In the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, finding moments of tranquility and peace can be a true blessing. Almost everyone is currently yearning for a peaceful getaway. A destination where the tensions of daily life can dissolve, and you can relish spa indulgence amidst stunning landscapes, perhaps with a dash of outdoor excitement. But where can you locate this haven?
Fortunately, the United States offers a diverse range of serene and relaxing destinations that allow you to escape the chaos and embrace the calm. Whether you’re seeking the soothing embrace of nature, the quietude of small towns, or the meditative charm of coastal getaways, the U.S. has it all. Join us on a journey to discover the 12 most relaxing destinations in the US. From the majestic national parks to the charming coastal towns, these places offer respite for weary souls and a chance to rejuvenate in the lap of tranquility.
Best Relaxing Destinations in the USA
Whether you’re traveling alone or with companions, whether you desire a snug mountain retreat or a beachfront haven by the sea, we’ve curated a list of the most serene vacation destinations in the United States. These places are perfect for rejuvenating your mind, body, and spirit.
01. Crater Lake, Oregon
You’ll be utterly astonished by the sights awaiting you at this destination. The breathtakingly vibrant blue of Crater Lake in Oregon, the deepest lake in the United States, is so captivating, and the towering cliffs that encircle it are so awe-inspiring that you could easily spend your entire vacation simply absorbing the beauty. Stroll or cycle along the rim, embark on a volcanic boat cruise, try your hand at trout fishing, and surrender to the awe-inspiring natural surroundings.
While the seasonal Crater Lake Lodge, with its century-old charm, may remind you of scenes from “The Shining,” it’s actually a rustic and nostalgic hideaway that compels you to truly disconnect. There are no phones or televisions in the rooms, encouraging you to slow down and fully savor the environment. And don’t forget to visit the dining room in the evening to savor that bison meatloaf that’s piqued your curiosity since your arrival.
02. Sebago Lake, Maine
Sebago Lake is a well-kept secret, a vast water expanse nestled in the heart of Maine, masquerading as a hidden gem of an ocean. It boasts impressive depth, and refreshing coldness, and is adorned with numerous small islands and cozy beaches. During the summer months, it transforms into a paradise for boating enthusiasts. All of this serves as a testament to the fact that you don’t need to head to the coast to savor a quintessential waterfront experience. Your base here is Migis Lodge, a luxurious cabin retreat offering exclusive access to activities such as canoeing, paddleboarding, clay-court tennis, supervised or unsupervised motor boating, water skiing, and even tranquil sauna sessions in a quaint outdoor cabin.
This is the kind of place where a lunch bell rings, and to your delight, you find lobster rolls on the menu. In the evenings, after the cocktail hour, you discover a mound of steamed lobsters at the center of the buffet table. In other words, it’s a slice of perfection.
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03. Virginia Wine Country
You might be surprised to learn that there are over 250 wineries and tasting rooms in Virginia, spread across nine distinct regions. You might wonder when this transformation occurred. Well, the roots of Virginia’s winemaking date back hundreds of years to when Thomas Jefferson was determined to spark a wine revolution in the state. Although it took some time, in the past two decades, Virginian viticulture has truly blossomed.
Today, you can dedicate your days to a road trip from the Chesapeake Bay to the Blue Ridge, savoring the renowned chardonnays and cabernet francs that this region is now celebrated for. Greenhill Winery stands out for its exquisite setting with charming stone structures, picturesque rolling hills, and the added delight of bottles of Blanc de Blancs. Take a leisurely stroll down to the pond and spread out a blanket for a delightful afternoon picnic.
04. Stowe, Vermont
Stowe epitomizes the essence of Vermont. Here, you’ll find majestic mountains, winding rivers, charming covered bridges, opportunities for mountain biking and horseback riding, and versatile ski resorts that seamlessly transform into serene spa retreats. In the winter, these ski mountains become summertime hiking havens and one of the best
relaxing vacation spots for couples. Stowe offers a delightful array of farm-to-table restaurants, local breweries, and the warmest hospitality that New England has to offer. And, for those with a sweet tooth, you’ll even discover a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream shop nearby.
