The California Bucket List: Your daily guide to the best adventures and experiences in the Golden State

Top 10 places to indulge

Special to the Los Angeles Times

Recession-smession. Even those of us pinching our pennies need regular fixes of travel. The journeys can be thrice as nice when we also satiate a vice, whether it's a sin of the more biblical variety or a more modern indulgence.

Chocolate. Recchiuti Confections, San Francisco. You'll leave your heart in the Ferry Building Marketplace once you've savored Michael Recchiuti's masterworks, which include crisp slices of pear kissed with key lime and coated in dark chocolate. And his whoopee pies will brighten even the foggiest day. Info: (415) 826-2868,

Gluttony. Las Vegas wins hands-down with its 24-hour dining scene and the dozens of all-you-can-gorge buffets. A new favorite is the Studio B Buffet at the M Resort with views of the Strip and food that tastes too fresh for a steam table. Dessert includes an eye-popping, mouth-watering selection of gelatos. (702) 797-1000,

Sloth. When you need a "do absolutely nothing" getaway, consider Beachfront Melodies, a sprawling seven-bedroom, five-bathroom palace on the shores of Lake Tahoe. The rooftop Jacuzzi provides wraparound views of the mountains, and the help can do the cooking, cleaning, massaging and even the babysitting (extra fees apply). (866) 293-9061,

Envy. An exclusive vacation mingling up-close-and-personal with buffalo should have your friends turning green. Winter and summer escapes are available to the inspiring wilds of Montana, where a traditional purification ritual in a sweat lodge can conclude a day spent among the bison. (406) 202-1584,

Cigars. With the Cuban reference in its name, the Havana Social Club in Dallas is the ideal spot to light up. Cigar aficionados flock here to smoke a custom-rolled fattie from the in-house master cigar maker. Add a mojito and you'll soon be cheering, "Viva la revolución!" (214) 303-0544,

Drinking. Oh, to have been drunk under the table by Ernest Hemingway. Papa loved his spirits and was a regular at Sloppy Joe's during his years in Key West, Fla. Hemingway's whopper of a sailfish and other memorabilia are proudly displayed. (305) 294-5717,

Nude sunbathing. Little Beach, on the seldom-seen southwest shore of Maui, isn't exactly easy to reach, but those seeking an all-over tan in paradise won't be disappointed. From Makena State Park, bear right at Big Beach and follow the trail over the lava field.

Greed. Long before Vegas was called Sin City, folks were spending as though there were no tomorrow along the boardwalk in Atlantic City. The Chelsea — a rare nongaming hotel — hearkens back to the heyday of "America's Playground." It's a sophisticated place to be pampered — or left alone — after your time at the tables. (800) 548-3030,

Shopping. The shops of Seattle's Ballard neighborhood won't cost an arm and a leg — OK, maybe an arm. There's plenty to satisfy even the most eclectic shopaholic — cameras, quilts, fine books and furniture. It's all here, with a bit of Pacific Northwest attitude thrown in.

Travel itself. Since Chevrolet first urged us to "see the U.S.A.," Americans have been hitting the open road in search of new adventures. New Mexico's Gila National Forest awaits; it's where Joe Saenz, an Apache, takes visitors on "Drag the Wolf Tail" expeditions. It's kind of like "Survivor," only without the TV cameras. (575) 534-1379,

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