Wellness and Renewal

Weight-Loss Vacation: Slimming Getaways

Filed Under: United States

Vacations recharge us, but they have a downside, too. That fitness regimen we've been faithful to for months can fall by the wayside while on vacation. The solution? Engage in active travel -- the sort of adventure that burns calories without you noticing the “burn” part. With engaging ways to pass your free time set against a backdrop of jaw-dropping vistas, and a taste of local culture, these getaways will keep you so busy having fun, you will barely realize how hard your body is working.

Hang Ten in Florida
Surf's up at Boca Raton Resort & Club, a 1920s-era classic hotel that lords over Florida's southeastern coast. Best known for tennis and golf, the grande dame hotel has teamed up with Australian surf wear company Billabong to create a surfing school designed specifically to take advantage of Florida's gentle breaks. Surf camps and resort-sponsored competitions bring surfers of all ages to the hotel's private, golden crescent of beach, where mild swells ensure success for beginners after just a few lessons.
Mauna Kea Resort
Acing It in Hawaii
Rally on a cliff above the sea on the Big Island's black, lava-studded Kohala Coast. Fine-tune your tennis game at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel's Seaside Tennis Club, a ball-and-racquet classroom that spans 11 well-maintained tennis courts. Deeply rooted in Hawaiian culture, the famed Mauna Kea resort was founded by Laurance D. Rockefeller, a fitness enthusiast and member of the famous family, in 1965. The tennis facility, overlooking the Pacific, hosts daily tennis clinics for players of every level, private lessons and competitive round robin tournaments. There's only one problem with this tennis academy: The ocean view is so distracting you may forget to keep your eye on the ball.
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Llama Trek in New Mexico

Hoof it with a long-necked llama on the lesser-traveled trails of Carson National Forest near Taos, a lush section of the majestic Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Along ancient paths, framed by meadows of wildflowers, Llama Adventures leads hikers of all abilities on custom day hikes (complete with a gourmet picnic of locally made cheeses, fresh made charcuterie and whole grain bread). The tour also escorts travelers on multi-day camping adventures along mountain trails and into the valleys of Carson National Forest. With either option, sure-footed llamas carry your pack, so you can focus on putting one hiking boot before the other for miles and miles of mountain walking.

WhaSUP? in Austin
Who knew landlocked Austin boasted the moniker of “Stand Up Paddleboarding Capital of the World”? With this core-building, balance-challenging sport, participants row their way upright through Austin's various lakes, known for their serene waters and stunning scenery. Downtown, rent equipment for use on Lake Lady Bird (and get tips from the pros) at SUP ATX. Or check into Lake Austin Spa Resort, a 40-room destination spa on the banks of Lake Austin, renowned for its stand up paddleboarding (and other water activities), as well as slimming spa treatments, such as the coffee scrub and massage, which utilizes caffeine to increase circulation, exfoliate dead skin and reduce the appearance of cellulite. The resort also has a seasonal menu of low-calorie, wholesome cuisine options.
Scramble Up in Arizona
Learn the rock-climbing ropes in the rugged Sonoran Desert. A mecca for the thrilling, bicep-burning sport of recreational rock climbing, the region around Scottsdale, AZ, brims with textured, red chunks of otherworldly rock and mountain. Scale some of these mountains with 360 Adventures, an outfitter specializing in teaching outdoor enthusiasts how to make their way up a mountain's rocky face. Guides lead wannabe climbers, as well as experts, to appropriate climbing hot spots, located throughout the nearby Cholla, McDowell and Granite mountains.
March It in Wyoming
Not much has changed in Yellowstone since it became the world's first national park. Investigate the volcanic fields, lakes, canyons, valleys and geothermal wonders of this storied terrain on foot, just like those first intrepid explorers who recognized the area's plethora of natural wonders. Hook up with VBT, a walking and bicycling outfitter, which offers adventures all over the world. Their walking jaunt through Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks snakes through Jackson Hole Valley for 6 days. Ensconced in spectacular scenery you will walk up to 10 miles a day, stopping for picnic lunches and lodging in historic inns throughout these national parks.
Pedal It in Cape Cod
Historic lighthouses, cranberry bogs, quaint villages, marshlands and evocative sand dunes are just some of the sights you'll take in while joining a group cycling journey to Cape Cod, Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard. Pedal all day on an all-inclusive Duvine Cycling Adventure, which takes you down country roads and bikeways. Offering trips for cyclists of various fitness levels, DuVine’s Cape Cod journey includes stops at local spots like the Whaling Museum, South “Katama” Beach and Aquinnah Cliffs. Easy-to-steer bikes with lightweight frames are provided, but you may want to pack your favorite helmet. Plan to eat whatever you want -- it’s all included and you've earned it!
Colorado Trifecta
Worried about packing on the pounds come winter? Enjoy a slimming winter getaway at The Ritz-Carlton Beaver Creek, a mountain-side resort near Vail, CO. Their 3-part Mountain Spa Morning begins with a grueling hike up Beaver Creek Mountain, making fresh tracks with snowshoes. The endorphin-releasing tromp ends at a rustic mountain hut. There, a yoga teacher takes you through gentle stretches and meditation for an hour's relaxing practice. Afterward, the hut is transformed into a massage studio, where a massage therapist will unravel the kinks, and prepare you for a day on the slopes. Note: Summertime visitors exchange their show shoes for hiking boots and experience the same trio adventure.

About the Author


Austin-based writer Becca Hensley’s most recent travel stories have made the covers of Virtuoso Life,  Mariner and Holland Herald, KLM’s inflight publication. Becca writes regularly for Washington FlyerNational Geographic TravelerToronto Star -- and is travel columnist for Austin Monthly. Also a published poet and fiction writer, she has lived in Spain, Austria and Norway, and knows where to buy the best shoes anywhere in the world.

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