Start the New Year in Nature

January 4, 2022

Health and wellness is a hot topic as we face the new challenges of living through a pandemic. We’re all looking for stress-free ways to promote positive feelings and it’s a proven fact that disconnecting and spending time in nature boosts happy hormones and enhances well-being!

The secret to enhancing happiness and finding your bliss is to escape the daily grind, surround yourself with incredible natural landscapes, and seek out unique new experiences outside of your daily routine. Just simply planning a vacation boosts mental health!

Our favorite nature retreat destinations tick all the boxes for a socially distanced and secluded getaway, with an abundance of eco-friendly nature activities, the privacy of a home-away-from-home, and the option to shop, dine and mingle at your own comfort levels.


Destin, Florida

What’s not to love about the Emerald Coast in the winter! The Gulf of Mexico’s sugar-white sand beaches, emerald-green waters, and warm winter weather beckons you to pack your suitcase and start planning a nature-filled vacation in Destin, Florida!

Keep your camera ready for wildlife sightings!

The Florida Panhandle is renowned for its natural attractions and outdoor adventures and there’s no better place to immerse yourself in nature than on the scenic shoreline of Destin, surrounded by turquoise gulf waters and a network of bayous and waterways in Choctawhatchee Bay.

Explore the renowned coastal dune lakes on a scenic wooded bike ride through Point Washington State Forest, take a birdwatching hike through coastal scrub on the nature trails at Henderson Beach State Park, go shelling and crabbing on the secluded shoreline of Topsail Preserve surrounded by majestic sand dunes, and watch the sunset over the bay with fresh seafood and a cocktail on a waterfront patio.

That’s only the beginning, now it’s time to get on the water! Rent a boat, book a charter or fish from the shoreline in “the world’s luckiest little fishing village”, kayak or SUP the sheltered inlets at Norriego Point, and snorkel or scuba dive with an abundance of colorful marine life on the local reefs and wrecks. For more interactive wildlife encounters, learn about sea turtle rehabilitation at the Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park, view amazing sea life parasailing over Okaloosa Island, or set sail on a dolphin eco-tour or sunset cruise of Destin Harbor.

Book your Emerald Coast nature retreat with Xplorie for a complete package of the best places to stay on the Florida Panhandle, enhanced guest services, and complimentary nature attractions, activities, and tours all rolled in one perfect vacation package.


There’s fish to be caught in Destin!


O’ahu, Hawaii

Replace the winter blues with warm ocean breezes on the sun-drenched and palm-fringed sandy beaches of Hawaii. Hawaii is one of the best places to visit for a nature getaway in winter with a tropical climate and warm ocean waters, dramatic and diverse landscapes scattered with natural wonders, authentic local cultural experiences, and a multitude of adventures in nature.


Relax and unwind on a beautiful O’ahu beach.

The island of Oahu offers the best of both worlds with secluded beaches and nature experiences combined with the urban appeal of the bustling cosmopolitan city of Honolulu and vibey shoreline of Waikiki Beach. The perfect winter destination for travelers looking for a balance of beach and nature days, with an added dose of nightlife!

Oahu boasts 112 miles of beautiful coastline with famous Waikiki Beach on the south shore, iconic surf breaks on the north shore, protected sun-kissed beaches on the warmer west coast and Kualoa Ranch, a tranquil escape on the east coast (Windward side of Oahu).

Kualoa Ranch is a historic ranch and 4,000-acre private nature reserve nestled on Kaneohe Bay and awarded in the TripAdvisor Hall of Fame for being the best Hawaii tours and activities for six years in a row!. Their award-winning guided tours include ocean voyages on Kaneohe Bay, horseback rides, jungle expeditions, Secret Island water activities, Jurassic Adventure Tours, and so much more!. Over 50 movies, including Jurassic Park, have been filmed at Kualoa and you’ll be stretched to find a more scenic and natural setting on Oahu!

Oahu is a hikers paradise with trails through dense rainforests, cascading waterfalls, striking botanical gardens and seabird sanctuaries, and along the shoreline for prime whale watching. One of Oahu’s most accessible and scenic hikes is to the summit of Diamond Head Crater, Oahu’s famous landmark that dominates the skyline of Honolulu and Waikiki Beach.


Explore Kualoa Ranch on a horse!

Maui, Hawaii

While it’s easy to escape the urban vibe in Oahu, Maui offers a quieter nature retreat with smaller beach towns, secluded shorelines, and a huge dose of Mother Nature’s greatest blessings. The beaches on Maui are some of the best in the world boasting natural beauty and eco-friendly ocean activities. Ocean activities on Maui range from snorkel tours with Hawaiian green sea turtles and humpback whale watching cruises to scuba diving and snorkeling the wrecks and reefs teeming with tropical fishes. Of course, you could simply find a quiet spot of sand, soak up the sun and hang ten on Maui’s winter waves.


Incredible views of the sunrise from Haleakala National Park.

For a true taste of Maui’s natural beauty, take a scenic journey along the Road to Hana with exceptional outdoor activities and cultural experience along the way. You cannot leave Maui without witnessing a spectacular sunrise from the peak of the world’s largest dormant volcano at Haleakala National Park. It’s one for the Maui bucket list!

Experience the top nature activities on Maui and Oahu for free when you book your retreat with an Xplorie Partner. For the best selection of Hawaii vacation rentals ranging from resort condos and oceanfront beach villas to luxury golf estates and coconut plantations, look to Maui Beachfront Rentals, iTrip Maui and Ola Properties on Oahu for a Hawaii nature escape like no other.


Scottsdale, Arizona

Surround yourself with the serenity of the Sonoran Desert in Scottsdale, Arizona. Scottsdale is nestled in the Valley of the Sun with perfect mild winters, a warm desert climate, and serene surroundings for an idyllic nature escape, a popular winter destination for adventure enthusiasts and nature lovers.

Whatever your idea of a nature escape is, you’ll find it here in Scottsdale. Tee off on a tranquil golf course, indulge in a decadent desert spa treatment, dine alfresco on the canal, stroll through the rainforest in a butterfly garden, or lace up your hiking boots and head into the mountains.

Scottsdale is surrounded by excellent trails close to home. Take a challenging climb to the peak of Camelback Mountain or Piestewa Peak for 360o views of the Greater Phoenix region and beyond, watch the sunset from Hole in the Rock at Papago Park or hike, bike or horse ride the trails at South Mountain Park & Preserve.


Get a 360° view of Phoenix from Piestewa Peak!


Take a scenic drive on the Apache Trail.

Adventure completely off the beaten path on a scenic drive on the Apache Trail through the Superstition Mountains to the Tonto National Forest, the 7th largest national forest in the US. This vast, scenic region boasts 2.9 million acres of natural beauty, towering cacti, scenic byways, two Salado-style cliff dwellings (nearly 700 years old), the Theodore Roosevelt Lake for fishing, and miles of rugged trails to explore. Be sure to stop for lunch at the historic Mammoth Saloon in the Goldfield Ghost Town.

Whether you’re in search of a desert paradise for the whole family or a cozy condo for two, you can enjoy an unforgettable nature retreat in Scottsdale by combining the best vacation rentals in Scottsdale with fun, free Xplorie activities for each day of your stay!

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