Meditation is more than mantras. It’s an opportunity to step back, unplug and give your body a mental vacation. And with so many ways to do it — from simple breathing exercises to gentle forms of motion — you’re sure to find a practice that’s right for you.
Here in San Diego, we’re blessed with mountains, beaches and many other tranquil spots to escape to. So whether you meditate often or occasionally, consider these places for peace, quiet and freedom from the everyday.
Japanese Friendship Garden
2215 Pan American Road East, Balboa Park
The bold, carved doors of this Balboa Park destination open to an unexpectedly wide landscape. Among the greenery, stone arrangements, ponds and water features are paths and benches perfect for quiet contemplation.
Self-Realization Fellowship Gardens
215 West K Street, Encinitas
Located off Coast Highway 101, this unique garden features lush greenery, colorful birds-of-paradise, koi ponds and meditation nooks — as well as breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean.
The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch
5704 Paseo Del Norte, Carlsbad
It’s a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it phenomenon, but catching the flower fields in bloom is a true San Diego gem. Open March through May, visitors can take in 50 acres of extraordinary color overlooking the ocean. For a quieter experience, avoid the crowds by visiting on a weekday.
Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve
12600 N. Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla
This natural wonder is one of the wildest stretches of land on San Diego’s coast, featuring miles of unspoiled beaches. While it’s visited by travelers from all over the world, there are plenty of quiet pockets to enjoy the ocean views and salty sea air.
Water Conservation Garden
12122 Cuyamaca College Drive West, El Cajon
With a motto of “more beauty, less water,” this East County treasure is as much a serene backdrop as it is an environmental lesson. Wander through paths lined with drought-tolerant plants, or relax in changing exhibits such as the vegetable garden or native habitat garden.
South Bay Botanic Garden
900 Otay Lakes Road, Chula Vista
This beautiful garden on the Southwestern College campus is open to the public. Located 8 miles from the Pacific Ocean and 5 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border, it offers cool ocean breezes and a good dose of daily sunshine.
Spruce Street Suspension Bridge
Spruce Street and First Avenue, Bankers Hill
This suspension bridge near downtown overlooks a deep, green and brown canyon, and makes way for a wide view of the San Diego skyline. But be warned: The bridge itself (safely) sways a little.
Sharp Coronado Hospital’s Outdoor Labyrinth
250 Prospect Place, Coronado
Labyrinths have been built and used for thousands of years to help visitors lose track of the outside world. The labyrinth at Sharp Coronado is surrounded by lawn and garden, and is perched on a quiet residential street.
Alta Vista Botanical Gardens
1270 Vale Terrace Drive, Vista
North County residents have long treasured the serenity of Alta Vista Botanical Gardens. In addition to featuring rare plants and flowers, the gardens showcase the talents of local artists — from sculptures to walkways and walls.
Cabrillo National Monument
1800 Cabrillo Memorial Drive, Point Loma
Some come to learn more about San Diego’s rich history — others come for the quiet. Hike the winding road to reach the landmark Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo statue, and experience wildflowers, tide pools and panoramic views of San Diego and Mexico.