SPAS & WELL­NESS

Check In, Bliss Out

Travel Guide to California - - CONTENTS -

NAPA VAL­LEY

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

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