Black bears love strawberries. The bears of Northern California could often be seen wandering through the berry patches surrounding Mt. Shasta, an area favored by travelers since the 19th century because of the charmingly hospitable inns and restaurants found there. Bob and Laurie Manley were inspired to recreate the area’s post–Gold Rush hospitality, and they opened their first restaurant, Black Bear Diner, near those same strawberry patches. Nearly 20 years later, their brand has grown to encompass 50 different locations, each of which retains the founders’ principles of small-town charm and generosity. The menus also preserve the mom-and-pop vibe, with dishes such as secret-recipe sweet-cream pancakes, old-fashioned burgers wrapped in wax paper, and, of course, homemade bear claws. Each location is adorned with a trademark bear sculpture that has been hand-carved by Washington chainsaw artist Ray Schulz, who often grants his works with regional characteristics such as cowboy hats or taxi-hailing skills.
Terrible Herbst's staff cares for cars and the environment by swiping vehicular surfaces with eco-friendly Blue Coral products. During the ultimate full-service wash, vehicles are scoured inside and out over 20–25 minutes. Valets escort vehicles to the drive-thru tunnel, in which cars luxuriate in a bath of foam. A car caretaker then towel-dries its exterior and takes to the inside, wiping windows, dashboards, and consoles, and vacuuming dirt and Australopithecus-era crumbs from carpets. Wheels emerge from the treatment purged of dirt, and tires debut enameled in a protective dressing. The VIP express car wash with RainX cleanses cars in less than five minutes with a human-operated pre-scrub, then sends them through the underpass to bask in bubbles and a spot-free rinse.
Packing luxury accommodations, fine dining, world-class entertainment, and boutique shopping into its gleaming tower on the banks of the Colorado River, Harrah's Laughlin is the kind of self-sustaining community usually found only in fantasy novels and supervillain lairs. The resort's sprawling casino offers plenty of excitement, but guests without a yen for gaming can find plenty to do: the Fiesta Showroom boasts a near-nightly lineup of concerts, dance shows, and magic acts, and an on-site spa offers pampering services. Dining options also abound, from the casual Fresh Market Square Buffet to the elegant Range Steakhouse.