The Best Weekend Getaways in California

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Napa Valley

There’s no way around it: It’s been a rough few years for Napa Valley. The pandemic’s toll on tourism was compounded by devastating wildfires that damaged some iconic hotels, took out others entirely, and wreaked havoc on winemakers during the all-important harvest season. But California is famously resilient, and Napa in particular is ready for your return. Up in Calistoga, Solage Resort and Spa, Auberge Resorts Collection, has just completed a $30 million redesign featuring restyled suites and studios, appealing pool cabanas, and a new poolside restaurant, Picobar, with modern takes on Mexico City-style street food. Don’t miss the natural mineral pools and mud baths down the road at Dr. Wilkinson’s Backyard Resort & Mineral Springs, which date back to 1952 and recently emerged from a full renovation that leans hard into its mid-century roots as a wellness destination.

There’s plenty new to visit down the valley, too. A few miles south, in St. Helena, taste your way through luscious Cabs at the striking new Faust Haus—you can’t miss the jet-black restored 1878 Victorian perched on a hillside above the valley. For an entirely different tasting experience, wine geeks can book an intimate tasting at Lang & Reed’s new St. Helena salon that specializes in Cabernet Franc and Chenin Blanc, varietals rarely given the spotlight in this region. And take a break from wine at the California Brandy House; grape brandy has a rich history in the state, and well-priced flights in the stylish downtown Napa space include gems like the Germain-Robin XO. Grab dinner a few steps away at industry favorite Compline. (About 1-1.5 hours from San Francisco)