SF LIFE: Zoos, Shop, Santa Cruz
Mid-July greetings Tomatoes! Hope you all are staying healthy and enjoying our beautiful weather – at least we have that! You don’t have to be a kid to enjoy the zoos – and currently they are open. Longing for a vacation? Fortunately we have Santa Cruz nearby for a quick trip. As of this writing at least, you can head there safely for a beachside change of scenery. Don’t forget Black Lives Matter! We found a few more black owned businesses that you can support. Retail therapy – it always helps! Check out this week’s Happy Hour Podcast. AND…join the new 3T Book Club!
Lions, tigers, and bears—and many more fascinating critters—are ready to welcome you back to the San Francisco Zoo & Gardens. With new entrance policies that guarantee a safe and enjoyable visit, the Zoo makes for a fun day of getting close to some of nature’s most impressive specimens. Food to go, social distancing, contactless payment and mask wearing are a few of the ways the Zoo is ensuring a safe visit.
The Oakland Zoo is a beloved local and very special place for so many. It is currently scheduled to open July 29th. Local children love this Zoo so much they are worried it may close. Andy, a 6-year-old girl from Oakland was heartbroken to hear that the zoo may have to shut down, so she started a fundraiser donating her tooth fairy money. She didn’t stop there; she also makes bracelets for others who donate over $25 to her fundraiser with 100% of proceeds going to the zoo. To date she has passed the 200k mark. Can’t wait to see what this cherry tomato does with her life! Get Andy’s fundraiser info.
Black Owned Businesses
Let’s keep the momentum going and continue to support our local Black Owned Businesses. Fabulous finds that are taking the instagram world by storm, and all are local.
Amber Richele and her tie-dye capsule can be found all over instagram. And it’s easy to see why, she has perfected the art of tie-dye, something many stay at homers have attempted (yours truly included). Perfect for staying put or venturing out. Beautiful colors, simply done and cozy pieces. She has limited edition masks to match. Shopamberrichele.com
Ray Darten has a storefront in Emeryville but you will feel like you are on a journey to Nigeria. All of the fabrics and clothing are handmade within Africa and their mission is to build a creative brand that also has a purpose for good. A portion of their proceeds help kids and families in Africa with little to now financial support. That’s not all; the fabrics are vibrant and stunning with styles to fit all body types.Raydarten.com
It’s eclectic, home to breweries, wineries, retro boutiques and yes that beach – Santa Cruz! Like the rest of us, Santa Cruz remains under California’s stay at home order, though they have begun the slow process of reopening. If you do journey there make sure to visit the City of Santa Cruz website to ensure things are still open.
Where to Stay:
Currently there is a lot to do in Santa Cruz with wonderful places to stay. The dreamy Dream Inn is open, and if you have longed to stay on the beach at this adorable location, why not head there for a mid week getaway. Dreaminnsantacruz.com
The West Cliff Inn has reopened and what a luxurious experience awaits. The totally gorgeous renovated Victorian is a place I have longed to stay. Again, mid-week values are the best way to go! Westcliffinn.com
Where to Eat:
Once in this beach town, there is patio dining available at Bantam, known for delicious Neapolitan pizzas with bubbly crust. You can even grab sourdough starter and pizza kits to take home. Bantam1010.com
Beer gardens are always so much fun and Discretion Brewing has an expanded outdoor beer garden and features brown box picnic-style meals prepared by the chef at the Kitchen at Discretion. For $50, you’ll receive two cans of Discretion Brewing’s award-winning, organic ale plus a changing three-course meal for one. Dishes might include a wheat berry salad with grilled summer squash and avocado, barbecue pork, and Valrhona chocolate mousse. Reservations a must. Kitchenatdiscretion.com
Where to enjoy wine:
Surf City Vintners is acollective of wineries in walkable proximity means you can ditch the car—and single lane Santa Cruz mountain roads—and stroll 10 family-owned tasting rooms pouring the region’s famed pinot noir. If you’re in the mood to taste outdoors (with safety precautions and social distancing, of course), swing by Equinox Winery for sparkling wine, make a reservation at MJA for cabernets, grab pies from Mattia Pizza Truck and book an hour-long appointment at Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard for unique Spanish varietals. Surfcityvintners.com
SHOPPING in Santa Cruz
Basically, wander downtown and you will see what adorable stores are open. For sure you will need to visit Stripe. This eclectic shop stocks a meticulous selection of fashionable clothing, gifts, stationary and accessories. Stripedesigngroup.com
Dig Gardens is an expansive, modern nursery. It is a refuge of succulents, air plants, and pottery. Artful arrangements call to mind the vivid seascape of nearby Monterey Bay. You will definitely want to redesign your garden with their inspirations. Located down the beach a piece in Aptos. Diggardens.com