We’re all going to need a vacation this summer, but jumping on a flight to a busy hotel is unlikely to seem a relaxing proposition for many. So after 12 months that has put unique stress on our mental health, this could be the year to try a wellness retreat.
All these five destinations offer an opportunity to unplug, reflect, practice meditation and yoga, and return home genuinely rested and renewed. And connecting with nature does not have to cost the earth, with many of the retreats operating as non-profit organizations which keeps prices reasonable. These recommendations are not expensive luxury spas for endless cocktails and pampering (although we like those too!) but retreats to help us connect with happier, simpler living. Some will be within driving distance for many of us, too.
So here are five of the best wellness retreats in the US – all open for business this summer.
THE ESALEN INSTITUTE, BIG SUR, CA
The Esalen Institute is perched on California’s rugged central coast in the Big Sur, one of the most magical locations in the country.
The most luxurious, and expensive, on this list, it’s a beautiful spot for self-reflection and spiritual seeking, a five-hour drive from Los Angeles.
Weekend workshops offered cover mindfulness, meditation, yoga and self-improvement practices. And it’s open now, with Covid-19 safety procedures in place.
THE OMEGA INSTITUTE, RHINEBECK, NY
The Omega Institute is a nonprofit, donor-supported educational organization to help people realize their potential.
Over the last 40 years, more than one million people have attended their courses at the rolling 190-acre site in Rhinebeck, 90 miles north of New York City. Workshops are organized into six categories: body, mind, and spirit; health and healing; creative expression; relationships and family; leadership and work; and sustainable living. They have also added locations in California, New York City and Costa Rica and Omega speakers and teachers have included Maya Angelou, Deepak Chopra, Thich Nhat Hanh and Al Gore.
The Rhinebeck campus reopens on July 23, with registration of their 2021 workshops open now.
THE ART OF LIVING RETREAT CENTER, BOONE, NC
There are different bespoke retreats for different needs and goals at this stunning 380-acre wellness resort perched in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
The Happiness Retreat helps visitors find freedom in the present moment. The Meditation Retreat calms the mind. You can undergo a Panchakarma Cleanse here to rid the body of toxins. And the Silent Retreat may appeal to those who have been in lockdown with young children. They also offer simple spa getaways for relaxation and rejuvenation.
The Art of Living Retreat Center reopens on April 15.
FEATHERED PIPE RANCH, HELENA, MT
Feathered Pipe Ranch was one of the original yoga retreats in America when it launched in 1975.
Yoga remains the focus here with their famous week-long course diving deep into the practice, along with other areas of mindfulness, meditation, and holistic healing arts. And they have now added other weekend programs — like The Mindful Unplug — to help visitors switch off from their busy lives.
This beautiful spot, nestled in the northern Rocky Mountains, is open for business this summer.
RED MOUNTAIN RESORT, IRVINS, UT
Red Mountain Resort unites the spiritual seeking of a wellness break with the adventure of embracing outdoor activities in nature.
The resort is close to several national parks and offers hiking and other action-packed adventure packages alongside the more gentile yoga and consultations with resident shamanic experts.
It’s open now, and welcomes pets too.