Retreat to Invigoration

Where and how to tend to your soul (and body) when it's summer in the city.

Of course, there's also the likely possibility that what you really need is a proper vacation. Healing is good, but rising at 6:30 a.m. for vigorous yoga, fasting, meditation, or watercolors by the ocean is not everyone's cup of green tea. A historic refuge for the overworked (yet affordable enough for the underpaid), Harbin Hot Springs in Lake County is a gem. Harbin does offer activities, but the emphasis is primarily on one thing: the waters. These totally natural hot springs and cold pools flow directly from the core of the planet, and are so pure they make bottled water seem toxic. Stretch out on the redwood decks to get a full-body tan (it's clothing-optional here), and soak up Mother Earth's own amniotic fluid beneath the stars. You're certain to forget all about the small fortune you owe in unpaid parking tickets and student loans, and if it all comes crashing back the minute you hit bumper-to-bumper traffic coming home to the city, try to remember that the "re" in "retreat" probably means it's supposed to be done more than once.

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