Local Ingredients Shine at Osteria Stellina
– With its focus on local organic ingredients from famed West Marin farms like Niman Ranch and Marin Sun, Osteria Stellina would be worth a trip, even if it didn’t provide the fringe benefits of a beautiful drive and day at the beach in Point Reyes.
In a tribute to the best of Italy’s locavore tendencies, each course exploits Marin’s culinary strong points, starting with sweet and briny Hog Island oysters or a creamy wild mushroom soup; then moving on to a glass of ruby Pleiades wine from Bolinas, paired with a first course of handmade pasta—like the tender orecchiette with homemade Italian sausage. After a full beach day, you’ll have no problem moving on to the second course and the not-to-be-missed slow-cooked Niman Ranch pork osso bucco, topped off with the a deliciously frivolous Meyer lemon and gingersnap ice-cream sandwich.
Cheese (Need we say more?)
To visit Cowgirl Creamery is to begin a love affair with cheese—that is, if you’re not already smitten with triple creams and chevre. Located in an old converted barn in downtown Point Reyes, Cowgirl makes award-winning artisan cheeses with local appellations like the Mount Tam (a mellow, buttery triple cream) and the Pierce Point (washed in muscato wine and covered in Tomales Bay herbs). Sample some of these dairy delights while you take a peek into the cheesemaking rooms where the wheels are hand formed and left to age. Now for the hardest part—deciding which cheese to take home.
Mashing It Up at Bootie in San Francisco
No, you’re not dreaming—it really is a Prince vs. Michael Jackson dance party with DJs and a live band mashing up tracks on the spot. With ever-changing themed parties three times a month, Bootie is the place to get your sweaty dance on. Virtuosic DJs effortlessly blend nearly every musical genre, from Metallica to Madonna, to create new and irresistible tracks that will make you want to dance all night.Wear what you want (Lady Gaga impersonations encouraged), because there’s no dress code, and the raucous crowd is a mix of just about everyone. Two floors of bass-pumping music and a nightly drag and burlesque stage act make for an unforgettable dance party.
Ten Thousand Waves | Santa Fe, New Mexico – If, for any reason, you’ve been sleeping on the sofa lately, think of Ten Thousand Waves as an olive branch. The spa is modeled on the Japanese onsen—hot-spring bathhouses famed for their soothing (and pacifying) waters. It’s a place where stress and heartache go to die; the scent of teak and cedar is accompanied by the sound of flowing water, and hummingbirds coast in and out of the canopy above. While she’s wrapped in a cocoon of herb-soaked linens, pat yourself on the back with a traditional Japanese footbath and watch the giant koi swim lethargic laps across the pond.
There are minimalist, elegant, and pricey guesthouses attached to the spa, but the place to stay is Silver Moon—a classic Airstream Bambi trailer. Inspired by Japanese capsule hotels, the high-design podlike compartment is an object lesson in intimate, exotic, and space-efficient living. You won’t be spending too much time inside, but Santa Fe’s high desert—with its acres of piñon and juniper trees and watercolor sunsets—is not meant to be seen through a window. Silver Moon is set off from the rest of the resort, so you can sit out under the vast desert sky, breakfasting on green tea and fresh fruit from the miniature refrigerator, in your yukata robe and slippers. There’s no couch for you to sleep on in the Airstream, but that doesn’t matter now.