Top 10 Monasteries To Visit In The United States Of America

monasteries in usa
| 4 min read

Composed of 50 states, the United States is a country that covers most of North America, with Alaska in its northwest and extending its presence up to the Pacific Ocean, where you’ll find Hawaii. A few of the most visited states here include New York, Washington DC, Chicago, Los Angeles, and a lot more, each with a different charm, rich history, fascinating culture, and vibrant food scene, which lures many tourists. There are so many attractions and amazing accommodations, such as resorts and themed hotels. But, in case you want to have a peaceful and serene visit to some religious places, the country will surely provide you with choices. Continue reading to learn more about the top monasteries to visit in the United States of America.

1. Holy Cross Abbey

Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Sevenofnine7o9 used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

Nestled amidst the picturesque Shenandoah Valley, Holy Cross Abbey is a sanctuary of tranquility and prayer. Founded by the Cistercian Order of the Strict Observance, commonly known as Trappist monks, in 1950, the abbey has become a place of deep contemplation and devotion. Its stunning architecture, with a beautiful Romanesque-style church at its center, welcomes visitors seeking solace and a connection with the divine.

The monks in America of Holy Cross Abbey lead a life of simplicity, dedicated to prayer, labor, and self-sufficiency through farming and the production of artisanal goods, including fruitcakes and preserves. The abbey’s inviting grounds, with lush gardens and a peaceful meditation garden, provide a haven for those in search of spiritual reflection and a break from the bustle of everyday life.

Holy Cross Abbey

Address: 901 Cool Spring Ln, Berryville, VA 22611, United States

Website: Holy Cross Abbey

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2. Monastery of the Risen Christ

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Some photos from from last weekend’s annual oblate retreat and assembly at St Francis Retreat Center in San Juan...

Posted by Monastery of the Risen Christ on Wednesday, July 11, 2018

The Monastery of the Risen Chris in San Luis Obispo, California, is a place of spiritual refuge and contemplation. Established by the Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, this monastery is dedicated to fostering a deeper connection with God through prayer and community life. The monastery’s architecture exudes a sense of peace and simplicity, reflecting the monastic way of life practiced within its walls.

Visitors to the Monastery of the Risen Christ are welcomed by the tranquil surroundings, including beautifully tended gardens and a peaceful chapel. At the monastery, the Benedictine Sisters engage in a life of prayer, meditation, and work, living out their commitment to serving God and the wider community.

Monastery of the Risen Christ

Address: 2308 O'Connor Way, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405, United States

Website: Monastery of the Risen Christ

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3. Zen Mountain Monastery

Zen Mountain Monastery, Buddhist Order,
Source: Photo by Flickr user simplytaty used under CC BY 2.0

Located in a forested spot in the Catskill Mountains, this property has an area of 230 acres (93.1 hectares) and was recorded in 1994 on the National Register of Historic Places. The Zen monastery in the USA includes a four-story main house that features libraries, a small cellar, living quarters, and a spacious kitchen. Another section was added which contains a dining hall and the chapel.

One of the monastery practices here is Daido Roshi’s Eight Gates of Zen training matrix. Additionally, Zen Mountain Monastery serves anyone from any background and teaches Buddhist ideologies to help them in their everyday life.

Zen Mountain Monastery

Address: 871 Plank Rd, Mt Tremper, NY 12457, United States

Website: Zen Mountain Monastery

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4. Monastery of Christ in the Desert

Chapel Christ in the Desert Monastery Chama River Valley New Mexico June 08
Source: Photo by Flickr user Tom Pratt used under CC BY 2.0

A Roman Catholic Benedictine monastery located in New Mexico, the Monastery of Christ in the Desert was founded by Aelred Wall, O.S.B., in 1964. Everyone is free to visit and you can opt for a day schedule or an overnight stay, with a minimum of a two-night stay in this monastery in the USA.

During the day, you can attend liturgies, roam around the public part of the property, or visit the gift shop, which sells different religious items and art. Just a heads up, fur friends or any pets are not allowed inside the monastery.

Monastery of Christ in the Desert

Address: Forest Rd 151, Abiquiu, NM 87510, United States

Website: Monastery of Christ in the Desert

Opening hours: 8am - 6pm (daily)

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5. Monastery of the Holy Spirit

Church facade, Holy Spirit Monastery
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user NancyHeise used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

Belonging to the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance, better known as Trappists, the Monastery of the Holy Spirit, officially named Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Monastery, is a Roman Catholic church in Georgia. The monastery offers numerous things to its visitors, wherein you can choose for a day visit, a retreat, a group tour, or roam around its Arabia Mountain Heritage Area.

You also shouldn’t miss dropping by the Abbey Church, where you can be mesmerized by its architectural style and interiors. Another great addition to the monastery is its visitor center, which features an interactive exhibit and videos about life in the monastery.

