Think you have to venture far from home for a spiritual reset? Think again.
We all have those moments in life when we find ourselves daydreaming about ditching our normal routine, hopping on a plane and starting a new life in a transcendental meditation commune on a faraway continent.
(That’s not just me, right?)
If you’re in need of a spiritual retreat but don’t have the budget or PTO for globe-trekking, we’ve got some good news: there are plenty of places in the U.S. that are hotbeds of spiritual enlightenment, rejuvenation and education – no passport required.
Joshua Tree, California
You can’t go wrong with a quirky desert town like Joshua Tree. This tiny community alongside Joshua Tree National Park attracts young artists, hikers passing through and, of course, locals who march to the beat of their own drum.
If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind desert adventure, you can check into the Pioneertown Motel, a former live-in Western movie set built in the 1940s to house celebrities. At Pioneertown, it’s all about R&R in the crisp desert air, highlighted by some of the starriest night skies you’ve ever seen. Be sure to take a walk along Pioneertown’s main street, where you’ll see creative locals’ front yard art gardens.
If you’re willing to take a bit of a drive, head to nearby Landers. There, you can experience a crystal sound bath in the Integratron, a UFO-shaped wooden structure that has become a California icon. No matter what’s bogging down your soul, it’s surely nothing that a wide open desert sky can’t fix.
Just one look at Sedona’s colorful mountain views could be enough to make you feel centered and rejuvenated, but if you want to take things to another level, you’re in the right place.
Sedona is known for being home to several vortexes, where energy fields are thought to intersect and result in healing, psychic happenings and spiritual alignment. These energy sources are also thought to align the Chakras for better wellbeing.
Sedona’s mystical properties have made the city a hub for all things related to spirituality, wellness and New Age practices. Sedona is even the birthplace of Harmonic Convergence, one of the first worldwide synchronized meditation sessions. Looking for a psychic or a tarot card reader to assist with your spiritual journey? You won’t have to look far in Sedona – nearly every other storefront houses a spiritual guru offering everything from basic readings to past-life regressions.
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Santa Fe’s ever-positive energy is a force to be reckoned with. The city has attracted wellness seekers for decades, so the strong creative community in the area is no surprise. Delicious healthy food, yoga studios, performance art spaces and starry New Mexico skies are all a big draw. The city also has no shortage of New Age stores and workshops about every topic under the sun. It’s easy to get inspired at Canyon Road’s art galleries, the Santa Fe Botanical Garden or one of the city’s many spas.
You can even partake in meditation at the local Upaya Zen Center or join their residential education program, where you can study Buddhist teachings.
Asheville, North Carolina
This beautiful, quirky city nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains is home to a weekly drum circle, reiki healing, meditation centers, spiritual retreats, yoga and even a special tour where you can forage through the woods for your own dinner. Basically, no matter how you’re looking to reconnect with yourself and ditch the hustle, you can find it here.
If you’re looking to really immerse yourself in Asheville’s surrounding natural areas, hop on the famous Blue Ridge Parkway for awe-inspiring mountain views or take on some of the city’s thousands of miles of hiking and biking trails. It also doesn’t hurt that Asheville has the highest amount of breweries per capita among US cities – because a meditation session followed by a locally brewed beer is the best kind of meditation session.
Manitou Springs, Colorado
This idyllic resort town outside Colorado Springs is famous for its healing mineral springs and its proximity to Pikes Peak. You can also take in the Manitou Cliff Dwellings, a beautiful cluster of ancient cliffs. The community has an uncanny ability to blend small-town charm and new age magic. If “Leave It To Beaver” were set in a spiritual town, Manitou Springs would be it.
Gainesville’s New Age movement dates back to the ’70s, when curious hippies starting spending more time in central Florida’s tranquil forests. One of Gainesville’s most well-known spiritual spots, the Temple of the Universe, has been a local fixture for decades. This yoga and meditation space that welcomes people from any religion or belief system, and has hosted countless famous healers over the years.
Eureka Springs, Arkansas
This lovely city in the Ozark mountains attracts a wide range of visitors. Nature lovers come for the healing springs, Christians come for the city’s famous Passion Play Bible re-enactment, and spiritual seekers come to bask in Eureka’s unique energy. Eureka Springs has a series of rejuvenating spaces featuring reflexology, reiki healing, past-life explorations and channeling.
Eureka Springs also boasts a fantastic community of local artists and a thriving music scene. Visitors have been known to report that the area simply feels calming to walk around in – a result of good energy and its overall feeling of optimism.