The Getaway
Visiting America's Vortexes

If you've ever been to a meditation or yoga class or to any type of New Age gathering, you might have heard about energetic or spiritual vortexes. Unlike the vortexes you learned about in physics class, these spiritual vortexes can't be measured scientifically, as they allegedly don't exist in the physical realm. Rather, they are purported to be "swirling centers of spiritual energy" that promote healing, positive emotions, and creativity. Often, people report feeling energized and peaceful when visiting a vortex. Plus, many vortexes are located in places of great natural beauty, and some of these locales also feature excellent cultural and recreational opportunities. All of them are fascinating destinations to explore.

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01 Sedona

Red Rocks in mirror are closer than they appear. Driving past Bell Rock in Sedona, Arizona with Mount Wilson in the rear view mirror Kelli Klymenko / Getty Images

Sedona, Arizona, is arguably America's best-known vortex site. The Sedona area boasts four different vortexes, although all of Sedona is reputed to be imbued with uplifting energy. Set in a stunning landscape of red-rock desert, Sedona draws spiritual seekers from all over the world. The town has become a sort of New Age Disneyland, with a full roster of holistic health practitioners, shamans, and "energy workers," along with metaphysical stores, spiritual retreat centers, and spas galore. Many local tour companies offer guided excursions to Sedona's vortexes. But, since the vortexes are located in areas that are open to the public, you can also visit them on your own. Maps to Sedona's vortexes are widely available online.

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02 Mount Shasta

Mt. Shasta reflected in the lake during sunset. spikeehair / Getty Images

This volcano in northern California occupies a central place in the legends of local Native Americans, who consider the mountain to be a sacred entity with mystical powers. Many other people have also sensed something special about Shasta beyond its pristine natural beauty and the excellent setting it provides for outdoor activities. In New Age circles, Mount Shasta is considered to be one of the most powerful vortex locations in the United States, if not the entire world. Theories have sprouted, connecting Shasta to Atlantis and extraterrestrial beings. A local tour company, Shasta Vortex Adventures, leads "vision quest" excursions to the Shasta Vortex.

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03 Ojai

The Pink Moment in Ojai Mountains

Set in a picturesque valley filled with citrus and olive groves, the small southern California town of Ojai has long attracted hippies, celebrities, and refugees from urban life. Ojai is home to seven energy vortexes, which might contribute to its laid-back atmosphere. Some people also attribute Ojai's special ambiance to the valley's east-to-west orientation, which results in spectacular sunsets that feature a uniquely local phenomenon: "the pink moment." This is a brief time in the evening when the mountains that surround the valley are flushed pink by the setting sun. Adding to Ojai's appeal are charming boutique hotels and farm-to-table restaurants featuring fresh, locally grown food. Visitors to Ojai should consult local sources for more information about the precise locations of the vortexes.

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04 Eureka Springs

Eureka Springs has long been a special place. In the Victorian era, this small town in the Ozark Mountains of northern Arkansas flourished as a popular resort. The waters from its many springs reputedly imbued with healing properties, were incorporated into spa treatments. Today, Eureka Springs is still a popular destination. With bountiful natural beauty, a well-preserved historic downtown, and a solid reputation as a healing center and open-minded community, Eureka Springs draws alternative health practitioners, tourists, artists, and quirky characters. Brimming with festivals and offbeat attractions, the town offers "something for everyone," according to the locals. So, perhaps it's only natural that Eureka Springs would have a vortex, as well. It's not as widely publicized as some of the more famous vortexes in other places, but the staff at Eureka's visitor centers might be able to help point the curious in the right direction.

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05 Oregon Vortex

More a roadside attraction than a spiritual hub, the Oregon Vortex might not actually qualify as a real vortex. On its website, it's described as a "sphere of energy" rather than a "swirling center of energy," which is how spiritual vortexes are usually defined. Or, perhaps the Oregon Vortex is an example of what some people deem a "negative vortex," which is a place full of negative energy. Negative vortexes are reputed to cause feelings of depression, anxiety, and illness in some who visit them. In fact, the local Native Americans referred to the area of the Oregon Vortex as "Forbidden Ground." Today, the Oregon Vortex, near the city of Medford, is run as a tourist attraction. Admission includes a guided tour with demonstrations of the strange natural phenomena that supposedly occur in the vortex, such as brooms balancing upright on slanted floors and balls rolling uphill.

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06 Haleakala

The sunrise in the Haleakala National Park Crater in Maui, Hawaii. A volcanic crater on the peak of the Haleakala Volcano on top of the island of Maui. Over 10,000 feet above sea level, an incredible view from the crater at sunrise. A popular tourist destination all day, especially at sunrise and sunset. Photographed in horizontal format. YinYang / Getty Images

The highest mountain on the Hawaiian island of Maui, Haleakala, is the "house of the sun" in the Hawaiian language, sacred to Native Hawaiians and considered to be a center of spiritual energy. The top of Haleakala is where people have reported feeling this energy at its strongest. Watching the sunrise or sunset from Haleakala's peak can be an especially powerful experience. You can visit Haleakala on a guided tour or on your own. There is no public transportation to the summit of the mountain, so if you make a solo journey, you'll need a car. Because of its high elevation, at more than 10,000 feet, visitors to Haleakala might experience altitude sickness.

