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All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, but all play and no downtime makes Jack exhausted and ornery. Fortunately, National Relaxation Day (August 15, 2022) is here to give Jack—and the rest of us—some respite from all the hustle and bustle.
Because planning how to relax isn’t particularly relaxing, we’ve done the legwork for you. Here, five ways to alleviate stress, lighten up, and let go—whether you’re living on a shoestring or have money to burn.
Splurge on an overnight stay and spa treatment at the Four Seasons
The pandemic was a difficult time for the hospitality industry, but the Four Seasons, Denver, took advantage of the lull in patrons to undergo a multimillion dollar renovation. Completed in May 2021, the reno spruced up the resort’s rooms, ballrooms—just in case you unwind like Fred and Ginger—and dining spaces. We suggest booking a Deluxe Mountain-View Room (starting at $750 per night), toasting to your health with Dom Pérignon 2012 at the on-site Edge Bar ($70 per glass, $345 for the bottle), and then enjoying the French fare at Bistro Vendôme or Mediterranean-inspired eats at Rioja, both nearby options by James Beard Foundation Award–winning chef Jennifer Jasinski. After sleeping in and having an egg white frittata for breakfast in bed, make your way to the hotel’s private, third-floor rooftop terrace, where a heated pool surrounded by junipers and pear trees awaits. Top off your staycation with an age-defying Biologique Recherche Second Skin Facial (80 minutes; $500), and you’ll leave looking—and feeling—better than ever.
Sweat and sigh at the Garden of the Gods Resort and Club
Colorado Springs, $$$$
If finding your happy place requires intense physical exertion, then a day with the wellness gurus at the Garden of the Gods Resort and Club might be the right way to spend National Relaxation Day. The seasoned guides offer hikes at Garden of the Gods (starting at $140 per person), mountain bike rides for any skill level on local singletrack (starting at $199 per person), and, for those slightly less excited about Type 2 fun, nontechnical e-bike tours (starting at $179 per person). Since all that adventuring will likely leave your muscles aching, work out the kinks with the resort’s latest bodywork and skincare offerings: the tension-reducing Spa Sampler massage and refreshing Crystalized Seawater Scrub (both are 30 minutes; $85).
Take a soak at Durango Hot Springs Resort & Spa
Formerly known as Trimble Hot Springs, the geothermal features on which Durango Hot Springs Resort & Spa sit have been attracting patrons—including illustrious film stars like Marilyn Monroe—for nearly 150 years. When the property changed hands in 2019, the new owners took an already elevated hot springs experience (the property sits at 6,500 feet) to an even higher level. The water boasts 34 distinct minerals (skin-tone-improving iron and anti-aging silicon, among them), but the resort says recent renovations have also supercharged the water’s healing power with a proprietary Oxium Quantum Fusion system. We’ll spare you the science, but the resort says the system helps enhance the absorption of minerals into the skin. Guests can choose from 38 different pools (many of them designed for couples or solo soaking), ranging from the 52-degree “cold plunge” all the way up to 110 degrees—and they all offer views of the San Juan Mountains’ Missionary Ridge. General admission is $39 for adults, $15 for kids; reservations required.
Tuck into the latest novel from Colorado author Eleanor Brown
Your couch or pool-side lounge, $
Whether you choose to revel in your air conditioned living room or a lounge at one of the Mile High City’s 16 public pools, there are few things more chill than diving into a good book. We suggest you check out Any Other Family, the latest tome by New York Times bestselling author and Colorado resident Eleanor Brown. Kathy Baum, a buyer at the Tattered Cover Book Store, calls the novel a “unique, thoughtful, and heartwarming examination of what makes a family.”
Wander through the Benson Sculpture Garden
Those looking for a space to turn inward should consider planning an afternoon at Benson Sculpture Garden, home to pristine lawns, stately brick archways, and more than 178 pieces of sculpture on permanent display—many by world-renowned artists. The garden, which is free to the public, added six new sculptures to its collection this June—including “Hangin’ Around,” a bronze rendering of children on monkey bars—but you’ll also love the movement carved into “Prairie Flowers” and the glee found in “Flyin’.” Stop for lunch at one of several picnic areas, or if you want to become one with the art, take five while sitting on the interactive piece “Resting on a Rough Sawn Bench.”