5 last-minute getaway ideas for Labor Day weekend
Photo by Kurtis Rix
Sparks will fly this Sunday in Lake Tahoe during South Shore's annual Labor Day fireworks extravaganza.
Sonoma Wine Country Weekend (Friday through Sunday)
Your grape escape at this three-day wine festival starts on Friday at the Francis Ford Coppola Winery with the Sonoma Starlight evening featuring wine from more than 25 regional wineries and dinner under the stars prepared by chefs Sondra Bernstein and John Touzle of the Sonoma-based French bistro The Girl & the Fig (think roasted pork loin with polenta cakes and quattro formaggi pizza with house-made pork fennel sausage). During Saturday's Taste of Sonoma, the weekend’s signature event, fill your glass with vino from some 200 wineries, such as Clos du Bois, Sebastiani, Kenwood and Kendall-Jackon, and sample cuisine from local kitchens (like chilled Thai watermelon soup with spicy crab from Santa Rosa’s The Spinster Sisters), or watch regional chefs compete in the “Sonoma Steel Chef” challenge judged by Wine for Women: A Guide to Buying, Pairing and Sharing Wine author Leslie Sbrocco and Food & Wine’s executive editor Ray Isle. Prices, times and locations vary by event. 855-939-7666. sonomawinecountryweekend.com
Sample the Sierra (Sunday)
Sacramento may be the Farm-to-Fork Capital of America, but you can enjoy the Sierra Nevada region’s own bounty at this fifth annual festival in Lake Tahoe celebrating the food and wine of the region. Head to Bijou Community Park, where local restaurants, farms, wineries, breweries and distilleries will team up for good eats and drinks, like Zephyr Cove Restaurant, which will serve a dish with veggies from Nancy’s Green Bean Farm that will be paired with beer from Great Basin Brewing Company. Between bites, join in the cornhole tournament or see what local chefs can do in the Sierra Chefs Challenge. $40. 12-5 p.m. Bijou Community Park. 1201 Al Tahoe Blvd. South Lake Tahoe. samplethesierra.com
Lake Tahoe's Labor Day Fireworks (Sunday)
Wind down summer with a bang at South Shore’s annual Labor Day fireworks display, a nearly 20-minute pyrotechnic extravaganza that’s one of the largest such shows in Northern California. For a prime seat to watch sparks fly, grab a lawn chair and head to nearby waterside spots like the Nevada Beach Campground or the sandy shoreline beside the Timber Cove Marina. Alternatively, book a seat aboard either the M.S. Dixie II or Tahoe Queen paddle-wheel vessels, both of which offer dinner cruises on Big Blue and provide dazzling views as the fireworks show kicks off at around 8:30 p.m. Either way, you’ll have a blast. Visit tahoesouth.com for info about the fireworks show or zephyrcove.com for cruise tickets.
Asian Art Museum and SFMOMA (Friday through Sunday)
In partnership with SFMOMA (which is currently under renovation), the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco presents "Gorgeous," a new exhibit that pulls artwork from both museums and showcases pieces that challenge the standard conventions of beauty. Highlights of the show include everything from an ancient Chinese tomb figure and a Buddhist mandala to a Mark Rothko painting, Pablo Picasso’s Women of Algiers, the Jeff Koons sculpture Michael Jackson and Bubbles, and Janine Antoni’s Lick and Lather busts made out of chocolate and soap. $12. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Asian Art Museum. 200 Larkin St. San Francisco. 415-581-3500. asianart.org
Maya Lin (Friday through Sunday)
This exhibit at Reno's Nevada Museum of Art by renowned architect Maya Lin—who is best known for stunning large-scale designs like her Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall—focuses on smaller works meant to raise awareness about the world’s diminishing landscapes and biodiversity. Included in the show are a 6-by-10-foot wall called Where the Water Flows made from thousands of steel pins and a marble sculpture called Disappearing Bodies of Water: Arctic Ice. The museum is also celebrating Nevada’s 150th anniversary of statehood with a new exhibit boasting artifacts and national treasures, such as a hand-painted 36-star flag circa 1864 and Timothy H. O’Sullivan’s Civil War photograph A Harvest of Death. $10. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Nevada Museum of Art. 160 West Liberty St. Reno. 775-329-3333. nevadaart.org