Take Back your Vacation: Where to Go to Unplug


In a recent article, I shared with you how to unplug on your next vacation. To take that theme a bit further, if you're looking for a few good ideas as to where to head to totally unplug in the US, look no further. Although what constitutes a true, unplugged vacation may be individualized, here's a few top picks that combine the slow-paced vibe and nature elements, and even a spot where I had no cell phone service for those of us who have no willpower when it comes to shutting down the phone.

Asheville, NC
Tucked away in the mountains of North Carolina, Asheville has become a tourist destination, with high end restaurants, hotels, and spas, but it also has maintained a decidedly local feel, making it truly boast a sense of place. Asheville attracts all types, welcoming anyone and everyone. It's funky, for sure, but it's also an ideal setting to unwind, know for its nature, unique spas, and a general healthy attitude.

The Omni Spa at Grove Park Inn ranks as one of the best spas in the world. The contrast pool, one side with hot water and one side with cold, will certainly wake you up, and the view from the hot tub, overlooking to blue mountains, resets the soul. In true Asheville fashion, consider a wellness tour with stops at Dobra Tea, Traveling Yogini, and the Asheville Salt Cave. In nearby Hot Springs, NC, I had no cell phone reception. Take that as you will. You can also soak in natural, restorative hot springs, as the name suggests, for complete relaxation.

Sedona, AZ
Sedona will always be at the top of my list for places to unplug. Situated within the Coconino National Forest, surrounded by almost 2 million acres of forest in fact, nature abounds in Sedona. You can take a hike and enjoy the mind-easing qualities of being outdoors, but in Sedona, you can also take it a step further.

Many claim that the red rocks possess healing powers, so Sedona is a mecca for healers, spiritual, and personal enrichment. You'll find everything from crystal experts to aura readers, reiki, massage therapists, and life coaches. To combine nature and healing, seek a vortex, an energy center that often can be felt. Bell Rock is the famous vortex, but I've always felt the vibe at Boynton Canyon more strongly.

If the energy stuff is a little abstract for you, there are plenty of more traditional spas and wellness opportunities to enjoy. Mii amo spa at Enchantment Resort offers 3, 4, and 7-night programs to help you achieve a blissfully restful stay.

Sequoia and King's Canyon National Parks, CA
There are no spas, here, just good 'ol secluded nature and trees. Lots of really big, really old trees. And sometimes, that is all you need to put it all into perspective. The Sunset Campground, aptly named for the views over the valley below, is a good jumping off point for hiking among the groves of giant trees. From the campground, you can hike to the General Grant Tree or 50-foot Ella Falls. In the evening, sit by the fire, enjoy the views, and sleep like a baby under the stars.

Jannan Poppen is a travel writer based in Greenville, SC. She's an explorer at heart and will try just about anything once.