Sure you could go up to Napa and dish out a bunch of dough to sit at a spa. But for those who like their relaxation outdoors, under the stars and in a beautiful setting, we recommend scrapping a ritzy mud bath and checking out some of Northern California's natural hot springs.
Even though the road trip down to Big Sur on the supremely picturesque Highway One is a no-brainer in terms of worthy staycations, the recent feature in the March issue of Budget Travel, while stacked with some decent Central Coast recommends, failed to mention one important little secret privy only to the region's campers.
With so many great natural spots within an hour or two of driving, the Bay Area is a camper's paradise. But even as we pack our organic local edibles, throw on our Timbuk2 backpacks, and cover up with a locally-designed raincoat, the gear we take with us is pretty much the same as the rest of the country's: blandly designed, more functional than fun. That's why we were excited to see the new spring product line from Alite, a Mission-based manufacturer of outdoor gear. Founded by three Stanford grads, the company's manufacturing life began with colorful butterfly chairs, which roll up to the size of a burrito (SF-style, of course) and fit easily into a bag.