Last night of Itenerary Dilemma-Suggestions

Sep 12th, 2008, 11:43 AM
  #1  
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Last night of Itenerary Dilemma-Suggestions

Hi,
Almost done planning our trip 9/29-10/3. Need some help.
Flying into SF and staying 2 nights.
Then driving to Lake Tahoe staying 3 nights.
The last night we want to head back to SF area and go thru wine country and possibly get a peek at Point Reyes. We realize that this will be very quick and rushed the last day.
We don't want to be too far from the SF airport, flight leaves at 12:30pm.
Can you suggest where would be a good place to stay the last night?
Olema? Sonoma?
Would it make sense to go to Pt. Reyes the morning we leave for Tahoe and then travel to Tahoe from there? Then we could just stop somewhere in wine country and stay there the night.
Any suggestions would be GREATLY appreciated....
Donna1185 is offline  
Sep 12th, 2008, 02:50 PM
  #2  
 
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>>Can you suggest where would be a good place to stay the last night?
Olema? Sonoma?<<

You need to get to the airport complex by 10:30 for a 12:30 flight (I assume it is a domestic flight). That means you would have to leave Sonoma by 8:30 am and prey that there are no delays due to commute traffic. There will be heavy traffic through Santa Rosa and the GG Bridge may be a mess too. That 2 hr trip could take you 2 1/2 hrs or longer. Add about 30 mins if you stay in Olema. Are you familiar with alternate routes through SF if you hit bad traffic in the City??.

I've lived here 33 years and I currently live near the airport. If I had a flight at 12:30 I would stay in SF near Union Sq or the Embarcadero the last night and have a taxi take me to the airport the next morning (they know alternate routes if there is congestion).

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is offline  
Sep 12th, 2008, 04:17 PM
  #3  
 
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You might want to trim off one night at Tahoe and spend it on the coast. Tahoe can have great weather in early Oct but it is kind of off-season up there and if you don't gamble????????

The coast, though, is usually at it's best when you'll be here. The weather is always unpredictable but it has a better chance of being good then than at any other time of the year.

By the way, you might be disappointed with Point Reyes if you just drive there to "get a peek". Like Cape Cod, you really have to spend some time there to appreciate it. Hiking the trails, walking the beaches, or climbing down to the lighthouse are great activities but they take time. You really shouldn't go unless you have the best part of a day. If you have a couple of days and want to paddle around some, there are kayak rentals in Inverness for exploring Tomales Bay.

For scenic driving, you would be better off driving Hwy 1 between Mill Valley and Bolinas or north of Bodega Bay in Sonoma County. The views from the road there will be more spectacular than the roads at Pt. Reyes. Of course, if it's foggy, you wont see much wherever you go.
Supercilious is offline  
Sep 12th, 2008, 05:27 PM
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>>For scenic driving, you would be better off driving Hwy 1 between Mill Valley and Bolinas or north of Bodega Bay in Sonoma County. The views from the road there will be more spectacular than the roads at Pt. Reyes. Of course, if it's foggy, you wont see much wherever you go.<<

I agree - we did a "drive by" last week. If you look at a map, the Shoreline Highway (Hwy 1) from Bolinas to Bodega is inland - with no glimpes of any ocean. You can see Tomales Bay - but that really is not nearly as scenic as the area around Muir Beach or between Bodega Bay and the Russian River. The latter area is spectacular. There were lots of people with easels set up & painting "the scenes" along the cliffs above the ocean.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is offline  
Sep 12th, 2008, 06:19 PM
  #5  
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Hi,
We will have a rental car which we will be dropping off at the airport.

We probably won't get to Tahoe until late afternoon and only have 2 full days. Just want to do a little kayaking and relaxing.

We are staying in Union Square area for the first (2) nights and wanted to stay a little north our last night.

We have no clue about alternate driving routes thru SF if we hit traffic, first time there. Now I don't know what to do..

