There are many reasons to travel: sightseeing, noshing on local eats, learning about local history, interacting with people from communities and cities around the world you’d not usually be able to. What draws people to hop on a plane for hours on end is personal. For some, their health and well-being — being able to exercise and eat healthy while seeing a city or country new to them — is a draw.
From the emerging southern city of Atlanta to New England’s Portland, coast to coast there’s a state and city for all fitness loving travelers to explore and keep their health—and fitness—in check. Read on for a full list of where to travel to and suggestions once you’re there.
This southeastern city was touted as the third fastest growing metro area in the country last year. And with the busiest airport in the world right within the city limits, getting there for a healthy few days is sure to be a cinch. Hike to the top of Arabia Mountain, roughly 20 minutes east of the city in Lithonia, for views of Arabia Lake, wild plant life indigenous to the area, exposed rock and shallow basins. Prepare to get more active and mosey along Atlanta’s Beltline, a former railroad corridor transformed into a 33-mile network of multi-use trails.
For those who prefer the comfort of gyms, 191 Resolution Fitness and Blueprint Atlanta are favorites.
The birthplace of Starbucks has much more to offer than just stellar coffee. Seattle is known for being a walkable city, depending on which neighborhood opted to explore on foot. Ballard, South Union, and Capitol Hill top the list. Those looking for an active, fast-paced twist to their fitness can head to Seattle Boxing Gym and take any number of their 30 weekly group boxing classes. And don’t forget kayaking in Lake Union, Rattlesnake Lake or San Juan Island for heart-pumping fun with water.
When Minneapolis hosted the Super Bowl in 2018, their secret was suddenly out: the city makes a great choice for those who love fitness and want to include it in their travels. A number of hotels within this city dub themselves as fitness hotels, including Radisson Blu Minneapolis. This home away from home for traveling guests has mapped out BluRoutes, specially designed paths ideal for running, biking, sightseeing or a combination while in town.
Asheville, North Carolina
Often overlooked for Charlotte, the city of Asheville has its own natural charm and is a wildcard pick for fitness lovers and health-obsessed travelers. Plan a trip around the annual Mountain Sports Festival, held Memorial Day weekend and free to attend. The annual event is focused on being your most active self while among the Blue Ridge Mountains. Highlights include a 5K run, food vendors, live music and outdoor gear available for purchase. Underground Fitness Asheville is the ultimate destination for high-intensity training in the city. And if an adventure of unparalleled heights is desired, go zip lining among the trees with Navitat Canopy Adventures.
With temperate weather year round and scrumptious eats, traveling to Houston is always a good idea. The city of Houston at large has invested both infrastructure and funds into creating green spaces in all pockets of different communities. Buffalo Bayou Park is one prominent example. The 160-acre green space is built along the main waterway of Houston. Ride a bike, run, walk, rollerblade or leisurely stroll while taking in stunning views of the city just beyond. The fitness boutique trend has hit Houston hard — The Preserve is a nice pick if you’d like to get a slice of it while in town.
Don’t let the hilly streets deter you. San Francisco still makes an essential choice for fitness lovers who like to travel. A city that boasts an outdoors culture at large, there’s a wide range of activities to choose from depending on what tickles your fancy. Like watersports? Go swimming at the beach or kayaking/SUP in South Beach Harbor or Bodega Bay. To combine fitness with top-notch fitness coaching and nutrition experts, stop in either of Roark Gyms two locations within the Bay Area.
Dubbed both one of the healthiest cities in Maine and a great place to retire if you’re health-minded, Portland should also be added to the list of consideration for healthy travel. Its coastal beauty tends to be what draws travelers but let the allure of fitness inspire a trip, too. Head to the gym at EVO Rock + Fitness, a gym that combines rock climbing with conditioning and strength training to be the deftest climber you can be. If you’re a runner, take place in a group run with the Fleet Feet’s Run Club.