Napa or Sonoma?

Old Oct 23rd, 2002, 01:52 PM
  #1  
Jennifer Sanderson
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Napa or Sonoma?

We are honeymooning in CA for 2 weeks in Nov. Which is preferable; Sonoma or Napa? We are looking to stay in one (or both??) of these places for at least 4 days. Any preferences?
 
Old Oct 23rd, 2002, 02:50 PM
  #2  
kam
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Although I would choose Sonoma, look for another post on here titled Napa or Sonoma or does it matter?
 
Old Oct 23rd, 2002, 03:38 PM
  #3  
kal
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Although I would chose Yountville in the Napa Valley (sorry kam-couldn't resist) you can't go wrong in either valley. Y'ville hotels/inns are all within walking distance to some good restaurants.

2 and 2 is quite do-able in the valleys.
We're booked in Yountville for 4 days over T'giving/Wedding anniv. weekend and have done one day in NV, one day in SV.
Happy Honeymoon,
Kal
 
Old Oct 23rd, 2002, 03:38 PM
  #4  
Kris
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Hi, Please since you have so much time, your really should experience both. Sonoma is so different, the drive from Napa is unbelieveable. We stayed at the Farm house Inn in Sonoma area, whirlpool and sauna in the room....Food was wonderful! We stayed at the Vintage Inn in Napa. Enjoy!
 
Old Oct 24th, 2002, 07:49 AM
  #5  
Carolyn
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My vote goes for Sonoma Valley (it does not hurt that I was born in Santa Rosa!!) - It is alittle more relaxed & cozier. Also you are not far from Bodega Bay & coast line for some great seafood!! My husband & I are actually going thru that area this weekend on our way up to & back from Fort Bragg. You can go over to Napa area for a day or two (beware of the traffic - especially on Hwy 12!) There are some good wineries there also (Coppella's / Charles Krug - across from the Culinary Institute just north of St. Helena,...)
 
Old Nov 4th, 2002, 01:19 PM
  #6  
Mary
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Just did a week there - 2 nights Sonoma, MacArthur Place, can't recommend it enough, 3 nights Healdsburg at DuChamp, fabulous also and then stayed 2 nights in Napa. DO NOT STAY AT THE MARRIOTT in Napa, we had a free night there, it's a dump. Wish we would have stayed in the Napa Valley in St. Helena and Yountville, both of which look very quaint and more charming like Sonoma. Tours not to miss - Del Dotto (if you're a red fan) and Sterling for the view - also some wonderful small wineries in the Sonoma Valley, Martinelli, Gary Farrell, etc. If you want a splurge night or 2, stay at the Milliken Creek Inn in Napa, it was $$ but worth it AS ALONG AS you get a room that doesn't face the road noise. Truly wonderful linens, breakfast, service, view, etc. FOr dinner, definitely make reservations and do Cafe La Haye in Sonoma, Bistro Ralph in Healdsburg, and Celadon in Napa - we didn't do Bouchon or Bistro Jeanty - heard those were good but there are so many to choose from we ran out of time. Have a wonderful time and definitely rent a convertible - makes the trip just that much more fun!!!!
 
Old Nov 4th, 2002, 04:01 PM
  #7  
linda
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Napa is noisy and the traffic sucks.Nothing charming about it. Sonoma is lovely. Don't go to Napa for h-moon,start at Sonoma and head north. Also look at Oregon. Trust me.
 
Old Nov 4th, 2002, 04:51 PM
  #8  
curious
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With all of the bad traffic comments about Napa, can I assume that there is no traffic problem ever in Sonoma? I thought both towns were located close together?
 
Old Nov 4th, 2002, 06:42 PM
  #9  
Hans Kuenzi
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Sonoma County. Napa is far more commercial than Sonoma: busier, more traffic, faster paced. Sonoma County is generally less crowded and a bit more rustic. Highly recommend the town of Healdsburg. The wineries in both valleys are beautiful and fun to visit, but overnights stays in the Sonoma valley are special.
 
Old Nov 5th, 2002, 05:30 AM
  #10  
Dave
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Does anyone have any comments about the Renaissance (Lodge) hotel in Sonoma? We are considering staying there.
 
Old Nov 5th, 2002, 05:37 AM
  #11  
SA
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Sonoma is preferred but you can easily do both (especially if you've not been there before). Yountville IS nice or Calistoga is you like the 'spa-thing'.
 
Old Nov 5th, 2002, 06:34 AM
  #12  
jeff
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The Renaissance is a great hotel. I checked in last night for my first stay at the property. Since I am a Marriott Reward Platinum they upgraded me to a suite that looks over the pool area. They also have several small buildings scattered accross the grounds called cattages. I ate at the restaurant last night and it was good but not great. I prefer the Girl and the Fig just down the road. Well kept, good service and rooms overlooking the pool area have a great view.
And you get Marriott Reward Points for future free stays.
 
