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5 Cheap and Healthy Places to Visit in the US

5 Cheap and Healthy Places to Visit in the US

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There’s a reason why you’re probably spotting lots of celebrity winter bikini bodies basking in the sun of tropical locales: January is the cheapest month to travel, according to data from TripAdvisor. In fact, you could save around 25 percent on trips in January and early February, a time considered a “dead zone” by most airlines.

Need another excuse to escape? A recent study from Virgin Atlantic found that people who travel at least five times a year are seven times more likely to achieve their goals than non-travelers, and have 23 percent more confidence about succeeding at their goals. So, travel now and you’ll be more likely to make your New Year’s resolutions a reality by 2016!

Davina Baum, director of digital content for AFAR, a leading source for travel advice, helped us track down the perfect destinations to go for a getaway—right now! (Or, if you're feeling adventurous, try these 7 Travel Destinations That Answer the Call of the 'Wild').

Photo: Corbis Images

Chicago, IL

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Longman and Eagle, in Logan Square, is the place to stay—off the tourist track, and in a friendly, comfortable neighborhood. With only 6 rooms and a delicious gastropub, this place feels super cozy, especially after a brunch of shrimp and grits with a bloody Mary. Explore the local culture in this rapidly changing neighborhood, where dark dive bars sit side by side with modern cocktail emporiums, like the Whistler, which is also a gallery and record label.

Photo: Corbis Images

Charleston, SC

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Tuck in at a cozy B&B for the weekend and make time to shop along King Street, a shopper’s paradise. Don’t miss Croghan's Jewel Box, a 100-plus-year-old family business operated by Rhett and Mariana, two Southern belles who curate the most gorgeous selection of jewelry and gifts. Stop by The Commons, too, a boutique that stocks only American-made goods from artisans and designers, with many things you’ll find only in the South. Fuel up with lunch at Butcher and Bee for delicious healthy food, then get your sweat on at the local Orangetheory Fitness.

Photo: Corbis Images

Mendocino's Anderson Valley, CA

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Just a few hours from San Francisco, you’ll find peaceful wine country. Book a room at The Madrones, which has its own tasting rooms and an excellent restaurant. Spend an afternoon hiking through the Redwood groves in Hendy Woods State Park, but be sure to stay hydrated throughout the day so you can visit a few more tasting rooms before dinner at tiny little Coq au Vin, which serves up classic French dishes in the middle of nowhere. (Get the most out of your weekend getaway with these 5 Ways to Upgrade Your Vacation.)

Photo: Corbis Images

Austin, TX

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Relax your eating restrictions a little and try some wacky (but also delicious) food in this town known for being weird. Head to East Austin and visit Qui for its offbeat ingredients (frozen cheddar cheese in ice cream) or chef Paul Qui's food truck, the East Side King, which serves up beet fries alongside canned beer. Sneak in cardio by two-stepping at the White Horse Tavern, with live music every night of the week.

Photo: Corbis Images

Beacon, NY

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Spend a weekend soaking in the contemporary arts scene at Dia:Beacon, an exhibit space featuring art from the Dia Art Foundation’s collection from the 1960s. Then get outside and hike up Mt. Beacon, or along the Hudson River (with picnic provisions from the local Saturday farmers' market). Return to more art: this town is bursting at the seam with galleries, thanks to the success of the Dia. Eat at Homespun Foods, which showcases the Hudson Valley's abundant local meat and produce. (Want more travel ideas? Check out these 5 Amazing Fit Trips to Take This Winter.)

Photo: Corbis Images

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