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6 Weekend Road Trips for Finding Healthful Summer Zen

photo: thefreshspot_
Who decided it was mandatory road trip activity to chow down on greasy chips, fast food and every other convenience store guilty pleasure (although, let’s be honest, we still love a good bag of Cool Ranch Doritos)? We’re taking the high road this summer and opting for a slightly cleaner approach to hurtling down the highway with our best buds for a quick weekend getaway—and setting our sights on destinations that will restore our minds, bodies and souls. Wherever you might be located, get inspired by these want-to-be-well mini retreats filled with the outdoors, fresh air and wholesome foods (if you so choose). So get to packing your favorite trail mix, carry-out crudité and kombucha and we’ll see you on the open road this weekend.

Reporter: Julie Pointer Adams
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Go Surfing in Las Gaviotas

Baja Mexico
There’s literally nothing like the feeling of plunging into the ocean waters to clear your mind, refresh your body and get your blood pumping—let alone the incredible surge that comes with actually catching a wave. But even if you’re a newbie to surfing, just the act of paddling and relaxing on the surface of the water can do wonders for your all-around wellness. Located just 45 minutes south of the Mexican border, Las Gaviotas is an ideal spot with its affordable rentals and proximity to all of Southern California for a quick trip away.
Photo: Christina Lau
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Unplug in Hudson Valley

New York
The pace of life in the Hudson Valley is pretty much what we all need these days… spotty wi-fi, unpredictable hours for just about everything and the only “noise pollution” the sound of birdsong and summer cicadas. Take a load off in one of the sleepy towns of Hudson by renting a home or staying at a quaint bed-and-breakfast and give your mind a serious tech break by turning off your phone. Just a 3-hour drive from NYC, it’s the perfect weekend retreat.
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Kayak Through the Outer Banks

North Carolina
Never heard of the Outer Banks? This stunning string of barrier islands along the North Carolina coast is a dreamy, sand-swept stretch of beach offering Southern hospitality and one magical scene after another—including the wild Spanish Colonial Mustangs you might spot cooling themselves off in the ocean. The protected bit of land between the islands and the mainland makes it the perfect place to kayak, stand-up paddle board or canoe.
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Be Healed in the Summer Lake Hot Springs

Oregon
Everyone says that natural hot springs have healing properties from the minerals in the water, and it’s definitely true of the Summer Lake Hot Springs in southern Oregon—even if the healing’s just due to the unparalleled setting. Located in an utterly picturesque old wood and corrugated tin barn in Paisley, Oregon (5 ½ hours from Portland and just 2 ¼ hours from Bend) and surrounded by smaller outdoor pools, this out-there, unspoiled gem will have you relaxed in no time. Camp on the surrounding property or reserve one of the available quaint-as-can-be cabins.
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Get Zen at the Ten Thousand Waves Spa in Santa Fe

New Mexico
Inspired by all the best Japanese mountain hot spring resorts, this serene spa is located just 10 minutes from downtown Santa Fe—making it an ideal day getaway or a weekend indulgence from other nearby cities (the spa has some available lodging). With a variety of hot tubs, massages, spa treatments and more, this traditional Japanese retreat will have your everyday stresses melting off in seconds.
Photo: Emily Purcell
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Camp and Swim at Balmorhea State Park

Texas
Balmorhea State Park might be considered the hidden gem of West Texas. This historic park hosts the world’s largest natural spring-fed swimming pool and is an ideal destination for skipping out of town for a long weekend—it’s about 6 hours west of Austin. Set up camp in one of the park’s 34 campsites for a truly chilled out weekend of feeling like a kid again.

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