Field Guide Lodge, the latest addition to the area’s boutique hotels, boasts a wide range of amenities, from video games in the lounge area to a refreshing pool complete with a fire pit and comfortable lounge chairs. Additionally, the Stowe Farmers’ Market exceeds the offerings of your typical roadside stand. Here, you can indulge in locally crafted cured meats, cheeses, artisanal sodas, spirits, and a variety of snacks to fuel your mountain adventures throughout the day.
05. Olympic Coast, Washington
Your first experience re-watching “The Goonies” as an adult might have reignited your fascination with the beaches of the Pacific Northwest, giving you a much-needed distraction from the Sloth subplot. While Oregon’s shores understandably receive a lot of attention for their moody coastal charm in the PNW, the 73 miles of protected coastline in the Olympic Peninsula offer an equally stunning and less crowded gateway to the region.
Camping is the predominant form of accommodation here, and the activities favored by many are relaxed coastal hikes, kayaking, and birdwatching, in addition to the obvious choice of swimming, as long as you’re mindful of the tides. For a comfortable stay, consider Kalaloch Lodge, a rustic coastal retreat featuring cozy cabins and a restaurant that takes sourcing locally to the next level, offering wines exclusively from Washington.
06. Maui, Hawaii
Maui, often referred to as the Valley Isle, offers an unparalleled opportunity for relaxation. With consistently pleasant temperatures, breathtaking sunsets, and a welcoming Aloha culture as warm as the surrounding waters, it’s a haven for unwinding. If you ever grow weary of lounging in a hammock or savoring mai tais at one of Maui’s many vacation rentals, a world of adventure awaits on both land and sea.
Embark on the iconic journey along the Road to Hana, hike to discover hidden waterfalls, choose between riding mild or exhilarating waves while surfing, tee off on some of the world’s most scenic golf courses, or indulge in a rejuvenating escape at a nearby resort spa. In no time, you’ll find yourself refreshed and invigorated on this captivating island.
07. Sonoma Valley, California
Nestled between the Mayacamas and Sonoma Mountains, this paradise for wine enthusiasts exudes a relaxed atmosphere, making the journey through the compact 17-by-7-mile valley a delightful experience for all. Explore this region by hiking, horseback riding, or cycling amidst the 13,000 acres of stunning parkland and one the best relaxing places to visit alone. Alternatively, surrender to the serenity of a grapeseed oil massage at one of Sonoma’s tranquil spas, rendering it one of the most serene getaways in the United States.
Brimming with delectable culinary options and libations, where breweries and distilleries rival renowned wines, this unassuming valley maintains a peaceful rhythm. To fully embrace its charm, opt for one of Sonoma’s vacation rentals and embark on your own journey through the quaint villages, picturesque ranches, and family-owned wineries scattered throughout the valley. And for those moments when you seek a complete change of pace, ignite your enthusiasm at the Sonoma Raceway.
08. Mt. Shasta, California
Nestled in the heart of this small town is its namesake, a majestic dormant volcano soaring above 14,000 feet, adorned with a pristine, snow-covered crown. This iconic natural wonder sets the stage for both thrilling adventures and serene moments in the embrace of nature. Whether you opt for a leisurely scenic drive or prefer to tackle the rugged trails, there’s ample opportunity for hiking, mountain biking, and rock climbing in the expansive Shasta-Trinity National Forest.
As the warmer months roll in, seize the chance to paddle across the glistening waters of Lake Siskiyou. For those seeking a more exhilarating aquatic experience, embark on river adventures by rafting or kayaking down the Klamath, Sacramento, Trinity, and Cal-Salmon Rivers. When winter blankets the landscape with snow, switch gears and set out for a tranquil cross-country skiing escapade, immersing yourself in the serene beauty of the surroundings. It’s a destination that seamlessly blends awe-inspiring nature with opportunities for both heart-pounding activities and moments of tranquil reflection.
09. Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire
Listen for the distinctive call of the loon while you embark on boating and leisurely drifting on New Hampshire’s largest lake, Lake Winnipesaukee. Lake therapy here can take various forms, from wake skiing behind a high-speed motorboat to cruising during the enchanting sunset hours on a tranquil pontoon. You can also rev up your adventures with jet skiing or enjoy the tranquility of self-propelled journeys on a paddleboard, canoe, or kayak. Alternatively, find your perfect relaxation spot at one of the many Lake Winnipesaukee rentals that come with inviting pool amenities. At its heart, this expansive 72-square-mile lake offers a range of experiences, catering to both those seeking tranquility and those yearning for adrenaline-pumping fun.
