Just about an hour north of San Francisco by car, the under-the-radar town of Sebastopol in western Sonoma County makes a compelling day trip. The community-minded town has great food, wine and art, all three of which can be enjoyed in a former apple processing plant turned giant maker hub in the middle of town.
The Best Restaurants in Sebastopol
Founded by Sebastopol native Lowell Sheldon, Handline is a locavore’s paradise, with a menu that include sustainably-sourced beer battered fish tacos stuffed inside freshly milled corn tortillas, and locally harvested mushrooms in green garlic butter, fresh corn and summer squash blossom salad.
Local farmers and ranchers are also on display at Ramen Gaijin, where house-pulled noodles in a brothy soup serve as a great starter. But the black sesame ice cream is what really makes it worth the visit. To keep it more casual, Hole in the Wall serves California comfort food, including a villager’s style soup with slices of golden and red beets, cabbage and potatoes topped with Angus short rib and sour cream, along with a selection of savory and sweet crepes.
The Best Places to Drink
With a bespoke line of organic ciders sources from apple orchards around the area, Horse & Plow offers a sweet alternative to wine. Served up in a polished tasting room outfitted with two glass bottle chandeliers and a wood-burl bar, cider (and wine) flights freely flow on tap. For more traditional Pinots that are characteristic of the region, Freeman Winery offers balanced, elegant cool climate wines, by one of the few female Japanese winemakers, Akiko Freeman.
Where to Shop
Vintage picks curated for hipsters, theme parties and festivals are abound at Aubergine Vintage Emporium, where the inventory runs the gamut. This is the place for anything from tribal jewelry to second-hand designer jeans to homemade quilts. For gift ideas to take back home, it doesn’t get sweeter than Beekind, a honey store owned by a beekeeping husband-and-wife team that sells food treats, candles, body care and medicinal products of all kinds.
The Best Things to Do in Sebastopol
The Barlow, where a collection of creative eateries, breweries, wineries and artisans coexist, is partially responsible for securing Sebastopol’s position as the arts and culture hub of western Sonoma County. Every third Thursday, the 12-acre outdoor market district comes to life for an evening of music and local performances.
You can hang with a treat from Sub Zero Ice Cream, keep up your juice cleanse at The Nectary or shop for adorable trinkets at Littlefour. While vineyards have replaced many of Sebastopol’s vast orchards, the Gravenstein Apple Fair continues to celebrate the city’s founding produce. No worries if you miss the festival, Gravenstein Apples are available throughout the summer and fall at the Sunday Sebastopol Farmers’ Market.
Independent boutiques, open-air coffee vendors and yummy eats await you in this trendy neighborhood that stretches along Hayes Street. At the heart of this community you’ll find Patricia’s Green, a small park that buzzes with people and features rotating public art installations. Some of the city’s most beloved performing arts groups, including the San Francisco Opera and San Francisco Ballet, also call Hayes Valley home.
Where to Shop
Pick up unique home decor items, gifts and clothing made by local artists at Gather, then head over to Timbuk2 for custom messenger bags, totes or backpacks crafted at its factory in the Mission District. Nearby, Marine Layer is known for its soft, locally designed casual wear—this location also has a mystery T-shirt vending machine offering shirts at a discount. Shoppers looking for high-end threads will find dapper menswear by French designer Emile Lafaurie at SEAN, fine European lingerie at Alla Prima and stylish, eco-conscious staples at Amour Vert.
The Best Places to Drink in Hayes Valley
Right off of Patricia’s Green Park, Ritual serves up locally roasted and meticulously sourced espressos, pour-overs and lattes from inside a re-purposed shipping container. This square is also home to Biergarten, a Bavarian-style outdoor beer garden where you can people watch and try a rotating menu of draft brews from around the world. California reds and whites are poured alongside vermouth and small bites at Fig & Thistle, an intimate, dimly lit space with a rustic-chic ambiance.
Carnival-inspired comfort food is the main attraction at Straw. Menu highlights include a donut burger that has been featured on the Food Network, mini corn dogs with raspberry dijon and a cotton candy of the day. Try to get a seat in the Tilt-A-Whirl booth.
The romantic, French-influenced Jardinière offers European twists on Californian cuisine for those with finer palates, as does Plaj, where you can find innovative Scandinavian dishes made from seasonal and local ingredients. Sweet tooths should pop into Miette Patisserie, a charming bakery crafting gourmet confections, cakes and some of the city’s best macarons; an added bonus: the macarons do not contain any artificial ingredients or food coloring.
Cool down while taking in the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and shopping along the Avenue des Champs-Elysées with a cone from one of our favourite ice-cream shops.
Gérard Mulot Sorbets
Gérard Mulot makes the hot weather bearable with fruity sorbets and creamy ice-cream flavours including pistachio, chocolate and vanilla. All the ingredients going into making these delicious icy treats are French, making them all the more bon. 76 rue de Seine (6th), 01 43 26 85 77
Hugo & Victor Parfaits
For a French-style sundae drop in at Hugo & Victor for the newest monthly parfait. Every month the pastry shop serves up a new concoction like "Parfait Herbacé" with verbena sorbet scooped over a bed of granola then topped off with Chantilly cream and an original zesty sauce made with sage and mint, decorated with an organic lemon macaron. 40 blvd Raspail (7th), 01 44 39 97 73
Angelina is known around the world for its "Mont-Blanc" and this summer the pastry specialists have transformed the dessert into an unforgettable sundae. Vanilla ice-cream, crunchy meringue, candied chestnuts and lashings of whipped cream make this sundae a sinful pleasure. Senoble have also created dessert-flavoured ice-creams with cheesecake and Ile Flottante on the menu while Nitrogenie—the shop that mastered the art of making the frozen treat using liquid nitrogen—has frozen the sweetest desserts as well, this time the Aussie pavlova.
