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Destination Hot Body: Two Summer Escapes That Will Whip You Into Shape


We understand the siren call of the poolside cabana and cocktail list like anyone else, but it’s hard to ignore the new concept of traveling for personal fitness gain that’s sweeping through nearly every kind of vacation spot. The idea: Whether you want a beach retreat, crisp mountain breezes, or the heat of the desert, pair a kick-ass workout with stunning views and chic accommodations to create a luxe summer camp of sorts. It may seem counterintuitive to count down to a vacation only to hit the ground running (sometimes literally) the moment you land, but these trips might just change the way you view your time off.


What: Hang23 Surf Retreat
Where: San Diego, California

It’s hard to drive a few feet down a stretch of the San Diego coast without spotting a surfboard strapped to the roof of a car. It’s even harder to gaze out over the water without seeing a few—or a small village worth—of surfers bobbing up and down like buoys waiting for the next set. But no matter how influenced you are by the local culture, if you didn’t grow up riding on the waves, your instinct is probably one of quick dismissal. Or maybe you look into learning it during your trip and are quickly dissuaded by the fact that you need to log at least a few hours in the water with an instructor before you can even remotely do it independently, and any sort of concentrated set of lessons usually involves a tent and campfire. Enter Tower23′s inaugural Hang23 surf camp, slated to take place September 25-28. The chic boutique hotel has partnered up with famed champion surfer Izzy Paskowitz to offer guests a package of ten hours in the water with his close instruction over the course of three days—replacing the sleeping bag and tent with a sleek modern hotel room, the s’mores and hot dogs with the California fresh cuisine from the hotel’s restaurant JRDN, and the campfire for a fire pit on the sundeck that overlooks the sands of Pacific Beach. Even better: It’s a total-body workout for your arms (paddling), legs (popping up), and core (keeping balance). By the third day, you might just find that recovering in your room with the balcony door open is the perfect moment of R&R…but the sweet sounds of waves at that point might just lure you back down to the beach.

Rates start at $540 a night and include the surf instruction fees and equipment use during your stay. For more information, visit


What: Mountain Trek
Where: British Columbia, Canada, or Tecate, Mexico

Ever watch The Biggest Loser and wish you could put someone else completely in control of your health—but also sort of wish you could do it in more of a spa-like resort than a sweaty gym? Mountain Trek is your answer—a company that brings you to the breathtaking ranges of British Columbia or otherworldly terrain of the Baja desert in Mexico for a week full of hiking and wellness. The program strips away the distractions, bad habits, and processed food you’ve come to depend on to get you through a high-stress day, while forcing you to push yourself as you traverse through gorgeous scenery. After a day full of hiking, hit the lodge for a different kind of workout class (think yoga, Spinning, circuit training) or visit to the spa (three treatments are included in your stay), then collapse onto what’s possibly one of the most comfortable beds you’ve ever felt on vacation (likely because you’ve never been so exhausted in your life). They tell you when and what to eat and where to go—they even prepare your hiking pack for you—so the only thing you need to worry about is clearing your mind and working your body. You’d think you’d come away from it feeling like you need a vacation from your vacation—over the course of a week you’ll likely hike around 50 miles—but the undeniable energy boost you’ll acquire from getting back to nature will undoubtedly put some pep in your step that first day back in the office.

Mountain Trek operates weekly stays in British Columbia between May and October, starting at $4,250 for the week, and includes everything but airfare. It runs its program at the Rancho La Puerta resort in Mexico in November, starting at $4,500. For more information, visit