Anyone who has been on a retreat getaway knows this type of travel is truly game-changing. In this series, we explore how to build your own retreat getaways in some of the country’s healthiest—and most beloved—cities.
Retreat Anywhere: San Francisco
First things first — figure out where you want to stay. The most important factors in choosing city lodgings tend to be location, budget and property type. When visiting San Francisco, great lodging options abound. Think about the type of experience you want to have and the amenities that are most important to you. If you want a neighborhood living experience, consider securing an apartment on Airbnb. If access to room service or a fitness center is important to you, go with a hotel. We like YOTEL San Francisco for its prime location, cozy cabin-like rooms and 24/7 gym.
Now it’s time to build your itinerary. Retreat travel is particularly appealing because it tends to emphasize wellness and personal development. Scheduling fitness sessions, food experiences and activities that inspire and provoke deep introspection are a must. We’ve created a sample itinerary for a weekend in one of the most charming cities in the world that is fulfilling, invigorating, restorative and packed with nourishing meals. Who knew three days in a city could be such a treat? Oh, and make sure to pack comfortable layers and your favorite walking shoes. You’re going to cover some ground.
Arrive at SFO and secure travel to your lodging of choice. If it is too early to check in, ask the concierge or property manager to store your bags. Fill your water bottle and head out to your first destination. Your retreat begins now! Pop into Nourish Café for a tasty plant-based gluten-free burger or their namesake Nourish Bowl. Grab a Choco-Nut smoothie and a slice of Banana Chocolate Zucchini bread for an afternoon snack. Next, get a dose of art and culture by taking a walk through the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art The newly reopened museum has COVID-19 protocols in place, including scheduled entry times to manage overcrowding, so you’ll want to schedule your visit ahead of time. Book an afternoon yoga class to stretch and warm the body. We love MOXIE both for their open-minded approach to yoga practice and for their convenient locations. You’ll be ready for dinner following your sweat session, so head to Kitava for a simple, yet tasty dinner. Their thoughtfully created menu boasts organic and well-sourced ingredients artfully prepared for a satisfying and nourishing meal, perfect for vegetarians and meat eaters alike. Finally, head to Imperial Day Spa for serious Korean-style decompression. Opt for the Purification Scrub and a deep-breathing session in the Himalayan Salt Room to invigorate after a day of travel.
The second day of your retreat starts with a nutrient-dense breakfast at Farm : Table and a full-body HIIT-based workout at Orangetheory Fitness. Walk to Alamo Square Park for a peek at the Painted Ladies and a serenity-inducing self-guided meditation session. Grab a light lunch at nearby Project Juice, then head to the Conservatory of Flowers and San Francisco Botanical Garden — if you time it right, you may be able to join a Garden Meditation or a Private Magnolia Tour. Make your way to Yoga Beach for a Yoga Chill Restorative session, then take your time heading to Dreamer’s Kitchen for a healthy, but decadent dinner. Make your way back towards your home base with a quick stop at Dandelion Chocolate for a sweet treat.
Wake up early on day three of your retreat and head straight to The Mill for an almond milk latte and toast with seasonal ingredients. For gluten-free folks, their Adventure Bread is delicious toasted with seasonal jam. Next, it’s off to Mighty Pilates for a Machine Re:form class to warm, lengthen and strengthen every muscle in your body. Stop at As Quoted for bone broth and a nourishing organic lunch, or take it to go and head towards The Presidio for an afternoon hike at Crissy Field. If you’re feeling energized, cross the Golden Gate Bridge by foot or bicycle. If your body needs a good stretch, consider a Vin/Yin or Candlelight Flow yoga session at Yoga Garden or a Sound Healing Reiki session. For dinner, find a seat at Wildseed for a seasonally sourced, plant-based meal that will put the perfect cap on your weekend of rejuvenation.
Rise and shine! Stop into Jane on Fillmore for a hearty, yet healthy breakfast, then pop into Credo Beauty for a skincare consultation to hydrate and protect your skin. Revisit Nourish Café for travel snacks, then begin your journey back home. Allow yourself a slower pace for re-entry into your life post retreat; make time for meditation, deep breathing and journaling to let this special experience settle.
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