So coming back from Tahoe you say skip Pt. Reyes and go where? Bodega Bay? Can we drive thru Sonoma/Napa to get there from Tahoe? If we don't want to stay in SF where should we stay?





Donna1185 is offline  
Sep 13th, 2008, 07:52 AM
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That's a lot of driving if you leave Tahoe in the morning, drive through the Napa Valley & Sonoma Co, & end up somewhere on the coast like Bodega. Next morning, you'll have to leave before sunrise to insure you get to the airport on time.

Instead, I would stay the last night in Half Moon Bay along the San Mateo County Coast. HMB is only about 30 mins from the airport complex. The coast south of there is very beautiful, and Main St in Half Moon Bay is quite charming. There are lots of coves & scenic spots to get out & wander on the sand. Have dinner at Sam's Chowder House just north of Half Moon Bay for a sunset dinner.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is offline  
Sep 13th, 2008, 08:26 AM
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I agree - I'd stay the last night in Pacifica or Half Moon Bay.

I know you say you don't want to leave Tahoe a day early -- so how about leaving the night before. As it is you'll be leaving at the crack of dawn anyway so you don't get much extra "Tahoe time" from that last night at the lake.

So how about leaving Tahoe at 6 or 7 PM? There will be next to no traffic, it won't be so late you'll be too tired to drive, and you can be north of SF by 9 or 10 PM. That way you'll have a full day for whatever you want to do in Sonoma or on the coast. You can't see/do much w/ just a drive-by of Point Reyes or Bodega Bay.
janisj is offline  
Sep 13th, 2008, 09:34 AM
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Can you reverse your trip and go north of SF at the beginning of the trip and the last 2 days in SF? You will be closer to the airport the morning you are leaving.

There is no way I would want to stay north of SF and get to the airport in time to return a rental car and be there in time for a 12:30 flight. You cannot depend upon traffic.

Perhaps you could leave Tahoe in the evening - go to SF and stay 2 nights. Take a day trip to Napa and Sonoma Valleys and/or the coast. You would have one complete day to enjoy the day trip and be in a good place to get to the airport.



bratsandbeer is offline  
Sep 13th, 2008, 07:19 PM
  #9  
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Thanks for the suggestions. Still in a pickle.
We really want to relax and spend the 3 nights in Tahoe. Also, they have a cancellation fee at the Hyatt.
Tried to change my flight for an extra day but they wanted 200.00, 100.00 per ticket!?!?
According to Mapquest it is only 3 1/2 hours from Incline to Sonoma, then figured add 1/2 hour for traffic maybe 4 hours. We could be there Sonoma by 12:00-12:30 and have lunch.
We don't really want to go to any wineries, just would like to stop and have lunch and take in the scenary and the area. We have alot of wineries here on Long Island, I know they can't compare but not really interested on this trip. When we get back home, its harvest time here and will be going.
Then go to Half Moon Bay or stay back in SF, this is so frustrating.
I really didn't think about the traffic....
Donna1185 is offline  
Sep 13th, 2008, 09:00 PM
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SKIP SONOMA.

No reason to spend that much time in the car. The scenery isn't that great on the trip - especially in Sept when everything is very dry and parched. Just head to Half Moon Bay, enjoy our lovely coast, and relax, relax, relax. I've been to Sonoma perhaps 50-75 times & HMB more than that. Both are equally nice. Enjoy a dinner on the coast at sunset, like I mentioned above. You don't want to end your trip with a day on the freeways here. Get to HMB by 2pm, explore some quiet coves & beaches, browse Main St in HMB, then head to Sam's for dinner. Next morning, have breakfast at one of the half-dozen or so cafes on Main St, then head to the airport around 10.

I think you're too "hung up" with trying to fit in Sonoma or Napa.

Stu Dudley
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Sep 13th, 2008, 09:03 PM
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Hubby and I were thinking...
Maybe we can actually drive thru Sonoma and Napa on our way to Tahoe.
We could leave SF fairly early in the morning, and have lunch either in Sonoma or Napa (any suggestions?) and then head to Tahoe. Arrive in Tahoe around 4:00 or 5:00pm.
Stay the 3 nights in Tahoe and instead of going back north, head to Half Moon Bay and stay the last night. Does that sound doable?

