Esalen has reopened effective Monday, March 27! CalTrans is authorizing local residents and registered guests of Esalen to pass through the Road Closed sign as a “soft” closure is still in place to the north of us, while crews complete road work. A hard closure boundary, meaning no public traffic permitted, is still in effect just south of Esalen.

Please plan to arrive between 2:00pm and 5:00pm. You will need to notify the CA Highway Patrol officer at the closure barricade that you are staying at Esalen Institute. All workshops and programming will continue this week as scheduled.

We appreciate your patience and understanding as we manage through these weather challenges, and look forward to welcoming you to Esalen!


In addition to unparalleled access to the leading minds of the day and pioneering virtual gatherings, we also welcome visitors to our California campus and retreat center, which features natural hot springs, an organic farm and garden, rustic guest accommodations, and more, all set on over 100 acres of the beautiful Big Sur coast.

Hot Springs

The Esalen Baths overlook the Pacific Ocean.One of four large, communal tubs at the Esalen hot springs.A path leads from the back deck of the Esalen Lodge down to the baths.

In 1869, arthritis sufferer Thomas Slate visited the hot springs in search of relief. It became the first tourist destination in Big Sur, frequented by people seeking relief from similar afflictions.

The hot springs hang between sea and sky, an awe-inspiring respite for mind and body and a great equalizer. Simultaneously comforting and challenging, the baths nourish conversation, contemplation, and community.

While clothing is optional at the baths, nudity is by no means mandatory. You are invited to soak either with a swimsuit or without, knowing that the environment we strive for at Esalen is one of personal sanctuary and respect for the human body.

Once you arrive on campus, a path down the hill from the Esalen Lodge brings you to the baths’ upper level, with an outdoor massage deck, living roof featuring a crystal and succulent garden, and hot tub with a lift for ADA access. Head to the lower level to find the changing area and the springs themselves.

Communal bathing is offered in our larger tubs. If you prefer to bathe alone we have single tubs available on a first-come, first-served basis. Our Healing Arts Team can assist you when you arrive.

At this time the hot springs are only open to guests with reservations to be at Esalen. We are not accepting reservations for public night bathing.

The hot springs let us savor life on the edge, literally and figuratively. Clothing is optional; contemplation is guaranteed.

The Esalen Farm & Garden

Cultivating soil, plants, and people.

The Esalen Farm & Garden is a holistic model of local food security and sustainability, producing organic food that sustains, heals, and educates the people who live at and visit Esalen. More than just a food source, the farm is a constant education in moving through transition and transformation.

A photograph of purple sign that says "grow" in yellow letters. The sign is in the middle of a garden full of green plants.
A photograph of a farm, showing rows of green plants in a variety of sizes and shapes. In the background, there is a structure covered in a plastic sheet and some trees.
Stewarding for the future.

We cultivate four acres of rough, dramatic marine terrace. We’re committed to the health and vitality of this land and proudly compost nearly 500 pounds of food and green waste every day to build the fertility of our soil for future generations.

Embodying farm to table.

Our produce grows a mere 400 steps from where it is served, and we take advantage of a year-round growing season to produce as much as we can for our kitchen. We specialize in culinary and tea herbs, heirloom root crops, and every variety of kale and lettuce we can find.

A photograph of a smiling man with light skin, brown hair, and a gray shirt, holding a large bunch of carrots on his shoulder.
A photograph of people working in the dirt in a large garden. In the background are tree-covered hills.
Connecting people with the land.

From Esalen guests taking part in a mindful harvest to day volunteers, there is a range of ways for visitors to engage with the earth. We aim to facilitate meaningful, relational experiences that connect people and land.

Kitchen & Dining

Our kitchen staff uses a mix of Esalen-grown produce and products from local purveyors to create delicious, nutritious, and inventive menus.

While you’re with us, you’ll enjoy three hearty, healthy meals per day served buffet-style in the Lodge. Choose from vegan, omnivorous options, and gluten-free options. Unfortunately we cannot accommodate specific requests for special diets, such as paleo, keto, macrobiotic, etc.

Specialty coffee drinks, beer, and wine are available for cashless purchase in the bar during meal times. Please note that alcohol is served during dinner hours only.

Art Barn

Wander to the north side of campus, and you’ll find a turquoise barn adorned with an inspiring riot of sculpture, mosaic, and stained glass. On any given day, curious seekers inspired by the wild beauty of Esalen might gather in the Art Barn to experiment, play, take risks, and travel one of the most ancient human paths of transformation: the creative process.

Spontaneously struck by inspiration?

When art workshops aren’t in session, the Art Barn becomes an open studio. Paper, paint, brushes, and clay are just the beginning. See what your imagination can dream up.

Are you ready for a deep dive into new realms of self-expression?

The Art Barn is home to year-round weekend and five-day art workshops on oil and watercolor painting, drawing, mosaic, collage, sculpture, and more.

Would you like to participate in an art class during your stay at Esalen?

Our weekly opens classes often include drawing and painting sessions led by in-house creatives — check the schedule when you arrive.

Spontaneously struck by inspiration?

When art workshops aren’t in session, the Art Barn becomes an open studio. Paper, paint, brushes, and clay are just the beginning. See what your imagination can dream up.

The Bookstore

Adjoining the Lodge at the heart of campus, the Conley Bookstore offers sweatshirts, hats, chocolate, drinks, and more.

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two photos stacked.  Top with grass and vegetation and the bottom image showcasing a shallow river and black rocks
bottom left borderA photograph of rocky, tree-covered cliffs descending into the ocean.

The Esalen Landscape

Grounded in the wildly alive Big Sur landscape, Esalen exists in deep relationship with the forces of nature. From the transfiguring force of a wildfire to a glimpse of infinity in the night sky, Esalen honors the myriad ways that nature is our source and greatest teacher. Water flows at our heart, where three sources converge in a trinity of creation, renewal, and destruction.

Fresh Water
In the upper reaches of the canyon, a freshwater spring bubbles to the surface. The source, Porter Springs, is in the Ventana Wilderness and provides about 75% of our water.
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Hot Springs

Heated by the molten core of the earth and laden with minerals, the hot springs flow at a rate of 80 gallons per minute and emerge at a temperature of 119 degrees Fahrenheit.

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The Pacific Ocean

Esalen hovers at the edge of the Pacific. There is nothing like a clear view of the ocean to center ourselves in the unity of all things.

Note: due to dangerous ocean conditions and currents, direct access to the ocean from Esalen is prohibited.

Campus Map