clear the air

5 Green US Trips

Whatever your style, whatever the weather, you can make your US trip green. CALIFORNIA

1. Go wine tasting
You thought the movie Sideways told you all you need to know about Santa Barbara? You thought wrong. There is, for instance, the Sustainable Vine Wine Tour that we’re guessing you haven’t tried. The six-hour, behind-the-scenes look at organic winemaking might include a visit to Demetria Winery, lunch with the owners of Ampelos Cellars, and a grand finale at Alma Rosa Winery & Vineyards, run by eco-minded wine pioneer Richard Sanford.

Why it’s green You learn about water-saving vineyard techniques and biodynamic practices. And the tour vans run on biodiesel, of course.

Details $125, including tastings, lunch, and transportation to and from the Santa Barbara area; reservations required; 805/698-3911. –Matt Kettman


2. Be a beach bum
The villas at Playa Las Tortugas, 70 miles north of Puerto Vallarta, share 5 miles of creamy beach with nothing but a coconut plantation. When beach-bum fatigue sets in, volunteer to rescue turtle eggs on the beach or to place baby turtles on wet sand, and watch as moonlight sparkling off the waves guides them to the sea.

Why it’s green Your help — and tourist dollars — protects turtles at their most vulnerable time.

Details Nightly turtle releases Jul–Jan; villas from $149; 877/287-8905. –Laurel Delp


3. Go spring skiing
Next time you’re planning a ski trip with your ski-hating spouse, consider this: In Salt Lake City, you get sublime skiing plus the fun of a big-city stay. With the Ski Salt Lake Super Pass, you can enjoy all-day access to lifts at the area’s top four ski resorts and base yourself right in town, taking advantage of the best hotels, restaurants, nightlife, shopping, and culture.

Why it’s green The pass includes shuttle transportation from downtown — no car required.

Details Buy the pass at most hotels. From $52 per day; 800/541-4955. –Amy Wolf


4. Ground yourself at a spa
At Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary in Sonoma County, bury yourself under a huge mound of fragrant, fermenting mulch made of ground cedar, rice bran, and plant enzymes. The mixture, which heats naturally, sends you into a warm dream state that’s oddly exhilarating. To prolong the sensation, follow an attendant up a wooded trail to an outdoor pagoda for a massage.

Why it’s green Can it get much more green than a mulch bath? Plus, all paper goods are composted by red worms (“global worming”), which turn waste into garden fertilizer that’s used on-site.

Details From $80 for a standard 1½-hour treatment; from $95 for a 75-minute massage; reservations required; 209 Bohemian Hwy., Freestone; 707/823-8231. –A.W.


5. Raft a river
Make like an early explorer: Discover southern Utah’s Cataract Canyon from the vantage point of a raft. The canyon’s red-rock cliffs are every bit as beautiful as the much more crowded Grand Canyon’s.

Why it’s green River outfitter O.A.R.S. has an extensive carbon-offset policy.

Details All-inclusive six-day trip from $1,506; 800/346-6277. –Susan Crandell


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