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New Reasons to Go North and South

Some upscale getaway spots have taken a turn toward the casual—a trend that gathered steam when Thomas Keller opened his takeout window, addendum, in Yountville and Marinus, in Carmel Valley, announced plans to ditch its linens and mandatory $125 prix fixe. Now activities trump leisure, cocktails are on fire (literally), and a weekend in either place no longer requires raiding your 401(k). —J.A.S.

NORTH

Eat: Richard Reddington’s new Redd Wood could just as easily fit in on Valencia Street—with gourmet wood-fired pizzas and a crowd that floods the bar early and stays late for stiff cocktails like the NoYo (north Yountville) Manhattan. Wind down around the fire pit at the newly renovated north Block Hotel across the courtyard. 6755 Washington St., Yountville, 707-299-5030, Redd-wood.com

Play: now you can get a different perspective on Sonoma by soaring on a zip line at 25 miles per hour above occidental’s redwood forest at Sonoma Canopy Tours. The tour also includes two sky bridges and a final rappel to the forest floor. 6250 Bohemian Hwy., Occidental, 888-494-7868, Sonomacanopytours.com

Drink: this spring, the new Goose & Gander took the hunting lodge decor at St. Helena’s former martini House to a new level (read: stuffed ducks and Labrador portraits). Garden-to-glass cocktail guru Scott Beattie is heading up libations and the midnight closing hour now makes it one of the only late-night spots in Napa (or what counts as a late-night spot in Napa, anyway). 1245 Spring St., St. Helena, 707-967-8779, Gooseandgander.com

SOUTH

Eat: at LokaL, Carmel Valley’s newest restaurant and youngest chef are bringing a menu of innovative dishes, such as crispy pig cheek salad and sardine bocadillas with mojito aioli foam, to an industrial-sleek space modeled after new York City’s mega-trendy momofuku. the alfresco beer garden serving Czechstyle brews is the perfect place to waste an afternoon. 13750 Center St., Carmel Valley, 831-659-5886

Play: Refuge is the first coed spa in the country that focuses solely on thermal therapy (the process of going from very hot to very cold), with six mineral pools, four fire pits, a eucalyptus steam room, and a Finnish sauna. 27300 Rancho San Carlos Rd., Carmel Valley, 831-620-7360, Refuge.com

Drink: the liveliest nightlife in Monterey takes place at Restaurant 1833, a sprawling 19th-century mansion, with a list of more than 25 absinthe varieties to fuel the party. The apothecary decor throughout the five dining rooms, the bar, and the lounge, plus the pyrotechnic drinks, will make you feel like you’ve entered another dimension.  500 Hartnell St., Monterey,  831-643-1833, Restaurant1833.com