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Spectacular Views and Sumptuous Spas

Spectacular Views and Sumptuous Spas
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Find the perfect way to relax and rejuvenate, from a luxurious massage at a four-star resort to soaking in natural mineral-water pools on redwood-forested hillsides.

Trip Length: 3-4 days
Total distance: 289.1mi/465.2km 

Goleta. Just a few miles north of Santa Barbara, enjoy the luxurious amenities at the Bacara Resort and Spa —you don’t have to be a guest to get pampered at this posh retreat. Enjoy a 50-minute treatment, then relax in the eucalyptus steam room or on the private sunbathing deck. INFO (805) 966-9222;

Solvang (34mi/55km; 35 min.). Fill your day sampling wines at Santa Ynez Valley's wineries, eat abelskivers at a local bakery, and ride horses along the oak-shaded trails, then unwind at the luxurious spa at Alisal Ranch & Resort spa . Try the Nojoqui mud wrap and sage massage—incredible. INFO (805) 688-6144;

Avila Beach (60mi/97km; 65 min.). Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort let’s you rent one of the property’s delightful hot tubs, even if you’re not a guest. Tubs are tucked into a tree-shaded hillside and have a private hideaway feel, and the water—naturally heated and full of healthful minerals—is fantastic. INFO (800) 541-8000;

Pismo Beach. (2mi/3km; 5 min). This small seaside town is big on laid-back lifestyle. The Dolphin Bay in Shell Beach is one of the premier resorts in the area, and its Bonne Vie Spa is the best place for an afternoon of pampering. If you stay at the resort, you get 20% off all services. INFO (800) 541-8000;

Paso Robles (40mi/65km; 50 min). After touring idyllic wineries and, check into the River Oaks Hot Springs Spa  where you can sit in a naturally heated mineral-spring bath (always 117 degrees F.) in private indoor tubs or under a starlit sky. INFO (800) 541-8000;

Cambria (31mi/50km; 40 min.). Splurge with your sweetheart and make an appointment for a couples massage at the Sojourn Healing Arts Center . Or enjoy the masseuses and masseurs at the European elegance of the spa at El Colibri , near Moonstone Beach. INFO (800) 541-8000;

Big Sur (70mi/113km; 90 min.). The legendary Cliffside baths at Esalen Institute are stunning, but only open to the general public between 1 and 3 a.m. If you prefer daylight, consider a massage or facial at the ultra-luxurious Ventana Inn , which includes access to the pool, sauna and Japanese baths. Or get a hot jade stone massage at the spa at nearby—and equally luxe—Post Ranch Inn . INFO (877) 666-8373;

Carmel Valley (35mi/57km; 50 min.). Carmel Valley Ranch has everything: golf, hiking trails, an outdoor yoga platform, even beekeeping lessons. The crown jewel is the new Spa Aiyana--get a massage or facial, then relax in a poolside cabana. For something a bit more rustic (although still luxurious), visit the wine-inspired spa at Bernardus Lodge . INFO (877) 666-8373;

Pebble Beach (10mi/16km; 25 min.). Many signature treatments at the Spa at Pebble Beach use plants, herbs, and minerals indigenous to California’s Monterey Peninsula, and the Post-Gold Therapy massage--which focuses on tired forearms, neck, lower back, and hips—aims to help you on the links. Enjoy a round at the region’s famed courses, or ride bikes along the famous 17-Mile Drive . INFO (877) 666-8373;

Pacific Grove (6.1mi/9.8km; 17min). Go tidepooling at Asilomar State Beach , then stroll the pine-tree-lined paths past handsome stone-and-wood buildings in Asilomar Conference Center , designed by famed architect Julia Morgan. End the day with super-fresh, sustainably caught seafood at celebrated Passionfish . INFO (877) 666-8373;

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