SPAS & WELLNESS
Check In, Bliss Out
This celebrated region and neighboring Sonoma Valley are known primarily for their wine, but their appeal runs deeper than that. You can pamper yourself at luxury spas—such as Solage in Calistoga (above), Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary in Freestone or Meadowood in Saint Helena— dine at some of California’s (and the USA’S) best restaurants, shop at trendy boutiques or live a little rougher and explore wild state parks.
In San Francisco’s vibrant Japantown
district—the oldest and largest in the U.S.— is a hot spot for shopping and dining. Buses and bikes whiz by on the streets, teens congregate on corners, and tourists snap selfies in front of the Peace Pagoda. But inside Kabuki Springs & Spa, the city vanishes. All you’ll hear in the dimly lit, Japanese-style communal baths is the gentle splashing of water paired with soft, soothing music. Recline in the dry sauna with chilled cucumber slices for your eyes, then continue to the steam room and exfoliate with a lemon-sea salt scrub. Follow with a long, lazy soak in the hot tub and—if you’re brave—a cold plunge. When you’re finished, start all over again. In fact, linger all day: the communal baths costs only $25 (or $15 with a treatment, such as the 80-minute Javanese Lulur: a jasmine-scented massage followed by a turmeric and rice skin exfoliation, a yogurt application and an exotic flower bath).
For people around the globe, the name “California” evokes escape and conjures images of sunny beaches. But in today’s demanding, perpetually wired world, a true vacation requires more than just a break from the office; it takes unplugging, purifying and restoring. Luckily, this is practically the state motto.
California has been a resort destination since the early 20th century, beckoning travelers with its year-round temperate weather, spectacular geography and mineral springs. The 1950s brought yoga to the state, 2018