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Monterrey or Napa for one night?

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Chat' started by kittyglitter_mm, Jul 31, 2015.

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  1. kittyglitter_mm

    kittyglitter_mm Low-Roller

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    Flying into SFO on Friday Nov 6. Staying with family on the 7th in Concord and staying in Healdsburg 8-10. Trying to decide what to do Friday night. I really want to see Monterrey/Carmel if just to drive down Hwy 1. Also want to see Napa Valley. If we choose Monterrey, would we have enough time on Tuesday to drive from Healdsburg and see the petrified forest and Sterling Winery and make to SFO in time for a 4:40 pm flight?

    Won't have any other time to be in Napa as out days in Healdsburg are planned out.
     
  2. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    If the choice is Sterling Winery or the Monterey Peninsula, I vote the latter by some multiplier. Plus, you have so many great wine options in Russian River country.
     
  3. kittyglitter_mm

    kittyglitter_mm Low-Roller

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    That would not be the sole reason for spending a night in Napa. I would like to fit it in though. We will be going to many many Red River and Alexander Valley vineyards. That's the whole reason for the trip. i am leaning towards Monterrry though because I want to see the coast. It's our 20th wedding anniversary trip and likely that would be the most "romantic" thing to do. Any recs on hotels on the water?
     
  4. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    Nothing wrong with a night in Napa. But for all Napa has to offer I wouldn't be doing it for a Sterling visit.

    InterContinental Monterey, right on Cannery Row . It's not Monterey, but you might want to consider the Ritz-Carlton up coast at Half Moon, as well. Of course, there is the Lodge at Pebble Beach.

    Are you arriving SFO early enough to make this excursion pan out, btw?
     
  5. kittyglitter_mm

    kittyglitter_mm Low-Roller

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    Arriving SFO at 1:30 pm. Why the hate for Sterling other than the commercialism? If you could only visit a couple of vineyards in Napa, which would you go to?
     
  6. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    lol "Hate" in such contexts is such a vacuous concept. Let's leave hate for the cross-burners and the Nazis, maybe? I simply suggested a highly commercial experience might not be the best use of limited time in Napa. If that's hate then please don't ask me to explain why OC visitors might want to hit Laguna Beach instead of Disneyland.

    If you want some name, Caymus. And we're big fans of Schramsberg. Hess. Cliff Lede. Or consult the NVAVA website for some planning help. There are scores of options really. I mean, if you like Sterling and want to do the tour and ride the gondola and sit up there with an admittedly pretty view, more power. Every wine fan here could give you a good reason to visit x, y and z wineries. That's the beauty of it.

    OK, so arrival day SFO to Monterey, look around, spend the night, and then head to the east bay the next day?
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2015
  7. Breeze147

    Breeze147 Button Man

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    Monterey, hands down.
     
  8. kittyglitter_mm

    kittyglitter_mm Low-Roller

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  9. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    Now you're talking. I see.

    A good two hours from Calistoga to SFO w/o any traffic problems? Drop a rental, check in, security. Traffic? Did I say anything about traffic? I suggest the first tasting.

    Happy Anni!
     
  10. Imperial_Palace_King

    Imperial_Palace_King High-Roller

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    About a 3 hour drive to Monterey from SFO without traffic via the 1. You may want to check out Santa Cruz/Capitola or Half Moon Bay since they are closer. I've stayed at the Pescadero Creek Inn in Pescadero a few times and like it there. Cool small town with a goat farm and a restaurant that's been featured on diners, drive ins and dives.

    I agree with Ken2v about the Intercontinental in Monterey. A few co workers have stayed at the Spindrift Inn and liked it.
     
  11. UTE

    UTE Plastics

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    I agree fully.

    Napa has become too much of a "thing" and is now congested and full of strip malls and development. Monterey remains timeless by design - they simply won't let people build what they want to build through strict regs. They don't want to kill the Golden Goose.

    Bill
     
  12. natedog666

    natedog666 17 and 20 Expert

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    Also don't forget to visit the aquarium. I have a house in Carmel and can't bring myself to get rid of it because it is so beautiful there.

