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all’s well in annie’s


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  • Unbelievable
    Yoga Retreats

    Ready to strengthen your body, mind, and soul? These retreats will let you step away from daily life…and breathe.

    Peathegee Inc./Getty Images
  • Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa

    Rancho Santa Fe, CA

    The spa, in Rancho Santa Fe, offers a secluded, lush environment for meditation and relaxation. At the Serenity Yoga Pavilion—where the teacher’s mat floats on a small pool—guests can choose from Yoga Flow, Power Yoga, Gentle Yoga, and Foam Roller/Yoga.

    Tip: For your post-yoga relaxation, enjoy lunch at Rancho Valencia’s new poolside bar, Rein, or schedule a massage or facial at the Spa.

    Courtesy of Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa
  • Post Ranch Inn

    Big Sur, CA

    At this property in Big Sur, yoga classes are held in a yurt. The groups enjoy guided postures and breath work or restorative yoga that includes visualization meditation and gentle breathing. Private yoga and meditation sessions are also available.

    Tip: Treat yourself to the Big Sur Jade Stone Therapy treatment. Warmed Big Sur jade is applied to the skin to relax taut muscles and relieve sore joints, then cooled marble is applied to reduce inflammation.

    Kodiak Greenwood
  • The Pearl Laguna

    Laguna Beach, CA

    Located in beautiful Laguna Canyon, the Pearl Laguna is an all-inclusive yoga and hiking retreat. Your stay includes two daily yoga classes: Geo’s Power Yoga in the morning, which energizes and helps build strength and flexibility, and, in the evening, Flow Yoga to promote peaceful sleep.

    Tip: Make sure to try the spa’s infrared sauna, which is said to eliminate built-up environmental toxins and promotes healing.

    Trina Roberts
  • Ojai Valley
    Inn & Spa

    Ojai, CA

    Immerse yourself in yoga while enjoying resort living in one of Southern California’s most beautiful valleys. Choose from a variety of yoga experiences, including Intro to Kundalini Yoga, which is based on energy and mind centering, and Yin Yoga, a series of naturally slow Yin postures blended with active Yang movements.

    Tip: Be sure to catch the “pink moment” as the sun sets over the east end of the Ojai Valley: the fading sunlight turns Topatopa Bluff a brilliant shade of pink for several minutes.

    Courtesy of Ojai Valley Inn & Spa
Kodiak Greenwood

Annie’s Favorite California Road Trip

To celebrate her birthday each year, she takes a long drive up the coast into wine country.

In true California style, Suja Juice co-founder Annie Lawless loves to hit the road and enjoy the expansive ocean views and open spaces that the state’s highways offer, but she saves her favorite drive for her birthday. Starting in San Diego, she heads for Santa Barbara, then Big Sur and Napa, enjoying leisurely, sun-soaked pleasures along the way. Here are some of the best stops along the route.

Drive from San Diego to Santa Barbara

211 miles; about 3 hours and 10 minutes without traffic.

Stay: San Ysidro Ranch Relax in your bungalow near a creek- and tree-lined path. “It has an incredibly boutique feel,” Lawless says. At the spa, treat yourself to an exfoliating, circulation-boosting Japanese skin brushing.

Eat: The Stonehouse Restaurant at San Ysidro Ranch Executive chef Matt Johnson’s cuisine combines organic inspiration and culinary artistry. Set in what was a 19th-century citrus-packing house, the dining room overlooks a creek. Do a bit of stargazing from the ocean-view deck.

See: Sustainable Vine Wine Tours Tour Santa Barbara County’s small-production, family-owned wineries that are committed to sustainable farming. The tour includes transportation by luxury Tesla Model X SUV, premium tastings, a made-to-order organic lunch served outdoors, and an industry professional as your personal host.

San Ysidro RanchCourtesy of San Ysidro Ranch
The Stonehouse Restaurant at
San Ysidro Ranch
Courtesy of San Ysidro Ranch
Sustainable Vine Wine ToursCourtesy of Sustainable Vine Wine Tours

Drive from Santa Barbara to Big Sur

217 miles; about 4 hours and 40 minutes.

Stay: Post Ranch Inn Sitting on a cliff 1,200 feet above the Pacific, the inn has 39 rooms that blend rustic elegance, comfort and privacy with ocean and mountain views. “The Post Ranch Inn is so secluded,” Lawless says. “You can experience amazing things, like yoga in a yurt, and it’s a great way to take in the woodsy side of California.”

Eat: The Restaurant at Ventana Big Sur Relax on an expansive patio that overlooks 50 miles of coastline. Executive Chef Paul Corsentino uses fresh ingredients that celebrate California’s Central Coast.

See: Carmel Art Galleries Pop over to Carmel-by-the-Sea and stroll through nearly 100 art galleries showcasing works by world-renowned artists. Stop by the Tuck Box for afternoon tea. (Don’t miss the fresh scones with whipped cream and preserves made from olallieberries—they resemble blackberries—that grow in Northern California.)

Post Ranch InnKodiak Greenwood
The Restaurant at
Ventana Big Sur
Courtesy of Ventana Big Sur
The Tuck BoxOlos/Shutterstock

Drive from Big Sur to Napa

178 miles; 3 hours and 38 minutes.

Stay: The Carneros Inn Choose a cottage, a suite, or—the ultimate in wine-country living—a private Carneros Courtyard Home in a gated area. Enjoy your personal fireplace and indoor and alfresco showers—and add a private yoga class to start your day.

