While it is known for chocolate and cheese fondue, Switzerland’s largest city is also home to thermal baths, hiking trails, and Europe’s oldest vegetarian restaurant. Who knew? Often called Zurich’s own little mountain, Uetliberg sits west of Lake Zurich and rises 2,851 feet with a lookout at the summit. Take the 20-minute train ride out of the city to the mountain and then access the summit by one of two trails that run through a yew-tree forest up to the top. For a more guided experience, Zurich-based TopTrek (toptrek.ch) runs hiking, biking, and even skiing excursions on the mountain as well as for surrounding regions year-round. The Hiltl (hiltl.ch) dates back to 1904 when Ambrosius Hiltl himself, who suffered from rheumatoid arthritis, went vegetarian at the suggestion of a doctor who thought the plant-based diet might alleviate joint pain. These days, the three-story Hiltl, which is still owned by the namesake family, is a modern vegetarian café with some 100 daily market items to choose from, banquet and meeting space, and even a cocktail lounge by night. Hiltl also offers cooking classes.
STAY: The city’s Hurlimann brewery, dating back to 1836, was recently converted into B2 Boutique Hotel & Spa (b2boutiquehotels.com), a sleek 60-room boutique hotel complete with thermal baths and a spa. Soak in barrel-like tubs filled with spring-fed water and housed in the brewery’s original stone cellar. Additional vaulted chambers were converted into steam rooms and lounge areas, and there’s also a stunning rooftop spring-fed pool that overlooks the city. The historic Dolder Grand’s (thedoldergrand.com) 43,000-square-foot spa is equally impressive with 18 treatment rooms, indoor and outdoor whirlpools, Japanese-inspired pebble-filled tubs, kotatsu footbaths, as well as fitness coaches and personal trainers. — T.C.
6. HONG KONG
Skyscrapers, shopping, and delicious, albeit fried, food, all precede healthy living on the list of Hong Kong’s attributes. But the city’s green spaces like Hong Kong Park and countless temples and vegetarian restaurants are slowly changing that. Truly an oasis in the middle of the city, Hong Kong Park, with its turtles and blooming flowers, aviary, and Museum of Tea Ware, affords locals and travelers a much-needed respite. Or step into the tranquil Man Mo Temple at Sheung Wan, built in 1847 and dedicated to the gods of literature and war. Though a bit more of an excursion, the 110-foot-tall Big Buddha, seated on a lotus flower throne at Po Lin Monastery, is exceptionally memorable. Where to eat healthy? Life Café (lifecafe.com.hk), in Discovery Bay, is a favorite vegetarian spot, with a menu that features dips, salads, and African sweet potato stew. For a true farm-to-table experience, although not exclusively vegetarian, visit Yin Yang (yinyang.hk), a 30-seat restaurant in a heritage building that grows its own fruits and vegetables. — T.C.
That Miami would make the list of fit cities should come as no surprise to anyone: Between the beaches, the warm weather, and the abundance of fresh, light food, it’s almost harder to make your stay in Miami an unhealthy one. And while this is a city that is no stranger to late nights and libations, it can serve up a healthy, detoxifying drink as well as it can a mojito. These days, in Miami it’s almost easier to get a glass of cold-pressed juice than it is to get a Coke. Need a recommendation on what veggies press well together? You might want to consult “juice sommelier” Matthew Sherman, founder of the immensely popular (and exponentially growing) Jugofresh cold-pressed juice outposts (jugofresh.com), which offer concoctions such as El Green-Go (apple, celery, spinach, parsley, and lemon) and Ashram (grapefruit, lemon, water, turmeric, cayenne, and honey), in addition to a menu of good-for-you snacks. And Savannah James — otherwise known as Mrs. LeBron James — recently opened The Juice Spot (thejuicespotmiami.com) downtown, serving up raw, organic, cold-pressed juice to a clientele thirsting for better health.
STAY: Canyon Ranch Hotel & Spa Miami Beach (canyonranch.com/miamibeach) is set on prime oceanfront land between South Beach and Bal Harbour. That’s perfect if you want to leave the resort to explore, but Canyon Ranch is the kind of place you will want to check into and not set foot out of. An all-day schedule of treatments (the 70,000-square-foot spa is the largest in Florida) and activities — many of which are set outdoors — ensures you will not sit idle, while healthy gourmet dining options abound at the Canyon Ranch Grill, which is open to the public as well as resort guests.
DINE: Lido Restaurant & Bayside Grill at the Standard Spa, Miami (standardhotels.com) serves up fresh, healthy food with a Mediterranean influence. Start your meal with a kale and goat cheese salad, followed by “Living Lasagna,” a raw vegan vegetable terrine. Enjoy it all with a green juice or, if you want something with a little kick, a Green Prophet, which features vodka, green apple, wheatgrass, and mint. Eden Roc Miami Beach hotel has introduced “15 Steps,” the resort’s farm-to-table and garden-inspired dining experience — named after the 15 steps necessary to grow a vegetable, catch a fish, and cook the perfect steak — sourced, in part, by the resort’s newly planted Sea Spray Organic Garden.
PLAY: You could visit your hotel’s gym and knock out a few miles on the treadmill. But this is Miami, where sunshine is abundant and temperatures hover around the 75-degree mark. You owe it to yourself to be outside. Bayfront Park offers free outdoor yoga classes three days a week (bayfrontparkmiami.com), while Oceanfront Fitness (oceanfrontfitness.com) welcomes guests to its beachside boot camp classes. Lest you leave Miami with a healthier body but not much of a feel for the city, you might want to take a bike tour with Bike and Roll Miami (bikemiami.com) or explore the area’s stunning architecture on a walking tour with Art Deco Tours (artdecotours.com). BY LORI STACY