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.
Attention all Bay Area gadget freaks, design nerds and forward-thinking people: the Tech Museum in SOMA is participating the mind-expanding 01SJ Biennial celebration Build Your Own World in San Jose from September 16th through the 19th. The art show presents hundreds of artworks, performances, events and artist talks that imagine the future of the world and have also begun to build towards it.
Welcome to "Transported", our new weekly series about getting places in San Francisco, whether you take the bus or the BART, bike or drive. Come here to find the skinny on secret parking spots, the new bike lanes and how to get across town on MUNI without losing your mind.
A hot button issue for people in the 7x7 offices with cars is how, why, when and where parking on the Dolores and Valencia Street medians is legal. And besides, doesn't it seem strange for a liberal town like San Francisco to mix church and state?
Do you know what sounds really good right now? Hawaii. And do you know what sounds even better? Going for free.
We were just alerted to Starwood Hawaii and Sony's "Show Your Aloha" photo contest, wherein the best photos of you Aloha-ing out win fabulous vacation packages to the islands. Just upload photos that showcase "what Aloha means to you" to the Starwood Hawaii Facebook page between now and September 30 for a chance to win trips plus Sony camera gear. http://www.facebook.com/StarwoodHawaii
Do it. It's hump day. This will give you hope.
Here are some ways to do your part in helping out the victims of the San Bruno explosion last week.
Just beyond Yosemite, the resort town of Mammoth Lakes still retains a laid-back, off-the-beaten-track vibe. But the less-heralded Eastern Sierras are on the cusp of a boom. Check out Mammoth's sawtooth peaks and sublime lakes before their secrets go the way of its big wooly namesake.
We got the chance to sneak-peak the much-anticipated House of Air indoor trampoline park in the Presidio today. And here's the word: It's awesome. Make reservations immediately online, the place is sure to book up quickly after its opening day on September 15.
Let's go over the highlights.
First, there's THE MATRIX, where you can get your Neo on in an open jump area comprised of 42 trampolines and something called a "The 2X Bowl," which is basically a cave of wall-to-wall bounciness, designed to mimic a skate park. Some sweet moves are sure to come out of here.
The must-do itinerary for a weekend in the inimitable coastal enclave.
You won’t be in Big Sur long before someone mentions the fire of 2008. The Santa Lucia Mountains, rising straight up from the ocean, are as magnificent as ever, emerald-green swaths of new growth the only reminders of the flames that ravaged 130,000 acres and evacuated the town for two weeks in July of that year. But the close call has made this nearly mythical outpost—where artists, hippies, healers and now luxury seekers unite—feel all the more precious.