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07 Ringing Rocks

In eastern Pennsylvania's Buck County, there is a large, open field of rocks and boulders of all sizes. The rocks ring when struck with a hammer or tire iron, and sometimes, different tones can be produced by striking different parts of the same rock. Scientists don't know why the rocks ring or how the field of rocks even came to exist. One theory is that they were scattered across the landscape by glaciers during the last Ice Age. The rocks are located in a park, so the public is welcome to come and strike them to experience the effect for themselves. Reportedly, the field of rocks is also an energy vortex where no vegetation will grow, and allegedly, birds don't fly over the rocks, either.

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08 Joshua Tree

A Joshua Tree in an arid landscape Sean Russell / Getty Images

Explore the mysteries of existence in Joshua Tree National Park. As the sun casts pastel shades over the desert, the meditative ambiance invites you to immerse yourself in the spiritual quest. Nestled in California, where the Mojave and Colorado Deserts converge, this surreal landscape is a haven for those seeking communion with the profound. The gnarled Yucca trees stand guard over the formidable rock formations. Those massive formations beckon you toward the famed Integratron, where you can experience a mesmerizing sound bath that resonates with the very core of your being.

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09 Cedar Breaks

Hoodoos at Last Light from Ramparts Point of Cedar Breaks Larry N Young / Getty Images

Witness the celestial spectacle at Cedar Breaks, Utah. As the night descends upon this mesmerizing location, the cosmos unveils its grandeur against a backdrop of utter darkness. Recently designated as an International Dark Sky Park, Cedar Breaks offers a lesser-known yet potent vortex site. Amidst the 10,000-foot-high vistas, you may find the veil between the earthly and the ethereal thinning, offering glimpses into the boundless.

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10 St. Augustine

St. Augustine Florida SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

Delve into the whispers of the past and unseen energies in Florida's St. Augustine, America's oldest city. The city's iconic lighthouse stands as a sentinel over the Historic District, where every cobblestone seems to hum with stories untold. The alleged site of Ponce de León's Fountain of Youth is not just a relic of history but a hotbed of spiritual energy. Roaming through the ancient streets, you'll encounter vortexes that blend historical mystique and spiritual allure, inviting you to delve deeper into the tapestry of existence.

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11 Gold Hill

Gold Hill Road 7 Ben LaMarca / Getty Images

Unleash your curiosity in the Oregon Vortex in Gold Hill. In this land where the laws of physics seem to take a whimsical detour, you'll encounter playful and unexplained phenomena. Balancing brooms on slanted floors and watching balls roll uphill, the Oregon Vortex urges you to expand your mind and explore the mysteries that lie beyond the ordinary.

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12 Ringing Rocks

Listen to the ancient songs of the Earth in Ringing Rocks Park, Pennsylvania. In this quiet field, the rocks emit a unique sound, adding to the enigmatic allure of this vortex. The absence of vegetation and the reluctance of birds to fly overhead enhance the mysterious atmosphere. Open your senses to the whispers of the unseen and embrace the enchantment of this vortex.

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13 Big Island

Aerial of Waipio bay and valley in Big Island Hawaii pawel.gaul / Getty Images

Embark on a spiritual journey on the Big Island of Hawaii. Home to sacred monuments and temples, this island is said to be under the watchful eyes of Pele, the volcano goddess. The vortexes here offer a conduit to the ancient wisdom of the land and communion with the elemental forces that shape existence. Experience the Pathway to God and be immersed in the primal forces of nature.

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14 Crater Lake

Crater Lake National Park at Sunrise Grant Wylie / Getty Images

Uncover the mysteries of Crater Lake in Oregon. The serene waters hold secrets as deep as its abyss. The electromagnetic energy emanating from the lake rivals that of sacred lands across the globe. Immerse yourself in the gateway to profound experiences that resonate with the core of your being. Dive into the depths of the unknown and embrace the profound energy of this vortex.

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15 Maui

Makena Beach Sunrise, Maui, Hawaii Troy Harrison / Getty Images

Witness the celestial embrace on the sacred mountain of Haleakalā in Maui, Hawaii. As the sun illuminates the summit, spiritual portals open up, offering transcendental experiences that blend the earthly and the cosmic. The sunrise and sunset on Haleakalā are not just visual spectacles but spiritual journeys that leave the soul yearning for more. Watch the rare flock of nēnē forest birds take flight during these sacred moments.

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16 Vortexes around the world

These are just a handful of the reported vortexes in the world. The locations offer a multitude of attractions, and visiting them can be inspiring and enriching on many levels.  

Citadel of the Inca
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