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California wine trip ideas

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Chat' started by unomas, Dec 30, 2017.

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  1. unomas

    unomas High-Roller

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    Happy New year's! I'm looking to take my wife to CA to celebrate her 50th birthday. We'd be heading out in April for 8 days. We're flying into Oakland arriving at 8pm, staying in San Fran. Night one, hotel not decided on. I'm looking for ideas of nice romantic hotels around Sonoma and Napa, but not necessarily in the hustle and bustle of down town. Maybe something on the outskirts of town? For the next 3 or 4 days i plan to stay at the stanford inn near Mendocino and the boonville hotel (recommended by a co-worker).
    I'd like to spend time in the Napa area to either do a train tour, hot air balloon, and or private tour but I'm looking for a base hotel to work from to do the above. I'd also love to get her to Yosemite to glacier point, so I'm looking for a place out that way. We don't mind driving but i don't know with travel time if it's even realistic to make it to Yosemite. (We've never been to California).
    Any ideas are greatly appreciated
    Cheers
    Rob
     
  2. DESPERADO

    DESPERADO VIP Whale

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    :wave:What is your price range. Since I have family I usually stay with them. Sometimes I do stay at Hampton Inn near the JC. There r many places 2 stay.use yelp or TA for help. As far as places 2 eat my choices r Morimoto, Mustards grill, Pericos. Also R &D kitchen. Enjoy :beer:
     
  3. ken2v

    ken2v Wish I was in Bend

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    We prefer the Sonoma side of the hills, at least for the stay portion, and almost always stay at Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn.

    Do you plan to spend the next day in the City? If not, why go over there at 8p?

    All of us have our "best" eats and best "wineries." The nice thing about Wine Country is getting out and finding your way. I mean, if in Yountville you of course have to eat at Bouchon and Bistro Jeanty. But of course you don't really have to. lol

    You're gonna have a GREAT time. Agree, Yosemite is going to be a stretch. Save that for a return, flying in to Sacto, and taking in Gold Country and the Sierra.
     
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  4. cjlangston

    cjlangston Low-Roller

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    be aware, if not already, that Mendocino and Boonville are a fair distance from Napa Valley and even further from SF. Combined drive time from SF to Mendocino/Boonville and then to Napa Valley may border on 6-7 hours.
    As an additional thought, there really isn't a "downtown" in either of the Sonoma or Napa Valleys, so aspiring to stay "away form the hustle and bustle" pretty well describes everything except Santa Rosa. In other words, you really can't miss.

    Centrally speaking, I'd suggest Healdsburg as a jumping off point to both areas. In fact, i'd use it as a base and skip Mendocino/Boonville all together if it were me.
     
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  5. ken2v

    ken2v Wish I was in Bend

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    An addition: Trust cjlangston.
     
  6. bardolator

    bardolator Lifelong Low Roller

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    We have done Yosemite and Napa/Sonoma on the same trip. I do not recommend it. Each one requires significant planning. Yosemite is not a day tripper- too remote, especially from Mendocino. I agree that Healdsburg is a good location to use as a base. Plenty near there, and it's not bad over to the Napa side. Just be careful if you're driving back after some tastings.

    Caveat: It has been too long since our last visit for my lodging recommendations to be valid, but I will say that Healdsburg had its share of dumpy motels the last time we were there. So do some scouting and don't go low.
     
  7. ken2v

    ken2v Wish I was in Bend

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    And CA has far more than Napa/Sonoma/Mendocino counties when it comes to wine country getaways.
     
  8. unomas

    unomas High-Roller

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    Thanks for all the replies.
    Ken, I'm not sure if we plan to stay in san fran the day after landing? I just wanted to get off the plain and crash somewhere close and nice? Then the next day head north. I'm up for ideas.

    Personally I'd like to do rt. 1 and don't mind taking 6 plus hours. We have a cabin in wv that it takes us 4.5 hrs to get to and we make that drive every other week, so driving we're use to. I could cut out Mendocino but i still want to go up to boonville and stay two days.

    $$ wise our flights are on points and i was prepared to spend 6 to 7 thousand in Iceland but we scrapped it. I have that $ set aside.

