If you’re anything like us, a “fit trip” sounds like an oxymoron. However, they’re becoming more and more popular. And we have to say, we do appreciate a good hike or bike ride during our travels.
The number of people who prefer a yoga retreat over a boozy week by the beach is growing quickly because as more and more people—Americans especially—work their asses off without actually getting off them for hours at a time, more and more people need breaks from the sedentary lifestyles they lead.
If you’re ready to take it up a notch, take one of these active escapes that range from typical to trendy to downright peculiar.
Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.
Who it’s for: Conservative yet curious folks who like group settings and look forward to the “recovery” part of working out (there’s a fancy spa, golf course and water park for celebrating your efforts). Those who want to feel comfortable trying something new (they want the familiar gym equipment but are receptive to an unfamiliar workout).
What it is: Defy the desert and build heat at Arizona Grand Resort and Spa’s Arizona Grand Athletic Club—a 20,000-square-foot facility and home of the Activlab. Founded by body-building guru, David Jack, Activlab is all about team building. The cardio-centric workouts are exhilarating but won’t take up the entire vacation. Activities include glow in the dark Frisbee, an Amazing Race team challenge and scenic nature hikes.
2. Shape, Surf & Stay
Laguna Beach, California, U.S.
Who it’s for: Laidback travelers who want a creative outdoor experience and can swim.
What it is: If you want to go to the beach and actually ride waves while looking and feeling like a Southern Californian, book a two-night Surf and Sculpt package, which include accommodations in a chic beach hotel, a surfboard, and a private lesson.
In partnership with the Laguna Beach House hotel, local surfer/craftsman Donald Brink offers travelers a truly unique opportunity. Get hands on at his surf workshop in nearby Dana Point as he guides you in crafting your very own surfboard. Then you get to ride it! He’ll pick out the best spot for your ability level and then you get a one-on-one lesson with Brink. And when you’re not surfing, the artistic but sophisticated town of Laguna Beach is great for people watching, hiking and healthy eating to fuel your fitness vacation.
3. Do the Dunes
Florence, Oregon, U.S
Who it’s for: Travelers who miss the sandbox days of childhood and still wish they could fly. Those looking for a unique adventure.
What it is: The Oregon coast is often overshadowed by California’s warm beaches to the south and Washington’s wilderness up north. If want an out of the ordinary adventure and a little sand mixed with your sweat, opt for this special destination in the middle. Forty acres of private land is sculpted, groomed and sloped for sandboarding at the Sand Master Park in Florence. You can rent a board, take lessons, and get fit to fly down dunes of sand (who knew there was so much to do in the Pacific Northwest … sandscape?). Other gritty experiences at the park include sledding, biking, and buggy riding. Park your RV or pitch a tent to save money on accommodations.
4. FitLife CrossFit Cruise
Miami and The Bahamas
Who it’s for: Fitness freaks who want fast hard-earned results, focused coaching and a small side of relaxation, if any. Those who want to spend loads of dough on a trendy trip have met their match. Fit people who want to step up their game or learn more about CrossFit in particular would also do well on this trip.
What it is: Norwegian Cruise Lines offers four-day cruises, inviting veterans and beginners alike to take their CrossFit workout afloat. In typical CrossFit fashion, workouts are tailored to individual needs and abilities. Each trip includes on deck and beachfront WODs, seminars, Olympic weightlifting courses and the obligatory buffet, albeit, healthy. The cruise sails from Miami to the Bahamas.
Courtney Capellan has a degree in foreign policy which has taken her around the world and back. She is now based in San Diego, California, as a digital analyst and freelance writer.