Wellness and Mindfulness Retreats in the Smokies

The mountains of Western North Carolina have long been a destination for those looking to improve their health and wellness. Ever since the days when Tuberculosis was ravaging the nation, the fresh mountain air was seen as a way to help heal and rejuvenate the body. Today, the Smoky Mountains still call to those looking to reconnect with the natural world and take time out for themselves. Enhance your physical and mental well being with these top wellness experiences around the mountains.

person doing yoga in the smokies

Get Bendy on a Mountain

For an immersive experience, the Hinton Center in Hayesville, NC is a retreat where guests can “retreat, reflect, and renew.” In addition to yoga classes, they specialize in massage therapy, a memory garden for refection, and a meditative labyrinth. They also offer unparalleled views of Lake Chatuge, excellent on-site dining options, and accommodations ranging from  cabins to RV sites.

Studio 58 in Murphy, NC is known for their kind and caring yoga teachers who are willing to go at your pace. They also specialize in therapeutic massage and acupuncture.

We also love Sylva Yoga for its small and personal size. The owner has been teaching yoga since 2000 and is trained in Lyengar Yoga, Anusara Yoga, and Subtle Yoga.

Sunrise Yoga Studio, on the square in historic downtown Hayesville, NC, provides a soothing and relaxing yoga experience. Their certified teachers are well-versed in a variety of yoga practices and styles and welcoming to all.


Feel the Ahhhhs

shoji spa in ashevilleHarrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort’s Mandara Spa specializes in curated restorative journeys. Discover a range of relaxing and rejuvenating treatments from Fire-and-Ice Massages, bathing rituals, signature facials, and sound-wave therapy.

The Old Edwards Inn and Spa in Highlands is a luxury resort offering a world-class spa. They feature “wellness, rejuvenation and natural beauty enhancement using the finest natural ingredients, sourced from around the world and our own gardens.” Find unparalleled relaxation in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains.

Therapeutic Massage & Wellness Spa in Waynesville prides itself for its services that extend beyond basic massages. They are experts at relieving short-term aches and pains (sometimes crucial during a very active and strenuous adventure vacation.) They also provide healing services in body detoxification, Myofascial mobility, lymphatic drainage, craniosacral therapy, cupping techniques, and Reiki Energy Healing. They also have full-service skincare.

Don’t miss the unique experience of Waynesville Salt Room, a state-of-the-art facility. They deliver the highest quality of Halotherapy (salt therapy) to enhance your relaxation and improve skin conditions and breathing ailments.

If you don’t have a lot of time to fit it all into your vacation, consider a quick chair massage from Mountain Spirit Wellness in Waynesville, NC. They also offer deep-tissue massage and private yoga and Pilates classes if time is not an issue.

For a unique take on massage, try Carole Lilly Massage in Sylva. They offer Myofascial Release Therapy that utilizes gentle, sustained pressure to relieve chronic pain and immobility as well as other approaches. They also charge a flat rate for a treatment and not by the hour, so your massage therapist can take the time needed to get you feeling better.

Also offering a spa, yoga classes, and a seasonal outdoor pool, Lakeview at Fontana Soaking Cabana Resort in Bryson City is the ideal place to just soak your pains and troubles away in a treetop cabana soaking tub.

In Hot Springs, N.C. you can soak in natural hot mineral waters discovered long ago by the Cherokee. These springs provide soothing relief, especially for thru-hikers of the Appalachian Trail. The A.T. passes directly through the town center.

At Shoji Spa in Asheville, you can also enjoy traditional Japanese bathing and soaking in completely private outdoor salt tubs that overlook the forest surrounding the Blue Ridge Parkway. Massages and spa showers are also featured.

hiker on ledge in the nc smoky mountains

Communing with Nature

Of course, spending time in the natural world is a wonderful and effective way to rest your body, mind, and soul. The Great Smoky Mountains of NC offer the best nature has to offer with hiking trails, mountain biking, water activities, rafting, and exploring.

With hundreds of hiking trails to explore, visitors can choose to spend time on the paths with many fellow travelers or find exclusive spots to be alone with nature. The less-visited  Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest features an extraordinary hike through colossal Yellow Poplars, towering at 100 feet tall and 20 feet around. Over 100 other species of trees, including old-growth hardwood varieties, populate this forest, enhancing your perspective of the important things in life.

We also love the treks to some of the highest peaks in the area with views for miles, including Clingman’s Dome, Waterrock Knob, and Black Balsam Knob. For a comprehensive guide to the best hiking in the NC Great Smoky Mountains, click here.

For an inclusive guide to outdoor adventures in hiking, mountain biking, rafting, and tubing, visit  Nantahala Outdoor Adventure Center to plan your vacation today.

healthy dining options in the smokies

Healthful and Flavorful Dining

Because the eateries of the NC Great Smoky Mountains focus so much on artisanal, farm-to-table, and healthful meal options, visitors are sure to find the dining options perfect for them.

Sassy Sunflowers Bakery & Café in Cherokee, NC is locally known for its delicious soups, salads, and sandwiches. The “Veggie on Wheatberry Bread’ is fresh and you won’t miss the meat!

Gracious Plates on Main in Franklin is another spot for perfect, fresh and delectable meals. They pride themselves on providing high-quality food, grown and raised by local farmers and vendors, to deliver a true farm-to-fork experience.

One of our favorite all-time restaurants is Lulu’s on Main in Sylva. While they offer options to please everyone, such as their Mick’s Meatloaf Patty Melt, they also cater to those who are more health conscious. You won’t feel like you’re eating healthfully with their Mediterranean Pita with provolone, kalamata olives, pepperoncini, and lemon-oil mozzarella or their herb-crusted spring mix with grilled gulf shrimp with creole remoulade mushrooms and goat cheese.

Experience all the best that feeds your best body, health, and mind in the NC Great Smoky Mountains. Plan your vacation today!