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Why San Diego is the Perfect Wellness Destination

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The Hotel del Coronado has been a retreat for travelers since 1888.

The Hotel del Coronado has been a retreat for travelers since 1888.

California has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to healthy living. Today there’s no better place to experience the best of wellness travel than San Diego.

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Since 1888, when the historic Hotel del Coronado first opened its doors to discerning travelers, it has served as a sanctuary for those looking to retreat from everyday life and soak up the restorative sunshine, saltwater, and fresh sea air. At the hotel, guests can wake up, walk a few paces to the beach, and enjoy complimentary yoga on the sand as the sun rises. Or they can choose from a long list of classes offered in the resort’s fitness center—Beach Spin, PiYo (a combination of Pilates and yoga), Zumba, and more.

Balboa Park
Just a short drive across the bay, at the Japanese Friendship Garden in San Diego’s sprawling Balboa Park, Thursday morning Hatha yoga sessions take place next to the koi pond. At the Mission Bay Aquatic Center travelers can combine yoga with stand-up paddleboarding, under the tutelage of experienced instructors.

San Diego is also home to a number of holistic hideaways and fitness centers led by renowned practitioners and inspired thinkers. The Chopra Center, located in the Omni La Costa Resort, was established by alternative medicine pioneer Deepak Chopra, and offers spa treatments, yoga and meditation classes, and workshops. Choose from lectures on such subjects as quantum physics and divine consciousness, and meet with doctors trained in the 5,000-year-old Indian practice of Ayurvedic medicine.

Rancho Valencia
Down the coast in Rancho Santa Fe, you’ll find the Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa. On the spa treatment menu: diamond facials, light therapy, and a wide range of massages. A short drive inland will lead you to an authentic California experience at The Spa at Rancho Bernardo Inn, where you’ll relax in a temperature-controlled outdoor casita while receiving the Made Fresh Daily, a massage and scrub treatment that uses locally grown herbs.

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Eating well is central to healthy living, and with produce from Southern California farms and seafood fresh from the Pacific, San Diego offers travelers an abundance of innovative restaurants to choose from. While many top choices offer gluten-free and vegetarian options, there are a few standouts to include on your list. Kindred, a cocktail bar and restaurant, brings a hipster edge to vegan cuisine with entrees like blackened tofu sandwiches and seared cauliflower steaks. And the name of Market Restaurant + Bar in Del Mar gives away its focus: a spotlight on locally grown produce and cheeses from nearby dairies. Executive Chef Carl Schroeder creates award-winning dishes, and there is a sushi bar as well.

At the end of your time in San Diego, you’re bound to feel more relaxed and in tune with both mind and body. And ready to book your return trip.

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