Escapes: Santa Cruz beer festival gets crafty

The fifth annual California Beer Festival features more than 85 craft brews on tap, live music and bocce ball tournaments.
The fifth annual California Beer Festival features more than 85 craft brews on tap, live music and bocce ball tournaments.

There’s a special kind of heaven where cool craft beers flow from nearly 100 taps, juicy burgers are plentiful and people dance freely in an open field next to leisurely bocce games.

That’s a mere snapshot of the fifth annual California Beer Festival at Aptos Village Park in Santa Cruz, which runs Aug. 7-9. “Craft Brew Heaven” is just Day 2 of a weekend filled with beer, burgers and more beer.

Live music and dancing will fill every day of the festival, so bring your best moves. Day 3, the “Hamburger & Hops Music Festival,” doesn’t include beer samplings with admission, but brews are available for purchase and families are welcome to set up chairs and blankets and enjoy some burgers and live entertainment.

For more information, call 805-628-9588 or visit

Astronomy lecture

What: Professor Rachel Somerville of Rutgers University’s physics and astronomy department will tell the story of dark energy and dark matter while arguing for the existence of black holes, which can gobble up stars and gas, in this exciting lecture.

When: 7:30 p.m. Aug. 3

Where: California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, 55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco

Cost: $8-$12


Crossing the Amazon

What: Ever wonder what fishing for piranhas and scouring the jungle for monkeys is like? Local traveler Chris Smith will recount his adventures in the the Amazon, from Manaus to Belem, with his wife in this meeting for the No Reservations Travel Club.

When: 7 p.m. Aug. 4

Where: Arcade Public Library Community Room, 2443 Marconi Ave., Sacramento

Cost: Free

Information: or 916-457-1426


What: StocktonCon’s lineup for pop culture guests includes best-selling author of “Batman Incorporated” Chris Burnham and William Salyers, who voices Rigby in Cartoon Network’s “Regular Show.” The event will also highlight outstanding artists from the San Joaquin Valley.

When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 8, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 9

Where: Stockton Arena, 248 W. Fremont St., Stockton

Cost: $10-$22, children 12 and younger get in free


Wooden Boat Show

What: More than 60 antique restored wooden boats will compete in the 43rd annual Concours d’Elegance Wooden Boat Show. Some of the oldest boats date back to 1915, from racers to utility boats to showy Rivas.

When: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Aug. 7, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 8

Where: Obexer’s Boat Company, 5300 West Lake Blvd., Homewood

Cost: $25/$30 Friday, $35/$40 Saturday; children younger than 12 admitted free


Red Hot August Nights

What: Inglenook Winery is celebrating the harvest season with a full buffet dinner featuring dancing, lawn games and a scavenger hunt. Food includes a whole roast pig, handmade pizza and baked potato bar, paired with, of course, selections of wine from the more than 125-year-old winery.

When: 7-10 p.m. Aug. 8

Where: Inglenook Winery, 1991 St. Helena Highway, Rutherford

Cost: $120 members, $160 nonmembers

Information: 707-968-1161,

Bee staff