Posted 2007-12-29 5:37 PM (#68424) Subject: OT: Any San Fran members out 'dere?
Joined: October 2005 Posts: 5321
Location: Cicero, NY
Lady Weaser and I are looking to spend a holiday in the San Fran/Sonoma/Napa Valley region next Spring and am looking for some suggestions or recomendations on a handful of things. I know little about the area beyond the fact that they have a horrible history of slaughtering grapes (and I'll be visiting several wineries to discuss that travesty ;) ). If there's anyone who's familiar with the area and can throw me some ideas, it'd really be appreciated!
Posted 2007-12-29 11:55 PM (#68431 - in reply to #68424) Subject: Re: OT: Any San Fran members out 'dere?
Joined: August 2006 Posts: 3145
Location: Marlton, NJ
Wease - the wife and I made that trip a few months ago and basically did all of the above. We rented a limo with my brother-in-law who lives out there - a must for the trip to Napa - guilt and worry free wine tasting. Saw Muir Woods (about the 5th time for me). We drove down to the Ritz-Carlton and had a cocktail... beautiful scenery. We also got to golf at the Presidio - pretty cool. If you have time - drive down to Carmel and Pebble Beach - 17 mile drive - absolutely beautiful.
Posted 2007-12-30 12:12 AM (#68432 - in reply to #68424) Subject: Re: OT: Any San Fran members out 'dere?
Joined: May 2005 Posts: 120
Location: Gardnerville, NV
Del Dotto Winery in St Helena is a great place to taste really nice wine and learn a lot. All of their wine is very expensive but when you do their cave tour they let you taste a lot of very expensive wine, compare the effects of different woods and vineyards and they make it fun while you're learning. I think they charge for the tour but you can drink way more than you should if you're driving of very good wine. My company takes care of their security systems so I've not paid for it but I think it would be worth it even if I had to pay.
Posted 2007-12-30 1:08 AM (#68433 - in reply to #68424) Subject: Re: OT: Any San Fran members out 'dere?
Joined: March 2005 Posts: 12741
Location: Boise, Idaho
Did the Napa, Sonoma and Alexander Valleys for my wife's 50th birthday. We met another couple and rented a van in San Francisco. One teatotaller took care of any designated driver chores we had. A day in each valley is about right. I've done that and all the San Francisco stuff a few times. The winery tours are better. Get a few tour maps and stay in a bed and breakfast.
Posted 2007-12-30 2:35 AM (#68434 - in reply to #68424) Subject: Re: OT: Any San Fran members out 'dere?
Joined: June 2007 Posts: 3084
Location: Brisbane Australia
I have visited the States twice.
A Mate had an Australian store on Pier 39 back in 84 and I spent the first two weeks of a 6 week trip around the US in San Fran.
After all this time it is still my favourite US city.
I wasn't much of a wine drinker then (how times change :D ) so didn't do Napa Valley.
Did a lot of the other places mentioned above.
Can you still visit Alcatraz?
I have very fond memories of dinner at the Fairmont Hotel looking out over the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco Bay.
Weaser enjoy :)
Posted 2007-12-30 2:36 AM (#68435 - in reply to #68424) Subject: Re: OT: Any San Fran members out 'dere?
Joined: July 2007 Posts: 161
Location: Seoul, Korea
Lived in SF for two years where my eldest boy was born. His name is Francisco or Francis for that reason.
Jeff W and g8r have already given you many good suggestions. In SF, through Presidio you can get to the Golden Gate and then to Muir Woods/Beach. Palace of Fine Arts and Golden Gate Park are two landmarks along with Lombard Street (world's crookiest street) and Coit Tower. Take the Cable Car from Mission St./Union Squareto Chinatown and then through Ghiradelli Square. North of SF is Sausalito, a quaint town worth taking a stroll. And of course, Alcatraz. If you like Chinese Dimsum, Yang Sing is the known one only open during day time. Near Golden Gate, an area called Marina is Fort Mason. Inside Fort Mason is a famous vegetarian restaurant called Greens. Even rabbits will be happy visiting there.
I actually prefer south of San Francisco then Napa/Sonoma (start the wine tour at Robert Mondavi Winery). You can visit Palo Alto and Stanford Univ. campus. Go to Carmel which has the artsy ambience with many Bed&Breakfast places. Monterey and Pebble Beach are also nearby. Traveling along the Pacific Coastline is just breaktaking.
Posted 2007-12-30 2:49 AM (#68436 - in reply to #68424) Subject: Re: OT: Any San Fran members out 'dere?
Joined: September 2006 Posts: 10757
Location: Keepin' It Weird in Portland, OR
Depending on how long you got to goof-around CA, you should go south of SF along CA Route One. (Don't do this after extensive wine tasting if you're the one driving tho') It runs right along the coast, on the top of the cliffs, also along the beach. South of Monterey, around Big Sur, there used to be places where the Break-Down Lane had dropped into the Ocean. But it is an awesome view.
Posted 2007-12-30 2:51 AM (#68437 - in reply to #68424) Subject: Re: OT: Any San Fran members out 'dere?
Joined: June 2007 Posts: 3084
Location: Brisbane Australia
Thanks STK, I had forgotten about that.
Drove down the coast to LA, Big Sur, Hearst Castle fantastic.
Better stop buying guitars so I can visit again.
I loved the States and I wasn't even interested in Ovations back then.
Better make sure I'm cashed up when I visit next time so I can bring back a couple of "souvenirs"
Posted 2007-12-30 5:57 AM (#68439 - in reply to #68424) Subject: Re: OT: Any San Fran members out 'dere?
Joined: August 2002 Posts: 8302
I'm a local, so a stopover at CasaBobbo in the lovely San Ramon Valley is a must.
From here, I like the 90 minute drive to Carmel (could be the most perfect place on the planet) -- definitely a place to spend a romantic day or two with the missus and 5 short miles from the Monterey Peninsula and about 10 south to Big Sur. Go golf at Pebble Beach.
All of the other suggestions are good ones too. Gotta be careful you don't bite off more than is easily digestible ... lotta New York folk I know think a 90 minute drive equals an overnight trip but here in California most people look at a 4 hour drive as a there and back day trip.
If you're staying in the Sonoma/Napa valleys, head over to Bodega Bay. It's where Hitchcock filmed The Birds but aside from that it's pretty OK. A visit to downtown Petaluma will kill a few hours and it's alright. If you have wheels, get down to Sausalito one night for dinner ... great view of The City.
Can't help you much with the wineries ... I get pretty bored pretty quickly with them. I like the wine and all, but it's a lot of work for a glass and buying a bottle that costs 2X what I get it at the local grocery. Nice roads for the Porsche, but they're always jammed with the wineys doing their own version of a pub crawl. Two days max on the wine country is what you ought to allocate if you're really into it.
'Course staying in SF itself is a whole 'nother story. There's a whole lot of different options if you want to go urban.