Thermal baths, peaceful nature trails and energy vortexes are a few of the highlights at these destinations that invite you to relax, rejuvenate and reconnect with your surroundings and yourself.
In northern California’s Mendocino County, 90-plus miles of pristine coastline, state and national parks, and some of the world’s tallest and oldest trees converge about two hours north of San Francisco. Start with a leisure walk through a towering redwood grove in Montgomery Woods State Reserve. Tide pooling is as peaceful as it is metaphorical at MacKerricher State Park, where the tide’s ebb and flow reveals pleasant sea surprises (starfish, anemones, crabs) in its rocky nooks. Learn to kayak while exploring the remarkable sea caves of Van Damme State Park (guided tours are available year-round). Stay in the beautifully preserved clifftop village of Mendocino at the Sweetwater Inn & Spa, where outdoor redwood hot tubs are complimentary for guests.
Sedona’s mammoth red rock formations and renowned vortexes (areas of swirling energy) draw travelers from around the world to the city and the surrounding landscape. It’s common to see locals and visitors meditating or practicing yoga moves amid the red rocks. Join a tour to learn more about the vortexes or explore the sites solo (download the map and directions before you go). At night, there’s more cosmic enchantment: Sedona is one of only 38 Dark Sky Communities in the world, which means the stargazing is — literally — out of this world. The best spots for viewing are along Dry Creek Road, at Beaverhead Flat Scenic Overlook, and the Two Trees Observation Area. For some retail therapy, check out the boutiques in Uptown and stay at the family-owned Sedona Hilltop Inn, within walking distance of shops and restaurants.