With the motto "If it's smokin', we're open" Pacifica's Gorilla Barbeque is a glorious dedication to the fine art of grilling meat. Chances are good you'll stand in line for 15 minutes before getting to the order counter. Then, you better be fast! Pork ribs, beef brisket, pulled pork, or chicken?! Place your order, and step aside; a whole lotta barbecue is coming your way. Established by two Pacifica natives, the big orange boxcar on Highway 1 has been churning out choice grilled meats since 2006, even landing a spot on the Food Network.
For a little hike with big views, pack the wine and cheese and head for Table Rock Trail in northern Napa's Robert Louis Stevenson State Park. The shaded trail rises moderately for 1 mile before reaching an overlook with pop-up-book vistas of green hills and vineyard-latticed valleys, not to mention the Mayacamas Mountain Range. Simply sit back and savor the views or scramble over and around the overlook's Volkswagen-sized boulders before returning the way you came. Afterwards, visit one of the best mom and pop wineries in Napa—Vincent Arroyo. While many boutique Napa wines start at $50 a bottle, Vincent Arroyo's prices average in the low $30s. The two resident black labs, JJ and Bodega, will welcome you to this off-the-beaten-path winery that's been making award-winning petite sirahs since the early '80s. Vincent Arroyo tastings are generally by appointment, but don't let that stop you—they happily welcome drop-ins, too.
Yurts are traditionally found on the vast steppes of Mongolia. But perched high above the Pacific Ocean, in California's own Big Sur, the quirky Treebones Resort offers all-yurt accommodations—though the Mongols wouldn't recognize the polished pine floors, queen-sized beds, and cozy quilts to keep you warm. All yurts feature wooden decks from which you can watch the water churn below. And the large communal hot tub overlooking the ocean is a nice way to warm your bones while watching the sun sink below the horizon. If you're inspired to explore, Treebones' homemade guidebook offers detailed information on nearby hikes and beach walks. One favorite local pastime is jade-hunting along Jade Cove.
Here's a little piece of grilling heaven—right in the city. Perched on a grassy expanse nearly the size of a soccer field, Fort Miley is a geographic slice of gastronomic delight hidden behind Lands End. To reach its solo grill, make a short climb up a road through a dense forest, then emerge onto a private plateau with giant views of Ocean Beach all the way down Sloat Boulevard. This is a truly secluded playground, so bring the bocce, the burgers, and your best suds and buds. While there, explore the WWII military structures and stroll north up a little path that leads to a fresh, stellar view of the Golden Gate Bridge. The Fort Miley grill is often available for walk-ins, especially on weekdays.