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Carillon Miami Wellness Resort
Photography: Courtesy Carillon Miami Wellness Resort

9 ways to take a mental vacation in Miami, no flight required

From fitness and meditation to wellness retreats and staycations, here's how to get some "me time" in the Magic City.

Jesse Scott
Ashley Brozic
Written by
Jesse Scott
Contributor
Ashley Brozic
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Don’t be fooled by that nonstop chorus of blaring reggaeton, round-the-clock South Beach turn-ups and all the seemingly interminable raucousness in between. There are plenty of places in and around the 305 for getting your zen on. Mental vacations come in many forms in Miami, be it the largest spa and wellness facility on the entire East Coast, intimate healing sound circles at resorts and, yes, free yoga classes – because sometimes your gym just won't do. If you need a break, there's no need to break the bank, as there's a mental wellness escape at every price point in Magic City. So, when some “me time” or a reset is in store, here are nine great bets.

The Great Mahakala

Craving your own Eat, Pray Love moment but can't swing the 24-hour flight to India? The Great Mahakala is a non-profit organization that runs a retreat house in Miami and hosts frequent spiritual and wellness events. This includes events like weekly sound bowl healings, astrology dinners, bodywork sessions with Maaori Heelers, healing dance and music concerts, and so much more. The multi-day retreats they hold are varied, too, whether it's a detox you're looking for or just the chance to meditate and reconnect with your true self. Keep an eye on their calendar as they host high level yogis and renowned spiritual leaders year-round

  • Hotels
  • Spa hotels
  • North Beach
  • price 3 of 4

If you can’t find the wellness adventure you’re looking for at Carillon, well, that’s on you. At 70,000-plus square feet, this is the largest wellness facility on the East Coast with offerings that include anxiety therapies, multi-day rejuvenation retreats, “touchless wellness” stations with cryotherapy and infrared sauna options, and a thermal hydrotherapy circuit with hot and cold areas aplenty. With so much wellness to be had under one roof, you may want to consider a staycation to make the most of it all – and to treat yourself to the Michelin-starred Tambourine Room on-site, too. 

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  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Things to do
  • Event spaces
  • Wynwood
  • Recommended

A totally serene space in the Wynwood? “No way” you say. It totally exists at the Sacred Space, an urban sanctuary with diverse programming throughout the year. In addition to regular meditation and breathwork sessions, the 36,000 square-foot event space – which is dotted with reflection pools and tropical gardens – hosts events like cacao ceremonies and concerts designed to “open your heart.” Keep an eye on its website for the latest one-off shangri-la shindigs. 

  • Health and beauty
  • Spas
  • Miami Beach

Healing is in its name, and it’s tucked in the always-hip Faena on the beach. It’s hard not to love the vibe. The standout experience within Tierra Santa is its Turkish-style, two-story hammam for self-scrubbing your worries away. Offerings here include unique healing arts like its signature Tree of Life Vibrations, including aromatherapy, a heated bed, hot stone massage and a Nepalese singing bowls element. 

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Modern ŌM

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As their tagline suggests, Modern ŌM wants you to "drop your baggage" and they give you plenty of guidance to do just that. This local wellness company got its start hosting small meditations in its founder's loft and now throws tons of events throughout the week to help you turn your focus inward, from breathwork to paint and meditation classes, and new moon yoga to creative movement. Don't miss their MindTravel piano and meditation journeys which can take place either in the water or on the beach. 

Daybreaker

These events – that feature dancing, yoga and overarching sober-centric vibe – pop up all over Miami throughout the year. In recent times, Daybreaker has packed the Miami Beach Bandshell, Faena Hotel and more. It’s usually held in the morning – hints the name Daybreaker – and sometimes there is a fun and collaborative dress code, e.g. “wear all white.” If an alcohol-free and active let-loose is what you seek, you’ll be in good company at one of these spectacles for sure.

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  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Hotels
  • Spa hotels
  • South Beach
  • price 4 of 4
  • Recommended

There’s no shortage of wellness goodness all week long at this Miami Beach hotspot. Among its regular offerings, are its 1 Fusion classes. Held at 8 a.m. on Monday on the beach, it’s a mix body sculpting and a restorative finale designed to help you relax and unwind. If you’d like to be a 1 Hotel regular, the spot also offers a membership that includes mind and movement classes, access to its Anatomy gym, Cabana Pool privileges and more.

Brickell Run Club

Okay, so you are going to have to run a little to achieve a certain level of peace. But, there are so many feel-good benefits to this weekly running amoeba. Brickell Run Club happens every Tuesday at 7 p.m., when hundreds of locals embark on a 3.5-ish mile journey. You go at your own pace, make friends along the way and, more often than not, there’s a designated spot to chill/drink/chill right after. It’s a solid way to get those endorphins going on many fronts and it’s free to partake.

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  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Hotels
  • Spa hotels
  • Belle Isle
  • price 3 of 4
  • Recommended

Tucked on the northwest corner of Belle Isle, this resort has earned its reputation of being a Miami locals’ wellbeing fave. The Standard Spa has something daily, including Sahana yoga, tai chi and improv vinyasa, all designed to keep Miamians happy and healthy. Also, keep an eye on its programming surrounding Miami’s biggest weeks – like Art Basel – as its been known to have mindfulness and inspirational speakers aplenty.

Free Yoga at Bayfront Park

There are plenty of spots where yoga classes get pricy very quickly. Well, at Bayfront Park each week on Mondays and Thursdays from 6-7 p.m., it’s a steal. On Mondays, it’s donation-based ($15 is recommended) and, on Thursday, it’s totally free. Instructor Nicolay Del Salto leads the classes, just make sure to bring your own mat and some water. We’ll namaste to that deal.

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