Here’s your daily travel guide to the best adventures and experiences in the Golden State. Each of these essential California adventures has been tried and tested by a Travel section staffer or contributor.
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Why: If you’re intimidated by the word “spa,” Glen Ivy is the place for you. It feels accessible, not exclusive, meaning you can sit back and relax.
What: Which is what you want to do. There are 19 pools to try, including the mineral pools, the star attraction in the early days of the late 1800s when you could soak in them for 25 cents.
Today, you start by getting a locker for your street clothes and putting on your swim suit in a well-appointed area that includes changing rooms, showers and big, lighted mirrors where you’ll find hairdryers you’ll want later in the day.
Glen Ivy’s 12 acres include a float pool and a large pool if you want to exercise. But my new favorite features are the hot and cold plunge pools. (Try switching three times between them and stay in each pool for a minimum of 30 seconds. It doesn’t sound like long until you’re in the cold pool.)
The former Café Sole has been replaced by the new Ivy Kitchen, offering light but satisfying meals. (No starvation tactics here.)
And, of course, you can find the usual spa treatments (extra charge but no pressure; appointments advisable) including the underground Grotto, where skin hydration is the goal ($25 upcharge).
Save Club Mud for last. You paint yourself (and your hair) with “mud,” which is California red clay, then go bake in the sun. Before you turn into tandoori chicken, you brush it off and rinse or wash it off in the outdoor showers if you’ve used a tad too much. One note: Beware of bees, which are attracted to the mud. Make sure you you’re wearing your sandals.
The landscaping makes it all very pretty and it feels all very real, which is refreshing if you’re weary of L.A. artifice.
Where: 25000 Glen Ivy Road, Corona; (888) 453-6489, about 60 miles southeast of downtown L.A. (Set aside at least 90 minutes to get there.)
How much: Go on a weekday when it’s less expensive ($49 for the day Mondays-Fridays, averaging 300 guests). Saturdays, Sundays and holidays it’s $68 and about 700 people will be there. Through Feb. 28, hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. It’s open an hour later from March through May. Check on summer hours.
Info: Glen Ivy Hot Springs