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Best Tropical Vacation 

The Doña Colada Cocktail in Doña Tomás' Courtyard

The staycation, the recession's answer to the grand tours of yore, is easier to accomplish here in the Bay Area than just about anywhere. Yearning for the glories of the Swiss Alps? Check out Mt. Diablo. In the mood for the moors of Yorkshire? The Marin Headlands are thirty minutes away. And when you're jonesing for a trip to the tropics, head to 51st and Telegraph for Doña Tomás' positively Puerto Vallarta-ish patio. Situated behind the restaurant proper and enclosed by exposed brick, bas-relief walls, and rambling ivy, it's an immediate tropical getaway reminiscent of a French Quarter courtyard or a West Indies cloister. Colorful mosaics and a burbling fountain add to the whole languid atmo, but what really seals the deal is the Doña Colada, the bar's finest concoction. Lime juice, coconut milk, and Flor de Caña white rum are blended into a sweet, creamy frappe that evokes Martinique and Fiji and all of those other places you'll be able to afford to visit next year.

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