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Three Reasons to Cross the Bay Bridge

SweetBar Bakery

People don't tend to think of the Wine Country as part of that land yonder over the Bay Bridge, but we're gonna go ahead and claim it. Especially since it's particularly worth visiting this time of year. Following are a couple of our favorite reasons why, plus a must-stop bakery along the way.

Catch Air at CirqueFly
Make like a Cirque du Soleil acrobat and take to the skies at CirqueFly. Renowned performer and choreographer Cypher Zero, creator of the off-Broadway circus show Takura, is now teaching his special brand of aerial acrobatics to the circus-curious in Napa. Beginner lessons are available for adults and kids age 8 and up. Note: Do this before you go out wine tasting to avoid having a bunch of cabernet and chardonnay mixing it up in your belly while you fly through the skies on a silk scarf.

Live Fire with Chef Michael Chiarello

NapaStyle's flagship store, in Yountville, hosts a release party this Sunday afternoon for founder Chef Michael Chiarello's new cookbook Live Fire: 120 Recipes for Cooking Outdoors from California's Wine Country. Tickets are $75 each and guests will get an exclusive early release, signed copy of the book, a cooking demonstration from Chiarello himself, food tastings from the book, and wine from several local Napa vintners (admission to the event without a copy of the book is $40 per person).

SweetBar
Gluten-free gluttons rejoice! SweetBar has arrived in Oakland to satisfy all your pastry cravings. SweetBar produces fantastic vegan treats and regular old butter- and cream-filled delights as well, so no need for anyone to feel left out. Started by baking vet Mani Niall, dubbed "baker to the stars" by Eating Well magazine (and Michael Jackson's first personal chef, back in his Thriller days), SweetBar is the latest welcome addition to Uptown's growing collection of great coffee-and-snack stops.