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10 Trips Close to Home

Need a cure for spring fever?T+L has the perfect prescription: Pack your bags and hit the road. Whether you're looking to be worked on at a spa, get worked up on a hike, or do as little work as possible, America has no shortage of great escapes. So, put away your passport: we've found some of the most relaxing destinations in the country, from Puerto Rico's sandy shores to the wide-open plains of Texas.

BEACH: Horned Dorset Primavera, PUERTO RICO
Unlike many Caribbean resorts, the Horned Dorset, on Puerto Rico's unspoiled west coast, prides itself on its lack of activities. Here you won't have to make any decisions other than whether to lounge by the enormous pool or on the hotel's smallish, but no less enchanting, beach. Do both—swim in the pool in the morning, and then spend the rest of the day at the beach, reading or napping under an umbrella. Or take long walks along vast golden stretches. The resort recently expanded, taking over an adjacent hillside and adding a cluster of whitewashed Mediterranean town houses with 22 new suites and tiny private pools. We recommend a room by the seawall, so close to the ocean that you'll feel as if you're aboard a ship. At night, with the French doors open, the sound of the sea is a constant companion.
Rincón; 800/633-1857 or 787/823-4030; www.horneddorset.com; doubles from $440, including breakfast and dinner.

Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and William S. Burroughs shared a secret: nothing unleashes the creative spirit like a hotel room. With that in mind, the Beat Hotel opens this month in the California desert. All eight guest rooms of the restored 1957 motel are decorated with paintings and photographs by Burroughs himself. In case inspiration strikes, each room is equipped with a vintage manual typewriter. Unlike the original beatniks, however, you don't have to suffer for your art. Instead of urban grit, you have sweeping views of the Coachella Valley, a surreal mix of palm trees, desert sand, wind farms, and mountains. And after you're done writing, head to Palm Springs, the epicenter of Mid-Century Modern, a 10-minute drive away. Or just recharge in the swimming pool and the silky waters of the mineral spa.
67840 Hacienda Dr., Desert Hot Springs; 760/251-6470; www.dhsbeathotel.com; doubles from $150, including breakfast.

ACTIVE: Appalachian Trail, MAINE
Hiking the length of the Appalachian Trail—from Georgia to Maine (all 2,173 miles)—has been a rite of passage for some 7,000 hikers over the past 70 years. Now, with the addition of the 700-mile International Appalachian Trail, there is more than ever to explore. To be among the first to experience this new pathway, make your home base the rustic Lodge at Moosehead Lake in Greenville, Maine. Tables are built of twigs; curtain rods are fashioned from birch branches; and moose antlers adorn the mantel above an old stone fireplace. The new trail, which starts at the summit of Mount Katahdin, weaves through some of the most remote stretches of the great North Woods. Don't miss the first rays of sunshine at the top of the mile-high mountain—on a clear day, you can see Canada.
Lily Bay Rd., Greenville; 800/825-6977 or 207/695-4400; www.lodgeatmooseheadlake.com; doubles from $185.

INN: Ram's Head Inn, NEW YORK
Shelter Island, as the name suggests, is a particular kind of haven. Just south of Long Island's North Fork, it's the sort of place where the 2,500 year-round residents really do know one another's names, and where classic summer houses coexist happily with swaths of wild grasses, dunes, and horse farms. The Ram's Head Inn embodies everything that is best about the island. The cedar-shingled house sits on a hill overlooking a spit of land with water on either side. From the back porch, you can look across Coecles Harbor and spot ospreys and their nests, large and saucer-shaped high atop telephone poles. Or you can rent bicycles and head into town for sandwiches at Island Food Center, or ride to Dering Harbor, with its grand houses and yachts. The inn's 17 rooms are spacious and quaint; you can imagine them having housed generations of New Englanders. The restaurant serves everything from omelettes to lobster to pistachio pie. If you want to head to the beach, it's just steps away, and your footprints may well be the only ones on it.
108 Ram Island Dr., Big Ram Island; 631/749-0811; www.shelterislandinns.com; doubles from $250.

SPA: Wilderness Adventure Spa, WYOMING
You can find a place that doles out manicures and massages anywhere, but the Wilderness Adventure Spa at Spring Creek Ranch in Jackson Hole—home of adrenaline-inducing skiing, climbing, and biking—works adventure into the treatment menu. Start with a session of reiki on horseback, an advanced-level form of horse whispering in which equine energy is harnessed to help free your energy flow. Once your qi is charged, head to the woods to learn how to build a Native American sweat lodge. And since spring in the Tetons can be a bit chilly, try some meditation or yoga postures around the open fire pit. Indoors, there are more-traditional spa offerings—hot-stone massage, mud wraps, paraffin pedicures. After "relaxing" Jackson Hole-style, you've earned them.
1800 Spirit Dance Rd., Jackson; 800/443-6139; www.springcreekranch.com; doubles from $150, including breakfast; treatments from $58.


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