With calming ocean views, local and sustainable food choices and a variety of outdoor activities, it's no wonder Monterey County is a mecca for those looking to reconnect with themselves. Monterey not only offers incredible vacation opportunities, but life-changing and enriching experiences to please your mind, body and soul. Below are a few rejuvenating retreats sure to have you saying "om" in no time.

Esalen Institute

There's a reason Mad Men ended their final episode with Don Draper reflecting at Esalen Institute. This hippie haven invites you to tap into your intellectual side with enlightening workshops and soothing vistas of Big Sur's rocky coastline. With over 300 workshops held annually ranging from arts & creativity to nature & sustainability there's something to enrich every side of the mind. The escape also offers personal retreats with plenty of time to reflect and indulge in massages, yoga classes and the onsite Esalen hot spring baths overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

Esalen Institute

Wave Street Studios

Just up the street from bustling Cannery Row lays Wave Street Wellness offering a plethora of services geared to nourish your body and soul. Various yoga sessions are offered ranging from Yin/Yang Flow to Vinyasa Flow and immersive workshops, relaxing massages and interactive cooking classes will have your body feeling the best it has in years!

Wave Street Studios


For physical euphoria look no further than the Refuge nestled in Carmel Valley. The co-ed spa strives to provide the ultimate in relaxation with their hydrothermal cycle comprised of three simple steps, heat up, cool down and relax. The pristine two acre facility features a cedar sauna, a eucalyptus steam room, 4 Nordic cool pools, 6 hot pools with cascading thermal waterfalls, multiple fire pits and zero gravity relaxation rooms. Repeated use of the Refuge thermal cycle soothes aches and pains, speeds up metabolism, and enhances muscle recuperation; now how's that for wellness?

Bernardus Lodge & Spa

With the remodel and renovation of Bernardus Lodge comes a brand new wellness program. From guided hikes to fuel your active life, to holistic wellness experiences to find your balance, The Spa at Bernardus Lodge rejuvenates your entire being. Guests are encouraged to join fitness classes or simply relax and revive with specialty massages. On Saturdays the Lodge hosts a variety of wellness workshops including vineyard yoga flows, fun runs, culinary cultivations, starlit yoga and more.

Spa at Bernardus Lodge & Spa

Tassajara Zen Mountain Center

Practice your "zen" at Buddhist retreat Tassajara hidden in the Los Padres National Forest. Zen meditation, natural hot springs, sustainable living and delicious vegetarian cuisine are just a few of the property's "zen-ful" amenities. To fully tap into your inner-spirit, guests are encouraged to participate in retreats hosted by their flock of renowned teachers. There is a variety of offerings ranging from yoga, cooking and the arts which are all angled to explore Zen Buddhism and other spiritual traditions.

Tassajara gate

New Camaldoli Hermitage

A glance at New Camaldoli Hermitage's views alone are enough to instantly rebalance and rejuvenate. Perched atop Big Sur's rigid cliffs, the unique hideaway offers panoramic views of California's most scenic stretch of coastline and a true sense of serenity. The secluded monastery, founded in 1958 by a group of Benedictine monks, continues to run as an operational monastery as well as a refuge for normal folk. Rooms are monastic and reasonable starting at just $115 per person which includes meals.

Hermitage view

Carmel Valley Lodge

Load up on Vitamin D and a hefty dose of wellbeing at the sunny escape known as Carmel Valley Lodge. This isn't your average lodge as the wellness property not only offers comfortable accommodations but various meditation venues, a sauna and the owner's specialty breakfast, Rainbow Ssambap. The complimentary concoction is made of over 20 different ingredients including beans, berries, nuts and fruit which the 80 year old owner attributes his glowing health. The cornucopia of fruits and vegetables is certainly a nutritious way to start off the day.

Rainbow Ssambap, speciality breakfast at Carmel Valley Lodge 

Looking for more? Click here to view a list of spas in the area.