Our most-read stories of 2019 prove a few things about Bay Areans: We love to eat. And drink. And camp. And travel. We also like to torture ourselves, it seems, by ogling houses that 99.9% of us will never be able to afford. Alas, it's the Bay Area way.
ICYMI, here are our top 10 stories of the year. 2020, bring it on.
10. A Modern Guide to San Luis Obispo
There's a reason this place has been called America's happiest city. Situated almost exactly halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, the county of San Luis Obispo—or SLO—boasts miles of pristine California coastline, sunshine year-round, and major attractions like Pismo Beach, Hearst Castle, and Paso Robles.
The city of SLO itself can often be overlooked on a trip to the surrounding area, but it's a worthy destination. SLO is more than a place, it's also a mindset focused on slow living (no pun intended) and fresh food. This dynamic enclave is the perfect getaway for the next time you're looking to escape the city hustle.
9. Inside the Instagram-Worthy House of Interior Designer Eva Muller Bradley
Interior design junkies who think the name Eva Muller Bradley sounds familiar likely found themselves daydreaming at the San Francisco Decorator Showcase where she, as cofounder of the design firm Studio Heimat, created a fantasy of a childrens' bedroom complete with whimsical floral canopies and rope swings at the foot of each bed.
Formerly a designer for interior showman Ken Fulk, Muller Bradley applied a similar sense of playfulness to her family's Edwardian home in NoPa. While you won't find swings in the bedrooms here, there are cheeky wallpapers and animal accents everywhere.
8. 10 Napa Valley Tasting Rooms That Serve a Solid, Delicious Lunch
(Courtesy of @cliffamily)
Julia Child once said, "Wine is meant to be enjoyed with food—that's the point of it." It's also inadvisable to sip on an empty stomach. So here are 10 Napa Valley tasting rooms where you can eat a solid lunch as you wine.
7. 50 Things to Do in Tahoe in Winter
Warm things up in the heated pool at Edgewood Tahoe.
(Courtesy of Edgewood Tahoe)
To so many Bay Area ski junkies, winter months mean just one thing: Tahoe. But there's more to the region than just flying down the mountain—'tis the season for snowshoeing treks, heated swimming pools, hearty burgers and barrel-aged cocktails, CBD facials, fat biking, and tubing. Here are 50 of the best things to do in Lake Tahoe this winter.
6. The Best Camping Spots on the Northern California Coast
Plaskett Creek Campground.
(Courtesy of @wanderkraut)
California's coastal camping options are nearly limitless. Here are the best spots to cozy up by the campfire, from Big Sur to Mendocino County.
5. 5 Small Towns Near Tahoe You Should Visit at Least Once
(Courtesy of @visitnevadacity)
Thinking of making a pit stop on the road to Lake Tahoe? There are a number of small towns scattered around the Sierra Nevada mountains and the Virginia Range that are worth checking out. During the winter, look out for all the snowy Instagram ops you could want including sleigh rides, holiday street fairs, saloon crawls, and more.
4. The Best Private Dining Rooms in San Francisco
Che Fico's Celentano Room is intimate, a little quirky, and guarantees some of the best pizza and pasta this side of Italy.
(Courtesy of Che Fico)
Take your party on the road to one of San Francisco's best restaurants, where pro teams are ready to do all the cooking and cleaning for you, in spaces with ambience you likely just can't achieve at home. In a city stacked with dining-out options, there are no doubt hundreds of exclusive spaces you could rent, but we've curated the uniquest of the bunch, no conference rooms here. Reserve a string-lit urban patio, a glamorous formal dining room, a kitschy tiki lounge, or a craft cocktail bar and start making some memories.
3. How to Plan the Ultimate Russian River Float Trip
(Courtesy of @bmastagram)
We the people of San Francisco are always waiting for that freak hot summer day, and there is no better way to take advantage of sun-drenched days than a lazy float down the Russian River. But every group needs that one hero friend who can pull all the logistics together. With our help, that person can be you. We've put together a comprehensive guide to help you plan a flawless day, complete with gear rentals, what to bring, and where to find local snacks.
2. The Bay Area's most expensive home—asking $45 million—is as over-the-top as you'd expect.
At the Bay Area's most expensive house, the welcome mat may as well have read If you've got, it flaunt it. Asking $45 million, Residence 950, as it is called—which kisses the sky from atop Russian Hill—does just so. It is the very definition of a compound: At 9,500 square feet, it has all the stunning architecture and proverbially gilded amenities you'd expect—think five bedrooms, six-and-a-half baths, an outdoor theater, infinity pool, wellness cottage, century-old olive trees, a wine room, and art gallery.
1. The Big Eat: 100 Best Dishes in San Francisco
We're still thinking about Prairie's pane distrutto.
This year's Big Eat featured a whopping 81 new plates and 43 restaurants that had never graced the list before. For gluten and carbs to be so out of fashion, San Francisco restaurants served up a smorgasbord of pleasing pastas and tempting breads, not to mention succulent dumplings, juicy burgers, and meaty sandwiches. There were also enough creative seafood preparations to make us consider going pescatarian, and tasting menus, too, were having a moment. Some of these dishes are still-undisputed gold standards in the city, others are new icons. Relive your favorites, or go try what you missed!