This is our first entry in the Weekend Getaway series. Check back often for more getaway and mini-trip guides!
Every year around February, I realize I’ve had my nose to the grindstone for a few weeks too long and I’m not properly enjoying California. I mean, we all pay to live here, whether in higher than average rents, a long commute, or a 50 plus hour work week here and there. A former client of mine, the President of Hotwire.com, recently wrote an article titled Fixing America's Vacation Problem, which states that in 2015, "more than 135 million Americans (that's 56 percent) said they hadn't taken a vacation in the last 12 months." Living here takes a lot out of us and I’m here to remind you that you need to demand something back. What you need is some Farm to Table cuisine, wine tasting, and mineral spring soaking relaxation time to remind you to slow down and enjoy what the Bay Area has to offer.
So take your honey and maybe even your kids and do what I do every winter: escape to Calistoga for a day or two. If you love to plan and use Yelp, you can pore through the 4-5 star restaurants in wine country to decide on the perfect brunch places and cafes, but for those who are not planners, here is an easy to follow, tried and true itinerary (tested with enthusiasm by yours truly).
Pre-Getaway: Make a Reservation at Indian Springs Resort.
Do this now! I recommend advance reservations for the best prices. March and early April are great times to go to get a better deal on a room.
I actually almost want to keep this place a secret for selfish reasons, but I want you to enjoy Calistoga as much as I do. Why Indian Springs? The Olympic-sized swimming pool filled with healing mineral water from the on-site geyser. There is a child-friendly pool and a separate adults only pool. So relaxing!
Pro tip: Go in the winter or early spring when the warm waters contrast with cooler daytime temperatures
11 AM: On the way up to Calistoga, stop for brunch at Brix in Napa. If it's Sunday, make a reservation for their famous all-you-can eat gourmet buffet. The buffet includes an oyster bar with all the fixings, breakfast staples, baked clams, pastries and fine cheeses, farm fresh green beans, and an omelette station. Have a mimosa and stroll the grounds after brunch or enjoy the outdoor patio with a vineyard view.