The 17 Most Amazing Fitness Vacations of 2014

Wanna get away? We've rounded up 17 incredible options—from hiking boot camps to surf and yoga retreats—that will help you get or stay in shape while also de-stressing and having tons of fun (oh, and did we mention the crazy delicious food options?)
Most Amazing Fitness Vacations

Lounging around under the sun’s tropical rays with a sugary cocktail in one hand and a gossip mag in the other isn’t everyone’s idea of an amazing vacation. Don’t get us wrong; we all need rest and relaxation, but sometimes, there’s no better way to recharge than getting a move on—especially when we spend most of our days feeling chained to a desk chair. 

Sometimes, there’s no better way to recharge than getting a move on. 

Whether you’re looking for a weekend getaway, an all-inclusive retreat, or a fit family vacation spot, and regardless of whether you’re an outdoor adventurer, a gym rat, or someone seeking the mind-body connection, we’ve got a trip for you. Even if you can’t afford to go just yet (We know; some of these boast a hefty price tag), you can still draw inspiration from (and drool over) these whole-body vacays—and maybe open up a dedicated savings account so you can go in person in the future.

The Most Amazing Active Vacations 

To select these 17 stand-out vacation spots, we considered several factors:

  • Availability and diversity of fitness programming
  • Availability of individual fitness classes and active excursions
  • Accessibility for a range of activity levels, from leisurely to intense
  • Availability of healthy, customizable meals meeting various dietary restrictions
  • Availability of relaxation services such as spa treatments and massages
  • Diversity of locations
  • Availability of specialized staff trained in featured fitness activities
  • Stellar fitness and overall reviews on Trip Advisor 

Did we miss any good ones? Let us know in the comment section below! 

FOR THE OUTDOOR ADVENTURER

Most Amazing Fitness Vacations

1. Big Sky Montana Resort
Ski and Snowboard

Location: Big Sky, MT
Big Sky Resort offers up to 5,750 skiable acres with 4,350 feet of vertical drop (the largest in the U.S.!)—you just have to choose how you’re going to tear through it. The number of choices offered at Big Sky Resort is what makes it the ultimate winter vacation destination. From lodging to dining and mountain sport activities, guests can customize every aspect of their stay. Start your day with a six-mile run, an ice climbing session, a few runs down the slopes, or a meal at Rainbow Ranch (they’ve got a serious Bison Hanger Steak, if you’re into that)—then wrap it all up with a massage or unwind in a steam room. Family friendly.

Activity level: Leisurely to Intense, depending on the activities you choose.

Eats: More than 40 restaurants and cafes. Fuel up first thing in the morning with a Mediterranean Omelet at Lone Peak Brewery and replenish yourself at night with gourmet game and seafood dishes from Olive B’s Bistro. 

Accommodations: 23 properties, including hotels, condos, cabins, and luxury rentals. 

Relaxation: Lodging options offer an array of services.

Rates: Rates vary depending on accommodations. 

Most Amazing Fitness Vacations

2. Jungle Bay Resort and Spa
Jungle Exploration and Relaxation 

Location: Point Mulatre, Dominica
We hope you know where you’ve stashed your explorer hat, because you’re going to need it for this adventure. The Jungle Spa Adventure will have you canvassing the wilds of Dominica on daily scheduled hikes and cultural activities. Moderate to difficult treks, such as the Victoria Falls Hike, lead you along the White River, over boulders, and beneath thunderous waterfalls; the more extreme Boiling Lake Hike and Valley of Desolation excursion (yes, Valley of Desolation) has guests on their feet for six hours of hiking that explores the mind-blowing boiling lake and dips into the famous Titou Gorge. Additional tours explore a primitive bay oil distillery—a key economic resource for Dominica—as well as arrowroot and cassava harvesting and production sites. Dominican drumming classes, ocean kayaking, and snorkeling are also scheduled into the adventure. As for the relaxation, if the sound of the ocean outside your private cottage isn’t enough to soothe you, the onsite upscale spa offers a variety of massages and treatments.

