While the rest of us are busy planning our sun-filled spring break, a few travelers – perhaps wisely – are weighing their options and thinking of ways to save on a quick, rejuvenating getaway that won't involve too much hassle. For west coasters, this is as easy as getting into your car. San Francisco in particular has a wealth of easy-to-get-to, ideal-for-a-quick-weekend wellness hotspots. Here are three places to consider if you happen to find yourself in the Bay, in need of some quality hot tub soaking, massaging, and yoga-induced bliss.
Every Bay Area resident's ultimate go-to spot for a weekend of communing with Mother Nature is Calistoga. Located in upper Napa Valley, the old-timey town has been a well-known spa destination ever since the 1700s, when it was discovered that the town sits on top of a giant mineral hot springs reserve. Drive 90 minutes north of San Francisco to the Sunburst Calistoga, a brand new, 35-room hotel with its own mineral pool and mineral jacuzzi, decked out with funky retro-modern furniture. You don't even have to be a guest to soak in the 80 degree pool; simply pay for a $25 day pass and you'll have full access from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m..
If it's full-on pampering you want, the 49-room Hotel Healdsburg is one of Sonoma wine country's top picks for R&R. Just 67 miles north of San Francisco, the rustic property is just as well-suited to wine lovers as it is to serenity seekers. To wit, the full-service spa offers "farm-to-spa" biodynamic treatments (including something called a "wine and honey wrap"), plus a secluded garden patio, jacuzzi, and a pool enclosed within an olive grove. Try a weekend yoga class (Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m.; $15), or spring for the HH Day Spa Special, which offers two fifty-minute spa treatments plus full use of all spa facilities for $215, for a savings of up to $75.
Let your inner Zen monk come out during a blissful day surrounded by bonsai and bamboo gardens at the Japanese-inspired Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary. Ninety minutes north of San Francisco in sleepy Freestone, the spa welcomes visitors through its flora-filled gardens and picturesque pagodas. Once you've been wrapped up in a Japanese robe and sipped your digestive-aid tea, you'll be ready for a one-of-a-kind experience: a Cedar Enzyme Bath & Wrap ($99), during which you'll spend a heavenly 90 minutes soaking in a private wooden tub filled with finely-ground cedar, rice bran, and Japanese-imported plant enzymes, whose natural benefits include joint and muscle ache relief, reduced tension and fatigue, skin cleansing, and improved digestion. Not to mention the joy of spending a whole day pampering yourself!