The best bachelorette party destinations in the U.S. for every type of celebration
A bachelorette party is one of—if not the—the most fun rites of passage. The time-honored tradition of bidding adieu to the single life with your girls is always a great excuse to throw a killer party. These days, brides-to-be are often opting for more than just one night of debauchery in favor of a weekend trip with their closest friends to enjoy a jam-packed weekend of dining, drinking and galavanting around a new city in a white dress. When it comes to choosing the best city to celebrate in, consider the bride's personality. Is she a rowdy gal who wants to dance the night away? Vegas it is. Is she a beachside babe who enjoys a warm night on a rooftop? Miami should go to the top of the list. Or is she more relaxed, preferring a more lowkey weekend? Surprise her by choosing an unexpected, quaint town like Nantucket. We have scoured the country and handpicked the absolute best bachelorette party destinations in the U.S., from the glitzy lights of Sin City to hotspots like Austin and Nashville to quieter options like the charming mountain town Vail. Whether the bride is into getting pampered at soothing spas, adventuring in the great outdoors, or looking for a wild party scene, our handpicked spots have something for everyone. So gather your squad, pop the champagne and get ready to let loose at a bachelorette bash none of you will soon forget.
The best zoos in the U.S. for all kinds of sightings
Zoos have had a checkered history, but when they are done right, they provide an excellent opportunity for visitors to connect with animals and build empathy for them. And a key shift in thinking about their mission is that they provide space for endangered species to be protected and to hopefully thrive and reproduce. Where habitats once were brutally small, exposed to the elements, their inhabitants are treated more as museum displays than living creatures, today more care is taken to build habitats that provide comfort and space to move, with areas where animals can hide if they are uninterested in being stared at. We all want to feel wonder at the beautiful diversity of the animal world, and zoos can deliver on that emotion. Just watch young lemurs play with each other, and you’ll be hooked. Here is our list of the top zoos in the U.S. RECOMMENDED: ⛰️ The best outdoor adventures in the U.S.🌍 The best camping in the U.S.
The 10 best indoor amusement parks in the U.S.
Planning a family vacation everyone will enjoy can be tough. If time in nature—like camping in the country's best national parks—isn't quite your thing, why not move the party inside? From coast to coast, America is home to some pretty spectacular, fun-packed indoor amusement parks that offer something for everyone. The best indoor amusement parks are massive playgrounds ready to be conquered year-round, no matter what the weather forecast holds. Thrill-seekers will enjoy roller coaster rides while those wearier of such adrenaline-pumping activities may enjoy classic arcade games (think skeeball and air hockey) or black light mini golf. Often, rides and games are available for all ages, from tiny tikes to big kids (grown-ups, too!) Another perk: these family-fun-packed venues often feature bars and restaurants on-site for parents in need of a break.
The 24 best board games to have at home
For evenings in, nothing beats takeout and a titillating round of competitive fun. Turn off Netflix for just one night, and enjoy wholesome classics like Monopoly and Charades! Stimulate the mind with strategic abstract or word puzzles, or enjoy armchair travels via pioneering adventure games! Why not laugh-out-loud at each other’s silly drawings or shake things up with more novel options that range from getting a little rowdy and risque to forming deep, meaningful connections? The options are endless. Whether it’s a sweet date, fun time with the family, or a good old-fashioned party, here’s a range of the very best games every American household should own. While there are a plethora of old-time, tried-and-true games, we’ve plucked out some of the more stimulating options and mixed them in with a fresh batch of topical picks that are bound to be crowd-pleasers. There’s a wide selection here from nostalgic to culture-defining, games guaranteed to make a night of raucous laughter or sweet, bonding tears, and everything in between. Pour the drinks (or brew some tea); it is time to play!
The best art museums in the U.S.
Every good vacationer deserves a trip to an art museum. These bastions of revolutionary thought and constantly evolving mediums draw our surprised attention and admiration—and there’s nothing wrong with enjoying the old masters and mistresses either. The idea that an art museum is a static place of boring two-dimensional artwork is an outdated viewpoint: today’s art museums incorporate a wide array of experiences and engagement with the work, from art viewed by VR goggles to electronic works to audio sound gardens and more. Experimentation has always been the path forward for artists, and work that we now consider mainstream was once visionary and even rejected by the gatekeepers, like Impressionism and Pop Art. Come see what today’s artists are doing! RECOMMENDED: The weirdest museums in the U.S.