Activity level: Leisurely to intense, depending on the activities you choose. 

Eats: Organic meals and endless fresh tropical juices.

Accommodations: Private, upscale-yet-simple jungle cottages.

Relaxation: Half-hour daily spa treatments, including the spa’s signature Jungle Bay Massage (recommended for coconut lovers).

Rates: All-inclusive stay starting at $240/night, airfare not included. 

Most Amazing Fitness Vacations

3. Lucero Surf
Costa Rican Learn-and-Surf

Location: Santa Teresa, Costa Rica
Sun, sand, and four hours of private surf lessons a day—yes, this very well could be paradise. Lucero Surf’s six-night Costa Rican surf package will have you hitting the hottest surf beaches (including nearby Hermosa), day-tripping to Montezuma Waterfall, and zip-lining through Costa Rican brush—that is, when you’re not out on the board with your instructor for multiple one-on-one lessons throughout the day. And don’t worry about having to drag along your own board; use of all gear is included, even the rash guards. If the waves haven’t wiped you out, evenings are yours for relaxation or jumping into the Costa Rican nightlife. Family friendly, with additional family packages available.

Activity level: Moderate.

Eats: A light, nutritious breakfast and lunch is included in the surf package, while dinners at local Costa Rican hotspots are on you.

Accommodations: Two hotels to choose from, both inspired by a blend of Asian and Caribbean locales, just steps from the beach and surrounded by lush gardens.

Relaxation: Yoga on the beach and a massage at the end of the week (included in package).

Rates: All-inclusive six-night stay starting at $1,425, airfare not included. 

Most Amazing Fitness Vacations

4. MountainTrek Alpine Lodge
Hike and Soak in Hot Springs

Location: Ainsworth Hot Springs, British Columbia
Did somebody say hot springs? Mount Trek Alpine Lodge offers two fitness retreats and an Adventure Trek Hiking Vacation, which features pit stops at British Columbia’s hottest hot springs (hottest as in awesome, as in, why aren’t we floating in their medicinal warmth right now?). While the Adventure Trek Hiking Vacation is geared toward advanced hikers looking to log some serious elevation and miles, it also follows a daily schedule packed with fitness activities to get your heart pumping and strengthen pretty much every muscle in the body. Which is why a daily soak in a hot spring—swirling with minerals such as magnesium, potassium, sodium, and sulfur—is exactly what you’ll need.

Activity level: Fitness retreats are intense, while the Hiking Vacation is great for intermediate to advanced hikers.

Eats: Clean gourmet selections (sans simple carbs and sugar) can be tailored to guests’ desired caloric intake. No caffeine or alcohol available.

Accommodations: A mountain lodge with upscale amenities.

Relaxation: We did mention the hot springs, right? Oh, and there are also on-site spa services.

Rates: All-inclusive stay starting at $4,450, airfare not included.

Most Amazing Fitness Vacations

5. New Life Hiking Spa
Hike and Play

Location: Killington, VT
Feeling ambitious? As in, "Heck yeah, let’s hike a mountain to elevations over 4,000 feet and follow it up with some dance kinetics, water aerobics, and core conditioning" ambitious? Then grab those hiking boots and a bathing suit, because New Life Hiking Spa, located in the Green Mountains of Vermont, is your next vacay destination. Trust us: It’ll be a blood pumping blast in the lap of tranquility. Guests are encouraged to devise daily activity plans based on their fitness levels and interests. New Life Hiking Spa also offers a weight-loss retreat that progressively challenges guests with more advanced trails and fitness classes.

Activity level: Days can be intense and invigorating or laid back and relaxing, depending on the schedule you choose. 

Eats: Guests can choose from a selection of gourmet meals and healthy snacks with a nutritional balance of complex carbohydrates, protein, and fat.

Accommodations: The charm and character of a New England country inn.

Relaxation: A massage, facial, or reflexology session is included with each three-night stay.

Rates: All-inclusive rates from $219/night. 