To savor a peaceful retreat, consider timing your visit for the autumn season, when the landscape is adorned with fiery foliage and the crowds have thinned. If winter holds your interest, this snowy wonderland offers its own unique charm. Along the lake’s shoreline, you’ll discover several charming villages, each offering opportunities for sipping frappes, indulging in upscale dining, and savoring a bowl of classic clam “chow-dah.”
10. Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Experience the perfect blend of cowboy charm and the excitement of a ski enthusiast’s paradise amidst the breathtaking Rocky Mountains, where rejuvenation awaits year-round. During the mild seasons, embark on adventures such as hiking, biking, horseback riding, river rafting, and fishing within the scenic alpine landscapes. When snow blankets the region, relish the thrill of activities like dog sledding, skiing, snowshoeing, tubing, and fat tire biking. Regardless of the season, indulge in the restorative powers of all-natural hot springs.
As you explore this captivating destination, stroll along the 20th-century main street, where you’ll find an array of shops and restaurants to enjoy. Consider staying in one of the Steamboat Springs vacation rentals for a cozy retreat. Or, venture into the untamed wilderness, including the eponymous resort that offers access to some of the most magnificent terrain in the Mount Werner Park Range, which extends into the vast 1.25-million-acre Routt National Forest. It’s a place where adventure and relaxation intertwine, making it an ideal destination for every season.
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11. Cannon Beach, Oregon
Discover a hidden gem on the northern coast of Oregon, the ideal escape from the demands of everyday life. In this charming destination, you can immerse yourself in the town’s art galleries or embark on serene journeys through the breathtaking trails of Ecola State Park. The best way to explore this picturesque place is on foot, ensuring you won’t have to fret about parking or ride-sharing hassles. For a dose of self-care, indulge in oceanside yoga or meditation sessions, all while gazing out at the magnificent Haystack Rock and being serenaded by the soothing sounds of crashing waves.
After a leisurely meal at one of Cannon Beach’s delectable restaurants, wrap up your day by retiring to a cozy seaside inn or cottage, where you can savor the tranquility and the enchanting coastal views. It’s a destination that’s tailor-made for relaxation and rejuvenation, offering a perfect blend of art, nature, and seaside charm.
Nestled on California’s idyllic central coast, Carmel-by-the-Sea is the epitome of a picture-perfect, upscale town that seems plucked from the pages of a storybook. This charming destination is your ticket to a stress-free vacation. Start your day with a leisurely stroll through The Village, an enchanting European-style town center teeming with delightful shops and galleries that beckon you to explore their treasures. However, it is counted as one of the most relaxing towns in America.
Carmel Beach, with its soft white sands and mesmerizing sunsets, is the perfect haven for relaxation. Pack a picnic basket with your favorite snacks and beverages and spend your afternoon lounging on a cozy blanket, basking in the sun’s warmth, and admiring the breathtaking descent of the sun beyond the horizon. The beach is bordered by a scenic pathway, ideal for refreshing morning strolls, while nearby Pebble Beach stands as a bucket-list-worthy destination for avid golfers, offering not only a remarkable golf course but also a luxurious resort. Carmel-by-the-Sea offers the ultimate escape, a seamless blend of cultural charm, natural beauty, and coastal splendor.
These 12 relaxing destinations in the United States beckon you to leave behind the stresses of everyday life and embrace tranquility. Whether it’s the serene lakes of the Pacific Northwest or the peaceful beaches of the Gulf Coast, each place offers a unique escape. So, pack your bags, leave your worries behind, and embark on a journey to find peace in the most serene corners of the U.S. Remember, the path to inner calm maybe just a road trip away.
A relaxing destination typically offers a peaceful atmosphere, natural beauty, and a slower pace of life. It’s a place where you can unwind and de-stress.
Absolutely! Many of these destinations are perfect for solo travelers looking for solitude and self-reflection.
You can enjoy activities like hiking, meditation, spa treatments, or simply basking in the scenic beauty. It depends on your personal preferences.
Planning a trip to a relaxing destination involves researching accommodations, transportation, and the best time to visit. We’ll provide tips in our blog to help you plan your escape.