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Soak In Esalen's Hot Springs In Big Sur On The Cheap

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The Esalen Institute in Big Sur is one of those places that defies labels. Overlooking the cliffs and surf, it describes itself as "not only a retreat center or an educational institute," but also "a world-wide network of seekers who look beyond dogma to explore deeper spiritual possibilities." In other words, it's a hippie-centric place to find your chakras, meditate, and maybe "re-find your center."

If you want to stay there for a workshop, it can be pricey. The cheapest accommodations are $405 for a weekend, and that's only if you're willing to stay off-site or in a sleeping bag. But, there is a way to use the hot springs for cheap. (And no, not by breaking in and donning a disguise that certainly would include a fake mustache and cane.)

You need to be a night owl.

See, every night between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m., Esalen opens its doors to the public for $25 a person. However, only 20 people are allowed to use the hot springs each night, so call in advance to get reservations. (During the summer months, reservations are available 5-6 weeks in advance and go quickly.) For more information, including the number to call, visit this page at Esalen's website.

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