Most Amazing Fitness Vacations

6. Red Cliffs Lodge
White Water Rafting and Mountain Biking

Location: Moab, UT
Choose the family-friendly white water rapids of the Colorado River (but don’t be fooled—they’re still Class II and III), or amp up the adventure by plunging into Westwater Canyon’s narrow Black Granite Gorge. Whichever you choose, your breath will be taken away—not just because you’ll be maneuvering your way through series of fast and furious rapids, but because the red rock canyons surrounding the River and Gorge are mind-blowingly beautiful. When you’re done rafting, it’s time to ride rugged terrain—half-day and full-day mountain bike tours lead you along leisurely trails through sweeping landscapes, or choose a more challenging 15-mile trail that runs past dinosaur remains and into rocky territory. Family friendly. 

Activity level: Leisurely to Intense, depending on the activities you choose.

Eats: Dine like a cowboy (or cowgirl) on hearty Western favorites like Ranch Fried Steak, Barbecued Pork Ribs, and Wild Alaskan Keta Salmon while sipping on reds and whites from the lodge’s onsite Castle Creek Winery.

Accommodations: Suites and cabins boasting the hardy frontier spirit of the West—we’re talkin’ solid log furniture, knotty pine accents, and muted stucco palates.

Relaxation: Ever lounged in a pool surrounded by panoramic views of red cliffs?

Rates: Suites from $149/night and cabins from $249/night. 

Most Amazing Fitness Vacations

7. The Ashram
Hike and Connect 

Location: Calabasas, CA
You know the saying: “Early to rise, early to hike.” OK, maybe that’s not a real saying, but after your hiking and health retreat at The Ashram, tucked into the secluded foothills of Santa Monica, it very well could be one you’ll wind up regularly using. A typical day starts at 5:30a.m. and is packed with a four-hour hike, yoga, and numerous fitness classes before coming to an end at 9:30 p.m.. According to The Ashram’s math, you’ll be logging 70 hiking miles in just seven days. Sure, on paper this program may appear rather intense, but fellow retreaters will support each other through each and every fitness challenge faced during the week. This is important since guests won’t be able to text or email home for motivation; The Ashram requests that guests leave laptops, tablets, and cell phones at home (or at least logged off).

Activity level: Intense.

Eats: Break bread with guests during family-style vegetarian meals made with fruits, veggies, and herbs grown in The Ashram’s on-site organic garden.

Accommodations: Communal coziness in a zen-filled two-level house.

Relaxation: A variety of massages are offered in private cottages throughout the grounds.

Rates: An all-inclusive seven-day stay starts at $5,000, airfare not included.

FOR THE ALL-AROUND ATHLETE 

Most Amazing Fitness Vacations

8. Canyon Ranch
Triathlon Training 

Location: Tucson, AZ
If anyone has told you triathlon training was a breeze, they’re likely playing a cruel, cruel joke on you—unless they kicked off their training at Canyon Ranch. Located on more than 150 acres in the iconic Sonoran Desert, Canyon Ranch features beautiful running trails, boasts four pools, and is equipped with a variety of road bikes. They also offer (for an additional cost) 50-minute sessions with exercise physiologists, in which you can fine-tune your training program. When not going full speed, you’ll want to check out the ranch’s aquatic classes to improve cardiovascular conditioning, muscular strength, and power and endurance. Family friendly; includes a teen fitness retreat. 

Activity level: For those in training: intense.

Eats: Three nutritious meals a day with as many courses and helpings as you’d like, and attention to restricted diets such as gluten-free and vegan. Nutritional information stands in place of prices on all menus. 

Accommodations: Southwestern flair and comfort enhanced with stunning views of the mountains and desert birds.

Relaxation: On-site spa featuring the signature Canyon Stone Massage, as well as Ayurvedic body treatments and soothing, hydrating body scrubs and wraps.

Rates: All-inclusive rates starting at $3,990. Additional classes average $125 per session.

