Day trip to Sonoma, Napa, or ???

Old Oct 26th, 2010, 12:45 PM
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Day trip to Sonoma, Napa, or ???

Will be in San Fran with my hubby (who will be attending a convention) for 3 days in March 2011. Would love to day trip 1 day to either Sonoma or Napa. Which would you recommend and why (hubby will be with me). I also saw several posts about an area called Healdsburg...would you recommend that instead? Thx!
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Old Oct 26th, 2010, 02:38 PM
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Healdsburg is in Sonoma County. Very charming downtown
and scenic surrounds. Lots of info here:
www.wineroad.com
I reside in Sonoma CO if you have any specific questions.

R5
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Old Oct 26th, 2010, 06:10 PM
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Healdsburg is nice. It has retained its plaza in the center of town, although most of the shops around it have gotten sort of "chi-chi." It might be a longer, traffic-congested drive, though, than either Sonoma or Napa. Most of the wineries are out a country road called Dry Creek Road.

The town of Sonoma is quaint also with a town plaza. It is about a 45 min. drive from SF. There are a few wineries a short distance from town.

Napa is about one hour. The city of Napa is sort of the gateway to the Napa Valley. It's about a 30 min drive from one end of the Valley to the other with many many wineries along the way. And there are numerous fantastic restaurants.

I think choosing which area depends on your interests.
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Old Oct 27th, 2010, 02:26 AM
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Napa is definitely more developed and touristed than Sonoma, though both are popular with visitors. For that reason Napa may be more convenient (more services offered) but Sonoma is a little more off-the-beaten-path. I think it depends on which of those suits you better.
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Old Oct 27th, 2010, 06:19 AM
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Both Napa and Sonoma are great - Napa is almost wall to wall wineries, Sonoma is more rural. The further north you go in either valley, the less busy it gets. Many of the wineries further north still offer free tastings. Healdsburg is a very pleasant little town in Sonoma, with several good restaurants.
Get yourself a good winery map to get familiar with both areas.
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Old Oct 27th, 2010, 08:09 AM
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We have been to both Sonoma and Napa and actually preferred Sonoma. It is much more quaint, we love the town square and we found that we actually enjoyed the winteries more in Sonoma.

One of our favorites for a tour and the wine itself was Benzinger. We also really loved Chatau St. Jean (feels like a French Countryside--go for their reserve tasting) and also liked St. Francis for appetizer and wine pairing (also a reserved tasting).

Have a great time!
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Old Oct 27th, 2010, 03:17 PM
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"For that reason Napa may be more convenient (more services offered)

RayKrebs-What on earth does that mean ?
:-?

R5
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Old Oct 28th, 2010, 09:50 AM
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Wonderful info and based on what you gave me here...most definitely leaning towards Sonoma and Healdsburg. More up our alley...off the beaten track, quainter, etc. Thanks a bunch! Will plan accordingly
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Old Dec 28th, 2010, 11:29 AM
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Flagging for advertising.
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Old Dec 28th, 2010, 03:38 PM
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"Flagging for advertising"

Should be "flogging" instead!
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Old Dec 29th, 2010, 09:22 AM
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I've been to both, can't really go wrong with either, but in Napa, they have the Napa Valley Wine train ride. We did that for lunch and it was our favorite thing. You get on these old, beautiful train cars and we were on the schedule that we had lunch as the train started. It goes through beautiful countryside, and the meal was great. It gets to the end of the line, and then we moved to the bar car where we sat in comfortable chairs looking out the windows while they served dessert, coffee - and of course, wine was an option. It was a gorgeous day, and was a very pleasant experience. If you haven't been to a winery, that is also nice - and we did both in the same day. We were also staying in SF.....
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Old Dec 30th, 2010, 01:49 PM
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We did Napa and Sonoma... and I second the recommendations for Sonoma town and Benzinger.
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Old Dec 30th, 2010, 02:39 PM
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If this is your first time to wine country, I suggest Napa Valley, specifically the areas of Yountville and St. Helena. In both of these towns and points in between you can visit world class dining, boutique shopping and great wineries.

The vast majority of the great chefs of wine country are in the Napa Valley for a reason. It's a livelier vibe with more things to do than the Sonoma side. Sonoma County, particularly the cities of Sonoma and Healdsburg, are lovely places to visit but I prefer the Napa side as it offers more action than Sonoma. Both areas are geographically beautiful and make for a fine day trip out of SF. I always take my out of towners to Napa Valley if they only have 1 day.
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