SF late December

Old Oct 22nd, 1998, 09:09 AM
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SF late December

My wife and I will be going to SF (area) the week between Christmas and New Year's. I have never been to Calif, but I would like to see a bit of SF, Big Sur, Monterey, Carmel, Napa valley. I know we can't do it all - any suggestions? Should I be concerned about the weather?
Old Oct 22nd, 1998, 08:22 PM
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I live in the San Francisco Bay area. Actually you can do it all but you will be pretty busy. Napa Valley, Monterey/Carmel are easy day trips. I was just up in the Napa Valley last Saturday. Big Sur can easily be done in two days so you have only used up 4 days total for your list of places to visit. San Francisco can easily be covered in 2 days allowing for a couple tours. You now have 1 day left to rest.

Weather could be a problem. You will be visiting during the rainy season and it can be pretty cool. It also could be pretty nice. It is a very iffy time of the year. You definitely don't want to visit Big Sur if it is raining.
Old Oct 27th, 1998, 04:00 PM
Monica Richards
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Good advice from the last poster. If it rains, try to visit Napa on that day. It won't be as pretty, but you will get much better attention from the wineries because there won't be as many people there. That and Monterey are both do-able in the rain. Maybe you should keep your itinerary flexible so you can go to the places where weather doesn't matter so much (Napa and Monterey) and reserve the nicer days for San Francisco itself and Big Sur.

A good little side trip from SF is Muir Woods in Marin County. You will be able to see a redwood forest only a half hour outside of SF, and be home well in time for dinner. Sausalito (right on the other side of the Golden Gate from SF) is a good place to have lunch if you do go to Muir Woods. Or you could stop there for dinner on the day you go wine tasting....

If your luck holds, it won't rain at all, and it is very rare (well, until last year that is) that it rains more than a couple days in a row anyway.
Old Oct 27th, 1998, 08:22 PM
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Good stuff above, but....I think 2 days for SF itself is really hurrying, especially if you are going to go to any of the Museums, and SF has great museums these days. Not to mention food, shopping, walking (it's a great city for walking), exploring etc.
I personally think that Monterey/carmel is a really long drive for a one day trip, but I'm not big on driving. It is gorgeous - but not in the rain.
Other nice side trips right in SF - take the ferry to Tiburon/Belvedere, have lunch, walk around and come back.
If you go to Muir Woods and you want to do the beach, go to Stinson Beach. Other parts of that area: Inverness, Pt. Reyes national seashore. On the way back, stop in Larkspur. Want a wonderful dineer, try the Lark Creek Inn ($$$, but good) - Larkspur is an old (by Calif. standards) village w/houses from the late 19th c.
Final note on Muir Woods - if you have never seen a redwood grove, go go go unless the weather is foul. There is nothing like it - redwood groves are just remarkable.
Old Oct 28th, 1998, 06:53 AM
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Just wanted to add a heartily enthusiastic "second" to that comment about the Redwoods - they are so splendid and fantastic. Do make that part of your trip a priority. Enjoy!
Old Oct 28th, 1998, 02:14 PM
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It's already begun to rain a bit in the Bay Area and the forecast is for more this weekend. Don't try to do Big Sur in the rain-------it's a tedious drive and you just won't see anything! Napa is a favorite destination of ours for the day after Christmas when we drive up and have lunch at Domaine Chandon---just a daytrip, but you could extend it. It will be winter weater in SF but that's like saying late fall elsewhere. The only difference is at higher elevations such as Tahoe and Yosemite. There there will most likely be snow. Carmel is a lovely little shopping/eating village no matter what time of year, but the drive down from the city would not be pleasant in poor weather. Second the ferry to Tiburon and to walk around--there's a great Mexican restaurant there with good views back to the city on a good day. I would plan to spend most of your time in SF and make reservations now for dinner on New Year's Eve. Enjoy.
Old Nov 21st, 1998, 02:37 PM
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I concur on driving to Carmel and back to SF in one day. Too long. Too much on the road. if you do the trip, plan on staying the night down there so you can enjoy the area and not spend all day in the car. Nice shopping area in Carmel other than the downtown Ocean street is the Barnyard Shopping center. Nice shops and I dont think a lot of the tourists even know about it. Have a great time. We have lived in quite a few places, now live in the Bay Area and will never leave. Dont ever call it Frisco. The natives hate that. It is "The City" and the Golden gate bridge is "The Gate"

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