The 4 Hr Rule: West Marin

Your five-step plan for the most relaxing weekend of your life

By Diane Rommel

Get Your Relaxation on in West Marin
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13 April 2017

Ever feel so tired you can't even go to sleep?

Just us? Doubt it. 

Which is why we've assembled perhaps the most peaceful weekend ever devised this side of a Buddhist monastery somewhere in the Tian Shan.

Here's what to do, what to read and where to look for maximal relaxation.

Do this: The San Geronimo is lovely, bucolic, and generally a place we pass through as we go somewhere else — but it's the perfect destination for this sort of trip. If you're coming from S.F., it's not so far away that getting there is going to stress anybody out. And we're here for a particular reason: the Spirit Rock Meditation Center

Talk to any high-achieving Bay Area guy and he's probably going to bring up his meditation practice. Heck: Listen to Tim Ferriss for 20 minutes and he'll bring it up, or his guest will. Meditation generally makes lives better and minds sharper. If you're intrigued, and don't want to go down the whole-hog retreat path, try a drop-in workshop at Spirit Rock: We vote for heading north on Thursday, going to the Friday morning drop-in, then spending the rest of the weekend at your leisure — either with more work at Spirit Rock, or elsewhere. They also offer a ton of workshops, if your timing works. 

Stay here: If you don't want to stay at the center for a residential program, check out the view here — Mount Tam from your deck. You can also stay at the Valley Inn

Bring this: We recommend David Lynch's book on meditation, Catching the Big Fish: Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity

Eat here: You have the best of perhaps the most wonderful food scene in the U.S. to choose from — but we say, keep it local and easy, with breakfast at the Two Bird Café, lunch at Fradelizio's, and dinner (with beer) at Gestalt Haus

Get outside: You're beyond spoiled for choice here — did we mention the view of Mount Tam from the deck? — but if you want to keep it local, try the wildflower-strewn, 1500-acre expanse of the Gary Giacomini Open Space Preserve. This is the hike we did — and the views are as good as advertised. 

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