By Heidi Guenther
Road trips are one of my favorite adventures. You can change ecosystems, dialects, and political ideologies all over the course of 8 hours. That being said, you can also find yourself full of backaches, neck cramps, and an incredible amount of soreness just from sitting still in that same 8 hours. So how do you keep it exhilarating without just wanting to return back to your comfy tempurpedic bed? Try taking time out during your days to relax. Here are my favorite places to cheaply keep the aches and grumps at bay.
Café Mokka- Arcata, CA
Nestled in a tiny Northern California town off Highway 101, is one of the best gems I’ve come across. When you first walk in, Café Mokka appears to be just like any other community coffee shop, but check out what they have in the rear. For $18, you can spend an hour in a Jarrah wood barrel hot tub, or a red cedar sauna. Or, for the same price, a half hour in each. Both the hot tubs and saunas are in private outdoor cottage-style rooms, complete with showers.
North Fork Hostel & Inn- Polebridge MT
Located outside of Glacier National Park, North Fork offers an eccentric variety of different types of lodging. Want to try sleeping in a Tipi, they’ve got it. A homemade trailer from the 1950’s, check. A goat chalet in the middle of the woods, yep, that can happen too. This is a great place to affordably crash when you’re in need of something different on your travels.
Hot Sulphur Spring Resort- Hot Sulphur Springs, CO
Not far from Rocky Mountain National Park, this resort offers 22 naturally fed mineral hot spring pools and baths. While lodging is a bit pricey, for $17.50, you can enjoy a day’s worth of outdoor pools. Recommendation: Go there during the winter, there is nothing like sitting outside in a spring fed pool while watching the snow fall.
Riverbend Hot Springs- Truth or Consequenses, NM
Hot springs on a river….yep. Riverbend’s hot spring pools are located on the Rio Grande, allowing you to sit in a pool while watching the stars come out over the mountains. Lodging includes unlimited soak time and is affordable enough to make this a great place to spend the night. Public pools are $10 per hour if you’re just passing through.
Breitenbush Hot Springs- Detroit, OR
Within the mountains of Oregon lies an outdoor oasis of calm. Breitenbush provides hot springs, yoga, hiking, a monthly sweat lodge, reiki, and various types of massage. Lodging can range from $54- $121 per night depending on the season and your preferences. Three vegetarian meals, daily wellness activities, and 24 hour access to the hot springs are included in your stay. If you want to just lounge in the springs and then be on your way, day access will cost you $15-$28, sliding scale.
The Hostel In The Forest- Brunswick, GA
Who in the world is not in love with tree houses? At the Hostel in the Forest, located an hour south of Savannah, you will sleep among the birds in tree houses, take a bath in the outdoor claw-foot tub, swim at naked lake, participate in a bomb-fire centered circle of thanks, and come away feeling that the world is balanced. The Hostel also offers a sweat lodge and various workshops throughout the year. Lodging is $25 per night and includes a vegetarian dinner.
Yosemite Bug Rustic Mountain Resort- Midpines, CA
Outside of Yosemite National Park lies the Bug, where a day in the hot tub, hot rock sauna, and cold rain shower will set you back only $10. Splurging on other spa treatments is also wicked cheap. And if when you’re done, you’re simply too relaxed to drive, spend the night in a cabin or insulated tent!