Nubio Vegan Ice Cream
Our vegan readers are not forgotten about either in the French capital with Nubio and famed ice-cream shop Berthillon joining forces to bring you the Végane range of ice-cream. Gluten-free and with no added sugar, the ice-cream is made with almond milk and flavoured with almonds, dates, cashews and granola. 4 rue Paul Bert (11th), 09 84 35 51 13
There’s a reason Las Vegas earned the nickname "The Entertainment Capital of the World." Smoking hot production shows, the most sought-after musicians and insane illusions make Sin City a mecca to visit time and again.
Fans swoon for Philadelphia-born baritone Nathan Morris and tenors Wanya Morris and Shawn Stockman and their catalog of ballads including “I’ll Make Love To You,” “On Bended Knee” and “One Sweet Day” at the Mirage.
Marie’s a little bit country while her big brother Donny is a little bit rock and roll at the Flamingo. The duo relives their on-stage antics that mimic their variety show from the ’70s.
Fans of all ages can enjoy the wide assortment of illusions peppered up and down the Strip. Don’t be fooled by the plaid suit. Mac King’s afternoon show at Harrah’s strikes a perfect chord with the youngsters, who often end up on stage helping the goldfish-producing magician with his acts.
David Copperfield has a knack for making cars appear and disappear at the MGM Grand, or even getting half the audience to simply vanish and re-emerge on stage. Any connoisseur should add this show to the dance card.
Fans of magician Criss Angel can see his “Mindfreak” act up close when he performs with Cirque du Soleil at the Luxor. This show runs the gamut from sleight of hand tricks to 3D special effects.
One stays silent. The other is the showman of the duo. Together, Penn & Teller keep audiences in stitches and disbelief, even as they tell you exactly how a trick was done. That finale will keep fans scratching their heads. Stick around to meet the duo in the lobby following every show at the Rio.
Le Rêve: The Dream brings an over-the-top aquatic wonder conveys the surreal nature of dreams, all playing out at Wynn in a theater in the round. The show’s finale features a dance and light spectacular with 172 high-powered fountains, 120 individual LED lightning fixtures, 16 fire-shooting devices and sensuous dance sequences.
Head over to the MGM Grand for KÀ from Cirque du Soleil that combines acrobatics, martial arts and puppetry. A brother and sister become separated and head on their own journeys to reunite. The KÀ Theater features a stage that tilts perpendicular to the audience for daring escapes by the cast as they simulate climbing a cliff. The archery scenes and the adorable sea creatures make this a show worth seeing.
Whoever thought that a trio of blue men who create a visceral theatrical experience in a nonverbal production could become so endearing? Wild drums made from plumbers pipe, a marshmallow tossing extravaganza for the ages, art made on the fly from vibrant paints and some flagrant abuses of Twinkies make Blue Man Group at the Luxor unforgettable.
What is it about pie that tantalizes so?
Maybe it's that first dip of the fork into the flaky crust to pull filling like apple, cherry or blueberry, or maybe it's just about the flavor combinations. These pies hail from all corners of America, representing traditional to ultra-creative in filling and size, but all with one thing in common: these are the ones travelers can't get enough of.
With no end of fun things to do, Seattle is the place to spend late summertime soaking up the sun, music and festivities.
End of Summer Bash!: Riesling Revolution
They don’t call Charles Smith the “rock star winemaker” for nothing—Smith was a band manager before he changed his career course and became of the Northwest’s most successful vintners. No surprise then that he’s bringing together two of his greatest passions—wine and rock music—for this blowout event at his Georgetown winery, Charles Smith Wines Jet City. The bash kicks off at 4:30 pm with tastings of Rieslings from 18 (mostly regional) wineries, including his own K Vintners jet City Riesling, which is only available from the Georgetown venue. The fun continues into the night with more wine, Georgetown Brewing Co. beers, food trucks, burlesque shows, and live music from alt-country rockers Calexico and headliners Seattle-based indie-folk band The Head and the Heart. This is one party you won’t want to miss, so get your tickets in advance.
This three-day festival of music, comedy, art, film and all-around good times has been Seattle's most eagerly awaited late-summer event for 45 years. Headlining acts including Weezer, Solange, Lorde, Spoon, Flo Rida will share the Seattle Center stages with dozens more national and local musicians covering the gamut from folk to rap in addition to stand-up stars such as Judah Friedlander, Margaret Cho and Jermaine Fowler. Other entertainment includes a short-film festival, pinball arcade, laser show and modern dance performances.
Washington State Fair
More than a million fun-seekers of all ages will pour through the gates of the Puyallup fairgrounds—35 miles south of Seattle—over the course of this 24-day extravaganza. Expect all the usual sights and sounds of a good old-fashioned fair: farm animal shows, rodeos, midway rides, live music and, of course, food-on-a-stick. Save some energy to rock out in the evening too—the grandstand concert series lineup features country greats Melissa Etheridge, Hank Williams, Jr., Jason Aldean and other top performers like The Beach Boys and Washington state's own Modest Mouse.