A Breath of Fresh Air

It’s easy to disconnect — and recharge — in Napa Valley. Beyond the wine, one of the best reasons to visit here is to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. There’s no better place to find much-needed rest and relaxation than Napa Valley.

Napa Valley has a natural beauty unlike any other — the green, rolling hills and sun-drenched valley floor are begging to be explored. Calming, immersive experiences throughout Napa Valley promote a sense of well-being with benefits that carry over long after your vacation has come to an end.

For an elevated view, climb aboard a hot-air balloon at sunrise. As the sun fills the sky, you’ll glide quietly above grapevines and treetops, taking in the tranquility of wine country as it slowly wakes up to a new day. Once back on terra firma, smooth landings are often celebrated with a glass or two of local bubbles. Now that’s how to start a day.

After taking in the lay of the land from above, one of the most rewarding ways to discover all the region has to offer is by foot. Clear your mind while hiking a stretch of Skyline Park’s more than 25 miles of trails. In St. Helena, travel back in time — and enjoy forgetting about the modern world — at Bale Grist Mill State Historic Park, where the 1846 water-powered grist mill grinds corn and wheat into meal or flour. Stroll among redwoods turned to stone after a volcanic explosion more than three million years ago at The Petrified Forest in Calistoga. Feeling relaxed yet?

Pamper Yourself

Fast-track the relaxing vibes by booking a full-blown spa day. Is there anything more relaxing than spending a day being spoiled at a luxurious spa? (We didn’t think so.) And when it comes to spas, wine country knows a thing or two about that. From mineral and mud baths to customized massages and full-body treatments, Napa Valley has a deep-rooted history of knowing how to pamper. 

When Dr. Wilkinson’s Hot Springs Resort opened in 1952, it was one of the first places in the valley to offer therapeutic mud baths using a one-of-a-kind mixture of Calistoga’s geothermal water and volcanic ash. Today, they keep the tradition of getting guests dirty in a colorful, retro setting. The laid-back, quirky setting is enough to make your shoulders relax as soon as you step foot through the front door. 

Just down Lincoln Avenue in Calistoga, MoonAcre Spa & Baths at Calistoga Motor Lodge and Spa has put a new, relaxing spin on happy hour. (As if happy hour needed to be more fun!). Every Wednesday from 3pm to 6pm, you can make a splash in one of their geothermal pools, enjoy two 25-minute spa treatments, and sip a glass of red, white, or bubbly for just $95. Happy hour spa options include massage, muds, baths, and a foot, hand, or scalp treatment. Taking time for self-care has never felt so smart — or hip. 

Guests at the award-winning Auberge du Soleil Spa have good reason to linger longer after a restorative treatment. An exclusive wellness tea blend created by Napa organic tea farm ERDA is poured for guests after all spa services. Handpicked, dried, and packaged, this spearmint/lemon verbena blend is a refreshing way to unwind even more in one of Napa Valley’s most tranquil settings. 

Try Something New

CBD-infused massage is all the rage for soothing aches. At The Meritage Resort, Spa Terra’s CBD Wellness Massage combines Swedish massage techniques with organic herbs, including arnica and non-psychoactive CBD. The Heal Me treatment at Carneros Resort and Spa includes a spot treatment of warm camphor and full-spectrum CBD salve and full-body arnica massage. High- tech tools are also used in holistic wellness experiences at the Spa at Carneros. During the Light Me Up treatment, LED light technology treats areas with pain and speed up healing. Magnesium-rich oil, massage, and sound therapy complete the treatment. Regardless of which service you choose, set aside an entire day for the Spa at Carneros. (Just wait until you see the view from the pool!) And when you realize you don’t want to leave? You’ll know you’re in that Napa Valley state of mind. 

Original content by Dana Rebmann for the 2020 Napa Valley Magazine