San Francisco & wine country

Old Aug 6th, 2001, 07:59 PM
  #1  
margo
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San Francisco & wine country

My husband and I will be spending 12 nights in Northern California in November. We plan to spend the first 3 nights in the Sonoma/Napa Valley area and the last 3 nights in San Francisco. We would like to get some opinions to help us select either the Lake Tahoe area, the Lakes area, and/or the Mendocino areafor the 6 nights in-between. We have been south of SF to LA. Your help is appreciated.
 
Old Aug 6th, 2001, 08:02 PM
  #2  
Margo
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Oops...I meant OCTOBER (lst and 2nd week) Sorry.
 
Old Aug 6th, 2001, 08:04 PM
  #3  
Margo
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Oops...sorry, I meant October. Margo
 
Old Aug 6th, 2001, 08:23 PM
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Tiffany
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Hello. I have lived in one part of Northern Cal or another most of my life - and whenever I travel to lovely places, I come home and remember how wonderful it is here. One thing though, I honestly don't know what you mean by "the Lakes area". And early October will be a great time to be here. Tahoe will take 4 hours or so to get to, it is lovely - no doubt. The north shore is less built out and my preference, Tahoe City is the cultural hub of the north shore and a nice town. If you go, you might want to try a night in Nevada City on the way - it is a great little town with many nice B & B (Grandmere's for example). Mendocino should also be nice at this time of year. Another great town. Mendocino county also holds many quaint smaller towns such as Elk which has a great B&B that makes delicious dinner for you (sorry, I forgot the name). As a Sonoma County native, I recommend perhaps a little more time in the area, there are so many sub-regions to explore Sonoma/Sonoma valley, Dry Creek/Alexander Valley/Healdsburg, and Russian River/Sonoma Coast. Enjoy!
 
Old Aug 6th, 2001, 08:24 PM
  #5  
juls
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I suppose it dpends on what you enjoy. You really can't go wrong with Lake Tahoe. The lake is always beautiful, and not as crowded in Oct. Usually no snow until late Nov. South Lake has casinos, shows etc. and Reno has the same but totally different atmosphere.

Mendocino is beatifull too. The rugged coastline, B & B's granola atmosphere means good conversation and good coffee. They also have some wonderful wines, and art from that area. I think Redwoods National Park is probably within a day's drive. I remember seeing and Elk herd there once-phenominal.
 
Old Aug 7th, 2001, 07:23 AM
  #6  
margo
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Tiffany,

Thanks for your input. The Lake area I referred to (and should have been more specific) is CLEAR LAKE, north of Santa Rosa. If you have any suggestions, or information on that area, I'd appreciate it. Regards.
 
Old Aug 7th, 2001, 07:36 AM
  #7  
Suzie
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If you're trying to decide which lake to go to pick Lake Tahoe over Clear Lake. The name Clear Lake is a true misnomer, it's not clear like Tahoe is clear.
 
Old Aug 7th, 2001, 10:11 AM
  #8  
Geoff
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Margo
Its a little difficult to give you a direct answer as the choices you present are quite different. First off, forget Clear Lake. Its a pit. I can't imagine why anyone would want to go there. On the other hand, Lake Tahoe is an exceedingly beautiful lake and area. It would also be a very nice place for you to go as it is far less crowded in October then it is during the summer and the winter ski season. Although I go there year round, I personally prefer the spring and fall in Lake Tahoe. I had to laugh at the reference to Tahoe City as the "cultural hub" of the North Shore. I'm not sure what is particularly cultural about it. It is really just another nice resort type town. The South Shore (South Lake Tahoe) has all of the major casinos and nightlife. The North Shore is more of a residential area, with most of the major ski areas, excepting Heavenly Valley, which is located on the South Shore. All around the lake are golf courses, although morning frost might delay play in October. Similarly, there are many great restaurants and places to stay all around the lake. If you go to Tahoe, I'm sure you will love it. As regards the Mendocino coast area, it is also very beautiful but a lot less developed. People primarily go there for the scenic beauty. There is not much else to do unless you're into fishing. It is a great place to sit back and relax. There are several very nice B&B's located along the coast. Whichever place you decide on, have a great trip.
 
Old Aug 7th, 2001, 10:15 AM
  #9  
Tony
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Agree wholeheartedly with comments re Tahoe and Mendocino. However, as an alternative, you might want to consider Yosemite. It is quite lovely in October.
 
