Craving a brief escape from the scenery of my home office in Charlotte, I headed to Asheville for a weekend. Along with its bohemian vibe and incredible views, this laid-back city holds longstanding allure for wellness seekers. Since the 1700s, folks have flocked here for the healing powers of the crisp mountain air and nearby mineral springs, and today’s plethora of yoga studios, spas, and holistic treatment options bolster the health-conscious culture.
Always one for “when in Rome,” I checked out the two-hour Asheville Wellness Tour downtown. The first stop was Asheville’s Salt Cave, touted as a place for therapeutic rest and healing. I settled onto a blanket in a cool, dim, lunar-looking room encased in crystal salt. After a guided meditation, the group relaxed silently until roused by Cameron Gunter of Travelling Yogini Yoga Tours, our guide for the next part, a city-walking-meets-yoga tour.
While strolling with us, Gunter touched on history and architecture, giving attention to the glam Art Deco design of Asheville’s lafndmark buildings from the 1920s. Near buzzing Pack Square Park, she led us through 15 minutes of standing poses on a grassy area. With all the activity swirling around—street performers, passing trolley cars—no one seemed to notice us.
Our final stop was Wake: The Foot Sanctuary & Shop, where we soaked our feet in cauldrons of warm, sudsy water infused with essential oils. I left feeling calm, as if I had peeled back that superficial tourist layer, allowing me to truly discover and appreciate this colorful city (for more info: yogatours.net).
PLAN A TRIP TO ASHEVILLE, NC
Asheville has hundreds of art galleries and working art studios. Venture to the funky industrial River Arts District, where you can shop for local works and catch artists creating in their space. (riverartsdistrict.com)
Take a $7 Community Yoga class at the state-of-the-art environmentally conscious Asheville Yoga Center. (youryoga.com)
The aristocratic Vanderbilt family helped put Asheville on the tourist map with their massive estate, which famously includes the French Renaissance–style chateau known as Biltmore House, open to the public since 1930. See it for yourself. (biltmore.com)
See also 23 Sun-Kissed Yoga Retreats