The best bachelor party destinations for an epic trip with friends
Getting hitched typically comes with plenty of traditions, but perhaps none are as legendary as the bachelor party. The practice is truly time-honored, dating back to the fifth century BC in ancient Sparta when a dinner was held prior to the big day to toast the groom’s honor. Nowadays, the options for marking the end of a man’s single years are vast, whether it’s exploring the great outdoors at the best national parks in the U.S., indulging in the best sushi restaurants in America with your culinary crew, getting pampered at the best spa resorts or a stereotypical weekend of raucous shenanigans. From Sin City to the Big Apple, these are the best bachelor party destinations in the U.S.—ranging from hot spots to offbeat picks—to commemorate the groom in an unforgettable rite of passage. RECOMMENDED: The bachelorette party destinations in the U.S.
The 16 best places to live in the U.S. might just surprise you
If you think the very best place to live in the U.S. is your own city, we're not here to argue. But if you're looking for a change of scenery, well, you've got options. Americans made big moves over the past couple of years, taking advantage of work-from-home policies while seeking refuge in smaller cities with larger shares of outdoor space. And as citizens departed larger metropolises, smaller and sleepier towns have snapped awake thanks to an influx of new residents.Are we surprised? Not really. Some of these refreshed cities have serious curb appeal: access to strong education systems, better job opportunities, jaw-dropping landscapes, and actually affordable fine dining. What about cheap rent or affordable real estate?? Yeah, that's a real thing that exists when you leave expensive places like New York, San Francisco, and Chicago. And frankly, some of these cities just have better weather (let’s face it, we could all use a little extra vitamin D). Recommended: the cheapest cities to rent in the USANot sure where to begin? Check out the best family vacations in America to test the waters before taking the plunge. And if you find yourself dreaming about a new hometown that's not on our list, peruse our guide to the most beautiful cities in the U.S. for a little inspiration.
The 11 best Seattle breweries for a tasty pint
You might first think of coffee when you think of Seattle (and rain too), but when it comes to top beverages in this town, Seattle breweries are giving coffee shops a run for their money. No, we don’t mean Seattleites are cracking open a beer first thing in the morning—Seattle bars and restaurants are stocked with delicious local beers for when you’re ready to unwind, and the breweries themselves are hangout destinations. Explore Seattle’s museums and you’ll learn about all the influences that make Seattle what it is: music, indigenous culture, immigration, technology and art. Seattle’s top brewers are similarly influenced, and put what is uniquely Pacific Northwest into their craft beers. From ingredients to technique and overall vibe, these breweries put Seattle culture on tap. The brews—ales, porters, weisses and more—are tasty, and the on-site beer gardens are most welcoming. And of course the brewers are super knowledgeable and happy to school you on their process. Check out these top breweries for a cold craft beer, and consider it one of the top things to do in Seattle. RECOMMENDED: The best bars in Seattle
Where to find the best coffee in Seattle
What’s the first thing you think of when you hear “Seattle”? We’ll bet you a cup of joe that you said “coffee” (or rain). As the home of Starbucks (the original is still one of the city’s top attractions, in Pike Place Market), Seattleites take their coffee seriously. Coffee in Seattle is like wine—baristas can regale you with bean origin, tasting notes, aromas and pairings. You can even take a barista class to hone your skills. The best coffee shops in Seattle take pride in their sourcing, and offer excellent renditions of drip coffee, pourover, espresso, lattes, cappuccinos and whatever other coffee concoctions you can think of. These spots are perfect for your morning wake-up or afternoon pick-me-up. Caffeine is key to tackling all the best things to do in the city, and these Seattle coffee shops come through. Not to worry—you’ll find the same delicious coffee at breakfast and brunch too. RECOMMENDED: The best restaurants in Seattle
The 18 best subscription boxes that are guaranteed to spark joy
People like packages because people like presents, and that’s why the best subscription boxes are like gifts that keep on giving. Every month or so, today’s subscription services deliver curated boxes straight to your doorstep that are packed with goodies ranging from clothes to coffee, wine, books, makeup, and more. There are offbeat offerings too, like hand-picked vinyl, vintage menswear, gourmet pickles, clothing specifically for women 5’4” and under, and even boxes for your pup. So go ahead and indulge in a monthly gift to yourself — it’s called self-care, and you deserve it. But even if you don’t order one for yourself, these subscriptions are wonderful presents for loved ones, like surprise gifts that spark joy over and over again. Not sure what to pick? Here are just a few of the best subscription boxes that are guaranteed to tick all the boxes.
