvine.com)

Photo: DuVine Cycling and Adventure Co.

FITNESS PROGRAMMING: Westin Hotels’ RunWestin; nationwide

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Westin gives you everything you need to explore your destination on foot: on-site run concierges, maps of the local three- to five-mile running routes that pass by top local destinations, and gear. For just $5, you can get New Balance shoes and workout clothing delivered right to your room, so you can save space in your case. (Rooms from $189 a night; starwoodhotels.com/westin)

Photo: Westin Hotels

FITNESS PROGRAMMING: Travaasa; Austin, Texas


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This “experiential resort” offers separate menus of fitness and adventure activities you won’t find anywhere else, like a mechanical bull–riding workout class, the Prickly Pear Challenge ropes course, dirt-bike riding, and an outdoor circuit workout. (Rooms from $275 a night; travaasa.com/austin)

Photo: Travaasa

FITNESS PROGRAMMING: Well & Being at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess; Scottsdale, Arizona


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Find out how fit you really are with on-site assessments that measure your body composition, resting metabolic rate, and VO2 max. Get recommendations that will help you take your workouts to the next level, then test your skills in aerial yoga, hooping, Surfset, and TRX classes. Or just squeeze in a few relaxed laps at the Well & Being Spa’s amazing rooftop pool. (Rooms from $199 a night; scottsdaleprincess.com)

Photo: Fairmont Scottsdale Princess

HOTEL RESTAURANTS: Lido Restaurant and Bayside Grill at The Standard Spa Miami Beach

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The menu here is based on the Mediterranean diet and features organic lean meats and vegetables. One of the most popular dishes, Living Lasagna, is totally raw. Savor it with a glass or two of biodynamic wine. (Rooms from $249 a night; standardhotels.com)

Photo: The Standard

HOTEL RESTAURANTS: Capitol Grille at The Hermitage Hotel; Nashville

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Many of the vegetables in the delicious, lightened-up Southern dishes at the Capitol Grille are grown just five miles from the restaurant. As a result, the menu constantly changes, depending on what’s in season. (Rooms from $359 a night; thehermitagehotel.com)

Photo: The Hermitage Hotel

HOTEL RESTAURANTS: The Farm at Belle Mont Farm; Bassetere, Saint Kitts

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You’ll have fun foraging for your dinner ingredients in the restaurant’s private farm. Then, just hand them to the chef, who will create a culinary masterpiece for you. (Rooms from $450 a night; bellemontfarm.com)

Photo: Belle Mont Farm

COMPLIMENTARY BREAKFAST: Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa; Waikiki, Hawaii

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Build your own parfait using fresh island fruit like papaya and pineapple, different types of seeds, and coconut milk quinoa. Top it all with homegrown honey, harvested from the on-site apiary. (Rooms from $179 a night; waikiki.hyatt.com)

Photo: Hyatt Regency

COMPLIMENTARY BREAKFAST: Inn on the Alameda; Santa Fe, New Mexico

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With gluten-free baked goods, dairy-free milk and yogurt, and vegan alternatives to any meat dish, this locally sourced organic breakfast spread truly offers something for everyone. (Rooms from $159 a night; innonthealameda.com)

Photo: Inn on the Alameda

COMPLIMENTARY BREAKFAST: Cedarbrook Lodge; Seattle

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Get a healthy mix of carbs and protein at the seasonal Northwest-inspired buffet at the Cedarbrook Lodge. It features homemade whole-wheat bread, granola parfaits, farm-fresh eggs, and local cured meats. (Rooms from $169 a night; cedarbrooklodge.com)

Photo: Cedarbrook Lodge

HOTEL LAP POOLS: Viceroy Hotel; Miami

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At 300 feet, the Viceroy’s infinity pool scores as the longest in Florida, so there’s no need to fight for a lane. When you need a breather from swimming, check out the two-acre terrace surrounding the pool, which includes an 80-person hot tub and a café featuring locally sourced foods. (Rooms from $259 a night, viceroyhotelsandresorts.com)

