North Carolina wellness and eco vacations

Wellness and Eco Vacations in the High Country

While a vacation in the High Country is sure to be action packed, it is also a great time to unwind and take in the beauty of your surroundings. Wellness vacations provide meaningful experiences with a mix of adventure, relaxation and self-improvement. While you pamper yourself, give back to the earth by making an effort to conserve the culture, nature and wildlife of the High Country.

Become Your Best Self

The High Country is home to a number of hotels and resorts that strive to provide you with the most relaxing vacation experience. Many come all-inclusive with yoga and meditation classes, spa sessions, meals and other tranquil accommodations. These resorts offer a number of retreats specific to whatever you are looking to achieve on your wellness vacation. These can range anywhere from yoga and meditation to health, nutrition and self-discovery. Nourish your mind, body and spirit on a wellness retreat.

While luxury wellness retreats are incredibly popular, you can still enjoy a wellness vacation and be gentle to your wallet. Whether you want to increase your physical well-being with yoga or reinvigorate yourself at a local day spa, there are many places get a well-deserved reboot. Make selfcare a priority with a detoxifying body wrap, exfoliation massage or another treatment designed to relieve tension, rejuvenate the skin and energize your spirit and body.

They say that feeling good starts from within, so be sure to add delicious and nutritious meals to your wellness checklist. Indulge in the freshest, locally grown fruits, vegetables, meats and cheeses. A trip to a nearby farmers market will not only provide a little retail therapy, but also nourishment for your body. When dining out, try a farm-to-table, vegetarian or organic restaurant. Fresh, local fare is even better when you have mountain vistas at your tableside.

According to the Global Wellness Institute, “extreme wellness” is a wellness trend for 2018. Extreme wellness is the pursuit of health through adventure travel. While pampering yourself is nice, also opt for an immersive, adrenaline-filled excursion. When it comes to adventure, there’s no better place than the High Country. Fly through the sky on a zipline, feel the rush of the waves while whitewater rafting or spend the day crawling through small openings and over boulders in a cave. The scenery of the Blue Ridge Mountains provides the perfect setting for activities like cliff climbing, hiking, horseback riding, kayaking and more. Whatever you choose, come with an open mind and get ready to step outside your comfort zone and challenge both your body and mind. Read High Thrill in the High Country on page 9 for more ideas.

Become One with Nature

Take part in a “digital detox” and restore your relationship with the great outdoors. An eco-vacation gives you the chance to learn about what you can do to help preserve the natural beauty of the High Country. With the vast mountain ranges, dense forests and shimmering streams, the High Country is an ecotourist’s wonderland.

Grandfather Mountain is recognized as an International Biosphere Reserve. This ecosystem is home to 16 distinct ecological communities, on less than 5,000 acres, including more than 70 rare or endangered species. Amble down the Black Rock Trail and observe the panoramic views of the surrounding mountains.

scenic hike

Take a guided walk with a professional naturalist who will point out these diverse habitats. Go bird watching for some of the most diverse variety of nesting birds in the southern Appalachians, including golden eagles and bald eagles. Grandfather Mountain offers habitat programs that give you the chance to meet black bears, see where cougars and otters sleep and learn how to care for these marvelous animals year-round. Get an up-close look at the daily lives, behaviors and antics of some of the High Country’s furry residents.

Pack a tent, snacks and put your phone on airplane mode as you make the foothills of Grandfather Mountain your campsite. With a permit, you can camp on one of the 13 backpack camping sites within Grandfather Mountain State Park. During your stay, make an effort to not to disturb the vegetation and natural environment. Then, be sure to leave your campsite in pristine condition to contribute to the continuation of a healthy ecosystem. For cozier accommodations, rent an eco-friendly cabin in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. Imagine starting your day with the breathtaking sunrise. You won’t need to set an alarm when you have the orange and yellow sunbeams shining through your window or tent.