The best restaurants in Chinatown, San Francisco
Chinatown is having a moment. Once the stomping grounds of tourists checking off the best things to do in SF and Chinese immigrants, the area—which encompasses 24 square blocks and five zip codes—is now a bustling mecca for foodies. The decades-old Chinese restaurants, from hole-in-the-wall bakeries to hidden clay pot and noodle restaurants, are still there, but there has also been a recent insurgence of fine dining establishments. Amid the tea tasting, fortune cookie factory, and cheap trinkets, restaurants in Chinatown are drawing in visitors with their modern new menus. RECOMMENDED: The full guide to Chinatown, San Francisco
The 13 best breweries in Portland to grab a pint
It’s a great time to be a beer drinker in the Pacific Northwest. With more than 75 breweries in Portland alone, there are a slew of great spots to grab a drink whether you prefer your brew hoppy or sour, Belgian or British. The tradition of beer brewing in Portland goes back all the way to the 1860s when Henry Weinhard’s beers were originally crafted in the Pearl District. Today, modern brewpubs are continuing the tradition of using fresh ingredients like Willamette Valley hops and barley and Bull Run water to craft beers that conveniently pair well with the best restaurants in Portland. So next time you're in PDX, makes sure these Portland breweries are at the top of the list of things to do in Portland—alongside the city's famous donuts, of course! RECOMMENDED: The best things to do in Portland
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West Coast Craft
WCC brings together a juried exhibition of local creators twice a year—in the summer and winter. From ceramics to clothing, jewelry to artisan smoking devices, there’s a wide range of handmade goods that are all equally beautiful. You’ll find notable names who exhibit every year like woodworkers Aleksandra Zee and Katie Gong, ceramicist Sam Lee, and minimalist clothing line Only Child, as well as discover new artists.
SF Etsy Indie Holiday Emporium
Stroll through Pier 35 and peruse more than 200 Bay Area-based Etsy designers and artists IRL at the sixth annual market. There will be an eclectic selection of emerging creators to choose from. Think: hand-thrown pottery, handcrafted jewelry, textiles, bath and body products, scented candles, and more. In addition to pretty finds, you’ll also be able to enjoy small batch food items, musical performances, food trucks, art demos, crafting workshops, and giveaways.
Traditional fresh noodles and dumplings are made by hand in the open kitchen at this East Bay staple. The Mandarin menu, from owner Charles Hung, is wonderfully consistent. Gorge on thick, chewy hand-pulled noodles mixed in sesame paste or topped with the restaurants's signature chicken.
Tao Yuen Pastry
This tiny shop is loaded with platters of chow mein, stir fry and entrees like salt-and-pepper shrimp, but it's the gooey pork buns with generous filling that explains the long line outside. Portions are massive, so make sure you come hungry.
Fortune Cookie Factory
Make your own fortune, sample hot-off-the-machine treats and watch workers mix batter and fold cookies by hand at this Oakland mill. You can even grab a bag of misfortunes (broken cookies) for a great deal.
The Golden Bull
An eclectic crowd gathers at the Golden Bull to enjoy classic Moscow mule and greyhounds. With a pool table, friendly patronage and solid acoustics for music, the atmospheric lounge is a local favorite.
Shooting Star Cafe
East Bay residents flock to this hot spot for Hong Kong-style cuisine with a diverse menu including noodle soups, rice dishes and curries, plus a slew of hot and cold desserts like egg puffs with ice cream and crepes. Best of all, it's open until 1:30am daily.
Golden Tea Shop
This East Bay shop specializes in Chinese and Taiwanese tea styles, with a collection of quality loose-leaf options ranging from white and oolong to pu-erh and longjing. Arrive with a list of ailments, and the staff can recommend leaf combos to help cure them.
