Recently I decided to pay a visit to Harbin Hot Springs just outside Middletown in Lake County. This beautiful property was almost lost to The Valley Fire of 2015. With an estimated half-million Harbin trees burned, it has been a priority for Harbin to protect and ensure the long-term safety and health of land, groundwater, and wildlife. Since I had not visited during the properties heyday, I was able to enjoy the property without comparing it to years past. This particular trip also marked my first attempt at truck camping, which is an option on the property as well as tent camping. There are also some little cabins for rent. No matter which option you choose, this place is a wonderful retreat from daily life
The hot springs themselves are clothing optional…and as far as I could tell everyone there went with that option. There are multiple hot spring pools ranging from very very hot all the way down to a bracing cold plunge. There is also a lovely big swimming pool, a nice large sauna and and a beautiful sun deck for relaxing. There are hiking trails and lots of sweet quiet spots for relaxing and just being alone. It feels like a lot of the guests have been coming here for years and the whole place had a very gentle and quiet vibe.
Mercifully, with the exception of a little spot in the parking lot cell phone use is strictly prohibited, as is sex in the pools, drugs and alcohol. To further enjoy the feeling of wellbeing I splurged on and hour massage with Christina, who I would highly recommend, and who has been at the property for many many years. She weathered fires to continue practicing in the place she loves and is an excellent masseuse. Be sure to ask for her if you go and tell her Carolyn from Geyserville said hello.
I do have to confess to sneaking in a bottle of the new Denier Handal Rosè of Sangiovese ( available at www.localstastingroom.com ) and having a little glass with my dinner from their Dancing Bear Cafe. While not yet in a permanent location as of this writing, the food was really really good! I was not expecting that at all and ended up having lunch and dinner on the property. All in all I would highly recommend this spot, especially if you can visit on a week day and avoid the crowds. Trust me on this one….I think you will enjoy it.
By Carolyn Lewis