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Go Off-the-Grid in the Golden State

Mar. 15, 2019

These days many of us are so hyper-connected, we need national holidays to remind us to do the occasional digital detox—from the National Day of Unplugging (March 1-2) to National Meditation Month (May) and Mindfulness Day (Sept. 12). Whether you need a reminder or not, California’s got you covered with relaxing and rejuvenating experiences that are off-the-grid, from forest bathing and outdoor adventures to agritourism and spiritual vortex tours. With all these options, every day can be a digital detox day!

Nurturing Nature Experiences

Forest bathing, Meditation and Yoga in Sonoma Valley
At the Gaige House + Ryokan in Sonoma Valley, guests may now enjoy off-the-grid activities, such as an expert-led forest bathing walk in Sugarloaf Ridge State Park, capped off by private meditation classes and personal yoga sessions.

Surf and the City
For those who don’t have time to leave the city, they can take a lesson with Aqua Surf School in Santa Monica and other southern California locations. Students can disconnect from technology and ride the waves for a few hours, and potentially swim alongside dolphins.

Tour Channel Islands National Park
Santa Barbara Adventure Company takes guests to the remote Santa Cruz Island of Channel Islands National Park—often referred to as the “Galapagos of North America”—where you can hike for miles without seeing another person. Kayak through some of the largest sea caves in the world, snorkel in kelp beds and crystalline waters and camp overnight in stunning settings.

Cruise to Anacapa Island
Disconnect from the world by taking a cruise to Anacapa Island from Oxnard. On Anacapa, the closest of the Channel Islands, visitors can head to Inspiration Point to listen to the birds and the sea lions chatter while taking in the sweeping sea views. It's a great spot to meditate, reflect and simply enjoy the silence.

Mineral Springs, Dude Ranch and Spiritual Vortex Tour in Siskiyou
Siskiyou, known for its exceptional wildlands and wild rivers, offers 30 campsites for retreating in nature. Soak in mineral baths, warm up in a wood-burning sauna or go for a cool river plunge at Stewart Mineral Springs. Or soak up the spiritual vibes by taking a guided tour of Mount Shasta’s vortex. Check out Dude Ranch, a cowboy-themed ranch full of activities like whitewater rafting, fishing and kayaking.

Unplugged Bucket List in Tuolumne County
With picturesque lakes, forests, and mountains, Tuolumne County beckons visitors with bucket list ways to unplug. Explore lesser known areas of Yosemite National Park with local outfitters like Echo Adventures Cooperative and Y-Explore, detox in Gold Country with an ionic foot soak from Amala Detox and Tea Lounge or find your center and clarity with a Mountain Om Yoga session at Kennedy Meadows.

Reconnect with Yourself and Nature in San Diego
Visitors to San Diego can connect with nature and themselves in unusual ways, including intimate rescue retreats for exotic and domesticated animals at Lions, Tigers & Bears and The Children’s Nature Center. They can also reflect with amazing ocean views at the Self Realization Gardens in Encinitas or unplug with a mindfulness meditation class at AquaVie Spa and Wellness Center.

Glamping Off the Grid

Say Yes to the Yurts
One of the most iconic ways to camp in California is to sleep in a yurt with fabulous views. At Treebones in Big Sur, check into a yurt—equipped with wooden floors and fluffy beds—perched on a cliff overlooking the Pacific. Santa Barbara County Parks offers cozy yurt camping on the bluff at Cachuma Lake. Over in Mount Mgo adonna Park in Gilroy, just south of San Jose, you can sleep among the redwoods in yurts with wrap-around decks.

Rent My Tent at Lake Camanche Resort
If the idea of camping close to nature in a tent appeals to you but setting it up doesn’t, check out the Rent My Tent program at Lake Camanche Resort. Located in Ione, the resort takes care of setting up and breaking down the tent and provides all the camping equipment, picnic table and fire ring.

Luxury Goes Wild with Safari West Tents
Just outside Santa Rosa, visitors can go on safari in Sonoma County with Safari West. They can tour the wildlife preserve by day, and sleep in a luxurious tent by night. Guests can enjoy a private viewing deck, en-suite bathroom, hardwood floors, and listen to a live “Sonoma Serengeti” soundtrack of wildlife.

Chanslor Ranch Nature Reserve Camping
Nestled in the rolling hills above Bodega Bay, Chanslor Ranch Nature Retreat—a stunning 400-acre nature preserve—lets guests pet farm animals, take a guided horseback trail ride, hike the scenic trails, or paddle a kayak or a standup paddleboard. They offer a variety of accommodations, including luxury rooms in the ranch house, luxury platform tents, Airstream trailers and a secluded Miwok Village along Salmon Creek.

Retreat Centers

Immerse Yourself in California’s Retreat Centers
California boasts many retreat centers in spectacular settings, from Esalen in Big Sur and Ratna Ling Retreat Center in Russian River Valley to Granlibakken in North Lake Tahoe and Spirit Rock in Marin County. All offer everything from meditation and mindfulness classes to spa treatments and farm-to-table vegetarian meals.

Over in the Mojave Desert, go out of this world at Integratron: The Fusion of Art, Science, and Magic, a resonant tabernacle and energy machine sited on a powerful geomagnetic vortex. Guests can take a signature sound bath, a 60-minute sonic healing session with quartz crystal singing bowls.