12 Wellness Destinations That Are Perfect for People With Anxiety
Best trips for anxiety
Traveling can be anxiety-inducing. There's the common fear of flying, the difficulty of dealing with crowds, and the stress that can come from navigating unfamiliar currencies, cultures, and public transportation systems. But when your destination is the pristine beaches of Maui, the awe-inspiring forests of Kyoto, or the rolling hills of New Zealand's North Island (pictured), your trip could actually send you home feeling more centered and at ease.
What's more, an increasing number of resorts are now offering special wellness programs—many of which focus on activities like yoga, meditation workshops, and even forest bathing to quiet your mind and lift your spirits. Here, 12 must-see destinations and wellness programs we're excited about for the year ahead.
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
It's no secret that Cape Cod, with its unspoiled beaches and fresh seafood, is one of the best places on the East Coast to visit once summer hits. But this part of the world is beautiful in the off-season, too—and you can benefit from lower fares, fewer tourists, and no bridge traffic in the late fall, winter, and early spring.
This year, the famed Chatham Bars Inn is offering a holistic Girlfriends Getaway Package from January 11 to 13, which will include 15% off spa treatments, as well as a mix of wellness activities (think meditation, yoga, and nature walks) and cooking classes with the resort's culinary team.
No matter the season, take advantage of Cape Cod's National Seashore during your visit. A quiet walk along the 40-mile stretch of Outer Cape beach, which passes by gorgeous lighthouses and picturesque cranberry bogs, is guaranteed to send you home feeling refreshed.
Book: $510 for two nights double occupancy, chathambarsinn.com
Baja California Peninsula, Mexico
This Northwestern Mexico peninsula has no shortage of beaches where you can relax and rejuvenate—after all, it's right between the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. And the luxurious, secluded One&Only Palmilla, which is located on the Sea of Cortez in Los Cabos, is the perfect Baja California retreat for the wellness-minded.
This year, the resort has teamed up with travel company Wanderwell to curate six wellness-focused journeys throughout the year. Each journey lasts three days and focuses on a different theme: New Year, New You on January 11-13; Vino & Vinyasa on March 8-10, May 10-12, and September 27-29; Mindful Wellness on June 7-9; and Eatwell Discovery on November 1-3. Activities such as spa treatments, yoga sessions, and mindful healing workshops will be offered at the different retreats.
Book now: Starting at $616 per person, oneandonlyresorts.com
Although there's plenty of nightlife and bigger beach resorts in Mallorca (particularly around Palma, the little island's capital), the destination is just as exciting for health-conscious travelers as it is for partiers. Take the Ashram Mallorca, for example, which is located on an olive farm near Porto Sóller. The company will be offering three wellness retreats in April, May, and June this year. The itineraries are heavily focused on outdoor activities that will help you clear your mind: You'll hike 3,000-foot mountains, kayak, practice TRX and Pilates, and finish each day with a relaxing yoga class. We also love that the retreat serves healthy Mallorquín vegetarian food (expect lots of fresh juices and veggies) and is located in a charming house with a saltwater swimming pool and stunning views of olive, lemon, and orange groves. Serenity, found.
Book: $5,800 per person, theashram.com
Between snorkeling with sea turtles, hiking the volcanic craters of Haleakala National Park, and surfing at Ho’okipa Beach, there’s something for every kind of wellness-seeking adventurer in Maui. Treat yourself to a splurge-worthy stay at the Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort where outrigger canoe trips, guided kayak tours, stand-up paddleboard lessons, and beachfront yoga sessions are all included in the price of your stay.
While there, indulge in a soothing treatment from a wide menu of options at the ‘Awili Spa and Salon. Swing for the Apothecary Blending Experience ($55), and you’ll be guided through a hands-on session to mix up your own custom oil blend to be used during your massage or other treatments.
Book: Starting at $469 per night, hotels.com
Queenstown, New Zealand
Few places understand the importance of the mind-body connection better than Aro Hā, located in Queenstown, New Zealand with views of stunning Lake Wakatipu. Mindfulness is incorporated into every aspect of the resort's much-raved-about retreats. (Aro Hā actually translates to "in the presence of divine breath.") Depending on which retreat you sign up for, you'll experience a mix of activities like yoga, functional strength training, massage, cooking classes, and spa therapy. Also good: The meals are vegetarian and focused on optimizing gut health, and the facility was designed with eco-friendly practices in mind.
Book: From $5,750 NZD, aro-ha.com
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Anyone who has visited Santa Fe knows there’s a special magic about the so-called “City Different.” Long loved by artists, Santa Fe is a haven for creative types. Get inspired with a visit to the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, home to more than 3,000 of the artist’s works. Clear your mind hiking any of the 70+ miles of trails at Bandelier National Monument, home to ancient Ancestral Pueblo cave dwellings and ruins. And load up on good-for-you fresh, local produce from more than 150(!) growers at the Santa Fe Farmers Market.
Then, retire to the Sunrise Springs Resort, where the mind-body perks are plentiful. Guests can soak in open-air baths, garden, take cooking classes, practice yoga and meditation, and even play with puppies—yes, puppies—at the resort’s Puppy Studio, where the adorable animals are trained to become future service dogs. (Can’t spring for a trip just yet? Tune into the live puppy cam here!)
Book: Pick from several a la carte or all-inclusive packages started at $215. We’re partial to the Awakening Journey Package, which includes a sweat-lodge visit, unlimited yoga, farm-fresh meals, $150 toward spa services, and more starting at $472, hotels.com
Travel + Leisure named Japan its destination of the year this year, and Kyoto offers a wide range of relaxation experiences if you’re game for a trip to the Land of the Rising Sun. Kyoto is said to be the birthplace of the Japanese wellness ritual known as forest bathing, an immersive sort of meditation in nature, and one of the most photographed sites in the city is also one of the best places to try it: the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove (pictured).
