Bask in the Relaxed State of North Carolina’s Piedmont

Our state’s central region is full of great places to center your mind. Find a healthy state of balance up a cliff, down on a farm, or in the middle of a yoga class or spa treatment. Cold beers and cool breezes are pretty relaxing too.

Natural Zen

Time spent with nature may be the ultimate de-stressor. In Danbury, climb on 400-foot-high cliffs, paddle the Dan River or spend the night in a rustic cabin at Hanging Rock State Park. Or just go for a hike – 20 miles of wooded trails lead past picturesque waterfalls and high rock cliffs.

Honeysuckle Tea House

Farm life is pretty sweet – just ask the resident honeybees at Honeysuckle Tea House in Chapel Hill. Lie in a hammock while you sip lavender tea, or spoon a smoothie made with the farm’s blueberries. A breeze cools this open-air cafe that overlooks tranquil herb and flower gardens, open summer weekends. Tea House sales fund land and farm conservation.

Yoga with a Twist

What’s your yoga flavor? Winston-Salem has studios galore. If hot yoga and goat yoga seem so last year, it’s time you tried hip-hop yoga. 2B Yoga’s vinyasa-style poses are set to a bust-a-move beat, leaving you feeling simultaneously relaxed and invigorated. Or get your "om" on with Saturday morning beer yoga at Foothills Brewery. For $10, flow through asanas on the spacious tasting-room floor, then roll up your mat and relax with a pint. It’s the perfect marriage of lotus and lagers.

Or elevate your yoga game by taking your practice to the water. The flow yoga classes at Aloha Paddle Sports in Cornelius challenge you to float on a stand-up paddleboard on Lake Norman (and try not to wobble as you move through a series of poses). The benefits? Improved concentration, balance and core strength.

Spa Serenity

Bid farewell to gravity and the grind as you float effortlessly on 10 inches of skin-temperature saltwater. Dark, silent water tanks at the Floating Shanti in Fayetteville reduce sensory inputs to nearly zero, which downshifts your stress response and slows your racing mind.

In Cary, escape to art-filled public spaces on 12 wooded acres at The Umstead Hotel and Spa. The outdoor pool feels like an Alpine spa, with a backdrop of pin oaks and a 3-acre lake.

photo: The Umstead Hotel and Spa

In Pittsboro, kiss your skin’s impurities goodbye while cocooned in a seaweed body wrap at The Spa at Fearrington. But why stop there? Keep the nurturing going with a classic Swedish massage, or head south to The Spa at Pinehurst for an invigorating cryotherapy treatment. You’ll feel the endorphin boost as your skin is cooled by a subzero blast of air, which helps to remove toxins, control inflammation and improve skin elasticity.

Breathe deeply and explore more places to relax in The Official 2020 North Carolina Travel Guide.

Updated January 3, 2020
About the Author

Ann Marie Brown

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