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If you’re anything like us, after more than a year of being cooped up inside, the drive to get out and explore is real! A great spot to take a selfie? Sure, that’s cool. But we’re not looking for just another pretty place. Right now, it’s a deeper and more meaningful travel experience that’s calling.

For some, that might mean a spa getaway. Others find fulfillment in more eye-opening cultural pursuits—seeing great works of art, tasting incredible culinary delights or sipping fine wine. And, of course, connecting with nature can be thoroughly invigorating.

Because a transformative trip is what just about everyone needs at the moment, we’ve rounded up seven U.S. vacation destinations guaranteed to reinvigorate your soul.

RELATED: 10 TRAVEL TRENDS FOR 2021

soul searching tips sedona az
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1. SEDONA, AZ

There’s something incredibly therapeutic about communing with nature—and it certainly doesn’t hurt to do so in such a staggeringly beautiful place. Insert Sedona. This deeply spiritual destination boasts some of the most magical scenery anywhere in the world. Need some solo time? Strike out on a less-trafficked trail like Wilson Mountain and you’ll feel like the only person on the planet. Staring at the enormous red rock formations just really puts things in perspective. The landscape isn’t the only thing that promises spiritual awakening. You can stock up on healing crystals at the New Age shops in downtown Sedona.

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soul searching tips taos nm
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2. TAOS, NM

Feeling drained? Taos is a pilgrimage-worthy Southwestern city with reinvigorating energy and a mystical side. This longtime mecca for creatives, adventurers and wellness seekers will refill your cup in so many ways. Marvel at the mythical light on an early morning stroll. Do yoga in the high desert. Navigate the trails along the banks of the Rio Grande. Indulge in an aromatherapy spa ritual or unwind with a trip to the healing mineral pools—said to be a cure-all for whatever ails you. Taos also has rustic ranches that offer horseback riding (equine therapy, anyone?) and a flourishing arts community.

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soul searching tips calistoga ca
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3. CALISTOGA, CA

Tucked away in the northern end of Napa Valley, Calistoga entices weary travelers with its natural hot springs, wineries and low-key ambiance. Plus, its under-the-radar status means fewer tourists than the nearby towns of St. Helena and Yountville. Simply put: This all-too-often overlooked gem is the ultimate spot for R&R. Stressed out? Alleviate tension with deep-tissue massages and facials at a traditional spa or take a dip in one of the area’s mineral-rich mud baths. Obviously, your itinerary will include wine tasting. We love the relaxed vibe and terroir-driven sips at Tamber Bey Vineyards.

Where to stay

soul searching tips kauai hi
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4. KAUAI, HI

Leave your iPhone at home (or, at least, turn it to airplane mode). Kauai is the perfect place to unplug and reconnect to the natural world. “The Garden Isle” very much lives up to its moniker. Expect an abundance of lush rainforests, dramatic cliffs, majestic mountain peaks and cascading waterfalls. The most spellbinding vantage point? From above. Gazing at the glory of the Nā Pali Coast State Wilderness Park and 10-mile-long Waimea Canyon from a Blue Hawaiian Helicopter tour is nothing short of a religious experience. There are also gorgeous hiking trails, oceanfront golf courses and pampering spas, if that’s more your idea of a revitalizing escape.

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soul searching tips zion national park ut
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5. ZION NATIONAL PARK, UT

Located in southwest Utah, Zion National Park brims with breathtaking scenery—high plateaus, steep cliffs, deep canyons, forested trails, flowing rivers and waterfalls. Exploring this majestic natural preserve is a true mind, body and soul experience. Strenuous treks like Observation Point will push you physically. Covering 148,016 acres with tons of remote corners, Zion National Park provides ample space to be alone with your thoughts. So if you’re seeking a sense of mental clarity, consider it found. And, needless to say, the sheer grandeur of Zion Canyon is all but guaranteed to awaken spiritual awareness.

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soul searching tips lake placid ny
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6. LAKE PLACID, NY

The name says it all. Lake Placid is an utterly tranquil destination known for its fresh mountain air, crystal clear water, cozy inns and full-service spas. In between nature walks, forest bathing rituals and stress-melting massages, carve out some time to sit in stillness. Our favorite setup for reveling in the silence? Spread out a blanket on an empty stretch of shoreline and crack open a self-actualization book or listen to a guided meditation. In the evening, Adirondack chairs and a crackling fire set the stage for a perfectly peaceful night that includes a solid eight hours of shut eye.

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soul searching tips joshua tree national park ca
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7. JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK, CA

Yes, it’s an Instagram goldmine. But most people go to Joshua Tree National Park for the purpose of getting up close and personal with nature (epic photos are just a bonus). The desert really does have this incredibly healing energy. Plus, it’s just so serene. Soul-searchers can hoof it to the middle of nowhere, stare out at the arid landscape and enjoy uninterrupted quiet to think. Joshua Tree National Park also shines as one of the best places in the country, err the world, for stargazing. Peering up at the celestial bodies in the sky is sure to shift your perspective on things.

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RELATED: THERE ARE 9 NATIONAL PARKS IN CALIFORNIA—HERE’S WHAT’S SPECIAL ABOUT EACH ONE

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