A visit in autumn rewards you with impressive foliage, especially at temples and shrines only open to the public during leaf-peeping season. Book a stay in a ryokan, a Japanese-style inn, many of which include access to hot springs, or onsen, for stress-melting soaks.
Book: Visit Arashiyama Benkai for open-air baths, hot springs, traditional Japanese cuisine, and beautiful views, starting at $556 per night, hotels.com
The small country known for its sparkling lochs has just as impressive mountains, glens, and coastline views to explore, whether on foot or by bike. Soak up the scenery with a relaxing train ride across the Highlands (on the railway featured in Harry Potter, no less!) or tour ancient ruins by car. For a mix of relaxation and adventure, we like REI’s Scotland Adventure, complete with hiking, biking, canoeing, and even reindeer sightings that’s perfect for the whole family.
Book: From $4,800 for 8 days, rei.com
We must avoid Vermont in every season, said no one ever. Refreshing hiking in the summer, breathtaking foliage in the fall, and some of the best skiing on the east coast in the winter makes the Green Mountain State the perfect year-round retreat for wellness junkies. And located on 300 acres in Barnard is Vermont’s only luxury five-star, all-inclusive experience that is totally worth the splurge. Book a stay at Twin Farms and enjoy trails for biking, hiking, and cross country skiing, yoga on the patio (with a view), Copper Pond for stand-up paddle boarding and fly fishing, luxurious Japanese-style baths to soothe muscles, and fresh farm-to-table dining.
Choose from any of the exquisitely decorated, themed rooms in the Main House, or snuggle up with your significant other in one of the farm’s cozy, tucked away cottages. The Aviary Cottage is a dream, boasting floor-to-ceiling windows, a neat woodstove, and mid-century flair. But, we really love it for the bathroom, which has an impressive natural stone hot tub beside a fieldstone fireplace. Can we just extend our stay indefinitely, please?
Book: From $1,600 a night, twinfarms.com
Santa Barbara, California
A stone's throw from one of the most stunning beaches in California, the Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore in Santa Barbara is a treat for the senses, even if just for the weekend. Dotted with private bungalows and romantic terraces with ocean-facing views, the resort sits on 22 acres of green jungle and peaceful gardens.
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel and kick off the morning at the Gaviota Peak trailhead. The 6-mile out and back hike will not only ground you in nature and fresh air, but reward you with epic views when you reach the top. Afterward, to relieve tired, achy muscles, book a session at the Himalayan Salt Cave (the largest salt cave in North America!), where the air is saturated with micro particles of salt that are absorbed through the skin and lungs. Settle into a zero gravity chair for a 45-minute session, while the lights dim and relaxing music lulls you into a meditative state. End the evening with your feet in the sand at the casual, beachfront Shoreline Cafe for the best fish tacos of your life.
The next morning, fuel up with a delicious smoothie bowl from Backyard Bowls, and then find your center with an unique yoga class...with hammocks. You'll flip upside down, swing, and reach new heights (literally) in the Aireal Yoga studio. Afterward, relax on Butterfly Beach and take a cool refreshing dip in the Pacific, or enjoy stand up paddle boarding. We recommend reserving the evening for a relaxing coastal sailboat cruise departing from the Santa Barbara Harbor.
Book: Stays at the Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore start at $600 a night for 2 people, fourseasons.com/santabarbara
If carving down a powdery mountain is your idea of a weekend well spent, Alta’s terrain and snow make it one of the top ski destinations (arguably the best) in the United States. Plus, you’ve got over 2,000 acres to explore!
Don’t have a partner or BFF who can make the trip, but don’t want to ski solo? Don’t sweat it. Twice a year, Alta Lodge teams up with instructors from Alta’s Alf Engen Ski School for popular all-women’s ski camps, featuring on-snow instruction in a fun, supportive environment. Tailored to more intermediate to advanced skiers (you should be able to comfortably ski blues), you'll work on improving speed control, confidence, and efficiency among other like-minded, adventurous women.
The all-inclusive package offers daily morning yoga, three days of skiing, four nights of lodging (in a very cool, Instagrammable 1940s lodge), incredible cuisine, traditional après ski (we know you were wondering) and, of course, badass female camaraderie.
Book: January 24-28, 2019 is $2,870 per person, double occupancy for a standard room and $3,572 single occupancy for a standard room. March 3-7, 2019 is $2,815 per person for double occupancy for a standard room and $3,459 single occupancy for a standard room. Camp package rates include tax and service charge.
Sneak away for a girls weekend or for some one-on-one time with your S.O. to Napa, a stress-free magical land of organic wineries and seriously ah-inducing scenery. Have lunch in the food hall of the Oxbow Public Market and take to the Napa Valley Vine Trail, an in-progress 47-mile walking and biking system connecting the entire Napa valley, from Vallejo to Calistoga. End the day at Cain Vineyard and Winery, sipping on an organic Cabernet blend, taking in the views and serenity of Napa Valley.
If you're like us, with all the wining and dining we do on trips, it can be tough to maintain a workout routine while on vacation. Enter: The Westin Verasa Napa. The fitness studios (and even some guest rooms) boast Peloton bikes and TRX workout equipment, and the hotel even has a gear loaner program if you forgot your activewear and sneakers at home. The Gear Lending program offers New Balance shoes and clothing for you to borrow during your stay for only $5. Seriously. And you get to keep the socks (wink).
Book: Starting at $410 for 2 people, marriott.com