Most Amazing Fitness Vacations

9. Lake Austin Spa
Everything Fitness at Your Fingertips 

Location: Austin, TX
If you’re one of those people who finds yourself saying “I could totally live at the gym!,” then you may want to consider Lake Austin Spa for your next vacation—especially their Power of 7 program. It’s a personalized, week-long program of spa treatments, unlimited fitness classes, discovery sessions (learn how to revamp your diet, stress less, and embrace the tarot’s plans for you), and special activities customized to meet your specific goals. When we say unlimited fitness classes, we’re referring to the 27 cardio and dance, 16 strength, 11 aquatic, and 30 meditation and yoga classes offered—if your jaw hasn’t hit the ground yet, get this: The Power of 7 includes a $500 allowance for personal instruction and a $1,000 allowance for LakeHouse Spa treatments. Speaking of spa treatments: There are more than 100 to choose from. And now you find yourself saying, “Oh, sure, I could totally live at Lake Austin Spa!”

Activity level: Moderate to intense.

Eats: Power of 7 includes three healthy gourmet meals each day (calorie counts included), plus nutritious snacks and a non-alcoholic beverage bar featuring coffee, lemonade, and herbal teas.

Accommodations: Quaint Cottages, cabins, and a full-service hotel are situated along the lakefront, with each room featuring fresh-cut flowers from the spa’s gardens.

Relaxation: Everything you could imagine, from simple massages to East Asian therapies.

Rates: Power of 7 Program all-inclusive costs $5,460, airfare not included. Other packages available.

Most Amazing Fitness Vacations

10. Living La Vida La Jolla
Marine Life and Water Activity Adventure

Location: La Jolla, CA
Truth be told, you haven’t seen La Jolla until you’ve caught a glimpse of the ocean life. We’re not talking about the epic surfers (although yeah, they are pretty epic); we’re talking migrating whales, leopard sharks, and sea lions. Hotel La Jolla’s Living La Vida La Jolla package gives you more than a glimpse of the local marine life. It actually gets you out there on the water with a two-hour paddleboarding or kayaking session for two. When you’re not breaking a sweat on the water during this weekend getaway, you’re more than welcome to hit up the hotel’s 24-hour fitness center or grab a bike and peddle down to the beach.

Activity level: Moderate. 

Eats: A Fresh Mediterranean-style picnic is included with the package.

Accommodations: Crisp, cool California charm with views of the crashing Pacific Ocean. 

Relaxation: Hotel La Jolla brings the "ahhh" to you with in-room spa services for an additional cost.

Rates: Package starts at $324 per night, two-night minimum. 

Most Amazing Fitness Vacations

11. Norwegian Cruise Line 
Athletics on the High Seas

Location: Norwegian Epic, Caribbean, and European cruises 
All aboard, fitness fanatics! No matter your sport of choice, Norwegian Cruise Line has you covered. Into running? Check out their running track 10 stories above the ocean. Basketball more your thing? They’ve got a full-sized court in their Sports Complex, along with a soccer field, batting cage, and the first-ever rappelling wall at sea, as well as a 24-foot enclosed climbing cage. But the sweat doesn’t stop there. Head over to the fitness center (which is equipped with various cardio machines and free weights) or drop into as many classes—including spinning, yoga, and Pilates—as you’d like. Family friendly.
 
Activity level: Leisurely to moderate.

Eats: All tastes are met, from quick snacks to gourmet meals. 

Accommodations: Simple, elegant elements are found throughout studio, balcony, and spa rooms.

Relaxation: When not sunbathing poolside, check out the onboard spa.

Rates: All-inclusive package starting at $339 per person, airfare not included. Additional add-ons and upgrades available. 

