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Spas, National Monuments, Mission San Juan Capistrano

Join us for a blissful journey through California’s poshest spas and natural wonders

Forbes Travel Guide recently released its Star Awards Winners, and California spas landed at the top of the rankings. In episode 19, Amanda Frasier, Executive Vice President of Standards & Ratings, returns to the California Now Podcast to deliver a peek behind the scenes at Forbes Travel Guide. Discover what it means to be an “anonymous spa inspector”—yes, that’s a real job—and learn why the Golden State has the largest concentration of five-star spas in the United States. Frasier also shares some of her top choices for pampering in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Napa Valley, and more.

Up next, we travel from the steam room to the ruggedly beautiful outdoors with travel writer Ann Marie Brown. Johnson challenges Brown to a lightning round of her favorite national monuments in California. Get ready to discover hidden gems like California’s “Serengeti” and a park with more than 700 caves. For our final stop, the Executive Director of Mission San Juan Capistrano, Mechelle Lawrence Adams, joins the podcast. Learn about the Orange County property’s rich history and why March is the best time to visit. Hint: It involves some very famous songbirds.



Amanda Frasier, Executive Vice President of Standards & Ratings at Forbes Travel Guide, provides insight into the recently revealed Spa Star Awards Winners for 2019.  

In a quick-hitting lightning round, travel writer Ann Marie Brown reveals her favorite national monuments in California. 

Mechelle Lawrence Adams, Executive Director of Mission San Juan Capistrano, explores the rich history of the mission and its famed swallows, which return each March. 


About the Host

Soterios Johnson, formerly the local host of National Public Radio’s Morning Edition on radio station WNYC, moved from New York City to Davis, Calif., in 2016 and is just getting to know his surroundings. By combining his journalistic instincts with his personal curiosity, Johnson will use the California Now platform to develop a deeper understanding of his adopted home.

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