Sacks on the Beach serves up fresh breakfast and lunch dishes mere blocks from the Pacific Ocean, inviting diners to savor meals as they smell the ocean breeze. Visitors can lounge on the outdoor patio or inside the cozy café, where they can chew through sandwiches that teem with crisp veggies and fresh cheeses, or simply sip a cup of fragrant coffee.
Family patriarch Nordy Rockler opened the doors of his first store in 1954 to supply his fellow craftsmen with knowledge, friendly advice, and a large selection of tools for at-home woodworking projects. Now, the chain of retail outlets brims with more than 20,000 tools and specialized woodworking equipment. Next to a steely rainbow of hinges, casters, and screws, a supply of lumber and exotic hardwoods provides planks for building tree houses or just leaving around as a warning to uncooperative trees. The tenor buzz of power tools operated by newly knowledgeable guests drifts from educational sessions on operating equipment and woodworking.
With a verdant variety of shrubs, trees, roses, and vines, the friendly plantologists will help you wade through the veritable ocean of foliage. Beginning green-thumbers can take advantage of a jumbo planting kit, including ample plant food, vitamin B1, and planting compost—everything a person needs to lure an unsuspecting plant into captivity ($15.97 for the regular kit; $29.97 for the jumbo kit). Advanced yard-enhancements abound in the form of trees and shrubs, such as a selection of 5-gallon citrus trees, good for accenting a living space and forming a focal point for the worship of the Lemon Pledge gods ($34.99). Armstrong can also help organic gardeners reach full-flavored nirvana with a bevy of 3-inch plant varieties ($2.99; selections vary by season and location).
Rainforest Flora traces its origins back to the 1960s, when UCLA economics student Paul Isley developed a fascination with the otherworldly aspects of the tillandsia plant. The soil-free plant so captivated him that he embarked on an adventure through Mexico and Guatemala to collect specimens. After Paul met his friend and business partner Jerry Robinson on a Caribbean diving expedition for Spanish galleons, Rainforest Flora's lush bromeliad nurseries began to become a reality. Today, thanks to the work and sacrifice of Isley, Robinson, and their former associate, Bill Harris, the business's two facilities in California self-sustainably produce millions of high-quality neoregelias, ferns, and tillandsias.
Tillandsias are otherwise known as "air plants"—so called because of their ability to thrive outside of soil and to consistently deliver textbook underarm lay-ups. Gardeners often attach these colorful fronds to vertical indoor and outdoor spaces or suspend them from wires, helping them grow with the shop's ample supply of epiphyte-friendly fertilizers, waterproof glue, and hangers. In addition to initiating curious gardeners into the world of exotic tillandsias and other bromeliads, Rainforest Flora equips green thumbs with colorful neoregelias and easy-to-grow ornamental staghorn ferns.