San Francisco mayor and US senator James Duval Phelan built the Villa Montalvo in 1912 as a bastion of art, hosting such writers as Jack London and Edwin Markham in conversation-filled luncheons and creativity-fueling vacations. After his death, Phelan bequeathed the house and grounds to the public, asking that they continue its role as an incubator of inspiration. Today, the center hosts artist residencies, gallery exhibitions, and educational opportunities for visitors. Surrounding the wealth of culture, the 175-acre grounds include miles of hiking trails through woodlands densely populated with muses, a meticulously manicured Italianate garden, and a picnic-ready Great Lawn.
When owners Kellie and Mike Ballard purchased the land for Savannah Chanelle Vineyards in 1996, they also inherited the plot of land's rich history. Originally cleared in 1901, it features a zinfandel vineyard that was planted in 1910 and a cabernet-franc vineyard that was planted in 1919, just to name a few. Today, the Ballards, winemaker Anthony Craig, and the staff rumba on the grapes to make an array of wines, including chardonnay, pinot noir, cabernet franc, and zinfandel. Guests can sample the libations and take in the Santa Cruz Mountains at the vineyard's charming tasting room.
Ancient skills. Wild adventures. Deep connection. These three phrases describe WilderSkills's mission, but the center's hands-on programs for children put the words into action. Summer camps take youngsters away from screens and into the three-dimensional reality of the meadows and redwood groves of Savannah-Chanelle Vineyard, where instructors teach survival skills such as how to build a fire, how to construct a shelter, and how to distinguish ordinary animal tracks from celebrity animal autographs. Outdoor academics bring the natural experience to classroom learning by providing after-school sessions and lectures that take an interactive approach to science and ecology.
Jill Dailey McIntosh has always been intrigued by the human body and how it moves—so much so that she graduated in 1991 with a kinesiology degree and soon thereafter decided to open her own Pilates teaching studio. But it wasn't until years later that this curiosity would manifest itself in a single question: "How can one aggressively transform the shape of their body while still maintaining proper alignment of the spine?" Eventually Jill began to examine her diverse fitness background, pulling low-impact movements from ballet, Pilates, and even orthopedic-exercise routines to create the basis for her fitness style, The Dailey Method.
Now, more than a decade later, Dailey's fitness routine has ballooned into studios sprawled across more than 10 states and gained praise from Self, Allure, FitPregnancy, and InStyle magazines. Regardless of the location, instructors remain true to Jill's mission of offering a diverse series of exercises that focus on toning and lengthening the body while lengthening the spine and building strong core muscles.