    Another choice of excursion in that area is a jaunt into Carmel Valley, still unspoiled and beautiful...great hiking if you like that kind of stuff.
     
  13. cjlangston

    cjlangston Tourist

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    sorry, but this couldn't be further from the truth. Napa Valley is an Ag Preserve and strip malls/development are the farthest thing from reality. Maybe you are thinking American Canyon/Vallejo/Fairfield?

    That said, if you want some winery suggestions in Napa for a memorable visit, try these:

    CADE
    Palmaz
    Continuum
    Pride Mountain
    Far Niente
    Quintessa
    Plumpjack
    Rudd
    Alpha Omega
    Schramsberg

    if you do end up going to Sterling, here's a couple of very close-by wineries that are highly recommended:

    Larkmead
    Twomey
    Frank Family
    Duckhorn


    Additionally, it sounds like you were asking about driving from Healdsburg to Monterey? If so, thats nearly a 4 hour drive...8 hours roundtrip at least.
     
  14. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    There are some attitudes, for sure, but Napa ain't exactly Orange County. Hell, it's not even Ventura-esque, and Ventura ain't so bad.
     
  15. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    I think the question is SFO-Monterey on arrival day and then Healdsburg-Calistoga-SFO on departure day, and the feasibility of both, no?
     
  16. kittyglitter_mm

    kittyglitter_mm Low-Roller

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    Yes, the first question is whether to spend Friday night in Napa or Monterrey, and if that answer is Monterrey, is there time on departure day, leaving from Healdsburg, to drive through petrified forest and to visit Sterling, and make it SFO for a 4:30 pm flight.

    Since it seems like I'm getting answers from some experts in the area, we will be doing the Wine and Food Affair in North Somona County On Nov 8. Have any of you done this and how did you like it ? Any tips?
     
  17. cjlangston

    cjlangston Tourist

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    I'll answer this question directly. The docent led tours of Petrified Forest begin at 11am and last approx 1 hour. From there, you could arrive at Sterling by approx 12:30...tour and taste for 1 hour and then head to SFO. You should arrive there by 3:30 giving you 1 hour to your flight.

    thats a pretty tight timeline without much wiggle room, and also no time for lunch.
     
  18. cjlangston

    cjlangston Tourist

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    i haven't attended, but I have worked this event (tasting room manager at the time).

    Wine & Food Affair is an off-season event contrived to drive tasters out to the tasting rooms at a time of year when attendance is typically down. The wineries, by and large, don't do much beyond their daily routine other than to create a "special" food dish that they will serve attendees.

    The following is an opinion and it is heavily biased:

    I don't like the concept of paying a fee to get a glass, wristband and map that guides to wineries that you could otherwise visit independently. Since the tasting fees are waived for the "special pour", many visitors bounce from one winery to the next with no interest other than to get their taste, a bit of chow and move along. Sure, its fun for the first 3 or 4 visits maybe, but after that it turns into a slog and a drinking game.

    My advice: taste, don't drink. Swirl and spit...don't feel compelled to consume. GET A DRIVER - don't endanger yourself and others by drinking and driving
     
  19. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    Why not hit Sterling on the way from Concord to Healdsburg? Then your departure day is more flexy.
     
  20. kittyglitter_mm

    kittyglitter_mm Low-Roller

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    It's a possiblity but that is the day we are doing the Wine and Food Affair and I assume our route won't take us that direction. We will be doing that with family that live in Concord so they will be in charge of that. It's possible we could fit in on Monday, however, we will still be with said family that has a similar view to Napa as some expressed here plus we pretty much have that day filled with some vineyards that I really want to visit. I'm sure they wouldn't mind accommodating us as we have never been before, but I just don't know them that well as they are my husband's distant family so it's a little awkward for me. It's also possible to extend a day or get a later flight as we are just heading to Vegas from CA. But staying in Cali adds another $200 or so hotel versus free in Vegas.
     
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