San Francisco Bay Area
Wine Country South
Have you just about mined out the oenophile wonders of Napa, Sonoma, and Paso Robles wine countries? Just a little further afield from the Bay Area, Santa Barbara’s Santa Ynez Valley offers gorgeous scenery, charming small towns, a budding culinary scene, and, yes, 30 miles of vineyards offering more than 60 grape varieties.
A gift that keeps on giving
Bean-to-bar chocolate. Fair trade coffee. Ethical (and vegan) beauty products. Check out this curated list of oh-so-Bay-Area gift subscription boxes that will keep your loved ones supplied with bespoke products all 12 months of the year.
The holiday spirit
COVID restrictions have been rough on everyone, but the food industry has been disproportionately impacted by shutdowns. Which is why the San Francisco Eater staff has compiled a wonderful guide on how to help local restaurants weather the storm, as well as help support those suffering from food insecurity.
There’s been coverage of COVID babies, COVID pullies, and COVID kittens. So, it should come as no surprise that with people stuck at home more than ever before there has been a backyard chicken boom in the Bay Area. After all, those fuzzy chicks are pretty darn cute—and who doesn’t like fresh eggs?
Los Angeles Greater Area
How California skiing will feel this year
The State finally released COVID guidelines for ski resorts early this month. Yes, Virginia, there will still be skiing. But from advance ticket requirements to outdoor-only lift lines and locker guidelines, this will be a very different season. Fortunately, schussing per se is a low-risk activity. The goal is to get on and off the runs with minimum exposure. Happy safety-first snow days!
The desert as art gallery
If the landscape didn’t offer enough eye candy, the Coachella Valley is blossoming with outdoor works from artists inspired by all that beauty, space and light. While the Coachella Music and Arts Festival may be on pause, the creativity hasn’t missed a beat. Here are some of the open air “galleries” to explore, from the 40-mile Desert X to the legendary public art of Palm Springs.
Explore the hidden history of Santa Monica Pier
A lot has happened in the Pier’s 111-year history, including many fascinating untold stories and long-buried secrets. You possess a powerful key to unlocking these puzzles: Your phone! Head for the pier and download an interactive mobile app that challenges you to solve location-based mysteries and unlock true tales. You’ll document your adventure with unique photos along the way.
Great made-in-LA gifts
The city’s artisans, writers, musicians and other creatives have outdone themselves this year in their quest to wrap up 2020 on a note of cheer. From old school printing press graphics to guitar lessons and Victorian socks, you’re sure to find perfect presents for everyone on your list. All these Angeleno-crafted holiday gifts can be found online, and most can be delivered.