#DateDay: A new feature in which I share our affordable magical dates in NoCal. No 1. Vichy Springs in Ukiah, CA

Vichy Springs

I took Mariko, my sweetie to Vichy Springs in Ukiah CA a few weeks ago. It was the second anniversary of our meeting. We had an amazing time. Friends and acquaintances have been asking us about our #dateday posts on Instagram (I’m @heathr and she is @marikotamaki) So we thought we’d start blogging our dates to give other people date ideas and hopefully get a few from you.

Vichy Springs has cheesy billboards up all over the Bay Area with line drawings of Jack London trying to impress you with “champagne baths.” None of that may sound appealing. The rust colour of the older-than-Mark-Twain stone baths above might look even less appealing. That’s why I’m writing to tell you that floating in one of those mineral, bubbly, warm baths looking at the sky after a beautiful hike is pretty much a slam dunk fantastic date. Sublime even. It’s all about the floating, which was completely Mariko’s idea. The baths are not like the tub you take at home. Water is running through the thing the whole time. Water full of Lithium, Bicarbonate and other mineral goodies said to have all kinds of healing and happy powers. To be completely buoyant and warm (when you are still all the bubbles coat you and keep you about body temperature) and feel the slight wave from the water moving is to have the easiest meditation you will even have. You can do an hour easily. Easily. Then there’s a really hot larger communal tub to warm up in when you’re done. Nothing foofy about this place. V old and simple but super magical.

Time: 2 hours from the Bay Area. Lovely drive. Do-able as a determined day trip. Map.
Cost: $30 each for day use plus gas.
Tips: To do as an overnight, great off-season discount, maybe $150 night including breakfast. Bring flip flops. And comfy warm sweatshirts and hats. Bring a picnic. No food here for daytrips. There’s a great market in Healdsburg.