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Touring the Bay Area

By Annette Delagrange
Posted: May 19, 2008, from the June 2007 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

On August 25–27, Skin Inc. magazine’s Face & Body Spa & Healthy Aging Conference and Expo will welcome thousands of you to San Francisco.
       You’ll arrive to find the largest number and variety of exhibitors in it’s 15-year history. You’ll also find the finest, most credible conference program ever, including tracks in Esthetic Science; Healthy Aging; the Owner’s Forum; Spa, MD; and Trends. You’ll also have the opportunity to attend two partner conferences offering innovations in the medical field and proven business practices that will improve your profitability.
       The show will fill your information, networking and spa-buying needs through the conference and expo. Additionally, some of you will take the time to explore the area. I’ll contribute my favorite spots for those of you who are planning to tie some relaxation in with your education. There are dozens of sights and areas to explore in San Francisco itself, and you probably have your favorites if you’re a repeat visitor. My suggestions are popular destinations, but a bit off the beaten path.

       Healdsburg. About 70 miles north of San Francisco, a quaint little town called Healdsburg is nestled by the Russian River. This area has been compared to Tuscany in Italy. It offers fine spas, shopping, antiquing, historic homes, wine tasting of course, and festivals that have often been featured on national television commercials. It’s located in the center of wine country, which puts it quite close to my favorite winery.

       Ferrari–Carano Winery. The Ferrari–Carano Winery not only produces world-class, nationally acclaimed wines, but also dazzles the unsuspecting visitor with five acres of lush gardens. The beautiful buildings are reminiscent of an Italian villa. Its knowledgeable staff assists you in exploring the wine. This is a truly beautiful experience for all of your senses.

       Carmel-by-the-Sea. If you head down Highway 1going south from San Francisco for about 120 miles, you’ll reach Carmel-by-the-Sea. This charming, seaside town has a definite European flair. It is known for its shopping, restaurants, art galleries and spas. It also features the Hogs Breath Inn, a rustic Old West-feeling tavern that was developed by Clint Eastwood.

       Big Sur. If you continue a mere 25 miles south you’ll discover Big Sur. I believe this is the most spectacular coastline I’ve ever seen. Sweeping, majestic, untamed cliffs, mountains and sea. Big Sur offers a range of accommodations from luxury hotels to basic campgrounds. As with the above two towns, excellent spas are available. Hiking, whale watching and water activities are abundant.