Relaxing vacations in the West

May 5, 2004
Outside Magazine
Week of June 26-July 2, 1997
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Relaxing vacations in the West
Question: I would like to go on a vacation in which I can do some outdoor activities (although not too challenging, as I've spent too much time behind a desk this year), have great meals cooked for me, have a massage or two, and meet others in their mid-40s. I plan to go with a friend. I am primarily interested in the West Coast (including Canada) or mountain states. I'm thinking of about five to nine days. I would like to stay within a reasonable budget. Thank you.

Lucia C. Becerra
Davis, CA
[email protected]

Adventure Adviser: The Inn at Semi-Ah-Moo in Blaine, Washington, recently announced the completion of its state-of-the-art spa facility renovation. Specializing in Thalassotherapy — the therapeutic use of seawater and seaweed — the only four-star resort in the state of Washington offers everything from one-hour massages ($55) to glycolic acid peels ($75).

Just less than two hours north of Seattle, the Inn has 200 guest rooms that offer ocean views and fireplaces. There are three restaurants in the complex featuring everything from fresh seafood to champagne brunches. The health club also offers water aerobics, water stretching, swimming lessons, and tennis, among other things. Located within 1,100 acres of beaches and woods, and surrounded on all sides by water or mountains, you'll find plenty of hiking and beachcombing when you're not getting a massage. Spa by the Sea packages that include accommodations and plenty of pampering run from $219 to $1,699.

A second option is Santa Fe, New Mexico. Here you won't find an all-inclusive luxury spa, but you can spend more than a few hours at Ten Thousand Waves (505-988-1047), a very soothing Japanese-inspired spa that also has a few quaint guest adobes available (one-hour massages cost approximately $50). Or you can head back into town and stay at a number of cozy bed and breakfasts, like the Don Gaspar Compound (505-986-8664), a short walk from downtown with a gorgeous flower-filled courtyard. From your base in Santa Fe you can explore Bandelier National Monument, Ojo Caliente spa (an economic version of Ten Thousand Waves), hiking in the Sangre de Cristo mountains, horseback riding, and whitewater rafting. For a complete list of activities, call the Santa Fe Convention and Visitor Bureau (505-984-6760).

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