As the new year kicks off, its the perfect time to exercise, eat well, enjoy plenty of fresh air, and disconnect from the daily grind. How can a wellness-focused weekend improve your health, your stress, and your mental well-being? Its called the “vacation effect and it can help with mindfulness, stress reduction, and physical rejuvenation.

And the best news? You dont have to go to far away places or spend a fortune on a wellness-centered retreat for yourself and your friends. The Virginia mountain town of Waynesboro, nestled against the Blue Ridge Mountains and Shenandoah National Park, provides scenic surroundings and ample opportunities to soak in the great outdoors and enjoy metaphysical and spiritual wellness activities, and pampering too.

Slip into the great outdoors to tackle hiking and biking trails, retreat to the mountains for a deep breath of fresh air, or learn new ways to approach self-care. With the Blue Ridge Parkway, Skyline Drive, and Shenandoah National Park high above the Shenandoah Valley, outdoor adventure abounds. Winter snowshoeing on the Parkway and Skyline Drive is the workout you didnt know you needed, and winter wildlife viewing is spectacular. In spring, step off those beloved scenic drives to experience the Appalachian Trail and hunt for waterfalls and wildflowers.

Explore the Healing Power of The Mind

“There is no necessity for technique or formula for meditation. Inner feeling, or inner knowing, is the silent voice of inspiration.
– Walter Russell

Focus inward with a visit to the new Russell Museum at The University of Science Philosophy. Explore galleries of Walter Russells paintings, science diagrams, clips of his music, and fine art collection including busts of Mark Twain, Thomas Edison, and Franklin Roosevelt. Russell was a painter and philosopher focused on mindfulness and the metaphysical.

Walter Russell and his wife Lao first began The University of Science Philosophy at their landmark home on top of Afton Mountain, called Swannanoa. They made this famous mountaintop Italian Renaissance Revival villa their home from 1948 until Walters passing in 1963. Russells collection has been in storage for decades prior to the 2019 opening of the new museum space in Waynesboro.

Renew In A Room With a View

Great rest is essential to wellness, and The Iris Inn is an excellent place to unwind and let the mountain air soothe your soul. Perched in the trees and complete with a hot tub and rain shower, the cabins at Iris Inn are the ideal choice for privacy, reflection, and relaxation. The Iris Inn offers a Sip Spa Package with a two-night stay. Included with your in-room couples massage is a bottle of local Virginia wine, a picnic for two, and an evening wine tasting. For an herbal, crystal, aromatherapy, or Himalayan salt massage, make an appointment with Wild Free, LLC. Their founder also makes her own natural skincare products.

Local Shops Practicing Healthy Living

Visit Blue Ridge Bucha, Virginias first full-service kombucha bar, to enjoy a certified organic kombucha that is rich in beneficial probiotics. Blue Ridge Bucha uses organic herbs, spices, and fruit extracts to infuse their bubbly beverages. Their no-waste model has saved more than one million bottles from landfills, which is a boost of wellness for the environment. Secure your own refillable kombucha bottle at Blue Ridge Bucha and fill it with whichever flavor you choose. A flight of on-tap ‘bucha will help you discover your favorite!

Stop by Pyramidto explore and take home your choice of natural, small batch body products, handmade local gifts, raw honey, and more. For on-the-spot individualized care, ask the shopkeeper to whip up a custom herbal remedy for you to take home. At Shenandoah Hemp Supply youll find locally sourced hemp and CBD products, while Healthy Habits offers natural, herbal medicines and supplements. A visit to Fredas Skin Studio is an indulgent treat in self-care. Ask for the three-in-one OxyGeneo facial to oxygenate and rejuvenate your skin.

Allow Waynesboro and the Shenandoah Valley to be part of your 2020 wellness journey. See our latest Visitors Guide for more inspiration.