Though the exterior of Alfons Skin Care—a European Tudor–style house—gives the appearance of a modest country home, the services provided within the two-decade-old spa are anything but quaint. Inside two private treatment rooms, aestheticians armed with Pevonia, Reviderm, and Jan Marini products cleanse and hydrate complexions with a combination of Mediterranean techniques and European facial treatments. Ladies select from five facial options, each accompanied by an enzyme exfoliation and customized mask. They also do eyelash extensions and undergo Clarisonic Opal eye and lip treatments.
As with locker rooms and Olympic egg-carton stomping, men have their own domain; they can indulge in a soothing scalp massage or facial-hair tinting for beards that have gone gray. But both parties can benefit from body waxing—which uses sugar, creamy lavender, and green hard wax—as well as such advanced med-spa services as Dr. Lam Probe Therapy, which removes skin tags and thread veins using radio and high-frequency technology.
Craig Fruchter and Stephanie Schreiber, a husband-and-wife duo, team up with an impassioned troupe of instructors to lead students toward mental and physical health through a lineup of Bikram and power-yoga classes. Their dual locations swirl with balmy temperatures to loosen tight ligaments and help students ease deeper into the tension-relieving stretches. The warm air pricks beads of sweat on shoulders and brows while flushing out toxins and the spleen's discarded Funyun bags. With an eye on preserving the environment, both studios are scrubbed with nontoxic cleaning products each day and feature textured rubber floors and fresh-air ventilation systems. Marin Magazine in 2010 named Red Dragon one of the best yoga studios in Marin, and Pacific Sun named the business the best Marin yoga studio in 2012, 2013 and 2014.
Guided by a mission of embracing every student's quest for personal growth, the team at YogaWorks offers programs for all ages and walks of life. Harnessing a minimum of 500 hours of Yoga Alliance training, expert instructors build lean muscles with traditional Ashtanga, Iyengar, and Vinyasa flow classes enhanced by inspiring music, ambient candlelight, meditation, and props. Their fitness classes further the body-shaping results of yoga, strengthening core muscles with Pilates, increasing endurance and lean muscles with TRX classes, and building stamina with resistance-based SculptWorks.
Instructors also host exotic yoga retreats, which marry the excitement of travel to far-away locales with the benefits of yoga to bestow students with the confident grace required to approach a foreign yoga mat without startling it. Those in search of further training can access online videos by subscribing to myyogaworks.com, which offers a free, 14-day trial for new users. Students can search for videos by workout duration, skill level, and the targeted area of the body.
When they first cut the ribbon on Milvali Salon & Cosmetics' namesake location in Mill Valley, beauty experts and best friends Jessika Adams de Vazquez and Deb Monti couldn't have guessed where their partnership would lead. In the nearly 10 years since, the dynamic duo has opened a second location in San Francisco and guided the salons through three expansions. The pair also filled both locations’ shelves with their own signature line of mineral- and botanical-based skincare products, which their experienced team of aestheticians incorporates into a variety of custom facials.
But skincare isn't the only thing that Milvali is renowned for. The salon was voted the best place to go for hair extensions on the 2012 Bay Area A-List and was a finalist in the Best Bikini Wax category. To earn this regard, the beauty gurus specialize in Brazilian bikini waxes, using imported wax from Italy that is delicate enough to use on sensitive skin or between the Mona Lisa’s eyebrows.
With rolling hills and lush, green woods in the background, expert instructors lead students out into the great blue Pacific for custom surfing lessons. During lessons, wave tamers certified in CPR, first aid, ocean safety, and mermaid diplomacy bestow burgeoning surfers with all necessary skills and ocean awareness, which helps surfers to keep their bearings and tackle whitecaps safely. Surf techniques and etiquette can be tailored to ease rookies into their comfort zones or amped up to challenge and heighten the skills of more experienced boarders.
Tamalpais Surf Club also rents boards and wetsuits for surfers looking to paddle out on their own, and their lending inventory includes vintage boards from renowned shapers. To throw more adventure into the mix, the team organizes yoga-surf retreats and surf camps in exotic locales such as Costa Rica and Hawaii, where groups can immerse themselves in the country's culture, cuisine, and bilingual waves.
The Lunch Box transcends grade-school memories of packed lunches, opting instead to fill bellies with piping-hot sandwiches and freshly tossed salads made with local, organic produce whenever possible. Sandwich fillings such as beet goat cheese and basil aioli treat tongues to uncommon flavors, with an option for gluten-free bread. They also offer fresh salads and house-made soups to round out lunchtime meals. Additionally, baker Melissa Geraghty fills the shop with freshly made treats and completes cake and cupcake orders for parties and especially long elevator rides.
The takeout joint does not offer sit-down service, making the shop a perfect stop before a hike to Muir Woods or picnic at Stinson Beach. Additionally, a rotating menu of dinners to go ease the stress of evening meals, with pickup and delivery options available.