Check into a retreat to jump-start a wellness program or elevate your fitness level to a new degree on a specialized exercise circuit. After the sweat-induced euphoria, let your body rest with a swoon-worthy spa treatment. When you’ve settled down and unpacked that suitcase full of guilt, treat yourself to one of these rewards. After working and playing hard, you’ll return home feeling better overall, and healthier too.
Grove Park Inn
The spectacular grotto pool at the Grove Park Inn entices you with massaging waterfalls and mineral baths. In the evenings, a drink on the terrace delivers the best sunset view in town. And the biggest bonus of a fall spa trip to Asheville is the view of the mountains’ autumnal coat of golds, oranges and reds. The Inn makes a fine home base to explore this gateway to the Appalachians.
The Circuit: Go for a long mountain run on the property’s hiking trails. If you’ve got game, play some tennis on the indoor or outdoor courts. Or flex your muscles with a session of myofascial release (to ease muscle tightness) and yoga. Schedule whitewater rafting with the Nantahala Outdoor Center, which maintains an outfitter on-site.
The Spa: Detox with a salt-stone massage, then spend an afternoon in one of 20 pools around the Grove Park’s grotto. You can also head into town to Wake Foot Sanctuary, which invites you to an invigorating foot soak and massage, as does Still Point Wellness, which also lets you float in a saltwater sensory-deprivation tank.
The Reward: Asheville Wellness Tours will guide you to a local honey bar and other health-minded shops via foot. At the Asheville Salt Cave, you can sink into a “zero-gravity” chair and rebalance your body’s chemicals. Alchemy is an alternative tearoom that includes acupuncture, massage and Chinese medicine on its menu. Or head to one of the galleries in the River Arts District, the Folk Art Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway or the Blue Spiral 1 gallery and fill your luggage with one-of-a-kind art. >
Hawks Cay Resort
Duck Key, Fla.
This little spit of land…