California is a state with many natural wonders and places that can improve anyone’s well-being. With its natural beauty and diverse landscapes, numerous retreat centers make California their home state.
Visitors looking to enhance their spiritual, emotional, or physical selves can attend any of these impactful wellness retreats in the Golden State. Make your planning easier by choosing one of these best wellness retreats in California.
The relaxing vibes found across the state near beaches, forests, lakes, and more provide the perfect environment for a memorable wellness experience and personal development. You can make accommodations with lodges in the middle of the woods, beachfront resorts, horseback riding ranches, and much more.
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Best California Wellness Retreats
California has some of the best weather in the United States so it’s not surprising that it’s such a visited vacation destination. It’s such a big destination with so many landscapes and climates, that you can really find any type of retreat you may be looking for.
You will find everything from mountain retreats to beachside wellness resorts and centers. It’s also the perfect time to go see all the many attractions around California and national parks that attract millions of people each year. Yosemite National Park and Joshua Tree National Park are some of the top options.
Some of the most common retreat locations in California include Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, and other more outdoorsy places.
1. Carmel Valley Ranch
Location: 1 Old Ranch Rd, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93923
The Carmel Valley Ranch sits on a 500-acre site at the foot of the St. Lucia Mountains, and it’s located next to the world-famous Garland Ranch Regional Park. Whether you want to take a solo holiday, rekindle your romance, or reconnect with your family, Carmel Valley Ranch is worth a shot.
This isn’t a wellness retreat where you hole up in your room, hooked on your device, although they offer free Wi-Fi on unlimited devices. Instead, Carmel Valley Ranch encourages visitors to go outside, play, and renew their sense of adventure. You can hike the surrounding trails, play golf on the ranch’s world-class golf course, or have fun cooking up a meal. You can also enjoy their outdoor swimming pools, infinity hot tubs and more.
Visitors to this California wellness resort can take advantage of the establishment’s various fitness classes and wellness offerings. There are well-appointed spa and massage facilities that help rejuvenate the body, gain inner peace, and refresh the mind. You can opt for any of the cardio programs available, including pilates, yoga, and circuit training.
If you want luxurious accommodation for corporate retreats or other group options, Carmel Valley Ranch is your best bet. Accommodation options include various studio rooms fitted with king-size beds. All lodgings come with creature comforts like unlimited Wi-Fi, aromatherapy baths, cozy fireplaces, and spacious outdoor decks to enjoy scenic views.
2. Cal A Vie Health Spa
Cal-a-Vie has focused programs on fitness, wellness, beauty, culinary, and much more. For more than 20+ years, the owners of Cal-a-Vie have provided visitors with impactful experiences.
Choose from interest-based classes that cover meditation, yoga, stargazing, and many other fun activities. It’s quite a culinary experience that features farm-to-table meals three times a day with ingredients coming from their own gardens. Enjoy local wine that’s sourced from the lands.
The suites and villas have all the amenities needed for a cozy stay, with scenic overlooks, balconies, and spacious rooms. Each room has a crafted design to make you feel at ease.
You can choose how you want to spend your retreat at Cal-a-Vie Health Spa. Their packages last anywhere from 4 to 7 days, depending on what you’re looking for. Endless spa treatments like Aromatherapy Massage and pedicures are to be expected.
The various facilities at the health spa are also a wonderful place to host a large group retreat or even a wedding. It encompasses more than 300+ acres filled with hiking trails, gorgeous landscape views, and a soothing environment.
3. Pali Retreat
Location: 30778 CA-18, Running Springs, CA 92382
The Pali Mountain Retreat & Conference Center is spread across 250 acres of land up in the San Bernardino Mountain range in Southern California. This unique location affords visitors great views of the surrounding area and allows them to truly detach from the never-ending grind of the city.
Thanks to its proximity to the Los Angeles and Ontario airports, Pali Retreat is accessible to most visitors flying out of state or from other faraway areas. The facility is just two hours away from San Diego, Orange County, and Los Angeles.
At Pali, you can choose private cabins or private rooms. Although built to project a rustic feel, private cabins offer modern amenities, including 1:3 bathrooms, heated floors, and comfy bunk beds. Private rooms are WiFi-enabled, climate-controlled, and fitted with single and double king-size beds.
The facility covers accommodation, feeding, logistics, and everything else you need to host successful group retreats. The minimum number to host a retreat at Pali Mountain Retreat & Conference Center is 25, while the facility can hold up to 700 persons at once. To request private use of the facility, you’ll need to have a group of at least 450 people.
