Summer Guide 2014 Day Trips & Getaways picks

Where to go outside of the 916 for fine craft beer, a stunning beachside park and a city that’s a lot like New York City’s Brooklyn

The biggest secret in Davis these days is behind Sudwerk Brewery, home to The Dock store, where you can sample all sorts of craft brews.

The biggest secret in Davis these days is behind Sudwerk Brewery, home to The Dock store, where you can sample all sorts of craft brews.

photo by steven chea

Reason to get drunk across the causeway

Davis beer crawl

Even five years ago you couldn’t put together a Davis beer crawl that didn’t involve drinking an adjunct lager or malt liquor on someone’s porch. The Davis Beer Shoppe has been a regular pilgrimage for area beer aficionados for three years now, and with craft beer flowing out of 60 taps, the University of Beer has something to intrigue even the most jaded local beer snobs. The hidden gem is the Sudwerk Dock Store, a tasting room located behind the musty old brewpub—skip the Buffalo wings and go straight for the Buffalo Theory, a delicious barrel-aged dark sour. Davis Beer Shoppe, 211 G Street; (530) 756-5212; University of Beer, 615 Third Street; (530) 795-1990;; Sudwerk Dock Store, 2001 Second Street; (530) 756-2739; D.B.

Art, dogs, beach, architecture

Crissy Field in San Francisco

Palace of fine arts, San Francisco.

photo by Danhenson1/iStock/Thinkstock

If there’s a perfect place to get out of town and spend a summer evening, this is probably it. Grab the spouse, kids and dog (if applicable) and get yourself to Crissy Field in San Francisco. Facing west toward the ocean, here’s how it looks: Golden Gate Bridge on the left; a beach with copious dogs straight ahead; and if you walk down the beach far enough, on the right, you’ll see the Palace of Fine Arts. It’s like a vacationer’s Instagram wet dream. 1199 East Beach, Presidio in San Francisco; J.M.



National magazines just love naming Oakland the “Brooklyn of the West.” Is it? Probably not. But it is an exciting place to be these days. With San Francisco overrun by tech bros, the artists have moved across the Bay. Now the grittier, poorer, “realer” city boasts tons of cool music venues, boutiques, bars, restaurants and really random cultural events (Oakland Internet Cat Video Festival, FTW). Find a Michelin-starred meal at Commis (3859 Piedmont Avenue), with some of the most beautiful, inspiring tweezer food in the region. Realize vegan soul food can actually be done at Souley Vegan (301 Broadway), and march that fried tofu next door to Beer Revolution (464 Third Street) for an always fabulous craft-beer selection. The city’s robust artist community shows off every first Friday of the month for the Art Murmur, concentrated in the Uptown district. That district also houses the historic Fox Theater (1807 Telegraph Avenue), which I’d argue is a grander music venue than any in San Francisco. Other delicious things to consider: gourmet mac ‘n’ cheese in classroom-themed Homeroom (400 40th Street), endless take-home artisanal goods at Rockridge Market Hall (5655 College Avenue), deservingly famous fried chicken and waffles at Brown Sugar Kitchen (2534 Mandela Parkway), and inject-to-order doughnuts at Doughnut Dolly (482 B 49th Street). The list goes on, but let’s end here: The closest you’ll get to Brooklyn in Oakland is the Authentic Bagel Company (463 Second Street) for a legitimate, chewy, East Coast-worthy bagel. J.B.

Unplugging and soaking

Harbin Hot Springs

Just an hour north of Napa, there’s a hippie-commune-turned-resort experience for day-trippers and overnighters alike. The big draw is the natural hot springs, but there are also saunas, yoga, massage, miles of hiking trails and a New Age spiritual vibe. Clothing is optional everywhere, though the nudity typically sticks to the water areas. There’s a restaurant and cafe—both vegan, of course—but also an open (vegetarian) kitchen for the budget-conscious. And the weekend can be as luxurious (read: expensive) as you want. There are elaborate spa packages and beautiful private cottages, but there are also dorm beds and campsites. There’s a charge for just visiting for the day, too. Regardless, you can’t brag to your friends about it on Facebook. Cameras, phones, laptops and other tech gadgets aren’t allowed. 18424 Harbin Springs Road in Middletown, (707) 987-2477, J.B.