Photo: Viceroy Miami

HOTEL LAP POOLS: Cheyenne Mountain Resort; Colorado Springs, Colorado

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This resort boasts five (yes, five) pools. Indoors, there’s a 25-meter pool. Outdoors, there’s a kiddie pool, an adult-only pool with a hot tub, a heated resort pool with a hot tub, and (our fave) an Olympic-size pool, all with stunning mountain views. If you get tired of laps, try this Summer Water Bodyweight Workout instead. Or go natural and take a dip in the private 35-acre lake instead. (Rooms from $109 a night; cheyennemountain.com)

Photo: Cheyenne Mountain Resort

HOTEL LAP POOLS: Mandarin Oriental; New York City

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This 75-foot indoor lap pool is surrounded by floor-to-ceiling windows, so you’ll feel as if you’re swimming along the New York City skyline. (Rooms from $695 a night; mandarinoriental.com/newyork)

Photo: Mandarin Oriental

ALL INCLUSIVES: Blackberry Farm; Walland, Tennessee


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When you’re not horseback riding, trail running, biking, canoeing, or foresting, you can tour the 4,200-acre estate’s working farm. Whatever food that doesn’t come from the farm itself is sourced locally, and the property’s chef, sommelier, cheese maker, baker, gardener, forager, butcher, and chocolatier work together to bring you fresh, healthy meals. Eat in the formal dining room—located inside a barn—or in the main house, where you’ll have spectacular views of the Smokey mountains. If you’ve got kids in tow, they can visit the farm animals, but when it’s time for some R&R, head to the spa and adults-only pool. (From $1,490 for two nights; blackberryfarm.com)

Photo: Blackberry Farm

ALL INCLUSIVES: The BodyHoliday; Castries City, Saint Lucia


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Along with yoga, snorkeling, dance classes, and indoor cycling (in a tree house studio, no less), a daily spa treatment is included in your stay. And to keep every palate happy, restaurants on the property have indulgent gluten-free, nut-free, dairy-free, soy-free, and vegetarian options in addition to their regular menu items. (From $581 a night; thebodyholiday.com)

Photo: The BodyHoliday

ALL INCLUSIVES: Sunrise Springs; Santa Fe, New Mexico


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Work with a licensed counselor at this brand-new retreat to create your perfect daily schedule. Choose from activities like horticulture therapy, playing with puppies, pottery, yoga, swimming, and fitness classes. Your goal? To leave feeling rejuvenated and with a personalized wellness plan that will take the calm vibes home with you. (From $1,350 for two nights; sunrisesprings.com)

Photo: Sunrise Springs

AIRPORTS: San Francisco International Airport; San Francisco

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Besides the organic cafés and free yoga rooms in many terminals, the San Francisco International Airport also recently instituted the Wag Brigade program: The San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals walks therapy dogs through the terminals to play with passengers and comfort nervous fliers. (Not flying anytime soon? Check out these Funny Dog Photos. Bonus: They’ll inspire you to hit the gym.)

Photo: San Francisco International Airport

AIRPORTS: Toronto Pearson International Airport; Mississauga, Ontario

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The in-terminal GoodLife Fitness Club (day pass, $15) offers a 20-Minute Quick Fix circuit, so you can squeeze a whole-body workout into your layover. No need to pack your workout gear: For $10, you can rent Reebok clothes and shoes. Afterward, shower off and check out some of the healthy food offerings, including those from five restaurants that showcase the dishes of local chefs.

Photo: Toronto Pearson International Airport

AIRPORTS: O’Hare International Airport; Chicago

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One of the nation’s busiest airports actually has its own aeroponic garden, which supplies fresh produce to restaurants there. If you’re craving a workout after you eat, find the on-site yoga room or purchase a day pass to the Hilton Chicago O’Hare Airport Hotel’s fitness center (day pass, $22), where you can enjoy the lap pool, spa services, and 8,000 square feet of exercise equipment.

