The dog days of summer are approaching — so why not hit the road? Read on for five of wOw’s favorite escapes
So: it’s 800 degrees throughout the country (feels like 802!); the national debt is not going away any time soon; the Space Shuttle has stopped going to, well, space; another Congressman has resigned in yet another sex scandal; and to top it all off, Marc Antony and J. Lo. have split up. Talk about a mensis horriblis.
If those aren’t good enough reasons to get out of dodge — or start planning to leave dodge in the (very) near future — we’ve got five more. A few involve major pampering; another is about getting out of your comfort zone; another is about shedding a few pounds. No matter what, we promise you’ll feel a thousand times changed. Even if the world hasn’t.
1. Lake Austin Spa Resort, Austin, TX
Many a northerner overlooks this magnificent haven in Texas. This is a shame, because a) the food is out of this world — not usually the case at a spa and b) the treatments are some of the best in the business. Right now, they’ve got two new all-natural offerings:
Bamboo Bliss Massage: For centuries, bamboo has signified good luck, long life, peace and harmony. At Lake Austin, specially crafted bamboo tools are warmed and infused with lemongrass oil and slide, roll, and knead along your body. Because the tools can cover a large area, they’re great for trouble spots like your neck, shoulder, back or legs. (80 minutes $210)
Serum of Youth Plant Stem Cell Facial: Swiss scientists have discovered that plant stem cells, drawn from the wound tissue of plants, can replace damaged cells in human skin. In this treatment, an herbal enzyme peel is followed with a plant stem cell serum to stimulate new skin growth and slow cellular aging. It’s a natural face-lift treatment, finished with a firming and lifting cream to reduce fine lines. (50 minutes $170)
2. Canyon Ranch, Lenox, MA
If you want to drop a few pounds and actually keep them off once you leave the hallowed spa walls, Canyon Ranch in the Berkshires is the place to go. Unlike other fitness resorts or boot camps, Canyon Ranch is about sustainability. Rather than restricting your diet, the program helps you personalize a weight-loss program to your own lifestyle and teaches you tools for lasting weight loss. Plus, you can arrive on any date, any time of the year.
3. Trump Las Vegas Hotel, Las Vegas, NV
We know, we know. It’s Vegas. It’s cheesy. It’s the antithesis of relaxing. Except that this hotel — which is off the Strip and does not boast a casino—is about as laid back as you can get in Sin City. Not to mention reasonably priced. The spa recently began offering Quick Fixes—a 40-minute facial; 40-minute massage; 40-minute scrub — for $79. Then, they took it a step further and started offering treatments by the pool (which, by the way, has a very mild “scene.”) A few highlights: Ten to 60 minute massages ($20-$125 ); ten-minute scalp massages ($20); ten-minute neck and shoulder massage with chilled stones and cooling gel ($20); 10 min foot massage ($20); hand or foot paraffin (10 minutes for $20).
4. Adventures on the Gorge, Lansing, WV
If you’re the sort of person who really can’t sit still on vacation – the one who only wants to try out the New and the Different — then head to Adventures on the Gorge, an adventure resort located in the mountains of West Virginia. Here, you can whitewater raft on Class V rapids, horseback ride, rock climb, or attack each other with paintballs. But we suggest you check out the program’s world famous zip lines, which vary in length from just over 100 feet to as long as 730 feet, with zip speeds of up to 30 miles an hour. (Yes, you read that right). The mile-long tour zigzags across the ridgeline of a mountain bowl. Lodging options at the resort run the gamut from rustic tents to luxurious cabins; there are also three on-site restaurants. Prices start at $149 per person, per day, which includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, lodging, and a full day of activities (Alcohol, taxes, fees, and gratuity are not included.)
5. The Spa at Mohonk Mountain House, New Paltz, NY
Sure, you can head up to the country and immediately feel the stress ooze out of your pores. But why not get a little help from your friends? The spa at Mohonk’s “Solutions for Healthy Living” program offers new treatments designed specifically to relieve tension and renew your psyche. Our favorites:
Texting Tension Tamer: This “massage for multi-taskers” takes special care of shoulders and neck, addressed by an upper body massage certain to relieve sore muscles. Hands and forearms receive special attention complemented by an organic vanilla crème. (50 minutes, $120)
The High Heeler: Running around town? Chasing after kids? That’s why you need an invigorating foot scrub and peppermint-infused massage to sooth your sole (and soul). Real results are achieved through massage and stretch techniques specific to the calves and feet. (50 minutes, $120)