I'm so happy you will be attending the 3rd Act Women's Retreat! We will aim to do our best to make this a relaxing and healthy wellness retreat experience for all! Here's the nitty gritty that will help you plan and pack:

CHECK IN: 4:00PM Sunday October 29th, 2017

Transportation

Driving:

Whether you fly or drive, here is a link to the Mayacamas Ranch Driving Directions page:

Flying:

Renting a Car: The beauty of Mayacamas Ranch is its remote wine country location which also means it might be best to rent a car to get there. Renting a car will also enable you to take advantage of downtime at our retreat to go out and explore nearby wine country attractions.

Public Transit: Alas, there really is no easy way to get there via public transit. The two closest towns are St. Helena and Calistoga if you want to try to piece public transit together, but you would then need to get up to the ranch from one of the towns via cab or Uber.

San Francisco International: About a two hour drive (without traffic) via highway 101 north, you will go over the Golden gate Bridge on your way! 

Map

Sacramento Airport: Also about a two hour drive via Hwy 128 West, you will drive through some gorgeous rolling California hills and interesting small towns on the way.

Map

Oakland International Airport: You will be flying into my town! Also about a two hour drive, up Hwys. 880 and 80, not so pretty until you get to Hwy 29 or the Silverado Trail in Napa - then you will be driving through classic wine country with rolling vineyards and sweet towns on the way!

Map

What to Bring

Swimming, sunning, yoga, hiking and tootling around wine country, you may have to pack quite a bit! Please know too that Fall weather, although predictable by the forecasters the week before, could be sunny and 70 degrees the whole time (wouldn't that be grande) or it could be chilly with fog and rain.  As anyone will advise you, when traveling to the Bay Area or wine country, it's best to bring lots of layers! Here's what we suggest:

  • Yoga clothing
  • Hiking clothing and hiking shoes
  • Trekking poles if you need stability on rocky terrain
  • Swimwear
  • Sun hat
  • Light hat, gloves and scarf
  • Casual day and evening clothing (this is a pretty laid back retreat so no formalwear required unless you plan on sneaking out for a fabulous dinner somewhere in wine country)
  • Light jackets (both for exercise and for hanging out or touring the towns). A light down jacket might be a good idea.
  • CA weather at this time of the year is easy to forecast so check the weather before you pack and you'll probably have a pretty good idea of what to expect, but if there is rain in the forecast, bring a light rain jacket and/or small umbrella.
  • Sleepwear and robe
  • Sunscreen
  • Lots of reading material!
  • The ranch has yoga mats and props so no need to bring any yoga supplies unless you want your own mat
  • Water bottle
  • A positive and happy attitude that you will be experiencing a healthy wellness vacation!

What to Do and See!

While we hope that you love simply enjoying your days at the ranch, eating our healthy meal plan, seeing the speakers, exercising in the mornings, sunning in the afternoons and possibly adding on massage treatments, you will be in one of the most sought-after destinations in the world and we would encourage you to explore! There is plenty to see and do in wine country and yes, you can even visit the gorgeous wineries along the way. Many have lovely gardens and picnic spots (and gift shops!). Here are some suggestions for what to do and see during your downtime:

Calistoga - This is my favorite wine country town! Relaxed and casual, Calistoga is only about a ten minute drive from the ranch, it runs about three long blocks and is full of shops, coffee houses, restaurants and yes, hot springs spas! Although we do have a pool and hot tub on property and you will be able to book massage by appointment, there are some really nice full-service spas to check out in town. Since THF is all about affordable wellness, I have to say as weird as it is, I love Dr. Wilkensen's! Run by the same family since 1952 it's reasonably priced and you can get a package that includes access to their mineral pools a mud bath, a soak in a private mineral tub, steam room and massage. Seriously, you'll feel like you're in Eastern Europe at this funky place. Classic Calistoga! Check out the rest of the town highlights and other spa options at the Calistoga, CA site.

St. Helena - A bit more upscale, this is also a lovely old town with lots of shopping and home to the incredible Tra Vigne restaurant, there's an old grist mill you can visit right out of town and Bothe-Napa State park for some nice local hiking. The Culinary Institute is also in town and there's also a small theater if you want to catch a movie one evening outside the ranch.

Silverado Trail and Hwy. 29 - I prefer the Silverado Trail for less traffic and a more out-of-the-way wine country experience, but both have world class wineries along the way. Check out the town of Yountville about 20 minutes south down hwy 29 for yet another darling wine country town - home of the world famous French Laundry restaurant.

Over the hill, but not so far away is the Sonoma County side of wine country - Mayacamas Ranch is also very accessible to the Sonoma side of wine country where you can explore the towns of Sonoma and Healdsburg. Both towns are situated around central town squares and have plenty of shopping. The wineries along Hwy. 12 are pretty spectacular too. Chateaux St. Jean is one of my favorites for a picnic. They have bocci courts and a gorgeous public formal garden. Annadel and Sugarloaf State parks have more hearty hikes than the Napa side of wine country and if you are a literature buff, go to Jack London State park right outside of the town of Glen Ellen. You can hike around the ruins of his agricultural buildings, plus two intact houses where you can see his writing rooms. There's also a small museum where you can buy his classic books and learn about his fascinating life.

Your Time at the Ranch

Days at the Ranch - Of course there will be plenty to do on property and I've posted the tentative schedule,  so we really hope you are inclined to kick back and not really go anywhere! 

Food - Previous Healing Farm retreats have featured a paleo reset/whole 30-type elimination diet meal plan. We will mostly adhere to this diet, so if you want to read up on it in more detail, see Chris Kresser's site and check out his book "The Paleo Cure".  You can also check out information about Whole 30 for guidelines. Please reference these sites if you are unclear, but all food will be organic and grass fed. This is not a vegetarian retreat. We will allow wine in your room and light wine drinking at dinner if your body can tolerate. We will also serve coffee, teas and have natural sweeteners available.

Prepare your body ahead! - Just to make sure your body doesn't go into shock if this is your first reset, you may want to to do the following starting a week or two before to help ease your body into it:

  • Start weaning yourself from sugar
  • Although we won't be 100% caffeine-free, we recommend you limit yourself to one cup of coffee a day and one cup of black or green tea, so you may want to start doing a half-caf version of your daily coffee to prepare. 
  • Go light on the alcohol the week before too. I understand it's hard being in wine country and since this isn't a strict reset retreat you can bring wine, but nutritionally, limiting your alcohol intake to one glass is preferable - especially if you have trouble with waking up in the middle of the night!
  • Go light on the carbs and dairy too if you can!

Prepare your mind ahead! - This is an electronics-free retreat. Although there will be internet in your room, we would encourage you to try unplugging for the whole retreat. We ask that phones and laptops not be out and visible in the public area of the property. If you want to take a picture with your phone, that's fine! Just wait until you're in your room to share it!

Questions? - As always, please don't hesitate to call or e-mail with any questions!

  • Phone: 510-681-7616
  • Email: julie@thehealingfarm.com