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Healthy Vacation Spot Tips

Vacation is a time to relax and explore. It can also be a great opportunity to fit in some more exercise and try some different healthy foods. That's why the Weight and Wellness Center at Tufts MC in Boston has put together the below list of healthy vacation spots across the United States that can be both fun and nourishing for your body!

Portland, OR - No surprise, here, northwest residents are known to be outdoorsy fitness fanatics, and Portland's “green cred” and wealth of veggie-friendly food options (food trucks, anyone?) have gotten plenty of press. Portland ranked high for the city's vast amount of parkland, high number of farmers' markets, availability of health care, and popularity of walking or biking to work.

Denver, CO - The Mile-High City is a popular healthy destination, thanks to the city's prime location with easy access to all the recreational fun of the Rockies. Just outside of the city you can find lots of options for hiking, bike riding, kayaking, or canoeing. Steamboat Springs in the Colorado Rockies is a great destination for an active vcacation year-round. In the winter, powdery snow covers one of the biggest ski mountains in North America. Summertime brings 50 miles of hiking and biking trails, surrounded by wildflowers, clean mountain streams and awe-inspiring views.

San Francisco - The greater San Francisco Bay Area gets healthy points for all the factors you'd expect from Northern California, including a wealth of farmers' markets and other sources of fresh produce (26 percent of residents eat their 5+ servings a day). San Francisco residents have access to a ton of open space and parkland, are more likely to walk or bike to work, are less likely to be obese or have diabetes, and have access to a plenty of primary care providers. Several parks have walking, hiking, and biking trails with great views, including Golden Gate Park, the Presidio, and many more. And don’t forget the hills! Walking a couple of San Francisco’s notorious hilly streets will get that heart pounding and help to work up a sweat!

Seattle, WA, - The Northwest's propensity to eat well and spend a ton of time outdoors benefits Seattle, which boasts plenty of farmers' markets and a higher than average percentage of residents who are active and walk or bike to work.

Big Island, Hawaii - Hawaii’s Big Island is full of potential adventures, from waterfalls to volcanoes, sandy beaches to thick rainforest. For the health-conscious traveler, Hawaii offers a huge variety of activities that are good for mind and body, including surfing, hiking, climbing, paddle boarding, snorkeling and kayaking. For the less adventurous, several resorts offer innovative fitness programs that incorporate surfing, running, yoga and group exercise.

New York, NY - It may come as no surprise that the city that never sleeps is packed with calorie-burning potential. But the best part is you can get exercise without even realizing it. Just walking around Manhattan to take in the sights, you’re bound to log a couple miles. Ready to try something new? New York is the place for it. The newest trends in exercise start here, like “piloxing” (a combination of pilates and boxing), aerial dancing, and ballet fitness.

San Diego, CA - With an average temperature of about 70 degrees, San Diegans have very few excuses for not working out. It’s almost always ideal workout weather – sunny and temperate with a cool breeze. For runners and hikers, the mountains and valleys surrounding the city are always a welcome challenge, but there are also beaches, eco-reserves and state parks perfect for exploration. 

Madison, WI - Madison may be a college town, but it’s also the bike capital of the Midwest, proudly boasting more bicycles than cars. Find hundreds of miles of trails, several beaches, and picturesque lakes, perfect for swimming and canoeing. Don’t be afraid to visit during the winter – those miles of trails are great for cross-country skiing, one of the most calorie-burning winter workouts. 

Austin, TX - As the hometown of Lance Armstrong, Austin may be pegged as an ideal biking destination, but truth be told, it’s the running that is top notch. An elaborate trail system winds around town with several loops varying in lengths, from 3 to 18 miles. If you like to run at night, the famous bats of Congress Avenue Bridge (up to 1.5 million of them) emerge every evening at sunset during the summer to feed on insects and put on a show.

Bar Harbor, ME - Adjacent to Acadia National Park and around a 4 hour drive from Boston, Bar Harbor is the ultimate seaside town for the active traveler. Explore 125 miles of hiking trails through mountains, lakes and sea cliffs, then walk through the quaint streets of one of New England’s quintessential summer resorts. An abundance of fresh fish and locally grown blueberries make eating healthy an easy choice.

Information from: Forbes.com and Healthline.com