San Fran/Napa/Sonoma in Dec/Jan??

Jun 20th, 2009, 05:21 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 259
San Fran/Napa/Sonoma in Dec/Jan??

What is it like in the end of Dec/Jan? would it be an OK time to visit?
thanks!
LizaMarie is offline  
Jun 20th, 2009, 07:28 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,240
There are visitors here every month of the year, although it is quite cold in the Napa Valley in January. We enjoy our outdoor life here very much, but not at that time of year. If you do come then, bring a warm coat and an umbrella. You can have a great time, but it would be different than the more popular months of April through October.
elnap29 is offline  
Jun 21st, 2009, 08:58 AM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 259
thanks elnap29! I doubt it is as cold as New England in Dec/Jan, where we live!!

is there anything to do on New Years?
is everything open?

thanks!!
LizaMarie is offline  
Jun 21st, 2009, 11:28 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 25,353
I live in the Bay Area. I agree that it's cold in California in December/January, but "cold" is a relative term. It's not at all like winter back east. It'll get down to the high 40s/low 50s during the day, and it could get as low as the high 20s/low 30s in the middle of the night. And December/January IS rainy season here.
sf7307 is offline  
Jun 21st, 2009, 12:07 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 34,107
It IS the rainy season the the hills are beautifully green. With the weather the way it's been lately...crazy in many parts of the country, who knows what it will be like in Sonoma County in December/Jan. Just take a warm coat, things that you can layer, and an umbrella, and you'll be prepared for anything.
crefloors is online now  
Jun 25th, 2009, 06:35 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 695
It really depends on what you want to do. I think I'd rather want to be in Hawaii or Mexico but the weather in Northern California is not that bad in winter compared to the Mid-West or North-East.

Last winter was fairly mild. In fact, there were more nice days at the coast in December than there have been in June this year. But, we are in a drought situation and if the rains come back next year, December and/or January could be quite stormy. It's impossible to predict.

For winery touring though, December and January are good months to visit. There are no crowds. Restaurant reservations are easy to get. And, the wine tastes just as good in the cellars in winter as in summer.
Supercilious is offline  
Jun 26th, 2009, 11:05 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 14
I went in December several years ago. I live in FL and I liked the cooler weather! It did rain, but not all the time and it was beautiful. The best part is the tasting rooms were virtually empty and the vintners could really spend time talking about their wine. We did not concentrate on doing many outdoor activiities. As Supercilious said, it depends on what you want to do while you are there.
parisat50 is offline  
Jun 27th, 2009, 03:08 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,286
It depends on your attitude. If you can handle being wet and cold, then fine, ok. Me, I live here and I would not choose to visit California in January if I lived outside the state. But, if you are a happy camper no matter what, come and visit us.

I went to Paris once in November and it was just enough cold and wet to be uncomfortable. I will never waste my vacation dollars traveling during the winter again unless it is to a sunny clime

Of course, it could be clear and beautiful but no way to tell.
Ronda is offline  
Jun 29th, 2009, 04:25 PM
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 259
we definitely want to see San Francisco - must do's are Alcatraz and walking over the Golden Gate Bridge. otherwise, our major focus would be wine tasting. so a good part of the time we would be inside. I looked at some hotel rates for end of Dec/Beginning of Jan and they look pretty good. I don't mind cold or rain, keeping in mind I live in New England and any weather is usually better than what we have!!! Would love it to be nice out but that is definitely not a deal breaker.
LizaMarie is offline  
Jun 30th, 2009, 04:45 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 695
Hopefully, you will catch some nice days during your visit. Be aware though that the week between Christmas and New Year's is quite busy in Napa and Sonoma. It's best to come the week before or in early January. Or better yet, come in early December. The weather is often pretty good and there is no one visiting the vineyards.
Supercilious is offline  
Jun 30th, 2009, 05:15 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 944
We went to Sonoma in December one year and it was lovely. Mildly cold, jeans and sweater weather, a bit misty some days and sunny on other days. We rented a house with a fireplace and a hot tub and those two things made the vacation fabulous. Wine tours in the early part of the day, late lunch, then lounging in front of the fire between dips in the hot tub, looking up at the redwoods. We spent a few hours on the beach at Bodega Bay, again mildly cold and windy but just beautiful.
BlueSwimmer is offline  
Jun 30th, 2009, 05:30 PM
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 259
supercilious - I was hoping to go last week of December after Christmas. My birthday is 12/28, so I'd like to be there then, so we would also be there over New Years OR might wait and go a few days after New Years. what do you think?

BlueSwimmer - that sounds awesome!! great idea. would love to have a fireplace and hot tub!!
LizaMarie is offline  
Jun 30th, 2009, 05:51 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 695
If it was me, I'd spend your birthday in SF or some romantic inn on the coast and then do the Wine Country after.
Supercilious is offline  
Jul 1st, 2009, 07:24 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,240
It's not miserably busy the week between Christmas and New Year in Napa Valley. It's just the busiest week after Thanksgiving. You'll be fine whenever you choose to come. Of course, mid-week lodging is less expensive than a weekend and will have fewer people.
elnap29 is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2009, 05:39 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 944
Hey Liza-

Here is the company we rented from. The cabin we had isn't listed anymore (I think it was sold) but lots of charm and hottubs here. We stayed in Guerneville/Monte Rio. It was a bit of a drive from the main Sonoma/Napa area but we really enjoyed it. Have a great birthday and trip!

My birthday is around Christmas too and my perfect night would be a steak and a bottle of great red wine tasted at a vineyard that day, homemade macaroni and cheese (my annual winter birthday request), a dip in the hot tub, and then curling up by the fire to watch White Christmas. Ahhhhh..... winter weather has its own charms.
BlueSwimmer is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2009, 07:10 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,149
Our favorite NY Eve was spent staying @ Indian Springs in Calistoga. Many places in the valley are open for dinner. NY Day we spent in the pool at Indian Springs..it was divine. Rentabin if you can with kitchenette.
PamSF is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2009, 06:02 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 944
Dur...I forgot to post the link to the rental company: http://www.rrgetaways.com/
BlueSwimmer is offline  
Jul 14th, 2009, 06:40 PM
  #18  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 259
blue swimmer - thanks for the link. love being able to include "hot tub" on their search!!!!

thanks everyone for all the advice so far!
LizaMarie is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2009, 06:01 PM
  #19  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 259
looks like we are now going in November!! DH's boss asked him to go to their California office and to a conference in San Francisco in mid-November. so we figured we'd take advantage of his free airfare and hotel to then extend it to a longer trip and have me go too!!! the countdown begins... thanks everyone for your advice and suggestions!
LizaMarie is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2009, 09:48 PM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,240
Terrific! I'm sure you'll have a great time - and you'll have fun planning your 'to do' list. San Francisco is such a beautiful and unique city. Let us know if you need more information as you plan the Wine Country portion of your trip. I live in Napa Valley and there are also Fodorites who live in Sonoma County, so you'll have plenty of advisors.
elnap29 is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:21 PM.