Eat: The French Laundry Chef Thomas Keller established his famed restaurant in a building, built from river rock and timbers, that housed a steam laundry in the early 20th century. Recently, the Michelin Guide San Francisco 2016: Bay Area & Wine Country awarded the French Laundry three stars, the guide's highest rating, for the tenth year in a row.

See: Napa Valley Aloft Balloon Rides Avoid the crowds. This company offers small, private-party hot-air balloon rides over Napa Valley. Your experienced pilot (and Napa expert) will be your host. Book the Exclusive Flight for Two and enjoy your three-to-four-hour early-morning flight followed by a champagne breakfast.

The Carneros InnCourtesy of The Carneros Inn
The French LaundryDeborah Jones
Napa Valley Aloft
Balloon Rides
Courtesy of Napa Valley Aloft Balloon Rides

Annie’s California
Insider’s Guide

She’s giving up some of her best-kept secrets: the places she goes when she wants to eat and drink with other in-the-know locals.

  • dine

    As a co-founder of the juice purveyor Suja Juice, Annie Lawless has traveled all over the state building the non-GMO, organic brand. But her favorite under-the-radar spots aren’t just juice bars and yoga studios. Take Pace, an organic Italian restaurant with a candlelit patio. Tucked into a nook of West Hollywood’s Laurel Canyon Boulevard, it’s a neighborhood place where you might see celebrities dining, but without the paparazzi and attention you’ll find elsewhere.

    Dunnie Andino
  • dine

    One of L.A.’s most coveted tables—partly because there are only 24 of them—is Maude, Curtis Stone's high-end New American eatery in Beverly Hills. The Australian chef, who has a loyal fan base, creates a monthly menu focused on seasonal ingredients. Guests can choose between two seating experiences: a private table in this open-kitchen room or the popular chef’s counter, where guests get a front-row seat to the kitchen.

    Courtesy of Maude
  • drink

    One of Lawless’s favorite spots for a cocktail is West Hollywood’s Laurel Hardware, a speakeasy-style bar in an old hardware store. “You’d have no idea it’s a restaurant if you didn’t know,” Lawless says. “Inside is a dark, cool bar. You sit where they put you. Then there is an outdoor garden.” Of the inventive cocktails, Lawless’s choice is the Gangster, which mixes cucumber-infused vodka, watermelon, and lime.

    Phi Tran/Getty Images
  • drink

    Sonoma County boasts hundreds of wineries, but few of them are run out of someone’s home. That’s what makes Petrichor Vineyards so unique: there are no parking-lot attendants, no lines at the bar—in fact, there’s no bar at all. Tastings of the vineyard’s delectable Grenache, Syrah, and rosé are held by the pool of the proprietors, Jim Foley and Margaret Bradley-Foley. Lucky guests can take in panoramic views of Sonoma Valley (sometimes with complementary platters of bread, cured meats, and their house-made olive oil). Check for reservation availability ahead of time.

    Courtesy of Petrichor Vineyards
  • stay

    Palm Springs has plenty of posh hotels, but for a truly unique stay, Beau Monde Villas by Natural Retreats allows you to book the pad Ol’ Blue Eyes called home. Known as the Frank Sinatra Twin Palms Estate, the modern mansion set the standard for postwar Hollywood glamour when it was built in 1947. The 4,500-square-foot, four-bedroom, seven-bath house retains many of the original details that made it iconic, including the piano-shaped pool. But it’s also been beautifully restored with Midcentury Modern furnishing, perfect for the jet-setters of today.

    Courtesy of Beau Monde Villas by Natural Retreats
Istock/Getty Images

Premier California
Shopping Destinations

Discover where law student-turned-wellness entrepreneur Annie Lawless goes when the retail bug hits.

When it comes to premier shopping, Annie Lawless finds that: “California is not cookie cutter by any means.” The La Jolla transplant and Suja Juice co-founder says she prefers to hunt for independent retailers that are a little out of the box. “I love when I find things I didn’t know about already, that somebody else has curated,” she says.

Rodeo Drive Beverly Hills

“Once a year I like to go on a shopping trip with girlfriends in Beverly Hills and just indulge,” Lawless says. “Being there transports you to a world of luxury that is really fun to experience.” There’s nowhere better to do that than Rodeo Drive. Hire a veteran stylist like Aly Scott of StyleChic (stylechicla.com) to make appointments and shop with you, or request access to the VIC (“Very Important Client”) third-floor suite at Louis Vuitton, the private salon at Dior, or the Burberry Penthouse, complete with a garden rooftop terrace and serviced pantry. At the Rodeo Drive location of Jimmy Choo, discerning clients can even pick out fabrics and collaborate on made-to-order shoes.

Cedros Avenue Design DistrictSolana Beach

“In a world of malls and shopping centers and chains, finding something like Cedros, which is one-of-a-kind, is so unique,” Lawless says. “It’s a hidden gem.” The 2½-block stretch features more than 85 boutiques and galleries, plus a weekly farmers’ market. “The great thing about Cedros is there's a lot of variety. One of my favorite spots, SoLo, is in a restored warehouse and is filled with home goods, greeting cards, candles, and unique art. At my favorite clothing store, Tucci, I can find all sorts of amazing designer items.”

Jill Battaglia/Shutterstock

Palm Canyon DrivePalm Springs

“Palm Springs has some really funky and unique shops and is a great place to enjoy that California desert experience,” Lawless explains. Palm Canyon Drive is the heart of both downtown and the Uptown Design District. More than 50 shops and galleries showcase Midcentury Modern design and vintage treasures. Standouts include Boulevard for vintage and new furniture, art, and lighting, and Christopher Anthony, for sculpture, fine art, and 20th-century furnishings.