No matter how you define wellness and “self-care,” PA offers a variety of experiences to help you de-stress and find your inner peace. Create your own itinerary to suit your wellness journey with inspiration from these self-care destinations throughout the Keystone State.
1. Discover a woodland botanical sanctuary
Find stillness while surrounded by the beauty of Mother Nature at the Forest & Flowers Retreat. Rooted in the healing of people and our planet, customize your experience at this eco-conscious botanical sanctuary by booking a stay for a remote PA getaway, visiting for the day, or choosing from their menu of group workshops and one-on-one activities. Their yoga, tea meditations, reiki, herbal and aromatherapy workshops, and flower and garden sanctuary promise the ultimate in wellness experiences.
2. Escape within the pages of new and used books
Find your inner peace as you flip through the crisp pages of new and used books at Werner Books near downtown Erie. Whether seeking to escape with a classic “who done it” or fantasy series, or expand your gardening knowledge, you’re sure to find the perfect book among their more than 20,000 medley of books. The shop hosts various book clubs for you and your fellow bookworms to discuss and find delight in your most recent read.
3. Focus on your mind, body, and spirit
Nourish your mind, support your spirit, and nurture your body at Intersections. Join them at one of their weekly classes or schedule some one-on-one time with offerings from yoga to tarot card readings to wellness therapy. Intersections is the ultimate self-care getaway connecting your mind, body, and spirit.
4. Soak up sunshine on the water
Disconnect from the hustle and bustle of daily life and reconnect with nature by renting a pontoon boat for the day or a houseboat for multiple days from Seven Points Marina at Raystown Lake. Along with nurturing your spirit, spending a few hours a day in the great outdoors has added health benefits including activating your Vitamin D, which can reduce cancer cell growth, help control infections, and reduce inflammation, which is why Raystown Lake makes for the perfect wellness destination. You can even bring your furry friend along for the ride!
5. Appreciate the animals at a PA farm
Feeling stressed?! An escape to the farm with its chorus of moos and bucolic landscape is the perfect prescription to melt your stress away. After all, numerous studies have shown spending time with animals can lower your blood pressure and decrease the stress-related hormone, cortisol. Visit Hameau Farm to connect with nature by milking a cow or feeding a calf. During your stay, attend a “plein air” artist workshop for creative inspiration and enjoy the gourmet farm-to-table dinner prepared by a professional chef using locally grown goat cheese and seasonal vegetables. This experience will moo-ve your body and mind!
6. Awaken all your senses with “forest bathing”
Hold a stone in your hands, listen to the sounds of the forest, focus your eyes on the beauty of the forest, and through the sense of smell “taste” the woodland scents. This is forest bathing, or the Japanese practice of “shinrin-yoku,” where you embrace nature in all its forms. With 29 state parks and nine state or national forests, the Pennsylvania Wilds offers an abundance of peace-filled woodland havens for you to immerse your body and soul with forest bathing and all its demonstrated beneficial results from this global self-care practice.
7. Stretch your body and mind with a furry friend
Find your Zen while surrounded by four-legged "co-instructors" who are eager to be your new best friend at a session or two (or more!) of Gettysburg Goat Yoga. This serene outdoor farm experience is just minutes away from historic downtown Gettysburg and the perfect way to connect with nature and yourself. Your “goga” buddies are always non-judgmental and simply fun as you seek your inner peace.
8. Mellow out while molding pottery
While it’s generally known that viewing art can have a myriad of beneficial results tied to health, pottery making offers its own set of health-related benefits — from reducing stress and the pain and discomfort from arthritis to increasing happiness and emotional stability. Shape your ideal self-care routine literally — with hands-on art classes at outreach-based Under the Horizon Pottery Arts Studio. Participate in one of their walk-in art activities, take an on-site pottery lesson, create your own masterpiece at one of their monthly classes tied to the season, or hop on their Potter’s Wheel Bus, a traveling pottery and arts studio.
9. Plant your own oasis
Learn how to garden your cares away with the green-thumbed folks at The Sagebrush Shack. This self-care destination carries a variety of plants, terrarium kits, and pots for you to create your own sanctuary. In addition to pots and plants, shop their teas, herbs, clothing, and accessories for goods to complement your grounded lifestyle. Be on the lookout for unique events to attend such as their Paint and Plant evening.
10. Go horseback riding
Combining the excitement and wonder of horseback riding with knowing you’re helping do good in this world and improving your core and body strength, the National Riding Stables Horse Rescue allows you to strap in, find inner peace, and enrich your knowledge of history as you take a scenic guided tour through Gettysburg’s historic battlefield on one of their gentle, well-trained horses. A portion of your ride fee supports the stables’ mission of saving abused and neglected horses and those destined for slaughter, placing them in retirement with families as trail or companion horses.