Most Amazing Fitness Vacations

12. Saddlebrooke Resort
Serious Tennis and Golf 

Location: Tampa, FL
Sometimes you just need a nice, quiet getaway to help you get your head back in the game. At Saddlebrooke in sunny Tampa, you’ll be able to do just that with one of their tennis or golf packages. When we say “tennis,” we’re talking tennis all the time: Packages include daily clinics featuring skill drills with players matched to your ability at a max student/instructor ratio of 4:1, daily court time with a ball machine, and access to fitness classes and activities. Oh, and did we mention the possibility for sightings of celebrity players like John Isner, James Blake, and Mardy Fish training on one of the resort's 45 tennis courts—yes, 45 courts—in pretty much every surface imaginable? The resort’s walking village layout allows guests to stroll from their rooms to the courts with ease. And there's no better way to clear your mind and unwind after a day on the courts than with a European spa treatment or lounging poolside with a fresh juice in hand.

Activity level: Leisurely to moderate.

Eats: Upscale steakhouse to poolside smoothies and salads. Packages include a hearty breakfast or delicious lunch (per paid night). There’s also a Wine and Cheese Reception.

Accommodations: All of the resort’s rooms and suites are clustered around courtyards with park-like settings, complete with gardens, stone benches, and lush Florida landscaping.

Relaxation: Spa specialty services featuring body wraps, scented scrubs, recovery treatments, aromatherapies, and hydrotherapies.

Rates: Starting at $98 per night. Additional add-ons and upgrades available. 

Most Amazing Fitness Vacations

13. South of the Border (SOB) Volleyball Vacations
Beach Volleyball and Playtime

Location: Ixtapa, Cabo San Lucas, and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico 
You can play hard, but can you party hard? After an intense day under the sun tearing through v-ball tournaments, things get even hotter as you and 200 of your new best friends hit up the Mexican nightlife. But back to the beach: When it comes to beach volleyball, they’re not all created equal—which is why the guys at South of the Border (SOB) Volleyball Vacations pinned down three insane locations in Mexico to set up their nets. Wide and flat, temps of 88 in January, no rain, and no wind… game on! This all-inclusive trip includes three tournaments (4's, 2's, coed) on more than 25 nets, daily clinics with up to six pros (we’re talking Olympians, All Americans, and AVP Pros), and tons of pick-up play. Clinics are scheduled during breaks in the tournament action. As for the partying, it’s up to you to find out more about the dance floor at the Treehouse Bar.

Activity level: Moderate to intense depending on how hard you play… and party.

Eats: Vacationers opting for Puerto Vallarta are often put up at Hard Rock Hotel Vallarta—home to Zen (upscale fresh Asian cuisine) and Frida (gourmet Mexican) where all meals are included.

Accommodations: Five-star hotels just steps from the beach. 

Relaxation: Chill out on the beach or inquire with your hotel about their spa treatments.

Rates: All-inclusive packages start at $1,075. 

Most Amazing Fitness Vacations

14. Tiger Muay Thai
Muay Thai Training

Location: Phuket, Thailand
“Yeah, I went to Thailand and studied The Art of Eight Limbs—you know, Muay Thai—under a traditional master. No big deal.” Seriously, could anything cooler ever come out of your mouth? Well, maybe if you mentioned that you did it on a budget, which is exactly what Tiger Muay Thai offers. Beginner, intermediate, and advanced seven-day deluxe packages land you on the lush and tropical island of Phuket. They also have you powering through two two-and-a-half hour classes a day, honing in on 
stance, footwork, basic punches, kicks, knees, and elbows, along with the defenses to these techniques. If the sessions packed with 100 alternating front kicks, 200 jump knees, 100 alternating elbows on the heavy bags, 300 sit-ups, and 100 push-ups don’t have you wiped out, the deluxe package also gives you access to Western Boxing, Krabi Krabong, Muay Boran, Wrestling, MMA, Bodyfit, Cross-Training, Yoga, Beach, and Big Buddha training sessions. Family friendly, features a kids training package.

Activity level: Intense.

Eats: The kitchen is headed up by James-Beard-nominated Cheffy Baby, who has designed a menu for maximum performance using local ingredients and highlighting Thai flavors.

Accommodations: A bare necessities on-site bungalow (guests can upgrade their package for a more upscale hotel). 

