4 Local Spots to Visit for Health and Wellness in the New Year

Kabuki Springs & Spa, San Francisco (Photo by Frankie Frankeny)

For the Ultimate Day Getaway
The ideal Japanese-inspired wellness escape is in the heart of the city.

Opened in 1968, Kabuki Springs & Spa offers a true sento, or public bathhouse, experience right in San Francisco’s Japantown. Although you can participate in the experience however you want, the “right way” is to remove your clothing (and your phone) and start with a pre-bath in the sit-down shower, then about 10 minutes in the hot pool followed by another 10 minutes in the steam room scrubbing with exfoliating sea salts; then it’s a quick plunge in the cold pool, heat the body up again in the sauna, and finally cycle through the cold-hot-cold baths. Finish by grabbing a cool face towel and cucumbers for your eyes as you relax on the loungers. “On a physical level, heat and sweating boost the immune system. Much like a fever, the blood thins, and a small amount of toxins are released through the sweat,” says Kabuki consultant Kathy Nelsen. “Sweating releases endorphins, the feel-good hormone. The blood vessels dilate and circulation is increased, giving that healthy glow.” Kabuki also offers Asian-inspired treatments and massages, and in 2023 look for the new Nano Infusion Facial.

sun and steam over outdoor pool
Indian Springs, Calistoga (Courtesy of Indian Springs)

For a Weekend Retreat
A short drive will bring you to a wellness experience created millions of years ago.

Long touted for its healing waters and mud baths, Calistoga is the perfect destination for a wellness escape. Located just 90 minutes from central Marin, Indian Springs is home to thermal geysers that were created millions of years ago. These healing waters feed directly into the resort’s mineral pools and steam rooms. Volcanic ash, which also runs abundantly through the property, is one of the main ingredients in the resort’s famed mud baths. Since the 19th century, people have traveled far and wide to reap the benefits of these thermal waters. While a weekend spent relaxing at the resort does wonders for frazzled nerves, health benefits include improved circulation, reduced inflammation, improved quality of sleep and more. And if you are questioning whether you actually need an entire weekend, Chris Costas, Indian Springs’ managing director, says, “The pool is open until midnight and I believe the night swim is the best experience. Also, in the wintertime when the weather is cold, the pool is incredible.” New additions for 2023 include a hike and bike program on Saturdays, a salt/halotherapy room and a HydraFacial.

deck in front of misty landscape
Canyon Ranch, Woodside (Photo courtesy of Canyon Ranch)

For a Longer Reset
Customize your wellness getaway with an itinerary that meets your individual needs.

For someone looking for a deep dive into wellness, Canyon Ranch delivers. The company is renowned for its luxury wellness retreats and the Woodside property is only about 40 miles from Marin. We love that the Canyon Ranch experience is completely customizable and unique to your goals. A three or four-night stay could include a weight-loss plan, mental and physical exercises for building resilience, a lifestyle reset or a focus on optimizing your performance in a particular sport. Guests work with a dedicated Wellness Guide to set physical, mental and spiritual goals during their stay, undertaking two to three services a day, leaving plenty of time to enjoy the lavish spa, beautiful grounds, gourmet food, and seemingly endless roster of activities and classes also offered daily. “A visit to Canyon Ranch is completely unique for each guest — the experience is built from a selection of more than 1,500 services drawing from ancient wisdom and modern technology, and is designed to meet their personal wellness intention,” says Rona Kay, Canyon Ranch Woodside’s general manager.

well lit open lounge
Club Evexia, Mill Valley (Photo courtesy of Club Evexia)

For a Year-Round Commitment to Wellness
A relaxed social club–like environment means you’ll love where you work out.

If this is the year you finally up your wellness and physical training goals, Mill Valley’s Club Evexia could be a big reason why. Opened last year, this owner-operated club set out to be different from the beginning. The club offers beautiful views from its 20,000-square-foot Shoreline Center facility, softer, natural colors and materials, a social atmosphere, highly experienced personal training and fitness experts, educational events and, of course, the latest fitness technology (including Atlantic, Hoist and Matrix, and Assault equipment). “What many people might underestimate is the mental benefits of fitness training. Even on your first day getting back to exercising, you can feel a measurable shift in your mood from the endorphins that are released,” says co-founder Scott Raymond. And about those views: “They create an absolutely stunning and inspirational physical environment where you have golden sunrises over the pristine calm waters of Richardson Bay.”