3 Great Denim-Filled Summer Getaways

Levi Strauss & Co.
July 1, 2014

If you haven’t ventured out on a summer holiday yet, fret not—it’s only the beginning of July. There are two months left to enjoy weekend getaways filled with longer days, epic adventures, and open horizons. Speaking of horizons, why not broaden yours with a little denim love this summer?

Here at Unzipped, a summer holiday would be incomplete without a hefty dose of denim thrown into the mix. But where ought an adventurous denim lover to go?

We set out to find the perfect summer destination for denim enthusiasts of all ilk. Whether you prefer to wear your jeans for a stroll through a nature reserve, or on an enduring mountain hike, or in a car cruising along the coast, we uncovered three great summer getaways to satiate denim lovers everywhere.

Greensboro, North Carolina

For the uninitiated, Greensboro might seem like a curious destination for a summer jaunt. But true denim lovers will relish this small town retreat in North Carolina. Why? For one, it’s the home of the acclaimed denim factory, Cone Denim Mills.

Take a long weekend, Airbnb a cabin in the woods and visit the Cone Denim Mills factory (and look for Levi’s® own Made & Crafted line, which is proudly produced there). While you’re at it, get some grass on your jeans at the Bog Gardens at Benjamin Park, spend an afternoon at the International Civil Rights Center & Museum.

At night, grab a craft beer and an epic burger from Hops Burger Bar and catch a live show at The Green Bean on Elm Street. Oh, and if all the history gives you a hankering for modern marvels, just head to Geeksboro Coffeehouse Cinema, where you can sip coffee, play video games, and watch movies.

Eugene, Oregon

Portland? Been there, done that, drank some great coffee and had too many crazy donuts. But just a short drive away from Oregon’s flagship city, you’ll find Eugene – a college town with a heart of denim. And not just because of the namesake pun!

Find a cheap hotel and set out at dawn to break in your 501® jeans on Spencer Butte Trail, a moderate three-mile out and back trail nearby that is perfect for you and a companion, be it buddy or dog. Then head out to excellent Hendricks Park Rhododendron Garden for a cool forest walk. Be sure to check out the University of Oregon and maybe trade in your jeans for running shorts (this is Nike Town, after all) for a brief jog through the town’s pedestrian-friendly streets.

At night and with a clear rejuvenated head, you’ll want to explore the many floors of used books at the fantastic Smith Family Bookstore on Willamette Street. Grab dinner at a pub restaurant, an espresso from the Wandering Goat Coffee Shop and check out a concert at one of many local venues. Don’t leave town without searching for vintage Levi’s from Eugene Jeans. Oh and if you’re still craving a donut, don’t worry: Eugene has its very own Voodoo Doughnut shop.

PCH Road-trip from Los Angeles to San Francisco 

The beach, scenic cliffs over crashing waves, redwoods, and the denim mecca of San Francisco? We can hardly imagine a better denim-centric vacation than a road-trip on the famed Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) from sunny LA to the city by The Bay.

Roll up your jeans for a stroll on the Venice boardwalk, where you’ll find scenic beaches and audience-drawing buskers. Grab breakfast at the artsy Rose Café and take a stroll down nearby Abbot-Kinney Boulevard. Then get in the car and head north, stopping only when the moment strikes you. One necessary stop? The Hearst Castle – for a gawk at some gaudy but impressive interiors. Sold out? No problem: take a walk on the pier, grab a black bean burger at Sebastian’s Store deli (seriously: we have yet to find one that’s better) and head on up the coast to Big Sur.

Camp or crash at a local Big Sur lodge and take in the towering Redwoods and glorious coastline in your best raw denim. A must: coffee and sandwiches from Big Sur Bakery & Restaurant and a visit to the sleepy, storybook-like village of Carmel where you’ll find a white sand beach and an unforgettable sunset. Spend a night soaking in stars.

Next up? San Francisco, stat! Well, of course, you might want to make a pit stop in Santa Cruz for an early morning surf, a nostalgic boardwalk stroll and some grub at Tacos Moreno. But then, by all means, hit the road.

In San Francisco, visit the Levi’s flagship store in Union Square. And then visit us here at LS&Co. in Levi’s Plaza, where you’ll find a free museum and a slew of denim in our company store. Climb the steps at Coit Tower for one of the city’s best views and explore SF’s booming SOMA district for a brush up on SF’s thriving tech scene. If there’s time, pay due diligence to our city’s greatest landmarks: The Golden Gate Bridge, Golden Gate Park, Ocean Beach, Chinatown, North Beach, and The Castro district.

Come sunset, put on your coolest denim threads, head over to Dolores Park in The Mission district and catch the last rays of sunlight. Check out one of the many great local restaurants and find a top-notch dive bar in the area. End the trip with a breathtaking view of the Bay Bridge at night in your very best blue jeans.