There's an abundant garden of fine wines and foods waiting just 45 minutes outside of San Francisco. Historic Sonoma Plaza is home to 26 wineries, and San Francisco Wine Group offers a walking tour that covers a handful of those neighboring locations over the course of about two and a half hours. Mixed into the tour are history lessons going back to the 1800s. San Francisco Wine Group also offers wine storytelling sessions, education, and hosts corporate events.
At Bay West Ballroom, students learn how to tango alongside their identical twin, whether they were actually born with one or not. The studio's eastern wall of mirrors stretches for 60 feet, ensuring that students’ reflections are always visible as they spin on the sprung beech-wood floor. On the opposite side, windows admit sunlight and scenic views of the hills, creating an ethereal space where seasoned instructors demonstrate ballroom, Latin, and swing dance styles. Drawing from a diverse curriculum, these instructors cover a broad spectrum of disciplines that range from the cha-cha to the country two-step, encouraging practice in both the classroom and social settings. For example, lessons on popular salsa steps prepare pupils to spin at nightclubs, and wedding courses customize choreography to match a chosen song at elegant receptions.
Directors Mark and Andrea Nelson-Novak have both earned championship titles, and Andrea draws on a degree in biology to better inform her protégés on anatomy, movement, and the location of the body’s rhythm glands. The pair enlists other experts—including US Country and Swing Champion Tony Gutsch and Grand National Latin Finalists Dima and Olga Sukachov—to helm specialized and regular classes. The team also hosts holiday parties each year.
At Marin Murder Mysteries, dinner mates may ask you to pass the rolls just before they begin chipping away at your alibi. That’s because guests are both suspects and sleuths during the theater troupe’s interactive performances, attempting to tally the clues and pinpoint the culprit's motive. Each year, the cast and crew serve up three to four different shows that inject generous portions of slapstick into the familiar detective genre. The writers and directors have a particular fondness for the noir-soaked era of the 1950s, with such past plays as Remains to be Seen, Murder Me, Always, and Death of a Doornail. During the show, guests have the option to dine on a gourmet dinner or sip cocktails from a cash bar.
Building on an idea that first fruited in the Burgundy and Bordeaux regions of France, Mountain View Winery became one of California's first n?gociant wineries in 1978, its winemakers concocting vintages by curating, blending, and aging a harvest of grapes from rigorously vetted vineyards. Owner Angelo Pera strives to deliver a compelling product by partnering with organic growers and packaging companies and indoctrinates new or interested customers during spirit-sampling symposiums. Throughout tastings, visitors glean each grape's origin, method of production, and propensity for carpet staining.
Today’s Groupon uses the power of laser for the good of looking good via laser. For $185, you get three laser hair-removal sessions at The Laser Center of Marin in Marin County. Turn your body into a flawlessly smooth surface that will become even more slippery when covered in ultra-premium motor oil.1804: Vice-President Aaron Burr singes off Alexander Hamilton’s eyebrows at 30 yards.1865: John Wilkes Booth and Abraham Lincoln awkwardly brush hands while sharing armrest at Ford’s Theatre Laser-Zeppelin Night.1990: The Hubble Telescope becomes self-aware, prompting the launch of the Hubble-Response Death Ray.2006: Ryan Seacrest carves own face into moon.2010: September 17, Hubble-Response Death Ray becomes self-aware.
Dance Arts Studios' instructors get fleet feet flying with a panoply of dance classes set within a studio that Pacific Sun named the best place for dance lessons in 2007 and 2008. The accommodating schedule of ballroom, Latin, and swing dances lets beginners and more sure-footed students build stepping and twirling skills with social dance classes. The Dance for Fitness course centers around fun, upbeat routines that strengthen cores and improve flexibility, teaching students to stylishly retrieve fallen items with a graceful dip. Although not included in today's Groupon, guest instructors and 2011 U.S. Argentine-tango stage champions Gustavo Hornos and Jesica Salomon help to inspire more seasoned dancers to take their tango to the next level in an intermediate/advanced Argentine-tango class.