This has been a turbid year: Amid politics and natural disasters, many of us have struggled to find balance in our personal lives. But, we have also embraced change and come together.
In looking through 7x7's top stories of the year, we discovered what we already know to be true—that we have a tightly-knit community that deeply cares. In addition to the top stories below, our ongoing coverage on how to help victims of the North Bay fires was widely read and shared. As we feverishly tried to keep up with updates from readers on where to bring supplies, volunteer, donate, and more, we were inspired by the response of concerned citizens wanting to offer their support.
That sentiment for community extended through the holiday season as our story on timely causes for giving back as well as our gift guide garnered much attention—it seems you all love supporting local brands and artists as much as we do.
7x7 readers (that's you!) are also full of wonder and intrigue, always ready for the next getaway, art exhibit or delicious treat. So what did you eat up this year? In true Bay Area fashion, we have a list full of protest, drinks, desserts, and escapes.
10. Airstream Just Debuted Its New Travel Trailer and We're Obsessed
The new 27-foot Globetrotter from Airstream is the stuff of #vanlife dreams. Read more.
9. Love Wins Again: 30 Rally Photos With All the San Francisco Feels
A protest against hate became a citywide demonstration of love as thousands of be-glittered and costumed progressives flooded the streets of San Francisco. Read more.
8. 28 Trippy Shots of the Solar Eclipse From Around the Bay Area
Even in spite of Karl's best efforts to moon-block, we still got some pretty ethereal views. Check out some of those most incredible snaps from around the Bay Area. Read more.
7. Happy Place: Every Ridiculously Fun Thing to Do at the Museum of Ice Cream
Enter a world where gummy bears grow out of the ground, push pops are bigger than humans, the sky is filled with cherries, and you can swim in a pool of sprinkles under dazzling neon heavens. Read more.
6. 31 Flavors: The Best Ice Cream Scoops in the Bay Area
Dip into our favorite scoops, including some fro-yo, gelato, and vegan versions too—because hey, we don't discriminate. Read more.
5. 14 Shocking Instagrams of San Francisco's Electrifying Lightning Show
Just when we thought this season's weather patterns couldn't get any stranger, Mother Nature followed up her record-breaking heat wave with a luminous roar. Over the course of just a few hours, 1,200-plus lighting strikes were recorded in the Bay Area. Some property was damaged and many sat in the dark as the power went out, but the mighty storm made for Instagram magic. Here are some of the most shiver-inducing shots. Read more.
4. A San Francisco Couple Weds in Cabo Amid Stunning Details
They spent five hours hiking to the top of Vail Mountain, where he then pulled out the ring. On their way back into town via gondola ride, he planned for Champagne. And just like that, Brittany Montalbo and Drew Chansky, who had been dating for seven years, decided to tie the knot. The betrotheds set their minds on gorgeous destination wedding in Cabo, Mexico. Read more.
3. Before & After: This Remodel of a Sunnyvale Eichler Turned a Google-Employed Homeowner Into a Pro Designer
Pamela Lin and her husband, Erwin Tam, had set out looking for a run-of-the-mill, contemporary cookie cutter home with two stories that they could move into without much renovating. But none of the dozens of homes they toured wowed them. Until they walked inside a home designed by well-known California developer Joseph Eichler. Read more.
2. Sarah Cooper's comics perfectly sketch out life in Fog City vs. The Big Apple
This long-held fact—touted by native San Franciscans and lamented by New York transplants—was made clear to ex-Googler and ex-Yahoo-er Sarah Cooper when she moved from the Bay Area to NYC, and then back to the SF again. Back in town for a year, the comedian, author, and blogger posted a series of comicson the differences of life in country's two most awesome cities. People could relate and found her stark style and commentary hilarious; now, she released part deux. Read more.
1. Hikes With Drinks: 5 Bay Area Trails That Have Bars at the End
Sure, hiking is rewarding: the exercise, the fresh air, the peace and quiet. But why not also have a toast to celebrate your hard work? With these five Bay Area hikes, that cold beer or glass of crisp wine is no mirage—they're waiting at the bar just at the end of the trail. Read more.