Forget lazing in the sun and sipping mai tais all day long. According to the latest stats, wellness tourism is on the rise, with more and more Americans seeking fitness-friendly getaways that prioritize their health — both mental and physical. While there are destinations that offer, say, a week of surfing, or resorts touting wellness packages, why limit yourself to only one locale? Road-tripping in an RV lets you pack paddleboarding, hiking and chilling at the hot springs into a single trip. And did we mention the scenery? Read on for five “activacation” routes throughout the United States.
Pacific Northwest: Olympic National Park to Silver Falls State Park
Distance: 394 miles (5 hours, 50 minutes)
For a trip that’s as meditative and tranquil as it is active, journey through the Pacific Northwest, where you’ll discover vibrant, tucked-away coves, dense, old-growth rainforests and more than a few majestic waterfalls.
Kayak here: It’ll be smooth sailing (or kayaking) on the calm waters of Freshwater Bay in Washington’s Strait of Juan de Fuca. Traveling in an RV means you can bring your own gear, but for newbies there are rental shops and tours run out of nearby Port Angeles. Stay close to shore as you paddle west under rock arches and through small coves that are home to starfish and sea anemones. And keep your eyes peeled for seals, sea otters and possibly even a whale, if you’re lucky.
Hike here: Finish up your day and stretch your legs with a short hike (just under a mile) along the Hoh Rainforest’s Hall of Mosses Trail. Located on the west side of Washington’s Olympic National Park, the area sees up to 170 inches of rain a year. The result? Towering, ancient trees with moss-covered branches that will make you feel as if you stepped into a fairy tale.
Sleep here: Situated on the shore of Lake Quinault, Willaby Campground in Olympic National Park can accommodate RVs up to 16 feet in length for sites positioned right at the forested shoreline. There aren’t hookups, but you won’t notice. You’ll be too busy snapping pictures of the surrounding scenery.
Southeast: Through the Blue Ridge Mountains
341 miles (6 hours, 33 minutes)
Check “hiking the Appalachian Trail” (at least a small section of it) off your bucket list with this route, which also includes plenty of opportunities for detours along the epic and winding Blue Ridge Mountain Parkway.
Hike here: Don’t let the seemingly short 4.5-mile trek fool you: The Angel’s Rest section of the Appalachian Trail in Pearisburg, Virginia, is known for its brutal climb of more than 1,600 feet. The view from the top — a northwest-facing scene of the surrounding mountains and valleys — will be worth it, though. And you’ll have conquered a piece of one of the most famous hikes in the world.
Unwind here: After your hike, treat yourself to a soak at Hot Springs Resort and Spa in Hot Springs, North Carolina. The small mountain town (it has only 567 permanent residents) is home to natural mineral springs that bubble to the surface at more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Thought to have healing powers, the carbonated waters will, at the very least, be a welcome treat after the day’s arduous trek.
Paddleboard here: Grab your board from the RV or rent one from a nearby shop at the Morganton Point Recreation Area and head out for some paddleboarding on Lake Blue Ridge in Chattahoochee National Forest, Georgia. Take in the picturesque scene of the Blue Ridge Mountains as you float by. New to standup paddleboarding? Some of the rental shops offer lessons with board rental.