It's baaaaaack. This Saturday, don't be alarmed if you pass groups of frenzied women on quests for obscure historical city facts or middle-aged men channeling superheroes. It's all a part of the madness that is the GO Urban Adventure Race. The race is part of a growing trend "civic exploration days" that have been ping-ponging across the country with the goal of getting people off the couch and out exploring their own cities. (Go Urban is a "technology based city-wide scavenger hunt loaded with physical and mental challenges.")
The California coastline is nothing to be taken lightly. Spanning 1,110 miles and housing an array of aquatic life--cormorans, pelicans, sea otters, jellyfish, sea lions, gray and blue whales, seals, great whites sharks, just to name a few--it's one of the state's proudest attributes. Eighty percent of California's residents live within an hour's drive. It's highway, the scenic State Route One, is one of the most traveled roads in the country. Yes, people just can't seem to get enough of the California coast.
As a bonafide chocolate connoisseur (hey, I'm only female), it's no surprise that the first event that gets jotted down--in pen--in my planner each new calendar year is the annual Ghirardelli Square Chocolate Festival.
In its 14th year, this smorgasbord for the tastebuds kicks off Saturday afternoon with chef demonstrations, chocolate and wine pairings, and, most importantly, tastings galore. The magnum opus of the event, however, is the Ice Cream Sundae Eating Contest at 2pm both days: with earthquakes (adults) up on Saturday, and children allowed both days.
Fancy the idea of a Yosemite weekend but don't necessarily feel like roughing it? We get you. Luckily, the Yosemite’s Chefs' Holidays at The Ahwahnee (held in January and February every year) are the perfect solution - it's all the glory of Yosemite in the wintertime with a five star cuisine twist. The weekends feature cooking classes, demonstrations, "Meet the Chef" receptions, a gala dinner and behind-the-scenes kitchen tours.
Forget to make Labor Day weekend plans? Here are some surefire, spur-of-the-moment ideas:
Sip vino in Sonoma. Celebrate the upcoming grape harvest by attending the epicurean weekend packed full of winemakers' dinners and tastings galore. Sonoma Wine Country Weekend runs from noon on Friday through 6 p.m. Sunday.
For 57 years now, the coming of Labor Day weekend has been cause for Sausalito residents to celebrate: It marks the beginning of the Sausalito Art Festival. With the San Francisco skyline glittering in the distance, what better background for artists to showcase their collections than on the shimmering Sausalito waterfront?
If you haven't paid a visit to Tedda Hughes' eponymous shop on Polk Street, you're missing out. The boutique, gallery and artist space is truly one-of-a-kind.
With avant-garde and designer clothing filling the racks, original local artists' work donning the walls, seamstresses helming the sewing machines in the front of the store, and occasionally buskers like firespinners performing out front, this whimsical shop of curiosities is never devoid of creativity.
Usually from the months of June through September, if you're heading to Yosemite and on a budget, camping is the only option. Simply put, park lodging is not cheap.
However, beginning Aug. 23 and running through Sept. 30, the rustic and charming Evergreen Lodge is now offering 25 percent off its cabins on weeknights.