A $25 ticket lottery for Dear Evan Hansen at the Curran is now open!
The box office record-breaking Broadway production Dear Evan Hansen has arrived in San Francisco at the Curran theater and already is just a handful of tickets short of sold out. But don’t fret yet, the production has announced a digital lottery for the chance to purchase a limited number of $25-tickets per performance—a steal considering prices start at $129 and go up to $325 for premier orchestra seats (which seems to be the only available tier left). For those of you that haven’t heard, Dear Evan Hansen is the story of a young man who struggles to connect with people. He fabricates a relationship with a deceased student in order to become close to the boy’s family and have a chance at finally fitting in. In its second year, the coming-of-age story comes with a slew of accreditations: It’s the winner of six Tony Awards (as well as a number of other accolades); features a book by Tony Award-winner Steven Levenson; a score by Grammy, Tony and Academy Award winners Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (La La Land, The Greatest Showman); and is directed by four-time Tony Award nominee Michael Greif (Rent, Next to Normal). Even the original Broadway cast recording made #8 on Billboard charts—the highest debut position for an original cast since 1961—and went on to win the 2018 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album. Needless to say, it’s not to be missed. So how does it work? The digital lottery will open 48 hours in advance of each performance and will be accepted until 9am the da
Gwyneth Paltrow's Goop is hosting a holiday pop-up shop in San Francisco
Gwyneth Paltrow-devotees, prepare yourself for some seriously exciting news: the actress turned wellness guru is about to deck the halls with a gorgeous holiday pop up based on the Goop gift guide. The concept shop pops up in three locations across the country including Manhasset, Dallas and San Francisco. Open this week in conjunction with the launch of their annual holiday gift guide, Goop GIFT lets you shop the gift guide IRL in what the brand calls a “one-stop holiday gifting destination.” The pop-up is decked out with chic decor, minimalist interiors, a conveyor belt of roving gifts in clear boxes and pretty wrapping, and a neon Goop Gift sign hanging on the back wall. The coveted gift guide has been on Goop’s website (in addition to brick-and-mortar stores) for the past three years, but this is the first time the company is hosting a holiday boutique. Photograph: Adrian Gaut From apparel to home goods and beauty items to fun experiences, Goop GIFT includes some of the latest, most stylish, and sometimes most outlandish items (Does anyone really need a $85 bag of crystals?) you can give for the holidays. Each store includes the gift guide’s 12 categories, including "the traveler," "the host," and "the lover," as well as two new categories—"the one-step-aheader" for all the latest trends and "the one and only" for ultra luxe finds. There will also be options for select personalization, gift wrapping, calligraphy and even delivery. Within the medley of Goop-approved f
The Christmas-themed pop-up bar Miracle is back inside P.C.H. this year
Sure, pumpkin spice lattes and apple cider are great, but it’s Miracle’s holiday-themed cocktails that really ring in the holiday season. The pop-up bar, now in its fifth year, is at it again with over 80 locations (up from 50 last year) around the world. The concept will be traveling to cities across the U.S. as well as overseas to Europe and Asia, and down south to Central America, with a special stop in San Francisco. Launching the day after Thanksgiving inside Pacific Cocktail Haven, Miracle will be serving up seasonally-themed sips through New Year’s Eve. Belly up to the bar inside the cozy, winter wonderland filled with twinkling lights, bartenders donning Santa hats, gifts hanging overhead, and colorful tinsel and ornaments. It’s the adult version of sipping hot cocoa with loved ones around a tree. There will even be a candy cane punch bowl and mugs made to look like Santa’s boots and pants. Gingerbread Flip Photograph: Melissa Homm Concocted by manager Joann Spiegel and bartender Nico de Soto of Mace and Danico, the much buzzed about cocktail roster includes favorites like the Snowball Old Fashioned (gingerbread bourbon, wormwood bitters, and lemon zest) as well as new sips like Christmas Carol Barrel with rum and pumpkin pie, and the spiced A Partridge In A Pear Tree with tequila, pear brandy, mezcal, and cinnamon. All drinks will be served in custom Miracle glassware of course, which include mugs, coupes, highballs, and rocks glasses. These will even be for
The Museum of Ice Cream is getting a Christmas-themed makeover
The Museum of Ice Cream is updating their delicious exhibits for Pinkmas, including new Christmas-themed delights to immerse yourself in the magic of the holiday season. Kicking off on November 23, the 12,000-square-foot enchanted winterscape will include a glowing, pink forest (naturally) which leads into reimagined festive spaces. Step into a life-size gingerbread house, dance under disco lights, and get a taste of their brand new flavor, Gingerbread Disco. Sweet treats from MyMo Mochi, La Michoacana, and Ghirardelli will remain to keep your sugar high on full throttle. The historic bank turned permanent ice cream museum will still have 10 installations with favorites like the unicorn, cookie carousel, and of course, the rainbow sprinkle pool to get that quintessential IG capture. And what’s an event on Black Friday without a sale? They’ll be offering up to 50 percent off select merchandise in store and online, plus you’ll get a free travel cocktail kit with a purchase of $35 or more. And there’s no leaving the Museum of Ice Cream without sprinkles, especially when they’re buy two, get one free. In true holiday spirit, the museum will also be opening its doors for free to the first 350 guests every Thursday evening to encourage the spirit of connection. We’re feeling all the warm fuzzies. The exhibition will run Wednesday through Monday from November 23, 2018 through December 30, 2018. Tickets ($38) are now available at museumoficecream.com/san-francisco.
