Healthy Cooking Adventures for Fit Foodies

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Healthy Cooking Adventures for Fit Foodies

PastaCooking Adventures For Fit Foodies: Who Are Also Wine Connoisseurs
Gourmet Retreats; Calistoga, California

Located in the northern Napa Valley, the sleepy-chic town of Calistoga is bordered by the Napa River and several vineyards. And that's where you'll find the professional kitchen and gardens of Gourmet Retreats. During the five-day Culinary Vacation ($1,150), expect field trips to local foodie hotspots (including the Culinary Institute of America and local wineries) sandwiched between five hours of afternoon and evening cooking adventures. You'll learn how to make stocks and sauces, improve your knife skills, and pair wine with meals.

Get outside: Use the hours before cooking school to explore the town of Calistoga. On a day when cooking classes start in the late afternoon, sign up for the Healdsburg Kayak Tour ($155) in the morning. During the four-to-five-hour trip, you'll paddle on the Russian River, which borders many vineyards. Expect to see snowy egrets and blue herons, as well as other wildlife, along the way.

Details: Gourmet Retreats doubles as a charming two-room bed-and-breakfast called Casa Lana (from $229). If Casa Lana is full, stay at the nearby Solage Calistoga, an eco-friendly luxury hotel that has 89 guest studios and a 20,000-square-foot spa (from $325).

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