Drive from Napa to SFO - help!

Nov 26th, 2011, 07:54 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 7
Drive from Napa to SFO - help!

Hello All!

I need some advice - we are renting a car and driving to Napa/Sonoma and plan to stay in Napa (town) for the night and head out in the morning to catch a noon flight from SFO. What is your experience driving to SFO on Monday am? What time would you head out to catch a noon flight? How is the traffic? how long would it take? or would you recommend to come back to SF for the night and head out to the airport from there (Union Sq or Fisherman's Wharf)? if so....return the car the night before or just drive to the airport from the hotel?
Any advice i helpful!
domtor is offline  
Nov 26th, 2011, 08:27 AM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 373
I suggest you not fight the commuter traffic into SF and do it as a daytrip. And I'll add that if it were me I'd return the car the night before and stay that night at an airport hotel. I'm not naturally an early riser and love the convenience of a leisurely pace, especially when I'm catching a flight. I see no point whatever in staying anywhere else. The more in the way of departure duties I can dispose of the night before the better so there's time for unforseen snaffus or just a leisurely coffee.
joannay is offline  
Nov 26th, 2011, 08:54 AM
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 25,502
I would also do exactly as Joanna's suggests, although, with a noon flight, it would be easy to stay overnight in San Francisco (of your two choices, pick Union Square, because you can get to the airport via BART - there are no BART stations near Fisherman's Wharf -

Are you already going to be in San Francisco, or are you coming from elsewhere?

Anyway, stay in SF, return the car, have a nice dinner in the city, and take BART To the airport in the morning. The BART ride is about 30 minutes, figure 45 with waiting for the train,and getting to your terminal at the airport end. The cost is $8.50 per person.

If you keep the car and drive to the airport, assuming you want to be at the airport 90 minutes before your flight, and you need to get gas and return the car, and take the air train to the terminal from the car rental, you'd want to leave the city around 9:30. Shouldn't be much traffic then.
sf7307 is offline  
Nov 26th, 2011, 09:11 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 824
If you do stay in Napa, you should leave for SFO no later than 8am. You will run into as much as a 30 minute backup on the Bay Bridge and other delays are possible too. If you have three in the car, you can use the HOV lanes on I-80 and the Bay Bridge.
Otis_B_Driftwood is offline  
Nov 26th, 2011, 09:28 AM
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 25,502
Yes, but just note that there are no HOV lanes between the Bay Bridge and the airport!
sf7307 is offline  
Nov 26th, 2011, 09:42 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 2,063
Monday traffic is a zoo getting into SF and going south to the airport is just as awful. I'd do wine country as a day trip as suggested but if you must spend the night, then as early as possible to get in and out of SF and surround. Can you return your car in SF or do you have to go to airport to return. If it is airport return then return the car and spend the night at one of the nice hotels around the airport - Hyatt, Westin come to mind and take their shuttle to the airport in the morning after checkout.
Shar is offline  
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