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
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; solvangusa.com
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; sanluisobispocounty.com
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; sanluisobispocounty.com
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; seemonterey.org
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; seemonterey.org