Relaxation: Depending on the accommodations you choose, you’ll have access to yoga, a pool and Jacuzzi, or spa services.

Rates: All-inclusive seven-day Deluxe Training package runs $512, airfare not included. Additional add-ons and upgrades available. 

FOR THOSE SEEKING THE MIND-BODY CONNECTION 

Most Amazing Fitness Vacations

15. Four Seasons Westlake
"Renew You" Fitness and Relaxation

Location: Westlake Village, CA
Looking to spend your week off making real and lasting changes? California Health and Longevity Institute’s science-based lifestyle rejuvenation Journey program may be just what you’re looking for. Physicians, registered dietitians, exercise physiologists, and lifestyle consultants work together to create your personalized plan. The full-day program features Body Composition (BOD POD) Analysis with a mini-consult, fitness sessions and workshops, healthy-cooking demonstrations, nutrition workshops, interactive workshops on stress management, and a spa treatment at Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village. Once you’ve completed your program, you can put it to work at Four Seasons Fitness Center, which is manned by trainers who are well-versed in the latest science-backed training techniques.

Activity level: Moderate. 

Eats: Local organic dishes to upscale signature gourmet.

Accommodations: Southern California elegance with views of the Santa Monica Mountains.

Relaxation: 28 spa rooms, 30 face and body treatments, 12 different massages—take your pick.

Rates: Full-day programs start at $695. 

Most Amazing Fitness Vacations

16. Mii Amo
Yoga for Lovers of Chocolate and Wine 

Location: Sedona, AZ
You’d be amazed by what a little indulgence can do for the mind, body, and soul, especially when it comes to chocolate and wine. Mii Amo’s all-inclusive, three-day Yoga for Foodies retreat (led by Dave Romanelli) fuses yoga with guided tastings of chocolate and wine to soothe the soul, stimulate the body, and create an unforgettable state of sensory ecstasy. Ninety-minute flow yoga sessions—“The Secret to Live Forever,” which helps align and strengthen the body, and “Uncontrollable Joy,” which reduces stress—are followed by morsels of antioxidant-rich Vosges Chocolates and wine. An additional Deep Stretch yoga class aims to loosen participants’ grip on "stuff" and direct that energy toward the tastes, sounds, and sights that make life most memorable instead—such as the post-yoga tasting of fresh, local Sedona flavors. When they sign up for the Health Body in Balance package, guests are advised on individual nutrition and exercise routines with a focus on long-term wellness and are also given free range of all fitness facilities and classes.

Activity level: Moderate.

Eats: Fresh, local, organic cuisine with a gourmet twist.

Accommodations: 16 luxury spa guest rooms and suites are arranged in a cluster of casitas shaded by cottonwood trees.

Relaxation: The package includes two spa services each day.

Rates: All-inclusive packages starting at $2,265 per person, airfare not included. 

Most Amazing Fitness Vacations

17. The Yoga Getaway
Explorating Mind, Body, and Peru

Location: Machu Picchu, Peru
The Yoga Getaway offers a variety of Manchu Picchu exploration and yoga retreats that serve as catalysts for growth, both physically and spiritually. Located in the Sacred Valley, just an hour outside of the Inca capital of Cusco, the seven-day, all-inclusive retreats feature a guided tour of Machu Picchu and a Peruvian dinner in the city of Urubamba. Guests not only immerse themselves in the culture of this sacred territory, they're also encouraged to pull the power of the mountains into their two daily yoga sessions, which are held in a scenic outdoor yoga space and indoor area.

Activity level: Moderate.

Eats: Three healthy meals each day tapping into the robust flavors of Peru.

Accommodations: Modern and sleek while honoring the area’s history.

Relaxation: Full-service wellness spa with traditional Peruvian treatments.

Rates: All-inclusive packages starting at $2,195 per person, airfare not included. 

Most Amazing Fitness Vacations

Research and writing by Ellen Thompson. 

What are your favorite fitness destinations? Did we miss any? Share in the comments below, or get in touch with us on Facebook


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