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Summer staycations: A world at home
Experience a taste of global travel with this exotic North Bay itinerary

  • The Japanese Meditation Garden at the Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary, in Freestone, where spa treatments range from cedar enzyme baths to deep-tissue massage. You can also get a healthful lunch with any treatment. (CHRISTOPHER CHUNG / The Press Democrat)

In summer, we dive into bowls of spicy gazpacho and herbaceous salads to snap our tastebuds to attention with their bold, cold flavors.

But too often, the rest of our senses — our tired eyes and weary ears — get left behind, stuck in the same old rut.

To combat the summer doldrums, we've come up with an exotic itinerary designed to pique all of the senses, including your sense of adventure.

These local ports of call can provide authentic tastes of Italy and France, Portugal and Spain, Africa and Asia, all within an hour's driving distance.

Here's how to travel the region in 80 bites:

Japan

East meets West in the soothing, Japanese Meditation Garden at Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary in Freestone, where spa treatments range from cedar enzyme baths to deep-tissue massage.

As a new option, guests can also order lunch for $20 with any treatment. The lunches are prepared by the Ceres Community Project of Sebastopol and focus on nutritious, healthy fare.

Through July, the spa is running a special called the “Long, Long Lunch,” which includes a massage, a sound therapy session in the hammock garden (to balance brainwaves), relaxation in the Meditation Garden and a Ceres lunch. 209 Bohemian Highway. osmosis.com.

The Enmanji Buddhist Temple in Sebastopol will open its gates for two celebrations this month. For the 59th year, Enmanji will host a Chicken Teriyaki and Bazaar from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 14, with bonsai, karate, judo and Taiko drumming served on the side. The teriyaki plates are $12, including half chicken, potato salad, rice and tea or coffee.

At 7 p.m. July 20, Obon at Enmanji: The Feast of the Lanterns features Japanese folk dancing, taiko drumming and refreshments ranging from udon to imagawayaki, a Japanese pastry. 1200 Gravenstein Highway. sonic.net~enmanji.

China

Take a voyage to ancient China at the 488-acre City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, an international Buddhist community and monastery in Talmage, two miles east of Ukiah.

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