Old Nov 6th, 2002, 03:43 AM
  #13  
Lisa
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Just got back from our trip to SF, Napa and Big Sur. I got wonderful advice, so I thought I'd post a report. We stayed at the Grand Hyatt in SF and also at the Marriot. Both great locations. Had amazing meals at Boulevard, Yank Sing (dim sum), and the hightlight was Gary Dankos. Off to Napa, which I preferred to Sonoma for a first trip. Napa was easier to get around, wineries and restaurants are closer. We stayed in Yountville at the Inn. Very romantic! Never had any problem with traffic or crowds! Had dinner at Bistro Jeanty, Martini house(my fav.), mustards for lunch and tra vigne (beautiful). Absolutely a wonderful and perfect trip! Last night went to Big Sur and stayed at the Ventana. Got a great deal there! I think Big Sur might just be the most beautiful place I have ever seen! The hightlight of the trip!! Overall, the most romantic trip filled with great wine and food and a chance to get away with hubbie without kids!! Thanks to fodor for the great advice!
 
Old Nov 6th, 2002, 04:08 AM
  #14  
former CA resident
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First of all, I agree with the comments about traffic in Napa. It peaked and now I am over it completely which is a shame but the fun of it is ruined. I liked the comment about the gal from Oregon...you don't need to go that far, though, there is a very curvy mountain road from the end of Napa that crosses over to PCH and then you can visit places like Jenner by the Sea and Elk, charming towns on the ocean and VERY romantic, on the way to Mendocino. I also stayed at the Ventana Inn in Big Sur...the room was so romantic with a hot tub outdoors under the stars, watching the sunset over the Pacific, a great fireplace, huge bathroom, bed, etc...that we never even ate dinner in the restaurant, we just ordered room service every night and drank the various wines we had purchased in Napa-Sonoma!!! They have a marvellous fruit and cheese plate. If you make it to Elk, on the northern coast, check out the Griffin Inn at Greenwood Cove which has to be the most charming place with little cottages overlooking the sea, woodburning stoves, clawfoot tubs with ocean views and a gourmet breakfast in bed.........
 
Old Nov 6th, 2002, 04:09 AM
  #15  
former CA resident
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PS....I think 4 days is too much time in wine country, two days, one night max but be sure to have dinner in Napa at Tre Vigne -- really worth it. Hope you get great sunny weather. The Chandon winery (also in Napa) is a nice lunch spot with a famous restaurant.
 
Old Nov 6th, 2002, 07:52 AM
  #16  
Pam
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Definitely Sonoma and particularly Healdsburg. There are some wonderful wineries to tour and sample among. I recommend Healdsburg and would also recommend Ravenous as a place to eat.
 
Old Nov 6th, 2002, 09:01 AM
  #17  
Suzie
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This is for Dave:

In Feb we stayed at the Lodge at Sonoma. We stayed in one of the cottage rooms. We lucked out and got the 1 story cottage right outside the pool. I believe it is building A. It was a great room. 2 queen beds, couch fireplace, armoire with TV desk and chair. Large bathroom with robes and spa bath items, iron & ironing board in room. There were 4 of us (sisters) and we had plenty of room. The staff was great as we had room service each morning. There is free winetasting in the afternoons. It's really new looking and some of the trees are still just sticks. The lobby is nice and we enjoyed the bar and the double sided fireplace seating.
 
Old Nov 6th, 2002, 06:15 PM
  #18  
Gary
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I definitely agree with Sonoma. We enjoyed the area much better than Napa which is a huge crowded tourist trap with no charm to it whatsoever.
 
Old Nov 11th, 2002, 10:09 PM
  #19  
S
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I prefer Napa, paricularly St. Helena or Yountville, over Sonoma. Stay there during the week and there will be less traffic and lower hotel rates. Stay in San Francisco on the weekend when the rates are lower there. I recommend the Westin St. Francis in the new tower section. The Park Hyatt is nice and they have limo service to the other areas.
 
Old Nov 15th, 2002, 08:31 AM
  #20  
Carolyn
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We got back two weeks ago from our trip thru Sonoma County to Fort Bragg - DEFINATLY do Sonoma Co!!! You have less crowds on the road, quaint towns, Redwoods, great wineries (check out Hwy 128 & 253 - back country & small local wineries, many do not sell outside of the local area & are very good quality). We came home thru the Napa Valley - ok till we got to Callastoga, traffic was horrible & this was on a Tuesday!!!
 

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