We would miss Pt. Reyes but from all of your advise and suggestions we really need to spend some time there to really enjoy it.

So if we stayed in Half Moon Bay, is there any lodging you could suggest, possibly on the water or with a view?
The Ritz looks very nice but $400.00 a night is above the budget.
Donna1185 is offline  
Sep 13th, 2008, 09:05 PM
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Stu, Didn't see your post, I was writing mine...
Half Moon Bay sounds wonderful.
Donna1185 is offline  
Sep 14th, 2008, 06:27 AM
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I live 25 mins away from HMB so I don't stay at hotels there, but there is one next to Sams that would have a nice view. Sams Chowder House is about 10 mins north of HMB. Call Sams to find out the name of the hotel. There are many B&Bs in HMB, though I don't recall seeing any that would have views.

If you are considering driving through Sonoma the town, I don't think the drive to get there is scenic at all. It becomes more scenic north of Sonoma once you get past the ugly sprawl. Napa is more scenic once you get past the town of Napa, up 29 to Calistoga, then back south on the Silvarado Trail.

I would not try to drive through both Sonoma & Napa - I would stick with the Napa Valley. IMO, the Dry Creek Valley Area in Sonoma Co is just as scenic as the Napa Valley and much prettier than the Valley of the Moon north of Sonoma - but that gets you too far out of the way.

For lunch, there are several places in St Helena. Just walk around town & see what suits you. If you leave SF real early, you'll get there before lunch time - so maybe have a late breakfast or early lunch. You can pick up sandwiches or deli stuff at Dean & Deluca just south of St Helena to have on the road later in the day.

Stu Dudley


StuDudley is offline  
Sep 14th, 2008, 09:49 AM
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I think I answered some questions from you on TA. I provided info on what to do in Tahoe during the fall. You should have a very nice time as the weather is usually very nice in Sept and some activities are still going on. We'll be there just before you and hope to do plenty of outdoor activities. Hope you have a great trip.
Suzie is offline  
Sep 14th, 2008, 12:04 PM
  #15  
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Suze! Hi, Yup you did... Thanks for all of the great advice, you've been great..

Stu-Silverado trail?
Donna1185 is offline  
Sep 14th, 2008, 12:37 PM
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Silverado Trail is a road. It runs parallel to Hwy 29 N/S through the Napa Valley.

Stu was advising you to take the Silverado Trail back south after going up to Calistoga.
janisj is offline  
Sep 14th, 2008, 01:01 PM
  #17  
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Thanks, didn't see it on mapquest
Donna1185 is offline  
Sep 14th, 2008, 06:18 PM
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Here's a decent clickable map of the Napa Valley.

http://www.napavalley.com/maps/

But you should get some old fashioned printed highway maps for your trip. If you're a AAA member you will want to get the Central California, Napa Valley, San Francisco and San Francisco Bay maps. If you spend much time in Sonoma County, you should get that map too.

By the way, where are you staying at Tahoe and where will you be kayaking?
Supercilious is offline  
Sep 15th, 2008, 11:08 AM
  #19  
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Thanks!
Were staying at the Hyatt in Incline Village.
Plan on kayaking but not sure where yet, have gotten some suggestions, so I'll just print them and bring along. I beieve Zephyr Cove was one of them.
Donna1185 is offline  
Sep 15th, 2008, 05:19 PM
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You can rent kayaks right in Incline Village and it's a real nice run down the East Shore past Hidden Beach and Sand Harbor towards the Thunderbird Lodge Historic Site.

However, the most spectacular place to Kayak is into Emerald Bay. You can do this from Camp Richardson which is on the South Shore.

Here's a page with a list of outfitters:

http://www.tahoevacationguide.com/Ac...es/kayaks.html
Supercilious is offline  

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