Folks have been relaxing at way-off-the-beaten-path Wilbur Hot Springs, near Clear Lake, for 150 years. What’s the draw? The A-frame open-air “Fluminarium” here shelters three flumes of flowing water that range in temperature from 98 to 110 degrees. Their real secret is lithium, an element from the hot springs that’s said to mellow out even the most anxious Type-As. These tranquil, isolated hot springs are about a 2.5-hour drive from San Francisco, so leave early in the morning to make it a day trip. (The drive through rural Yolo County is beautiful—orchard and oak trees line the little-used, two-lane road). If you opt for an overnight immersion, a bunk-house and private rooms are available on-site. Budding gourmets can prepare their meals in the fully equipped kitchen—or book a stay during the once-a-month guest chef cooking weekends and enjoy the fruits of someone else’s culinary labor. After dinner, a backwoods guitar-and-piano jam session flumes to life in the community room. Hot spring heaven.
TIP: Strike a warrior pose from the yoga deck perched on the side of a hill overlooking the hot springs. Ommmmm.
Wilbur Hot Springs (530-473-2306). Day use of the hot springs (10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) is $52. Bunk rooms are $95 per person. Private rooms start at $202 per night. Directions are found on their website. Note: True to the spirit of hot springs culture, the Fluminarium is clothing-optional. And quiet is encouraged, though there is a designated flume for chatterboxes.