12:26am PT by Natalie Stone
'Mad Men' Series Finale: What's the Real Story Behind Don Draper's Coastal Retreat Center Getaway?
On Sunday night's season finale of AMC's Mad Men, Don Draper (Jon Hamm) trekked across the country to a coastal commune in search of himself, partaking in lotus poses and deep thinking while overlooking California's coastline.
But just where is this idyllic place that the advertising guru embarked to?
Though the show did not explicitly reveal the name of the destination, Esalen is a long-standing retreat center and educational institute in Big Sur that offers 600 workshops and programs annually "devoted to cultivating deep change in self and society," according to the Esalen website. This one-with-self and nature getaway is assumed to be the inspiration for Draper's West Coast venture.
"Esalen is a world-wide network of seekers who look beyond dogma to explore deeper spiritual possibilities; forge new understandings of self and society; and pioneer new paths for change," the retreat center's website states.
An all-inclusive, seven-day stay at the Central Coast retreat center in a point house single room, which includes tuition, accommodations, meals, movement program and use of facilities, runs visitors $4,975.
Founded in 1962, the 27-acre Big Sur coastal retreat hosts 20,000 visitors each year and offers workshops in the following categories: arts and creativity, body and movement, leadership and society, meditation and spirituality, mind and psychology, nature and sustainability, and relationship and self. It strives to push the limits of human potential and "explore and promote interconnections between heart and mind, soul and body, individual and society," says Esalen's webpage.