Hotel at a Glance: Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort
For more than 100 years, guests have traveled to Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort to soak in naturally hot sulfur mineral water said to soothe and heal sore joints and muscles. Many of the resort’s features incorporate these revitalizing waters. The private oasis waterfall lagoon accommodates up to 30 people in a sheltered mineral-soaking retreat, and each guest room and suite has a private hot tub on an attached balcony or patio.
- Farm-to-table cuisine: The resort’s award-winning Gardens of Avila restaurant uses ingredients from organic farms. Seasonal menu highlights include the poached albacore-tuna sandwich and sunburst-artichoke ravioli.
- Yoga classes are held daily and included with every stay.
- Have a wine-therapy massage: Soak in the mineral hot springs and sip local chardonnay before having a 90-minute massage at the onsite spa.
- Hike to scenic vistas: Walk the property’s trails, set amid 100 acres of forested hills, to get to the beach and ocean.
San Luis Obispo, California: Historical City Close to Hiking and the Pacific Coast
Founded in 1772 as a mission community, San Luis Obispo is one of the oldest towns in California. Located halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, San Luis Obispo—nicknamed “SLO”—has a thriving downtown. Its centerpiece, Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, was the original mission of the city; it has since been completely restored and now houses a museum. Nearby, you can wander through posh boutique shops and dine at upscale restaurants.
San Luis Obispo is almost perpetually sunny, with more than 300 rain-free days every year. The city is bisected by a string of hills known as the Nine Sisters, six of which are open for climbing, hiking, and mountain biking. With the Pacific coastline and beaches 10 miles away, you’re also near windsurfing, kayaking, surfing, and kiteboarding. Not far away, you’ll find the the hot mineral springs of Avila Beach.
The city made international headlines in 1990 when it became the first place in the world to ban smoking in all public buildings, including bars and restaurants. Considering the city’s famously strict health codes, it’s something of a surprise that Bubble Gum Alley exists here. Locals and visitors have been sticking chewed gum on the walls since about 1960; the alley is now a massive, mosaic-like public artwork that is at once beautiful and grotesque.