Suburban Safari: Berkeley

There are few things like a truly warm weekend in San Francisco. It’s the ultimate treat in this typically cool and oft foggy town. One of the best things about great weather here is varying degrees of warmth depending on where you go. Cross any bridge, basically, and you’ve earned about 10 extra degrees.

I hadn’t been back to Berkeley’s 4th Street since just after college, and, my, has this shopping and culinary mecca evolved! It was always hip and chic, but it was HOPPIN’ early Saturday afternoon. Shopping options span both the more mainstream Restoration HardwareAnthropologie and Benefit Cosmetics as well as more rare local treats like Mulholland LeatherRuti and, my new fave, The Gardener.

Suburban Safari: Mill Valley

My friends know I’m a country-living-craving gal living a city lifestyle in a great town. Since moving back to San Francisco, I’ve tried to temper my desire to pick up and leave for Charleston with frequent visits and ardent exploration of the Bay Area’s suburban gems. After being inspired by Coastal Living’sfeature on the town in its March 2014 issue, I spent a few hours this past weekend in Mill Valley.

The verdict? Both CL and SF Gate have it right. Mill Valley’s charm is undeniable, with an adorable “town center” and shopping to boot.