11. Admire local art
Tucked down a beautiful country lane in New Oxford, the bobbi becker gallery is brimming with acrylic works, watercolor paintings, prints, cards, and other unique pieces made by local artist Bobbie Becker. The gallery is surrounded by PA nature, so you can enjoy a closeup look the birds, trees, and natural landscape that inspired Bobbie's work. Purchase one or more of her stunning pieces of art to continue to enjoy the peace and serenity of her work. Be sure to stroll by the nearby creek and if you’re lucky you might just spy a Great Blue Heron or some of nature’s other wonders.
12. Stroll through beautiful greenery at an arboretum
Put on your best walking shoes to soak in the sights and the sounds of the Allegheny Arboretum. Consisting of the entire 354-acre Indiana University of Pennsylvania campus, the north campus alone has 1,200 trees featuring 104 unique tree species. Before you leave home, be sure to download the map and tree guide to enhance the experience of a peaceful stroll through the campus surrounded by the arboretum’s beautiful greenery. You won’t want to miss the beloved Oak Grove along the aptly named Oakland Avenue!
13. Enjoy sweet bliss at the spa
Indulge your senses in a one-of-a-kind chocolate and spa experience that promises delicious moments of relaxation. More commonly known as “The Chocolate Spa,” The Spa At The Hotel Hershey offers a full range of signature chocolate and spa treatments inspired by the scents of the season. Meanwhile, the MeltSpa by Hershey is a day spa located in downtown Hershey and the exclusive home to Hershey’s dark chocolate treatments, as well as other traditional services including massage and facial treatments.
14. Unite with your dearest friends at a group retreat
Indulge in the ultimate self-care trip with friends at the Laurelville Retreat Center. This peaceful sanctuary in the woods offers the perfect location to reconnect, refresh, and renew your most treasured friendships, which all the evidence shows are vital to your emotional and physical health and overall well-being. Enjoy a one-day stay or a full weekend getaway thanks to the center’s abundant offerings. Go for a hike in the woods, challenge yourself on the ropes course, take a dip in the community pool, or engage in some birdwatching to calm the mind, body, and soul at this 600-acre campus.
15. Book a luxurious getaway
Find luxurious comfort and amazing amenities at Oak Lodge. At this 800-acre resort, you can fully immerse yourself in the beauty of the Laurel Highlands while benefiting from activities such as Mountainside Yoga offering both gentle mindful yoga and restorative yin yoga as well as private yoga sessions, forest bathing, and a Himalayan salt stone massage at their Whispering Woods Spa.
16. Curate a holistic wellness experience
Nemacolin’s Holistic Healing Center puts your wellness at the forefront of their practice to help you integrate self-care into your daily routine. This personalized experience will help you discover what eases your mind and body. Design your ideal day with curated wellness packages, acupuncture, specialty massages, yoga, and enhancement suite options like whole body cryotherapy, infrared sauna therapy, and herbal turmeric wraps.
17. Sleep under the stars
Cap off a forest bathing experience with a touch of luxury, gazing up at PA’s vast, star-filled night sky at Big Mount Glamping. Spend the night in one of their two fully furnished, safari-style luxury tents hand-crafted from native cedar logs and complete with a tin roof for a rustic-chic feel! Set on a 168-acre historic farm nestled in the rolling hills of York County, the glamping site provides the ultimate luxury camping experience and supreme self-care getaway for you and your special someone, or even your family!
18. Try salt therapy
Known as “halotherapy,” devotees of salt treatments swear by its power to fight infection, help with breathing issues, and improve overall skin tone by naturally boosting your skin’s hydration. You can test halotherapy out for yourself at 1881 Salt Sanctuary. This holistic wellness center offers dry salt therapy salt rooms, massage therapy, and an herbal apothecary featuring crystals and gemstones, handmade jewelry, and other unique gifts. If you love your experience, become a member to incorporate their massage and salt therapy into your self-care routine.
19. Receive state-of-the-art natural therapy
For more than a decade, the team at Peace, Love & Zen has offered a variety of traditional and modern natural therapies including calming salt therapy, oxygenated water therapy, and even a Himalayan salt cave, all designed to de-stress, repair, and re-energize. Focusing on both physical and spiritual wellness through education and guidance, this wellness sanctuary believes it is essential to harness one’s power to physically heal with spiritual wellness from within. In addition to their therapies, they also offer classes and a range of wellness products to use at home to help achieve your best life.
20. Take a peaceful stroll through a lavender farm
Calm your mind and spirit as you wander through the lavender fields at Hope Hill Lavender Farm. You’ll immediately begin to relax as you take in the scenic mountain views framed by fields of lavender’s lush purple flowers and vivid greenery during one of their guided or self-guided tours. Take the calming experience home with you with the farm’s lavender essential oils and other lavender infused products.
21. Browse a gallery
Explore downtown Lebanon and be sure to stop and admire artwork of all shapes and sizes at Lebanon Picture Frame and Fine Art Gallery. Browse the rotating exhibits that feature beautiful, handcrafted jewelry, pottery, and paintings with exquisite custom framing. Drop off your own masterpiece for one of their framing artists to custom design a frame that enhances your treasured art.
