New Year's Destinations: Green Gulch Zen Farm Center

No one said your New Year’s resolutions had to feel like punishment. Jump-start 2013 with one of these seven spirit-recharging escapes.

A teahouse at the Gulch Farm Zen Center.     Photo: Al Jigong Billings

MUIR BEACH, CALIFORNIA
Just 10 miles north of San Francisco, the Green Gulch Farm Zen Center sits on a working organic farm in a narrow 100-acre valley and offers multiple roads to enlightenment, including miles of running and biking trails in the Marin Headlands. Book a spot in the 12-room Lindisfarne Guest House, an octagonal, Japanese-style building with an atrium and wood-burning stove, and bliss out on a morning routine of zazen meditation and classes in ethics and compassion. Spend afternoons wandering the old-growth forests of Muir Woods National Monument to the north, or, if your path leads farther afield, rent a mountain bike at Stoked SF in Sausalito ($60 per day) and take an 11.5-mile spin through the chaparral of the Miwok, Dias Ridge, and Middle Green Gulch trails—the best fire-road riding you’ll ever experience. From $90 per night, including three vegetarian meals from the garden.

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