8 Amazing Monasteries To Visit In United States - Updated 2021

monasteries in usa
Michelle Jamie
Michelle Jamie
Updated

Composed of 50 states, the United States is a country that covers most of North America, with Alaska in its northwest, and extends 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. Read our list of the amazing monasteries to visit in the United States, as your guide.

1. 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, Zen Mountain Monastery has an area of 230 acres (93.1 hectares) and was recorded in 1994 on the National Register of Historic Places. The property 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

2. 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 the monastery and you can opt for a day visit or an overnight stay, with a minimum of a two-night stay.

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)

3. Monastery of the Holy Spirit

Church facade, Holy Spirit Monastery
Source: Photo by 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)

4. Deer Park Monastery

Deer Park Monastery4
Source: Photo by 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

5. 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)

6. Saint Vincent Archabbey

Saint Vincent Basilica - Latrobe, Pennsylvania 01
Source: Photo by 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

7. Saint Meinrad Archabbey

St Meinrad Archabbeym, St Meinrad, Indiana
Source: Photo by 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

8. Mepkin Abbey

Mepkin Abbey2
Source: Photo by 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

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 monestary 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 trip afterward!

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Michelle is a book-loving travel-junkie who tries to write for a living. Her goal is to explore the world, get to know as many people as she can, and inspire others to do the same, for she believes...Read more

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