22. Find inner peace at paddle yoga
Align your body, mind, and spirit practicing yoga on a paddle board at Blue Marsh Lake with Aqua Om Paddle. No paddle board experience? No problem! Their friendly team of paddling specialists with teach you how to paddleboard in a welcoming and judgment-free space. Once comfortable with your paddleboarding skills, you can take it to the next level and experience the peace of a yoga class on the water whether you choose to sit, kneel, or stand on your board.
23. Nourish your soul with a wellness retreat
You will feel relaxed and restored after a wellness retreat at the Himalayan Institute. For more than 50 years, the institute has been a recognized world leader in the field of holistic health, yoga, meditation, and spirituality. Their devoted team provides guests with the ultimate self-care getaway to nourish the mind, body, and soul. Treat yourself to a massage, meditate in the peaceful meditation shrine, or relax in one of the many attractive community spaces available on campus. To fully experience the life-changing power of yoga in action, join them on an excursion to the Himalayas or other incredible place.
24. Heal with horses
Find connection, love, joy, peace, positivity, and empowerment with the healing herd at Blissful Existence Healing Acres. Attend the Healing Meditation Circles or Reiki Sessions and let the gentle energy of their horses help you quiet your mind as you explore your inner knowing, wisdom, and intuition. These beautiful animals will help you reconnect with yourself at this unique self-care destination.
25. Journey along a rail trail
Run, bike, or hike your way through PA’s great outdoors on the Lebanon Valley Rail-Trail. This mixed-use greenway offers visitors of all ages and abilities the opportunity to explore the social and industrial history of the area. The trail will take you through Mt. Gretna and its surrounding areas or start your journey in downtown Lebanon and venture into the rolling countryside.
26. Indulge your senses at the spa
Cooper Spa offers a sanctuary of relaxation and rejuvenation. With all the typical day spa treatments including massage therapy and facial and body treatments, Cooper Spa also offers Brazilian massages using one-of-a-kind techniques. No matter how you define self-care, this destination will be sure to make you feel at ease.
27. Stroll through great gardens
One of the must-visit locations within our country’s Garden Capital, Chanticleer Gardens near Philadelphia is a calming oasis filled with hundreds of bright blooms and other plants. Celebrating 30 years, this public garden will have you weaving through nature as you discover treasures including the Teacup Garden and Chanticleer House on the 48-acre grounds. Walk, relax, and picnic at this self-care destination.
28. Visit an art museum
Home to the stunning artwork by three generations of the Wyeth family, the Brandywine Museum of Art holds some of the most beloved and recognizable American works. The museum's central atrium — a perfect place for quiet reflection — overlooks the Riverwalk, banks of the river, beautiful landscaping, and sculptures. The property itself offers an accessible trail system for a leisurely walk or hike to accompany your trip to the museum.
29. Explore Pennsylvania’s only National Forest
Find your personal Zen moments and escape from a chaotic world exploring the natural wonders of the Allegheny National Forest. Breathe in the fresh mountain air and calm your racing mind while taking advantage of the many outdoor recreation opportunities. From hiking and fishing to camping and meditating by the shoreline, you can find both relaxing and adrenaline-pumping experiences in the forest. There’s no better place than PA’s great outdoors to unplug, unwind, and replenish your soul at Pennsylvania’s one and only national forest!
30. Sample soothing scents
Find your signature scent in Gettysburg at Lark. The gift shop features perfume by Zodica, a small-batch and artisanal line of celestial-inspired fine fragrances that reflect the emotion and season of its sign as designed by founder Kristi Moe. Treat yourself or give the gift of relaxing aromas to a friend.
31. Sew your worries away
Whether you’re a beginner or master stitcher, Sew’n Place has endless opportunities for you to make and create. Purchase your own fabrics and supplies to sew on your own time or attend one of the classes at this self-care destination. Learn how to work with leather during a cutwork class, try your hand at making rope bowls, and grab a tasty treat at the café before ending your time browsing the shop.
32. Detox in a salt cave
Newtown and Doylestown
Experience the detoxifying wonders of salt therapy at The Salt Cave in Bucks County. Set in a Himalayan pink salt cave infused with pharmaceutical-grade salt air, a 45-minute session will help to improve your sinuses, respiratory system, and overall health and well-being. Find your Zen solo or experience the benefits with a friend.
33. Float into a blissful state
Drift into a state of total relaxation at the unique Relax: Float Spa in Bucks County! Take your pick of the Floating Forest, Bon Bini Beach Suite, Zen Garden, or Blue Rocks Retreat. Regardless of which room you choose, your float therapy session will work to help suppress your sympathetic nervous system and reach peak calmness at this one-of-a-kind self-care destination.
If you are looking for more self-care and wellness destinations in PA, visit our Spas and Resorts webpage. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram to stay up-to-date on even more great ideas and places to visit around our state. Don’t forget to never miss an update and sign up for our monthly Happy Thoughts e-newsletter.