Old Aug 7th, 2001, 10:26 AM
  #10  
Suzie
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Well Geoff you are a braver soul than I pointing out that Tahoe City may not be a "cultural hub". I did consider writing such but decided to keep that chuckle to myself. Also brave enough to describe Clear Lake as a pit. Let me second that!!! The fall in Tahoe can not be beat. The weather is perfect for hiking and fishing. The nights are quite cool. Some places to stop on the Way, off 80 a cute place is Rainbow Lodge. Had the most awesome dinner there in June and thought the lodge was very cute. Would love to stay in one of their rooms soon. Perhaps this year if I'm lucky. Also check out 2 places in Squaw Valley, Resort at Squaw Creek. Fabulous place. Can get a decent rate in the off season and it has a spa!! Also stayed at the Squaw Vally Inn. Very lovely place with Plumpjacks located on site. Yummy dinner.
 
Old Aug 7th, 2001, 12:33 PM
  #11  
Lisa
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My husband and I did a similar trip in November of 96...we did San Francisco, Pacific Grove/Carmel, Napa Valley and Lake Tahoe spending 3 nights at each and it was one of our best trips ever. The weather was fabulous and the 4 areas are so unique from one another, I felt like we saw so much. Since you are spending 12 nights, I would divide the remaining 6 days btwn 2 place rather than spend them all in one. 6 days might be a little long in Lake Tahoe in my opinion. Perhaps you could do both Tahoe and Mendocino. Enjoy!
 
Old Aug 7th, 2001, 02:06 PM
  #12  
Fred
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If you are interested in Lake Tahoe check out the Lake Tahoe Visitors Center web site at www.visitinglaketahoe.com
 
Old Aug 7th, 2001, 07:56 PM
  #13  
Native
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Spend two of the days in Mendocino and the other four in Lake Tahoe.
p.s. Where did you ever get the idea that Clear Lake was a place to go?
 
Old Aug 8th, 2001, 08:30 AM
  #14  
TahoeBoy
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When you go to Tahoe, make sure you set aside at least one full day just to drive around the lake. It is really something special.
 
Old Aug 12th, 2001, 10:24 AM
  #15  
Topper
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Where the heck is Clear Lake, CA?
 
Old Aug 12th, 2001, 10:36 AM
  #16  
Calif.Native
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Clear Lake is in Lake County, which is perhaps where the idea of the Lakes region came from. It is, however, no Lakes Region as in Northern Italy. Although northern California can rival Italy in many other ways.

I second the Alexander Valley, Russian River, Dry Creek Wineries area. Much less crowded and commercial than the Napa Valley. And on your way north from SF, be sure to pop through Sausalito, or better yet, take a ferry ride from SF for lunch.
 
Old Aug 31st, 2001, 03:16 PM
  #17  
ron
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mendocino is great but I would only do 1.5 days. Great restuarant to check out is the Abion Inn a few miles south of it. Another is Beaujolis. Tahoe is great in Oct. I would stay on the North. Easier to get to and nicer . The ride around is great but if you only do emerald bay drive that's enough.Some great resturants inNapa are rutterford grill, mustards, and the greystone cullinary insitute(can't beat it)
 
Old Aug 31st, 2001, 04:43 PM
  #18  
Susan
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All wonderful ideas, Margo, but I suggest you decide and book hotels ASAP! There's lots going on in Napa valley in October as that's the tail end of the harvest season. And the leaves are all turning, it's not too hot, really the best time to visit. I'd suggest you add another night or two to your wine country time (seeing both Napa and Sonoma counties) and then go spend some time in the Lake Tahoe area. Sounds like a fun vacation!
 
Old Sep 1st, 2001, 06:44 AM
  #19  
D&P
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If you can be near Santa Rosa the first weekend in October, the Harvest Festival is fabulous. We stumbled into it a few years ago and had a wonderful day tasting and buying wines from the area.
 
Old Sep 1st, 2001, 11:40 AM
  #20  
Judy
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Hi Margo, I am extremely interested in that area also. I love the Redwoods and the the sea, and I can not wait to go there next October. D & P thanks for the info about Santa Rosa. I was thinking about stopping there for a few days. Do you have a hotel B&B that you would recommend? Anyone esle about Sonoma accommodations? Thanks, Judy
 

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