Brittany Jones Cooper—After quitting his job, and embarking on a lengthy road trip out west the final episode of Mad Men ended with Don Draper attempting to leave his destructive ways behind in hopes of starting fresh. Whether you’re a fan of the show or not, Draper’s final moments can teach us all a little something about the therapeutic nature of travel.
Work got you down? Is your love life eternally complicated? Are you drinking just to get through the day? If so, maybe a getaway à la Don Draper is what you need to push the reset button.
Find clarity and purpose at Esalen. (Photo: Esalen)
After years of boozing and womanizing, Don Draper finds himself at a wellness retreat in Big Sur, California in the final episode of Mad Men. The show doesn’t give a name for the retreat, but in real life we know it’s likely Esalen, a retreat dedicated to helping guests realize their human potential.
Sitting on 120 acres, Esalen offers scenic mountain and ocean views perfect for reflecting on your past and contemplating your future. After relaxing with that stack of books you’ve been meaning to read, feel free to join in on daily movement and meditation classes, evening programs, and gourmet meals.
If activities aren’t your thing, guests can also take advantage of Esalen spa.
Cost: The price is all-inclusive. A premium single room starts at $450 for a Sunday-Thursday stay.
Don Draper heading west (Photo: AMC)
There is nothing more therapeutic than getting in a car and driving wherever the wind takes you. After leaving Betty’s house in Rye, Don drives past the exit for Manhattan and off to the Midwest. Viewers weren’t sure why Don made this journey but here at Yahoo Travel, we know how crucial a road trip can be for clearing your mind.
If you’re looking for a scenic and rejuvenating drive, there’s nothing like the Rocky Mountains. Start in Grand Lake, and take the Trail Ridge Road which covers 48 miles before ending in Estes Park. During the ride, you’ll see some of the most breathtaking wildlife and vegetation that America has to offer…and you never even have to get out of the car!
No stop to Milwaukee would be complete without a stop to the Miller brewery. (Photo: the Miller Brewery Tour)
If you want to follow in the footsteps of Don, start your road trip in Racine, Wisconsin (where he went to find the elusive Diana), and travel more than 350 miles to St. Paul, Minnesota where he agreed to drop off a random hitchhiker. Upon leaving Racine, take I-94 and stop in Milwaukee to take a tour of the MillerCoors Brewery. (Remember, Don met a rep from Miller Beer on his last day at McCann Erickson)
After Milwaukee, continue on until you reach Madison. One you’re there, jump out of the car and take a stroll around the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. (Fun fact: This is where character Harry Crane went to college.) Grab a slice from Ian’s Pizza before you continue your final journey to St. Paul. Just try not to pick up any hitchhikers along the way.
Let your stress fade away at the Royal Hawaiian. (Photo: The Royal Hawaiian)
If you really want to get out of town, nothing is more rejuvenating than a trip to Hawaii. Even stuffy Don Draper undid a few buttons while vacationing on the island of Oahu.
Don and his wife Megan stayed at the Royal Hawaiian during their honeymoon, and luckily for you…the resort is still open for business. Dubbed the “Pink Palace of the Pacific,” the hotel has a beachside Mai Tai Bar (Don Draper approved), the Abhasa spa, and regular luau shows.
Cost: Traditional rooms start at $324 a night.
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