Learning new skills and embracing new experiences is vital to a well-tuned mind and body. Among other benefits, meeting a new challenge head-on—whether physical, mental or both—fuels creativity, helps slow cognitive decline and builds confidence. Balance that new adventure with a spa retreat and you’ve got the makings of an extreme wellness getaway.
Triathlon Training in the Sonoran Desert. Train with an Olympian instructor by day, unwind at one of the nation’s premier resort spas by night. At Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa, pushing one’s physical limits comes with world-class rewards. Sanctuary’s three-night Triathlon Training package includes three days of training with the resort’s team of experts. On the first day, Olympic gold medalist Misty Hyman shares the best swimming strategies for endurance and speed in Sanctuary’s 25-yard outdoor lap pool. Day two is a guided desert bike ride, and day three a tandem run with a fitness instructor. A power breakfast each morning fuels the day’s workout, while each evening brings a 60-minute spa treatment to restore muscles and joints impacted during training.
Shark Diving at Singer Island. With the world’s third largest barrier reef practically at its doorstep, Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa is the perfect base for a thrilling shark-diving adventure. Cage and free shark dives, offered through numerous local dive operators, let adrenaline junkies of all skill levels share the water with predators ranging from Florida’s abundant sandbar and lemon sharks to massive tiger sharks. Afterwards, guests can de-stress at the all-suite resort’s SiSpa, named one of the top 10 resort spas in the country by Condé Nast Traveler readers. A Capture the Moment Package, complete with a GoPro Waterproof Action Camera (Model Hero4), helps guests document all the action, and includes daily beach chair and umbrella rental for stays of two or more nights.
Bikes, Biathlons and Bobsledding in the Adirondacks. Active travelers can seek peak wellness high in the Adirondack Mountains at Lake Placid’s Whiteface Lodge, an all-suite resort just a short drive from the Olympic Village in this two-time Winter Games host city. Among the Olympian-worthy local activities is a brand-new Bike & Biathlon experience, which debuted June 29 and combines an hour-long mountain bike lesson with professional instruction on the Olympic Biathlon Range, building skills and confidence for participants of all ages (biathlon rifles for those 13 and up; paintball for those 12 and under). In the winter, the action shifts to the Olympic bobsled run, where thrill-seekers can hurtle down the track with a professional driver and brakeman in the Lake Placid Bobsled Experience. Afterwards, guests can relax and recharge at the award-winning Spa at Whiteface Lodge with an Alpine Retreat treatment. It includes a hot hydrotherapy soak and slow massage, both with Naturopathica Ginger Oil to melt away a day of adventure, followed by a warm oil scalp massage.
Fly a Helicopter over the Hudson. High-flying adventurers can test their mettle at the controls of a Robinson R44 Raven II with Wings Air Helicopters’ 30- or 60-minute Discovery Flight at Westchester County Airport, just a short drive or train ride from New York City. The lesson begins with a ground briefing before taking to the sky with a professional flight instructor who, once airborne, will hand over the controls. Students can bring up to two friends to ride along for an additional fee. Roundtrip hotel transfers between Manhattan and Westchester can also be arranged. Two top choices for a post-flight spa getaway are The Ritz-Carlton New York, Westchester (White Plains), home to Synergy Spa, Westchester County’s largest destination spa, and Tarrytown’s landmark Castle Hotel & Spa, with its luxurious Sankara Spa.