    Cjlanston good to know there really isn't a downtown. This is overwhelming as the state is so big and there's so much to do but spread out. However, we do have a full 7 days to get around.
    We're not into the spa thing, we like to get out and explore.
    Wish list
    Do the little bit of rt. 1 btw San Francisco and boonville.
    Spend time in Hendy woods st. Park and area.
    Check out the Anderson brewery and winery's and relax back at the hotel.
    Head to Sonoma area and do (hot air balloon, train, limo tour, but not in this order). And over how many days i just don't know what's realistic?
    If we leave out Yosemite, then I'll have to most likely find a few more things to do.
    Again i appreciate the feedback and I'm really looking forward to finally making it to CA, the closest we've been is Vegas..
    Cheers
     
  9. cjlangston

    cjlangston Low-Roller

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    I can understand the strong pull that Hwy 1 may have to many visitors, but if you insist on using it from SF to Boonville you will spend the better part of a day in your vehicle. The sightseeing from Hwy 1 north of Sausalito is spectacular for the first 4 miles or so (the cliff edge portion from Muir Beach to Stinson Beach), then it moves inland just enough that you won't see the ocean again until you reach Bodega Bay and later Mendocino. For my money, the delta between time spent driving and quality of sightseeing just doesn't add up for this stretch of Hwy 1. Of course, the sightseeing value on Hwy 101 from SF to Mendocino is practically zero.

    So, enjoy your drive up the coast.

    P.S. - if seeing coastal redwoods is your main reason for going to Hendy Woods, save yourself the trip and go to Muir Woods instead. Its a good deal more popular (read: crowded), but it is a high quality park coating huge coastal redwoods and is only a stone's throw from SF. You could knock that out on day one of your trip and save yourself a boatload of driving by making your next stop in either Napa or Sonoma valleys.
     
  10. ken2v

    ken2v Wish I was in Bend

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    True dat.

    For the coast, I might take a middle ground. Head up to Petaluma then over to Bodega, and get a short but nice hunk of coastal drive to Jenner, then back in along the Russian River.
     
  11. waltomeal

    waltomeal Oozy rat in a sanitary zoO

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    If you like wine and not crowds, Walla Walla is a thing. I no pressure, but encourage you to look. That is all.
     
  12. ken2v

    ken2v Wish I was in Bend

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    I love Walla Walla. Great little town, commendable golf, amazing place to cycle, Wingman for righteous wings and microbrews, and a solid wine scene. Just not that close to Oakland Airport.
     
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  13. unomas

    unomas High-Roller

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    Thanks again, you are giving me much to think about! While we don't mind the car I didn't realize that Hwy 1 tunes inland, that is a bummer!

    Ken- I like your idea too.
     
  14. ken2v

    ken2v Wish I was in Bend

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    :thumbsup:

    Most of the 1 is coastal, but, yes, there are spots where it goes inland -- like by us down here, where the 1 is about a 1/4-mile from the casa. But where you are looking that isn't too long, and after that ... what a coastal run it is!
     
  15. luck.ofthe.draw

    luck.ofthe.draw VIP Whale

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    Aw man, San Diego (over by Temecula) has a great wine country too! If you ever make it back to California, give them a try - Hawk Watch Winery and Emerald Creek are my favs. Hilltop Winery is just down the road from Harrah's and Valley View Casino ;)
     
  16. ken2v

    ken2v Wish I was in Bend

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    I've spent a lot of time in Temecula wine country. It has improved from my first experiences in the '80s.
     
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  17. WindyCityJ

    WindyCityJ Tourist

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    As far as hotels in Napa I know it's uber $$$ but Meadowood is amazing. If you're staying in/near Booneville be sure to visit Domaine Anderson, which is the still wine project of Roederer. Their Estate Chardonnay is pretty special for $29/bottle. Nice pinot noirs too. Skip the train and either do the balloon or private tour.
     
  18. WindyCityJ

    WindyCityJ Tourist

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    One other note. If you plan to dedicate an entire day to wine tasting, don't plan on more than 3 wineries. This will let you take a leisurely pace and leave time for a nice lunch.
     
  19. ken2v

    ken2v Wish I was in Bend

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    And you won't kill your taste buds or pass out.
     
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