Sustainability is hot in the travel sphere right now. To get a taste of the green life, why not try one of these stellar eco-lodges, located right in America's back yard?
Post Ranch Inn, California
Lying among the ridges of the Ventana Mountains at the edge of the Pacific Ocean, the tiny community of Big Sur is home to the Post Ranch Inn. Offering stunning views of the ocean and surrounding mountains, Big Sur pampers guests with wood-burning fireplaces, king-sized beds, indoor spa tubs and more. What travelers won’t find, however, are TVs or alarm clocks.
Here, emphasis is placed on the beauty of nature and fragile ecosystem that acts as an amenity within itself. Begin the day with yoga and end with a lesson in astronomy; opportunities are as endless as the area’s shockingly starry sky. www.postranchinn.com
The Lodge & Beach Village, Hawaii
Whether you prefer the convenience of a spacious lodge or the thrill of lodging beachside in a personal bungalow, The Lodge & Beach Village in Molokai has something to soothe your heart’s greenest desires. Dubbed the “last Hawaiin Island,” Molokai lies between Oahu and Maui, forty percent of which is owned by the Molokia property.
Known for it’s unique and eco-friendly activities, Molokai offers guests the opportunity to whale watch, dive, surf, mountain bike, or even ride a mule down the 1,500 foot cliffs to the famed Kalaupapa should you want to do so. www.molokairanch.com
Tiamo Resort, Andros Island, Bahamas
This secluded beach resort, large on luxury and low on eco impact, is the perfect Caribbean getaway for those travelers who’d rather not leave a footprint behind. Powered completely by solar energy (yes, even to heat the water), Tiamo’s bungalows were built around preexisting surroundings for the ultimate in minimum site impact. To keep lodging cool, each building is elevated, offers a wraparound porch and white reflective roofs, and utilizes high-pitched ceilings and open design for maximum air flow. No air conditioning. No TV or internet either.
Instead, guests can hike, snorkel, fly fish, sail or kayak. www.tiamoresorts.com
Hotelito Desconocido, Puerto Vallarta
When evening falls on Hotelito Desconocido, the glow of candles light walkways for wandering guests. Here, travelers are treated to a world exempt of the modern trappings of “luxury” lodging – no electricity, telephones, or glitzy restaurants. Instead, emphasis is placed on natural surroundings – the crystal clear lagoons and smooth, sandy beaches.
Guests stay in an individual palafito, a bungalow built on stilts over the edge of the estuary or tucked near the beach’s sand dunes. Palafitos built over water can only be accessed via the included row-boat. www.hotelito.com