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

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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