Proof You Don't Need to Leave the U.S. to Have a Blissfully Relaxing Vacation

Updated 12/11/19

You don't need to travel internationally to find a place for some rest and relaxation. Put down your passport and think of all the places inside our borders that are quiet and secluded; there is a worthy destination in just about all 50 states.

You should still prepare for domestic travel the same way you prepare for international travel. Let your bank know you will be in a new location to avoid card cancellations and don't forget to consider travel insurance.

Coastal residents are familiar with the relaxing sounds of the ocean lapping at the shore, but the beach isn't the only spot where you can find peace or even go completely off the grid. Several mountain ranges stretch across the country, from the Appalachian in the east to the Rockies in the west. Communing with nature is a beautiful way to reset away from other people, if that is the kind of meditation you are after, and any of the nation’s numerous parks can provide it for you. 

Alternatively, resorts and spas are built for your relaxation. If you don’t mind the bustle of a city outside, the amenities in either type of establishment are meant to be taken advantage of. To get the best of both worlds, smaller towns with ample resources have created resorts that incorporate the outdoors into their programming. Whatever your idea of relaxation, you can find it closer to home than you might think. Check out our roundup of the best relaxing vacations in the U.S.

Best Relaxing Vacations in the U.S. — Sedona, Arizona

Sedona, Arizona

There are more resorts in Sedona than we care to count, making this an obvious choice for a relaxing vacation. Even if you decide not to indulge in the man-made amenities, the landscape of the area is worth exploring for hikes, skiing, biking, or whatever activity you so choose.

Best Relaxing Vacations in the U.S. — Kauai, Hawaii

Kauai, Hawaii

Citizens of Hawaii cherish the tranquility of Kauai, which is arguably in their very own backyard. One of its most unique attractions is the Kilauea Volcano, which has only a minimal risk of eruption, but you should still check in with locals before you go.

Best Relaxing Vacations in the U.S. — Sarasota, Florida

Sarasota, Florida

All over Florida are beaches and coves, but Sarasota is a particularly wondrous hub. It is known for prioritizing the arts, and it sits a comfortable distance from any of the state’s noisier towns; the closest big city, Tampa, is 60 miles away.

Best Relaxing Vacations in the U.S. — Gates of the Arctic National Park, Alaska
National Park Service, Alaska/Flickr

Gates of the Arctic National Park, Alaska

We presume that any vacation spent in Alaska will be quiet and secluded, but at Gates of the Arctic National Park, you will get more than you asked for. As the vast expanse is located in the upper section of the country’s largest state, we recommend planning a trip only in the dead of summer, when the sun is out longest.

Best Relaxing Vacations in the U.S. — Carmel-by-the-Sea, California
Chris Leipelt/Wikimedia Commons

Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

Carmel is known as one of the most artsy alcoves on California’s coast and is beloved by in-the-know tourists. Find tranquility in anything you have planned in this sleepy town.

Best Relaxing Vacations in the U.S. — Chatham, Massachusetts
Irishman19/Wikimedia Commons

Chatham, Massachusetts

Just a hop, skip and a jump from Cape Cod, Chatham is a more peaceful alternative to its neighbor. Stay on the coast to see seals and gorgeous sunrises, or venture into the town to check out distilleries and historical landmarks.

Best Relaxing Vacations in the U.S. — Kennebunkport, Maine

Kennebunkport, Maine

Need a place to sit out the stresses of the holidays before everything goes belly up? Take a stroll through one of the country’s most dedicated Christmas towns, during Kennebunkport’s Christmas Prelude. Lights, caroling, and gift shops await you during its short season—the festivities begin on November 29 and last until December 9.

Best Relaxing Vacations in the U.S. — Kiawah Island, South Carolina

Kiawah Island, South Carolina

From bobcats to otters, wildlife runs free on the well-preserved getaway of Kiawah Island in South Carolina. The island boasts golf courses and spas as well, despite its size. Whatever floats your boat, you won't go bored here. 

Best Relaxing Vacations in the U.S. — Savannah, Georgia
J. Stephen Conn/Flickr

Savannah, Georgia

Savannah is consistently named one of the most inviting cities in America, and we have to agree. It is coastal, with plenty of waterways to explore and splash around in. Also, its culinary scene is unmatched in the South, made prominent by its most famous resident, Paul Deen.

Best Relaxing Vacations in the U.S. — Letchworth State Park, New York
Daniel Christensen/Wikimedia Commons

Letchworth State Park, New York

You will never breathe air quite as fresh as the breezes in and around Letchworth State Park. It features waterfalls and other magnificent terrains, earning it the nickname “Grand Canyon of the East.”

Best Relaxing Vacations in the U.S. — Hill Country, Texas
Curtis Simmons/Flickr

Hill Country, Texas

Imbibers everywhere will love Hill Country, known for its rich collection of distilleries and vineyards. As you stroll around, you will find the weather agreeable and the landscapes breathtaking.

Best Relaxing Vacations in the U.S. — Assateague Island, Virginia & Maryland

Assateague Island, Virginia & Maryland

This patch of land stretches between Virginia and Maryland and is home to countless wild horses. Nature preservation keeps this island quiet and peaceful, perfect to shut out the world for a little while.

Best Relaxing Vacations in the U.S. — Mackinac Island, Michigan
Viplav Valluri/Wikimedia Commons

Mackinac Island, Michigan

Mackinac is a vibrant small town on Michigan’s upper peninsula. Technically the island isn’t attached to the peninsula, but it is tucked into Horseshoe Bay, on the northern part of Lake Huron. At night, the town lights up, welcoming visitors from all over.

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