Napa/Sonoma - one night - where to stay?

Old Jul 24th, 2009, 06:37 PM
  #1  
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Napa/Sonoma - one night - where to stay?

Hello fodorites!

I just booked my first trip to San Francisco where I'll be meeting up with some of my college friends who will be flying in from all over the country! It'll be 6-7 girls in their mid-twenties, the first weekend of November. We're planning on staying one night in Napa or Sonoma. It seems that there's a lot of different opinions on the boards of where to stay... Anyone have a rec for an accomodation that's "girls trip" vs couple friendly (can't see staying in a romantic B&B with my friends, much as I love them!)? Does the fact that we're only staying for one night have any bearing on what city we stay in (somewhere more central vs. off the beaten path)? So freaking excited to go - any advice would be great!

Nancy
nkluedke is offline  
Old Jul 24th, 2009, 07:25 PM
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there are a few 'towns' to consider - unfortunately I dont think any have really exciting nightlife. You'll have to make your own fun.
There is Calistoga in Napa. It looks like an old wild west town. There is Healdsberg which is pretty big, has a lot of restaurants and bars, it is in Sonoma. May be expensive. There is also Sonoma itself - dont know about the night life there. Also, St Helena also in Napa, there is a small downtown. Based on what I've seen, if I were you I'd look at Healdsberg in Sonoma. Others?
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Old Jul 24th, 2009, 07:53 PM
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Calistoga is a good choice. There's some moderate priced places to stay and some good but not too expensive restaurants. Probably not much night life in early November but there are the hot spring spas where you can soak away to your heart's content.

Napa has a newly revitalized down town with good restaurants and a music venue (Napa Valley Opera House) but the November schedule has not been published yet. If you are vegetarians, Napa would be a good choice since Ubuntu (a fantastic vegetarian restaurant) is located there.

Sonoma and Healdsburg are good choices too. Both have fun squares with good shopping and restaurant choices as well as wine tasting and wineries nearby for touring.

Yountville and St. Helena are best left to the rich and famous or to die-hard foodies with lavish expense accounts.
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Old Jul 24th, 2009, 07:56 PM
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I guess everything's relative. I stayed one night in Healdsburg and thought it was charming and upscale, but not big (maybe because I live in a big city). My hotel (Healdsburg Inn on the Plaza) was very nice, but more of a B&B. I would stay in this town again. I thought Calistoga seemed run down and tired. There were a few empty stores, but that was 10 months ago.
Centralparkgirl is offline  
Old Jul 24th, 2009, 11:30 PM
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I should clarify - we don't need night life. We see each other so rarely that when we do, it's talking and wine drinking and catching up for hours...I just wasn't sure if Napa itself was a better option since we'll only be there for one day/night or if it's worth bypassing it to explore a different area. I appreciate the suggestions already given, though!
nkluedke is offline  
Old Jul 26th, 2009, 08:53 AM
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I should clarify - we don't need night life. We see each other so rarely that when we do, it's talking and wine drinking and catching up for hours...I just wasn't sure if Napa itself was a better option since we'll only be there for one day/night or if it's worth bypassing it to explore a different area. I appreciate the suggestions already given, though!
nkluedke is offline  
Old Jul 26th, 2009, 09:27 AM
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How are you getting to Napa from San Francisco? Are you renting a minivan?

If you have a car, you really don't have to stay in a downtown but can stay in one of the larger (not centrally located) hotels, such as the Marriott in Napa or the Doubletree in Rohnert Park (Sonoma). The advantage of these larger hotels is that there are "public" areas where a group of you can congregate and it doesn't matter if you are couples or singles or a group of ten, twenty, thirty people. They also usually have a "Happy Hour" featuring local wines, which makes for a good choice of time to meet.

Are you planning on going wine-tasting? If so, which wineries you visit will determine whether you want to stay in Napa County or Sonoma County.
easytraveler is offline  
Old Jul 26th, 2009, 11:03 AM
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Try one of the Four Sisters Inns

www.foursisters.com

I like Lavender in the Summer: they converted an old horse barn with big outdoor patio decks.. Maison Flurrie is one block away.. and might be a better pick for November with a hot tub. Also you will have an "in" as they will make reservations with the local wineries & restauarants...etc
1JAR is offline  
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