Standard activities include healthy cooking classes and recreational activities like zip-lining and paintball. The retreat prides itself on providing visitors with healthy meals, from a menu that includes local favorites like Western BBQ, Lemon Herb Chicken Breasts, and fresh-baked treats. They also offer plant based meals for vegetarians or vegan visitors.
4. The Yoga Barn Ranch
Location: 8837 Hardesty Dr. Yucca Valley, CA 92284
The Yoga Barn Ranch is located near the famous Joshua Tree National Park. Their facilities offer king bedrooms, queen bedrooms, and twin bedrooms with scenic views of the Pacific Ocean or landscape. Plus, pick up and drop off from the airport are available if you’re flying in.
At the Yoga Barn Ranch in Southern California, visitors have all they need to refresh the body, spirit, and mind. You’ll benefit from the facility’s wellness program that includes massages, facials, and Reiki specials notable for helping visitors relax their bodies and establish inner peace. Of course, there are enough daily yoga classes to indulge in while there. The yoga studio can comfortability fit 25 people, so it’s a great place to host a yoga retreat for groups.
The Yoga Branch Ranch borders Joshua Tree National Park, so you’ll have the entire Mojave Desert as a hiking ground with its various hiking trails. It’s also a designated dark-sky zone, great if you love stargazing and watching the stars come out at night.
The Yoga Barn Ranch is the perfect destination for a yoga and wellness getaway.
5. Two Bunch Palms
Location: 67425 Two Bunch Palms Trail, Desert Hot Springs, CA 92240
Two Bunch Palms is a wellness resort based in Desert Hot Springs, California. Ideal for a few days of relaxation and recreation (R&R), Two Bunch Palms has a plethora of facilities to help you make the most of your break.
Soak in a mineral water pool fed by a 600-year-old spring. Follow up with a deep tissue massage, balancing massage, or lymphatic massage from trained practitioners. If you’re interested, natural skincare and wet treatments are also available.
Besides offering excellent wellness programs, Two Bunch Palms provides excellent hospitality to guests. Your payment covers tastefully furnished and comfortable suites, delicious California-inspired meals, and other amenities. The center also organizes yoga classes and craft workshops for guests.
Multiple rooms and suites are available, with different style options and near other areas like the pond. If you’re looking to clear your mind, it’s the perfect place for a meditation retreat and enjoying some natural hot springs.
Since Arizona is right next door, check out these wellness retreats in Arizona.
6. The Ranch Malibu
Location: 12220 Cotharin Rd, Malibu, CA 90265
The Ranch Malibu is a world-famous wellness resort in Southern California that helps improve the quality of your life by improving your health. The Ranch Malibu lives up to this promise, providing well-designed fitness programs, high-nutrient plant-based diets, and health checks to help visitors achieve an incremental improvement in wellbeing.
The standard fitness and wellness retreats are good for solo vacationers, couples, and groups. The facility offers 7-day, 8-day, and multi-week retreats with different pricings depending on your preferences. You can rent the whole property for your private group by paying for the Ranch Buyout accommodation plan.
An average day starts with a morning hike + breakfast, followed by fitness classes, cooking classes, health checks, and other activities later in the day. Your actual schedule can vary based on the package you choose.
The Ranch is more than just another resort. You can benefit from specialized programs that assist individuals and groups in meeting their health goals—whether that’s lower weight, increased detoxification, better nutrition, or lower stress levels. It’s around 3 hours away from San Diego and one hour and a half away from Los Angeles.
7. Spirit Mountain Retreat
Location: 25661 Oakwood St, Idyllwild-Pine Cove, CA 92549
Located in Idyllwild, California, Spirit Mountain Retreat is one for private individuals and small groups who want to reconnect with nature and rediscover themselves. Spirit Mountain Retreat is surrounded by natural attractions on every side. You can meditate, walk, and immerse yourself in the environment without intrusions.
Although smaller than most places on this list, Spirit Mountain Retreat has a homely feel that bigger facilities may lack. If your group is small enough, it’s a great choice. There is access to a 20-person meeting room with Wi-Fi connection for business groups, AV equipment, and other equipment.
Spirit Mountain Retreat has the same facilities in similar establishments, including private and full baths, a shared kitchen/living room area, and private bedrooms. Visitors can reflect in the Contemplative Garden, meditate at the Meditation Garden, and relax by creating artworks at the Art Garden.
8. Mount Madonna Center
Location: 445 Summit Rd, Watsonville, CA 95076
Spread over 380 acres of woodland and redwoods, Mount Madonna Center is one of California’s premier yoga retreat centers. The facility, which doubles as a conference center, calls the Santa Cruz Mountains home and welcomes hundreds of yoga and wellness enthusiasts every year.
