Travel Guide: Monterey County: The Ideal Place to Find a New You in the New Year

Monterey County embodies the perfect backdrop to uncover a new, relaxed and inspired you in 2019. The natural beauty of California’s Central Coast redwood forests, verdant valleys and sweeping, towering cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean will erase stress and inspires 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.”

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Below are some ideas for the perfect new you escape to Monterey County:

The unique luxury resort in Marina, 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 at Sanctuary Beach Resort offers the Pacific Ocean Body Treatment - a basalt stone face massage, mineral-rich seaweed body mask, and a full body massage.

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. 

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. 

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. 

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 more profound 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. 

To expand the mind in the New Year, 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.  

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. Additionally, Monterey County has become one of the country’s leaders in sustainable travel while offering unforgettable moments. Visitors are asked to practice responsible tourism that will help minimize adverse impacts on the environment and preserve the cultural and natural resources of the destination. Visit responsibly and maintain the wonder of Monterey County on the beautiful California Central Coast in the New Year, and for years to come.