Photo: O’Hare International Airport

BEST SKI LODGE: Hotel Terra; Jackson Hole, Wyoming

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Breathe in the outdoors when you’re indoors at this eco-friendly ski lodge, which circulates fresh mountain air into every guest room. Not a skier? Go in the summer or fall and visit nearby Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. (Rooms from $289 a night; hotelterrajacksonhole.com)

Photo: Hotel Terra

BEST SKI LODGE: Madeline Hotel; Telluride, Colorado

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This newly renovated hotel boasts an altitude-adjustment oxygen bar (to help you cope with the 10,000 foot elevation), a post-ski Pilates class, and even a bath barista to draw you the perfect sore-muscle soak. Worth the extra $15 cost: the Ski Ambassador program, which shows you the locals’ favorite slopes. (Rooms from $229 a night; madelinetelluride.com)

Photo: Madeline Hotel

BEST SKI LODGE: Four Seasons Resort & Residence Whistler; Whistler, BC

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Book a room here and the ski concierge will help fit your gear and plan your days of skiing tailored to your experience and interests. Off the slopes, wine tastings, three outdoor hot tubs, and activities like dogsledding, ice climbing, ice-skating, and snowshoeing will keep you happy. (Rooms from $400 a night; fourseasons.com/whistler)

Photo: Four Seasons Resort & Residence Whistler

HOTEL AMENITIES: Club Med’s Creactive by Cirque du Soleil; Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

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Channel your inner acrobat as you tiptoe across a tight rope, bungee jump, and practice flips on the trampoline at this Cirque-themed playscape. (Rooms from $989 a week; clubmed.us/puntacana)

Photo: Club Med

HOTEL AMENITIES: Fresh Fridge at the Epiphany Hotel; Palo Alto, California

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Forget about the usual minibar junk food. If you order in advance, the refrigerator in your room at the Epiphany is stocked with three to four days’ worth of house-made granola bars plus yogurt parfaits, flatbreads, and locally sourced cold-pressed juices and nut milks. (Rooms from $269 a night, $95 for the Fresh Fridge; jdvhotels.com)

Photo: The Epiphany Hotel

HOTEL AMENITIES: The Post Ranch Inn; Big Sur, California

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On clear nights, an in-house astronomer will spend an hour showing you constellations and planets using this cliff-top resort’s powerful telescope. Not your speed? Stargaze solo (or with your man) at the spa’s infinity pool. (Rooms from $825 a night; postranchinn.com) 

Photo: Post Ranch Inn

HOTEL GYMS: Alexis Hotel; Seattle

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Rock-climbing wall, gymnastic rings, even monkey bars—those are a few of the playthings you’ll find at the brand-new fitness center in this Kimpton hotel. Touch-screen video monitors play exercise demos to get you started. (Rooms from $229 a night; alexishotel.com)

Photo: Alexis Hotel

HOTEL GYMS: Epic Hotel; Miami


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The fitness studio in the Zen-like Exhale spa on-site offers five versions of the brand’s signature Core Fusion workout, including traditional barre, boot camp, and barre plus cardio. After class, get a blowout in the locker room at the Glam&Go express styling bar. (Rooms from $207 a night; epichotel.com)

Photo: Epic Hotel

HOTEL GYMS: The Verandah Club at the Hilton Anatole; Dallas

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Picture 80,000 square feet of exercise space. It’s more than enough to fit a boxing gym; a Kinesis room; tennis, racquetball, squash, and basketball courts; group class studios; and a quarter-mile cushioned outdoor running track. Honestly, it’s hard to find a reason to leave! (Rooms from $169 a night; hiltonanatolehotel.com)

