Best Relaxing Getaways in the USA
You work hard for your vacation days, so you deserve a little rest and relaxation. With that in mind, U.S. News used expert input and reader votes to rank the best relaxing getaways in the USA. From quiet seaside retreats to historic hideaways, all of these locales are easily accessible for U.S. travelers. Cast your vote below to weigh in on next year's list. (Note: Some of the below destinations may be affected by the coronavirus outbreak. Check with the CDC and the U.S. Department of State before traveling.)
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Savannah's palpable charm can quell even the most restless of minds. Whether you immerse yourself in this Georgia town's rich history or stroll the Spanish moss-filled squares, you'll quickly feel all of your stresses drift away. Unwind at the end of the day with a delicious farm-to-table meal at one of Savannah's top-notch restaurants, or drive less than 18 miles southeast to watch the sun set on Tybee Island.
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The best way to relax in this Arkansas town is to take advantage of its namesake hot springs at a local bath house. The mineral bathing ritual is said to have healing properties, which leaves visitors feeling rejuvenated. Travelers can also enjoy a round of golf or go for a stroll through Hot Springs National Park before retiring to their charming bed-and-breakfast accommodations.
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Thanks in part to its excellent year-round weather, Sanibel Island is a relaxing vacation destination during any season. Beautiful white sand beaches beckon to sun-seekers, while the J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge appeals to travelers who'd like to become one with nature on a hike or bike ride. Book a sunset cruise to truly take in the beauty of this Florida beach retreat.
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Kennebunkport is a popular vacation spot for many East Coast-based travelers – and with its beautiful scenery and quiet beaches, it's easy to see why. Spend your days lounging on white sand beaches, savoring Maine's fresh seafood and people-watching as you stroll through Dock Square. Once the sun sets, retreat to one of the town's quaint hotels for a restful night's sleep.
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Nantucket's laid-back atmosphere and isolated beachfront setting will instantly calm you. When you're not biking along the Massachusetts island's cobblestone streets, read a book and relax on the warm sand (Surfside Beach is a popular spot) or look for osprey while hiking Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge's trails. If you'd rather enjoy some chilled libations in an open-air setting, head to Cisco Brewers – a brewery, distillery and vineyard all in one.
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Isle of Palms#6 in Best Relaxing Getaways in the USA
Escaping the hustle and bustle of everyday life is a guarantee with a trip to Isle of Palms in South Carolina. Rent a cozy beach house and pass the time bodysurfing and tanning, or try your hand at a casual game of volleyball or tennis with loved ones. However you choose to spend your days, be sure to indulge in the low country's mouthwatering comfort foods when dinnertime rolls around.
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Carmel Beach#7 in Best Relaxing Getaways in the USA
Picturesque Carmel Beach in Carmel, California, is known for its soft white sand and incredible sunsets. Pack a picnic with some snacks and drinks and spend the day lounging on your blanket before admiring the sinking sun as you enjoy the warmth of a beach bonfire. The beach is also backed by a scenic path perfect for morning strolls, while nearby Pebble Beach is a bucket list-worthy course and resort for golfers.
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Once home to wealthy families like the Vanderbilts and the Astors, Newport, Rhode Island, now beckons to travelers who want to unwind by the water. Tour mega-mansions such as The Breakers and Rough Point, and for an extra dose of relaxation, book a massage or facial at one of the quaint day spas in town. Then, hop in a sailboat or stroll the scenic Cliff Walk.
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Martha's Vineyard is best known by some as a Massachusetts hideaway for the rich and famous, including former President Barack Obama and actors Bill Murray and Reese Witherspoon, but that's not the island's only draw. The Vineyard is home to picturesque nature trails, sandy beaches and quiet seaside hotels. Travelers can even channel their inner child with a leisurely ride on the Flying Horses Carousel – the oldest operating platform carousel in the U.S.
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Kiawah Island#10 in Best Relaxing Getaways in the USA
Golfing at the many scenic courses on Kiawah Island and relaxing on the locale's miles-long stretches of sand are the best ways to enjoy this South Carolina destination. Nothing beats reading a good book or soaking up some sun while admiring the waves lapping at the coastline. What's more, water lovers can enjoy stand-up paddleboarding or kayaking through the local waterways.
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