It’s getting down to crunch time (literally) — Memorial Day Weekend hovers in the near-future and soon you’ll be showing off your bikini, whether you’re ready to or not. So at least on your long-weekend holiday, you can kill two birds with one stone by finding a destination where you can work it and work out. Whether you’d prefer to take a quick jaunt to the Hamptons or escape for a longer break to St. Martin, whether you enjoy a hike in the rain forest or hanging ten, we have destinations and activities for you to get fit — check them out after the jump »
The Destination: The Hamptons
Why: A retreat for city dwellers, the Hamptons is a great spot to get back in shape. Sure, it offers fabulous restaurants that may be tempting but it is also home to outposts of Soul Cycle and Exhale. If everyone who’s anyone heads to the Hamptons in the summer, everyone who’s anyone has caught the Soul Cycle and Exhale bug. While Soul Cycle is a trendy, pump-you-up spin class, Exhale offers pilates-like core fusion barre and yoga classes. They’ll set you back a bit but if you’re vacationing in the Hamptons, you probably don’t care.
Where to Stay: C/O The Maidstone appeals to the stylish Hamptonite crowd with 16 rooms/suites and three cottages decorated in Scandinavian design. Owned by a Swedish entrepreneur with 20 hotels around the world, this one is just steps from the village and a bike ride from the beach (free beach cruiser loaners are available) so you can do some spinning without having to spend a lot of cash. Plus, the hotel has a Buddha garden where yoga classes are held.
The Destination: Costa Rica
Why: This small Central American country is home to hundreds of diverse habitats, making it easy to enjoy beach days, eco-tourism, and outdoor adventures in the same trip and without having to travel long distances. The geography is infinitely varied, ranging from rugged coastlines and bustling towns to misty cloud forests and active volcanoes. Costa Rica is particularly known for having great spots for hiking and windsurfing.
Where to Stay: Lapa Rios, located in the remote coastal rainforests of the Osa Peninsula, is Costa Rica’s original luxury eco lodge. This is the opposite of a Cancun-style beach resort — guests come to the upscale Lapa Rios to enjoy the spectacular surroundings, learn about sustainable tourism, and re-connect with nature. The hotel offers yoga classes, 1,000 acres of rainforest and hiking trails, and is only a 10-minute walk from the beach.
The Destination: Los Angeles
Why: Though people often picture scene-y nightclubs, iconic Rodeo Drive, and high-end restaurants when they think of L.A., Los Angeles has plenty to offer active travelers (after all, everyone there seems to be in great shape). From the beach to the mountains, the city boasts activities such as swimming, surfing, and hiking. But we recommend dusting off your rollerblades and hitting up the boardwalk at Venice Beach (you can also rent rollerblades there). Crowded with bikers, fortune tellers, fire-eaters, and magicians, the boardwalk is a must-see — and rollerblading is great exercise! You can even roll by the famous Muscle Beach, where uber-tan and uber-jacked muscle men pump iron (and where Arnold Schwarzenegger got his start).
Where to Stay: The Loews Santa Monica is right across the street from the beach, where fitness equipment is set up on the sand. But when you’ve had enough of rollerblading, swimming, and surfing (we’d be surprised if that happened, but you never know), you can visit the hotel’s gym — one of the best in L.A. The spacious, sun-bathed fitness center has a separate spin class/yoga/aerobic studio, free fruit and fruit-enhanced water, and a locker room with a sauna and steam room. The Technogym cardio equipment features personal TV screens and iPod docking stations.
The Destination: St. Martin/St. Maarten
Why: With nearly 40 beaches to choose from, the small island — split between the Dutch and the French — is a great spot to perfect your bikini body while simultaneously showing it off (in fact, St. Martin has several nude beaches if you’re really ready to fault your, er, assets). For those looking forward to jumpstart their vacation — and their workout regimen, the island is known for adventure sports such as parasailing, jet-skiing, and windsurfing. Though windsurfing is perhaps the most intense workout, you’d be surprised how toned your arms, abs, and legs can get from holding onto a jet ski for dear life!
Where to Stay: Guests staying at the Westin Dawn Beach Resort & Spa enjoy a prime location right on the beach, where they can rent everything from kayaks to windsurfing equipment to sail boats to bikes. But this hotel also offers a special ready, set, RunWestin program, where guests are lead on group runs around the island. For those who’d prefer to jog solo, the hotel offers running maps and an expansive fitness center.