Groups between 20-200 can host yoga retreats on their property, consisting of a conference center, seminar house, assembly room, and orchard house. You can choose to stay in one of their cabins, guest rooms, or even in a tent or vehicle.
Mount Madonna Center benefits from yoga lessons inspired by Baba Hari Dass. Fondly called “Babaji”, Baba Hari Dass was one of the foremost yoga teachers in the state of California and is responsible for creating the Mount Madonna Center.
Through annual group retreats and personal retreats, Mount Madonna Center gives visitors a place to explore yoga as a form of self-care. Visitors learn classic yogic methods, connect with like-minded individuals, and experience improvements in mental and physical wellbeing.
The Mount Madonna Center offers by far some of the most wonderful wellness retreats in California you won’t want to miss out on.
9. Applegate Jesuit Retreat Center
Location: 1001 Boole Rd, Applegate, CA 95703
Applegate Jesuit Retreat Center operates out of a 350-acre site nestled in the foothills of Sierra Nevada in Northern California, just 30 minutes away from Nevada City. Surrounded by pine trees, cedars, and a lake, it’s in the perfect location for a spiritual retreat.
The center serves groups only, with minimum and maximum group sizes capped at 15 and 96, respectively. While it’s owned by a religious body (Jesuits), Applegate welcomes religious and secular groups. If you’re organizing a fellowship retreat or family reunion this is an excellent place to host large group retreats.
Applegate has well-furnished lodgings to make your group’s stay as comfortable as possible. This includes Redwood Lodge, a 50-guest facility with 18 bedrooms and amenities like an outdoor patio, fireplace, kitchenette, and comfy seating. There’s also Oak Lodge, a two-story, 36-guest facility that offers private bedrooms, beverage service, conference rooms, and more.
The dining at Applegate is top-tier, and you can enjoy homemade favorites like scrambled eggs and potatoes (breakfast), chili and cornbread (lunch), and BBQ beef roast (dinner). There is also access to on-site recreational facilities, including hiking trails, a swimming pool, a fishing lake, and sports like volleyball and ping-pong.
10. The Bishops Ranch
Location: 5297 Westside Rd, Healdsburg, CA 95448
Owned by the Episcopal Diocese of California, the Bishop’s Ranch has been operating since 1947. It’s located near the town of Healdsburg, deep within the forests of Sonoma County. Its a one in a half hour drive from San Francisco and two hours from Sacramento and San Jose.
The Bishop’s Ranch organizes retreat programs for non-profits, educational, and religious groups. With accommodation for up to 100 people and meeting space capacity for up to 150 people, Bishop’s Ranch is a great place to host group retreats.
Although Bishop’s Ranch started as a 63-acre parcel of land, it has grown to over 342 acres. The landscapes around the ranch, includes forests, canyons, lakes, and hilltops, so there is a lot to explore during your stay.
Bishop’s Ranch also has packages for individuals and households. Although packages can vary, you get access to a private bedroom and bath in one of the cottages. If you want, you can sign up for an extended stay, as the establishment permits overnight stay for 2-3 nights. It’s the perfect place for meditation or yoga retreats.
The retreat program covers recreational activities, such as yoga, writing classes, and art sessions. There are also hiking trails around the ranch for you to explore. Anyone who needs to recharge will find Bishop’s Ranch an excellent place to meditate, reflect, and renew mind and body.
11. Mater Dolorosa Passionist Retreat Center
Location: 700 N Sunnyside Ave, Sierra Madre, CA 91024
Mater Dolorosa Passionist Retreat Center offers Christians the opportunity to strengthen their faith through quiet reflection and meditation on the Word. Unlike corporate retreats that prioritize social interaction, Mater Dolorosa encourages individuals to withdraw and seek spiritual renewal and enrichment.
It sits on 83 acres found near the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains in Sierra Madre, California, and can easily fit 90 guests. While they host their own men’s and women’s retreats, you can also sign up for your own private retreat or even an online retreat.
For visitors to Mater Dolorosa, the effect of their stay often lasts long into the future. This is because Mater Dolorosa’s serene environment invites believers to seek communion with God and engage in daily prayer and study.
Mater Dolorosa offers different spiritual retreats for visitors. This includes Parent-Teen retreats, Young Adults retreats, Married Couples retreats, and Individual retreats. For anyone who needs a “spiritual break” to reconnect with their faith, Mater Dolorosa is worth considering.