San Francisco Mini Trip Report (and Napa)

Jan 12th, 2009, 03:41 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 33
San Francisco Mini Trip Report (and Napa)

Just got back from San Fran and Napa Valley. Here are some helpful travel tips/info:

1. Get the MUNI 3-day passport in San Fran for riding the bus, the train, and the trolley. It costs $18 for 3 days (just the trolley ride one way will set you back $5).

2. If you are a senior, you can get the MUNI monthly transit card for $10 and it's good for ONE month! Its good for the bus, train, trolley- and you can buy it even if you are a tourist. Not just for residents.

3. I like staying near the Embarcadero in the Financial District. Quite a few good bus lines end at the Ferry Building so you can easily catch buses to major tourist spots.

4. If you like to run, the Embarcadero area is great because you can have a nice run along the Piers. The local YMCA nearby can give you a running map that will show you what is a 3mi run, 5mi, etc. The YMCA is awesome as well- you can do the eliptical with a great view of the Bay!

5. In front of the Hyatt is a good Lebanese takeout spot- Oasis- that stays open late for those nights you are too tired to dine out. Focaccia Bakery is good for some morning grub (also across the street from the Hyatt). And of course, the Ferry Bldg is food lovers paradise- as is the Saturday farmers market.

6. If you want some bar food, One Market across from the Hyatt is great (the regular menu is expensive). Ask for the Bar Menu.

7. At Sur La Tabla in the Ferry Building you get free shipping if you spend over $100. I did a little post holiday shopping- great sale- and shipped it back to Philly for free!

8. In Napa, the Oakville Grocery gave us a coupon for a free wine tasting at Diamond Oaks Winery nearby. We picked up some food and went to picnic. It was SUCH an amazing place to eat a nice lunch. You cant bring other vineyard's wines...but nevertheless...it was awesome. The picnic tables are reserved for their customers, so buy a tasting ($10 or if you have a coupon, its free) and picnic!

9. I stayed at the BlackBird Inn in Downtown Napa. Super cute spot. We got in to Napa around 5pm, when most wineries closed...but that was okay cuz we killed time going to the outlet mall nearby! Then the next day, we hit the vineyards starting from downtown Napa and working our way up to Calistoga.

10. Katana-ya in Union Square, San Francsico, on Geary St, is my favorite Japanese dive for ramen and japanese fried chicken with rice and gyoza!
veronana70 is offline  
Jan 12th, 2009, 04:47 PM
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Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 764
Drink-driving is obviously an issue in hopping from one winery to another. In Napa (and Sonoma), how easy is it to get around the various wineries/vinyards without having to drive yourself?
kiwi_rob is offline  
Jan 12th, 2009, 05:30 PM
  #3  
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Not easy at all. You really need a car in either valley- and if you drink- then you need a designated driver. Otherwise, sign up for a tour.
veronana70 is offline  
Jan 13th, 2009, 06:53 PM
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Join Date: May 2007
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Thanks.
kiwi_rob is offline  
Jan 14th, 2009, 03:30 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,168
When we were in Napa and Sonoma last March, there were heavy police patrols, esp on Saturday and Sunday, keeping an eye out for drivers who had "tasted" too much.

There are wine tours if everyone in your group wants to imbibe.
Ackislander is offline  
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