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Three Reasons to Cross the Bay Bridge

Grace Potter and The Nocturnal

Grace Potter of Grace Potter and The Nocturnals

Fall has officially descended on the Bay. Chase away those end-of-summer blues with some bubbly, some flowers, and a kick-ass rock show.

UC Berkeley Botanical Garden Tours Yes, unless you're in your 80s, a botanical garden tour probably sounds dull. But the Berkeley tours are actually so worth your precious weekend hours. Super-knowledgeable docents lead free tours focused on plant evolution and adaptation, conservation and the restoration of endangered populations and habitats. Tours are scheduled throughout the day and focused on a variety of themes. The garden is home to one of the largest collections of California native plants, but you'll also spot a variety of weird and beautiful exotic flowers and plants. With 12,000 varieties it's impossible to see everything in two hours, but trust me, you'll be back, with or without your grandma.

Fries and Bubbles at Rock Wall in Alameda Housed in a converted 40,000 square-foot airplane hangar at the former Alameda Naval Base, with wines crafted by the family Rosenblum, Rock Wall Winery is worth a visit in its own right, but the addition of food pairings from popular Bay Area food bus le truc makes it even more so. One of several great pairings brings together le truc's "old school fries"--steel cut potato with mustard aioli, fresh basil, and cayenne--and Rock Wall’s 2011 Sparkling Brut for the perfect weekend treat.

Grace Potter and the Nocturnals at the Fox These guys do retro soul and pop so good it's easy to think they actually are a 1970s band. In fact, that's not a 70-year-old soul singer fronting the band, but a 20-something Debbie Harry lookalike from Vermont. And there's probably no better spot in the country to watch her leave it on the stage than the Fox.