The West is a big, big place, and every week our staff is all over it, digging up the shops and restaurants, beaches and trails, performances and, well, phenomena that make the region so vibrant. Here’s the Best of the West this week

On the deck at COAST Big Sur. Photo courtesy of Kahn Media

Courtesy of Bon Ton Studios

Both Sides of These Pillows Are Cool

Looking to spruce up your outdoor living space this summer? Look no further than Bon Ton Studio’s boho-chic Sabra Pillows. Hand-selected and hand-loomed in Morocco from cactus silk, each pillow varies slightly in size and color. The refined pillows are available in mustard, pink, burnt red, natural, gray, or teal. Want more? The Healdsburg, CA studio also offers equally as gorgeous Turkish throws and towels. —Kelsey Maloney, editorial assistant

Sabra Pillows

Pop over to the Museum

This week I have tickets (finally!) to the eagerly anticipated Andy Warhol exhibit at SFMoMA, which opened on May 19. The exhibit is the first retrospective of the Pop Art legend’s work to hit the States in 30 years, and I’m here for it—for every single iconic polyptych as well as the lesser-known pieces. I’m also dying to see JR’s “digital mural” of San Francisco residents that now occupies the ground-floor space formerly home to Richard Serra’s large-scale sculpture Sequence. —Jessica Mordo, deputy digital director

Andy Warhol—From A to B and Back Again

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Soaking up the last bits of Sunday

A post shared by The Courts (@the__courts) on

Tennis, Anyone? (Seriously, Anyone.)

Last year, Adil and Leah uprooted their New York lives and moved west—yes, a familiar story (especially lately). But instead of replicating their big city lives, the couple landed in the tiny (3,429 people!) San Diego County desert town of Borrego Springs, where they purchased and renovated The Courts, a four-court tennis clubhouse near the town center with an awe-inspiring background of the San Ysidro Mountains and proximity to Anza Borrego State Park. Their revamp is so chic, airy, and refreshing that I just had to plop down on the pretty striped sofa and stay for a while. Leah and Adil outfitted the joint with a coffee bar, a wall shop selling cheeky house-designed shirts (“I Survived the #SuperBloom2019!”), a pool flanked by a barbecue grill and fire pits, and a sweet blue camper for rental. Tennis has never felt so hip, memberships are cheap, and the atmosphere is inclusive. —Dakota Kim, staff writer

The Bug Repellent That Actually Smells Amazing

I know Tulum is supposedly over, but I’m in no way over copal resin, the natural bug repellent they use on the Riviera Maya in Mexico. Made of the sap of the copal tree, it’s piney and floral and woodsy and actually smells great. All the outdoor restaurants down there use it, and I’m not kidding, I think it enhances the dining experience. P.F. Candle Co. in Los Angeles made a copal candle a few years back but still have batch of copal incense sticks. They’re being discontinued and are on sale now, so get ‘em while they last!  —Hugh Garvey, food editor

Copal Incense Sticks

The Season’s Best Fest

Like Christmas, Pride can sneak up on you before you’ve gotten all your shopping done. So this year, I’m determined to buy all my tickets for Frameline43, the San Francisco International LGBTQ+ Film Festival, as soon as I can. This film festival is the largest and oldest ongoing queer film festival in the world, and is the cultural axis around which San Francisco Pride revolves. Tickets do tend to sell out for big shows, partly because it’s not unusual for directors and stars of films to show up for audience Q&A sessions after showings. Tickets are already on sale for Frameline members; they go on sale to the general public, both online and at the San Francisco box office, on May 28 at 3pm. —Nicole Clausing, digital producer

Frameline43 Tickets

A Little Chocolate Can’t Hurt, Right?

Many years ago, a cab driver told me that dark chocolate is great for preventing altitude sickness. I don’t know if it’s true, but since I live at sea level, I always grab a bar of chocolate to welcome myself to the mountains anyway. This week I’m hanging out in Park City, UT where my go-to is a bar of Ritual Chocolate. Their chocolate is sustainably sourced, locally roasted, and wrapped in beautiful packaging. They’re sold in plenty of grocery stores, but I like to hit up their café on Iron Horse Drive to sample all the flavors first and grab a cup of hot chocolate. —Zoe Gutterman, associate digital producer

Ritual Chocolate Bars

Courtesy of COAST Big Sur

If You Loved SF’s Bar Tartine, You’ll Love This Big Sur Bakery

Located on California’s iconic Highway 1, COAST Big Sur has been a must-stop for road trippers ever since opening as a funky gallery in 1958. Over the years, the space has expanded to include a boutique and café. Fresh off of a renovation, it’s primed to become a foodie destination with a menu from Nick Balla, former chef of SF’s highly-lauded and now-closed Bar Tartine. Balla has created a menu of picnic- and hiking-friendly foods, including around a dozen different dips and spreads (spinach and walnut spread and sprouted split pea hummus) that complement fresh-baked breads that come sliced for sammys or as whole loaves. Irresistible sweets include PB&J Linzer cookie sandwiches and black-and-tan chocolate chip cookies; if you’ve got a designated driver, the café has a great selection of wines from California’s Central Coast. Oh, and the view is killer. —Jen Murphy, executive editor

Mad for Mangave

It’s not a Manfreda. It’s not an Agave. It’s a Mangave. I haven’t grown a mangave but I’m dying to get my hands on one. There are all sorts of relatively new cultivars coming to the market that have wild ruffled leaves, spotted foliage, and funky shapes. I predict these becoming a must-have plant that’s as in-demand as many tropical houseplants are these days. Mangaves are the perfect plant for the West because they don’t need a ton of water, they take sun or part sun, and grow as well in containers as they do in the garden. The best sources I’ve found and trust are Plant Delights Nursery and Mountain Crest Gardens. I particularly like the cultivars ‘Dreadlock’ and ‘Mission to Mars’. —Thad Orr, garden editor

Courtesy of Manresa Bread

The Tote Bag Serious Bread Lovers Need

I am still not over the perfection that is this All My Friends Are Bread tote bag from Manresa Bread in the Bay Area. The James Beard award-nominated bakery is known for its perfectly executed sourdough and sweet, laminated pastries by partner and head baker Avery Ruzicka, but it has also gained a following for its quirky clothing and totes. Stroll the farmers’ market with some of Ruzicka’s merchandise and it’s basically a nod to the Bay Area’s baking scene and to bread lovers everywhere. —Maya Wong, assistant editor

Manresa Tote Bag

The Perfect Pair

I thought I’d be the last person to rave about a pair of clogs, but this pair from Stegman is made from natural boiled wool fibers and as a result are warm, light, and anti-microbial. The foam soles offer relief when I’m around the house, and the tread keeps me upright even when my ice machine conspires to make the floor a pratfall zone. —Matt Bean, editor in chief

Stegman Clogs

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