Photo: Hilton Anatole

HOTEL SPAS: Grand Velas Riviera Maya; Playa del Carmen, Mexico

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Each treatment of 50 minutes or longer at this more than 90,000-square-foot spa features an hour long Hydrothermal Journey—a tour through seven water “experiences,” including a sauna, a color-therapy steam room, and “sensation showers,” designed to detoxify and reinvigorate your body. Afterward, you’ll feel no guilt at all about indulging in the delicious gourmet spa cuisine. (Hydrothermal Journey, $80; grandvelas.com)

Photo: Grand Velas Riviera Maya

HOTEL SPAS: Marij Hammam Spa by Caudalie at the Shangri La Hotel; Toronto

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This spa’s standout feature is the Hammam (shown here), a high-intensity steam chamber infused with eucalyptus, a plant that, according to studies, has potent energizing and infection-fighting properties. (Hammam, $25 for 15 minutes; mirajcaudaliespa.com)

Photo: Marij Hammam Spa by Caudalie

HOTEL SPAS: JW Marriott Chicago

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The full-length treatments, many of which incorporate seasonal organic ingredients, are amazing. But what really makes this place special are the express massages, facials, and manicures. At just 25 minutes each, you can sneak in a relaxation break between sightseeing trips. (Massages from $75; marriott.com)

Photo: JW Marriott Chicago

FAMILY GETAWAYS: The Lodge & Spa at Brush Creek Ranch; Saratoga, Wyoming

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Thirty thousand acres of wide-open Rocky Mountain spaces are home to fly-fishing, yoga, a high-ropes course, and cattle drives. Through the Lil’ Wranglers program, kids can learn about horsemanship, wildlife, and pioneer times. (From $750 a night, with a three-night minimum; brushcreekranch.com)

Photo: Brush Creek Ranch

FAMILY GETAWAYS: Woodloch Resort; Hawley, Pennsylvania

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Consult the daily menu of activities to determine how you’ll spend your day in the Poconos—kayaking, paddleboarding, and trips down the waterslide are all in play. Hire a babysitter to handle the kiddie Olympics while you take a spa day at the Lodge at Woodloch, just down the road. There, you can enjoy an adults-only retreat filled with spa treatments, fitness classes, and relaxing trips out on the scenic lake. (From $119 a night; woodloch.com)

Photo: Woodloch Resort

FAMILY GETAWAYS: Barnsley Resort; Adairsville, Georgia

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Devote your afternoon to horseback riding, playing tennis, or swimming at this storybook Southern manor turned vacation getaway. Or lose yourself sitting alongside the private lake as you gaze into the Smokey Mountains. Then take a kid-friendly tour of the historic gardens. You may even see some of the produce on your plate later that evening. Kids have the run of the farm during the summer, thanks to the Explorers Club. At night, they’ll set you and your family up with a private campfire to roast s’mores, all fixin’s included. (Rooms from $299 a night; barnsleyresort.com)

Photo: Barnsley Resort

RENTAL CARS: 2016 Range Rover Land Rover Sport

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The Range Rover Sport’s all-weather handling will help you reach your destination safely, and its wide body easily holds whatever skis, bikes, or kayaks your adventure requires. Up front on some models, there’s an optional cooler box, where you can stash healthy snacks for your drive. 

Photo: Land Rover USA

RENTAL CARS: 2016 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro

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The 4Runner’s off-road capabilities will take you to remote locations with barely a bump and has storage space galore. While the SUV seats up to seven passengers, the second and third rows fold flat to give you up to 88 cubic feet of cargo space—plenty of room for your surfboard. 

Photo: Toyota Motor Corporation

RENTAL CARS: 2016 Lexus CT 200h

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This hybrid will help you leave a minimal footprint on your road trip. It gets 42 miles per gallon (combined city-highway driving), and the interior is made with plant-based sustainable materials, including bamboo. You’ll ride in comfort, too: The front seats are designed with a low center of gravity to keep your lower back from aching while you drive.

Photo: Toyota Motor Corporation

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