Monterey Guide: Explore Relaxation and Wellness in Monterey


Monterey County embodies the perfect backdrop to uncover a new, relaxed, and inspired you. The natural beauty of California's Central Coast redwood forests, verdant valleys, and sweeping, towering cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean will erase stress and inspire a new state of being.

"With plentiful offerings that will rejuvenate mind, body and soul, Monterey County is the ultimate destination for travelers to disconnect and focus on themselves in the New Year," says Rob O'Keefe, Chief Marketing Officer for the Monterey County Convention & Visitors Bureau. "From spas and meditation studios to hiking trails and literary sites, travelers will surely be relaxed and revitalized after a trip to Monterey County."

Below are some ideas for your relaxation escape to Monterey County:

Relax at a Spa

Relaxation Area at Sanctuary Beach Resort.             [Image courtesy of Sanctuary Beach Resort.]

Relaxation Area at Sanctuary Beach Resort. [Image courtesy of Sanctuary Beach Resort.]

The newest luxury resort in Marina, California, The Spa at Sanctuary Beach Resort leaves guests feeling refreshed and inspired with their range of custom treatments focusing on body care and total wellness. For ultimate pampering time, guests can indulge in the unique Salt Wood Spa RX treatment, a sea salt exfoliation using seasonally-inspired salt blends to aid the body in releasing toxins while unveiling a healthy glow. For head-to-toe relaxation, The Spa offers the Pacific Ocean Body Treatment—a basalt stone face massage, mineral-rich seaweed body mask, and a full-body massage.


Image courtesy of See Monterey.

Image courtesy of See Monterey.

To further cultivate and elevate well-being, consciousness and kindness, visit Monterey Bay Meditation Studio for a variety of movement, nature, and relational meditation sessions, retreats, and courses. Sessions are held on the beach, in the forest, by the river, and in meadows throughout Monterey County, as well as in their ocean-view studio in Pacific Grove. In 2019, the studio will be offering a Conscious Living Series, which includes several courses focusing on different aspects of incorporating mindfulness into daily life.

Celebrate New Seasons

Bernardus Lodge & Spa.              [Image courtesy of Bernardus Lodge & Spa]

Bernardus Lodge & Spa. [Image courtesy of Bernardus Lodge & Spa]

Among the rolling hills and sun-dappled vineyards of Carmel Valley, the Spa at Bernardus Lodge offers a variety of unique experiences for rejuvenation, inspiration, and indulgence. With seasonal body treatments focusing on the solstices and equinoxes, the experiences integrate celestial reminders to take time for ourselves, reflect on the past, renew for the future, and optimize balance.

Decompress Outdoors

Image courtesy of Refuge in Carmel

Image courtesy of Refuge in Carmel

Find inner peace at Refuge in Carmel—America's first co-ed outdoor relaxation spa. This sanctuary is a wellness paradise offering the ultimate in relaxation through a three-step thermal cycle featuring a cedar sauna with Himalayan salt walls, eucalyptus-infused steam rooms, cold plunges, and warm pools with thermal waterfalls. Repeated use of Refuge's thermal cycle soothes aches and pains, speeds up metabolism, and enhances muscle recuperation—the perfect recipe for a new you.

Explore Spiritual Possibilities

[Image courtesy of See Monterey.]

[Image courtesy of See Monterey.]

More than 50 years ago, the Esalen Institute was founded as a retreat and educational center focused on creating a space where people could explore holistic approaches to wellness and personal transformation. Esalen attracts a worldwide network of teachers and seekers who look beyond dogma to explore deeper spiritual possibilities; forge new understandings of self and society; and pioneer new paths for change. Located in Big Sur, visitors can enjoy a plethora of experiences from moonlit baths in natural hot springs to unique forms of massage that focus on energy exchange and psychological well-being.

Visit Literary Sites


Don't miss out on some of Monterey's most notable literary sites including the National Steinbeck Center in downtown Salinas, Robinson Jeffers Tor House in charming Carmel-by-the-Sea, and the Henry Miller Library in majestic Big Sur.  

Reconnect with Nature

Image courtesy of Sanctuary Beach Resort

Image courtesy of Sanctuary Beach Resort

Visitors looking to reconnect with nature will discover the exquisite beauty of Monterey County's great outdoors. Take a stroll or bike ride along the 18-mile scenic stretch of the Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail from Castroville (also known as the "Artichoke Capital of the World") in the North, to Pacific Grove in the South. Picnic on the white sands of Carmel Beach, hike through Fort Ord National Monument, or explore Pebble Beach's gentle tide pools.

Learn how to unplug and discover mindfulness in beautiful Monterey County by uncovering incredible life-changing and enriching experiences. Monterey County has become one of the country's leaders in sustainable travel while offering unforgettable moments.

For more things to do in Monterey, visit and follow @seemonterey.

[Header image courtesy of See Monterey]