Discover The Unreal Garden, a new psychedelic wonderland on Market Street
This winter, take a step into the Upside-Down—albeit a lush, beautiful one. Immersive media company Onedome has transformed a 20,000 square foot space on Market Street into a jungle paradise complete with moving waterfalls, forest creatures, and eight installations from nine different artists hailing from the around the world. Stepping through the double doors into The Unreal Garden's lobby is a far departure from bustling Market Street outside. On the left is a flowing stream, an owl suspended in flight over a bear, and a hobbit house, all lit from within. In the next room, two dragons guard portals to a waiting area with interactive installations—including a Tilt Brush lounge where users can create original virtual artwork—that guests can play while they wait to enter the main garden. If you'd like to enhance your experience, you can head to the Elixart pop-up bar serving delicious mocktails and snacks—there’s no need for booze at this already trippy experience. Photograph: Jen Woo Once you don your AR glasses and enter The Unreal Garden, you're greeted with a virtual Eden of real and imagined plants, trees, boulders, rock paths, and small-scale habitations. The digital art experience integrates four layers of reality—physical, spatial-sound, 2D/3D projection mapping, and augmented reality—so users can interact with the exhibit—walking in, under, around, and through each piece as it shifts, grows and disappears in what looks like a kaleidoscope of cellular adaptation.
How to spend the perfect day eating and drinking in Chinatown
As the most established and oldest Chinatown in North America, San Francisco’s C Town holds a bustling labyrinth beyond the iconic Dragon’s Gate of alleys and street brimming with eateries, herbalists, massage parlors and cocktail lounges. Here's where to find our favorite eats in this vibrant neighborhood. Photograph: Yelp/Annie Z. Chong Qing Xiao Mian Engulf your taste buds in flavorful, tingly sauces over springy noodles topped with a variety of meats at this Szechuan-style gem. The Tan Tan noodles are popular, but we prefer the house cold noodles made with Szechuan peppercorn. 915 Kearny St Photograph: Yelp/Vi T. Good Mong Kok Bakery It's worth the wait for the affordable dumplings and buns here. We recommend the fluffy, stuffed barbecue bun, juicy dumplings, shumai and egg tarts. The menu is vast and the service is speedy—a winning combination. 1039 Stockton St Photograph: Yelp/Tyler B. Vital Tea Leaf Take a seat at the long bar and one of Vital Tea's eccentric baristas will teach you an important lesson on mixing tea leaves, the benefits of each and how to brew tea properly. You'll emerge enlightened and with a new blend made just for you. 1044 Grant Ave Photograph: Yelp/Huy T. Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory Fortune cookies are hand-stuffed at this little factory, tucked away down an alley where it has resided since 1962. Nontraditional flavors like vanilla, green tea and strawberry make it a bucket-list destination. 56 Ross Alley
5 spots you need to eat and drink at in Oakland's Chinatown
From fat, juicy dumplings and hand pulled noodles in piquant savory sauce to unique saccharine treats and imported tea blends, an array of delectable delights and sights can be found in Oakland's historic Chinatown. Here's where to get eating. Shandong Traditional fresh noodles and dumplings are made by hand in the open kitchen at this East Bay staple. The Mandarin menu, from owner Charles Hung, is wonderfully consistent. Gorge on thick, chewy hand-pulled noodles mixed in sesame paste or topped with the restaurants's signature chicken. Tao Yuen Pastry This tiny shop is loaded with platters of chow mein, stir fry and entrees like salt-and-pepper shrimp, but it's the gooey pork buns with generous filling that