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san fran/wine country/monterey trip 9/10-9/19 - help needed!


san fran/wine country/monterey trip 9/10-9/19 - help needed!

Old Jul 15th, 2004, 08:13 AM
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san fran/wine country/monterey trip 9/10-9/19 - help needed!

Flying round trip to san fran. Hotel 9/10-9/13 in san fran already booked via priceline.

Morning of 9/13 (monday) we were planning to drive up to wine country (where in wine country is undecided). Spend 4 nights in 1-2 different places, then drive down the coast to carmel/pebble beach/monerey and spend 2 nights somewhere on the beach, drive back to san fran sunday the 19th (maybe catch a baseball game - our flight doesn't depart till 10pm!).

1) Does this sound like a good/feasible itinerary?
2) Where in wine country? We are big wine drinkers, and like a variety of california wines (from all over: napa/sonoma/russian river/paso robles, etc...). But I can't decide where to stay!
3) Where in monterey/carmel areas? Would like to be near the beach?
4) hotel/restaurant/winery suggestions greatly appreciated as well!

thanks so much for all of your help in advance!
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Old Jul 15th, 2004, 10:01 AM
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You have left it pretty open - might want to give some ideas on budget or type of places you like to stay.

Napa Valley from top to bottom is very different, with Calistoga at the top offering "quaint" older small accomodations with spas, hot springs etc. St. Helena, Yountville and Rutheford in the middle are more expensive and have very high end hotels and dining. Napa city is changing but is a medium city with some charm but isn't a destination yet in its own right.

Sonoma is more rural and small town feeling, and with the Mission and some of the surrounding areas has an old California feel to it, which we quite like. All parts of the are beautiful and we now prefer to stay in Sonoma or Calistoga and see other parts of the wine country from there...Also it seems tasting rooms throughout Sonoma offer some of their better wines and charge less for tastings when compared with Napa - Napa has the prestige and the prices follow along!
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Old Jul 15th, 2004, 10:49 AM
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The Sonoma Mission Inn is wonderful for the Sonoma area. They have recently remodeled and it's better than ever! We were there a couple of months ago and checked the place out. Lots of wonderful places to dine there, also.

In Yountville, the Yountville Inn is very nice and centrally located. Also, one of my favorite areas for dining and winery visits.

Carmel/Monterey we love the Plaza in Cannery Row, but if you want to be directly on the ocean, the BW Beach Resort is a nice property.

If you want a true splurge, The Highlands' Inn is fantastic, tho you have to drive to the beach areas. You will be truly pampered at the Plaza or the HI. Happy planning! Now I'm off to the Oregon Coast for a couple of weeks!!!! Yes!!!!!!!!! ***kim***
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Old Jul 15th, 2004, 11:43 AM
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sorry about that

lodging prices: like to stay around 150, but if it's *really* worth it willing to splurge

food: we'll eat/try anything (sort of amateur foodies for lack of a better way of putting it). Pricewise, I'm open to a little of everything from $1 tacos to fine dining.

Thanks again!
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Old Jul 15th, 2004, 11:44 AM
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and also...

we're mainly interested in dining, wine tours, the beach and some sight seeing (gonna be a pretty laid back vacation)
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Old Jul 15th, 2004, 11:53 AM
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(A beautiful hotel in Napa, not the best location but very comfortable and an excellent value)

(You will hear to avoid this from the locals, but we had a great time!)

Must visit vineyards:




Terra in St. Helena
Mustard's Grill in Yountville
Wappo's Bistro in Calistoga

Since you are first-timers, I would go to Napa. We just visited the area for our first time and loved it. Also, have you considered visiting the Mendocino area instead of Monterey? Not sure if you are set on Pebble Beach/Monterey, but the drive from Napa through Sonoma Valley and into the other wine regions is great. We loved the Mendocino/Ft. Bragg coast.

Lastly, if you haven't been, visit Alcatraz! Buy your tickets in advance and make sure to get the audio tour. If you have time with a rental car, check out the 49-mile scenic drive of San Francisco.

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Old Jul 15th, 2004, 01:06 PM
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I keep repeating this, but very few actually do this, and when they do, they RAVE! Avoid Napa Valley and the "town" (now city) of Sonoma and head for northwest Sonoma County...specifically Russian River and Dry Creek Valleys. This area is like Napa Valley pre-tourist/traffic crush hell. The wines are spectacular, you'll be able to surprise your friends at home with labels they've probably never had (and many they have), and the scenery is gorgeous.

Try it, you'll love it!
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Old Jul 15th, 2004, 04:19 PM
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Question 3: Great spots to stay near the water in Pacific Grove on Monterey Peninsula is the GREEN GABLE INN or SEVEN GABLE INN. Both overlook Monterey Bay and are close to the aquarium.

PG has many nice spots. Go to www.pacificgrove.org for complete list. This town is sometimes overlooked by tourists but they all drive through it as 75% of the coastline of the Peninsula is probably in PG. They think they are in Monterey.
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