Meghan Markle is a world traveller with a demanding schedule, yet the newest member of the royal family somehow remains radiant and surprisingly chill. Perhaps it’s because she uses the rare moments she does have to herself—or with Prince Harry—to practice self-care. From her vigilant yoga and Pilates regimens to her love of farm-to-table food, the actress-turned-princess makes it a priority to feel as good as she looks. The born-and-raised Californian is known to balance indulgences with healthy living and relaxing. As a visitor, you can enjoy that royal recharging experience as you travel through the Golden State.
Find mindful movements in Los Angeles
Markle is a dedicated yogi who has been practicing since she was seven. Her mother is a yoga instructor in Los Angeles, and Markle, according to reports, has been teaching Harry some moves to help him de-stress. Her favourite place to practice in Los Angeles is the modern, hip-hop hot flow Y7 Studio, which has locations in West Hollywood and Silver Lake. Another local celebrity favourite is Hot 8, a heated studio with six locations, including Beverly Hills. Take your mindfulness a step further with meditation, another favourite Markle pastime. Both The Den (locations in La Brea and Studio City) and Unplug (in Santa Monica and Hollywood) offer a variety of guided classes, from breath work and sensory deprivation to Reiki and sound bath healing. Should you get hungry after all that bodywork, try some sushi at Sugarfish, the Duchess of Sussex’s top pick for raw fish and omega-3s.
Unwind in an award-winning Santa Barbara spa
What better place to recover from exhaustive wedding planning than in a 42,000-square-foot oceanfront spa? The massive facility at The Ritz-Carlton Bacara in Santa Barbara boasts a redwood sauna, eucalyptus steam room and adults-only pool. After enjoying your lavender sea salt scrub, take a stroll along the two miles of private coastline, work up a sweat on the Har-Tru clay tennis courts or retreat to your ocean-view suite.
Bliss out in Pebble Beach
Markle’s spa bridal shower was all about pampering. Indulge yourself California-style at The Spa at Pebble Beach, which offers body treatments utilizing local Monterey Peninsula herbs and minerals. There’s a juice bar on site (boasting specialty cocktails), and golf-specific therapies and bodywork should you or your knight in shining armour want to hit the Spyglass Hill Golf Course while you’re in the neighbourhood. If you’re as much of a home cook as Markle is, a stay at the Casa Palmero might suit you best—the Pebble Beach Culinary Getaway offers hands-on demos with seafood fresh from the Pacific Ocean.
Slow down in Carmel-by-the-Sea
Just south of Pebble Beach in Carmel-by-the-Sea, the white sandy beaches are enough to inspire tranquillity. But that’s not all: The city encourages practicing mindfulness during vacation, with scenic hikes, health-based retreats and meditation bonfires at the Horizon Inn and Ocean View Lodge. Slow down and wander the hidden courtyards of the quaint village, and pick up a copy of the Beginner’s Guide to Mindful-by-the-Sea (exclusive for guests of Carmel hotels and inns).
Soak it up in Palm Springs
If mellow desert vibes are what you’re after, Greater Palm Springs has some of the best spas in Southern California. The Miramonte Indian Wells Resort & Spa has a wishing well, and guests are asked to set an intention for their stay. Pairs like Markle and Prince Harry can enjoy a Body Canvas Party, where couples are not only massaged but given the opportunity to paint each other with colourful clay.
The Parker’s country-club-style Palm Springs Yacht Club—designed by Jonathan Adler—has a private indoor pool for wading before or after treatments. After sipping a thimble-size serving of the complimentary cucumber-infused vodka, try the Lost at Sea package for a rejuvenating seaweed wrap, hydrating facial and manicure-pedicure. Don’t miss this opportunity to grab a meal at the Parker’s brunch restaurant, Norma’s—the menu has some of the freshest fare in the area.
Wine down in Sonoma
While Markle’s favourite wine, Tignanello, originates in Italy, she has several California favourites in Sonoma wine country. One is Jordan Vineyard and Winery, whose French-inspired offerings extend to the décor of the charming chateau. While visiting the San Francisco Bay Area, find your way to Berkeley for a memorable meal at Chez Panisse. Claire Ptak, creator of the royal wedding cake, is a Marin County native and used to work at the iconic Alice Waters restaurant.
Retail therapy in San Francisco
The newly appointed princess has effortless style, and you can emulate her elevated classic look with a relaxing day of downtime: shopping in the Bay Area. Many of Markle’s favourite fashionable items can be found in San Francisco, including specialty slippers from Birdie’s. The stylish, rubber-soled indoor/outdoor slip-on shoes come in an array of appealing styles, colours and adornments. At the San Francisco Centre, you’ll find Aritza, the Canadian fashion retailer that makes the chic dresses and trendy trench coats that Markle frequently dons. After working up an appetite, head to Delfina, the Mission’s mainstay, must-try Italian restaurant (reservations recommended). Handmade pasta is one of Markle’s ultimate indulgences.
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