explains the long line outside. Portions are massive, so make sure you come hungry. Golden Tea Shop This East Bay shop specializes in Chinese and Taiwanese tea styles, with a collection of quality loose-leaf options ranging from white and oolong to pu-erh and longjing. Arrive with a list of ailments, and the staff can recommend leaf combos to help cure them. Fortune Cookie Factory Make your own fortune, sample hot-off-the-machine treats and watch workers mix batter and fold cookies by hand at this Oakland mill. You can even grab a bag of misfortunes (broken cookies) for a great deal. The Golden Bull An eclectic crowd gathers at the Golden Bull to enjoy classic Moscow mule and greyhounds. With a pool table, friendly patronage and solid acoustics for music, the atmospher
Follow this map to find the Color Factory's hidden murals and treats around the city
You’ve seen the yellow ball pit, the confetti room, the 1,000 multicolored ribbons and the shimmering disco balls on Instagram. But did you know that the Color Factory goes beyond the Sutter Street exhibit to span 17 locations creatively crafted around the city? The additional experiences can be found on a secret neighborhood map you can snag on your way out of The Color Factory. Some are hidden with clues and some are more straightforward. The nearest to the exhibit include a yellow star on the corner of Mason and Sutter, a message at Hotel Rex across the street, and Sutter Nails where you can pop in to get the technicolor Color Factory manicure. The bulk lie in Union Square, with several speckled throughout Chinatown and a couple in the Tenderloin. Use the map to explore colorful surprises, secret menu items and vibrant murals. Here are a few favorites. SEE Fun painted steps featuring different Chinese food! Art by @theindigobunting for the @colorfactoryco's public neighborhood installations. I wish there were more scavenger hunt style art that turns the city into a playground and makes you explore like a tourist again! A post shared by Angela May Chen (@thegreatidea) on Aug 13, 2017 at 7:21pm PDT A colorful stairwell inspired by the “tastes of Chinatown” is by Color Factory design lead, Erin Jang (find it on the corner of Grant Ave. and Vinton Ct. in the alley). Artist @jessicahische designed this special mural for Color Factory. It's one of 17 additio
Slurp bowl after bowl of ramen at SF's Ramen Summit!
Think of the best bowl of ramen you’ve ever had: chewy, slurpable, flavor-infused noodles in rich, savory broth topped with simmering slices of meat, nori, bean sprouts, scallions and a gooey soft-boiled egg. Now imagine a row of such ramen vendors serving up everything from sweet chashu and tender pork belly to juicy chicken. Welcome to the Ramen Summit, where five of the best ramen shops in the United States will come together to serve their signature noodles to hungry San Franciscans. The Ramen Summit is part of the annual J-POP Summit, a weekend-long festival celebrating Japanese food and culture on September 9–10. The ramen-focused portion of the festival was launched last year under the direction of Yoshiyuki Maruyama (formerly of Orenchi Beyond). Noodle enthusiasts can taste a variety of bowls for $8 each from the Bay Area’s most authentic ramen shops (plus Seattle's Yoroshiku). Each restaurant will serve their signature bowl, and no two restaurants will offer the same thing. Here’s the list of ramen shops who made the cut and what to expect from each one. Nojo Ramen Tavern Hayes Valley's Nojo will make their first appearance at the Ramen Summit, serving Chicken Paitan Ramen with fluffy chicken tsukune meatballs, daikon sprouts, bamboo shoot, scallion, ginger and yuzu. Orenchi Beyond A Mission District favorite, Orenchi will serve their creamy Beyond Tonkotsu Ramen with garlic soy sauce, thick noodles, pork belly and fried garlic. Yoroshiku Yoroshiku, one of Seatt