Monastery of the Holy Spirit

Address: 2625 Highway 212 SW, Conyers, GA 30094, United States

Website: Monastery of the Holy Spirit

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 10am - 5pm (closed on Sun)

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6. Deer Park Monastery

Deer Park Monastery4
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user [Unknown] used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Featuring a 400-acre (161.87 km) property, Deer Park Monastery is located in Escondido in California. It was founded in 2000 under the leadership of Thich Nhat Hanh. He is a Vietnamese Buddhist monk, who is also the founder of the Plum Village tradition, as well as a peace activist.

The monastery gives themed and ordinary retreats and conducts days of mindfulness twice a week. Also, whenever the founder of Plum Village visits, the monastery offers an annual retreat. Another thing about this property is it has two hamlets – one for men – the Solidity Hamlet – and one for women – the Clarity Hamlet.

Deer Park Monastery

Address: 8447, 2499 Melru Ln, Escondido, CA 92026, United States

Website: Deer Park Monastery

Opening hours: Sun: 8am - 5pm

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7. Saint Andrew's Abbey

going to SUNDAY MASS
Source: Photo by user Prayitno / Thank ... used under CC BY 2.0

Saint Andrew’s Abbey is a Benedictine Monastery of the Congregation of the Annunciation, which is located in Valyermo. It is a beautiful place for the family or solo travelers to visit whenever they want peace and calm.

With its location in the Mojave Desert, anyone will surely have the quietness that they needed. Another good thing about this place is everyone can visit, even if you don’t share the same religion and beliefs since it doesn’t belong to any particular parish. It is one of the most popular retreat centers in California that doesn’t only serve as a place to pray, but is also well-known for its ceramics.

Saint Andrew's Abbey

Address: 31001 N Valyermo Rd, Valyermo, CA 93563, United States

Website: Saint Andrew’s Abbey

Opening hours: 8:30am - 4pm (daily)

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8. Saint Vincent Archabbey

Saint Vincent Basilica - Latrobe, Pennsylvania 01
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Farragutful used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Found in Westmoreland County, Saint Vincent Archabbey is the oldest Benedectine monastery in America and the largest in the western world. The monks here teach in parishes and schools, including Saint Vincent College, Saint Vincent Basilica Parish, and Saint Vincent Seminary, as well as give pastoral care for Catholics in many nearby dioceses, like Pittsburgh, Greensburg, and Harrisburg.

The original structure of the abbey was constructed between 1891 and 1905 and designed by a German-American architect by the name of J. William Schickel. Guests can attend liturgical services, roam around the property, and attend other religious events.

Saint Vincent Archabbey

Address: 300 Fraser Purchase Rd, Latrobe, PA 15650, United States

Website: Saint Vincent Archabbey

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9. Saint Meinrad Archabbey

St Meinrad Archabbeym, St Meinrad, Indiana
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Bedmonds7622 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Located in Spencer County, Indiana, Saint Meinrad Archabbey is another Benedictine monastery and home to more than 80 monks. Its name comes from St. Meinrad, a monk who died in 861 AD and is known as the “Martyr of Hospitality”.

The monastery accepts guests who want to visit the property for a day to attend mass and pray or explore the grounds and see its historical buildings. They also offer a variety of monk-led retreats, where you can choose between a weekend, three days, or a four-day weekday retreat.

Saint Meinrad Archabbey

Address: 200 Hill Drive, St Meinrad, IN 47577, United States

Website: Saint Meinrad Archabbey

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10. Mepkin Abbey

Mepkin Abbey2
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Race2Beach - Sara... used under CC BY-SA 4.0

A Trappist monastery, located in Berkeley in South Carolina, Mepkin Abbey was founded by 29 monks from the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance. The abbey welcomes visitors who want to explore for a day to attend mass, pray, visit the library, stroll in its garden, buy souvenirs at the gift shop, and more. However, if you are a group of 10 or more, you’ll need to book ahead to be accommodated.

If you’re fond of meditation retreats, this place is all the more ideal for you. The abbey also offers retreats where one can learn to be silent, pray, and reflect. During the retreat, you can also join the monks during their public prayers, take part in a 30-minute spiritual mentoring session, and take the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Mepkin Abbey

Address: 1098 Mepkin Abbey Rd, Moncks Corner, SC 29461, United States

Website: Mepkin Abbey

Price: 5 USD

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Visit the many monasteries in the United States

With its many states, you’ll surely have a hard time figuring out where to go in the USA. There are plenty of national parks to visit and winter vacation spots to check out. A trip to a monastery will be a refreshing break from the usual excitement. With our guide to the best religious buildings in the country, everything will be bliss for you. To find out what religious attractions suit you during your trip to the US, check out our list of amazing monasteries to visit in the United States. Don’t forget to tell us about your monastery retreat in the USA afterward!

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Frequently asked questions about monasteries in the United States of America

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
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Michelle, a devoted writer and travel enthusiast, endeavors to make a living through her love for words. Her objective is to explore the world, connect with diverse individuals, and motivate others...Read more

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