Take Your Soul on Vacation

A selection of our favorite spiritual retreat centers.

Though I know conventional modes of vacation travel have their uses, this year in particular it seems silly to me to simply sit on a beach or tour an historic house. I want to come back from my summer vacation with more than just the same old thoughts and baggage. And given the especially stressful times in which we now live, healing retreat centers in the U.S., Canada and abroad are bound to be wonderfully pleasant places in which to pass time this coming season. So

that's where I'm headed


"Wellness" centers like the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies or the Esalen Institute in California are adult sleep-away camps where relaxation is offered as daily ritual, something to discuss and study, not something you hope to catch fleetingly like some elusive fish on the end of a fly. Each is set in a place of beauty and organized like a campus community, where you rise early for morning yoga or meditation, eat food that sustains and nourishes, then study your chosen subject with a soulful teacher who has found some answers. The following fabulous establishments aren't to be confused with spas--though bodywork and whole foods are abundantly available. These are spiritual campuses where enlightenment is imparted to visiting sojouners one stressed out person at a time.


For many, vacations are opportunities to gather new strategies for how the rest of the year might be made fruitful and restful. If that's an approach that appeals to you this year, you can change your life and find peace at the following places.

(The following retreats are best for those interested in a broad, multifaith approach to spirituality. For those seeking experiences centered around a particular faith tradition,

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Amy Cunningham
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