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LZB Jun 18th, 2004 07:49 AM

Two nights in wine country - help needed!
My husband and I are planning on spending two nights in the wine country before heading to San Franciso for the rest of the week. I'm completely lost - I have no clue which town is better to say in versus another, B&B versus an inn/hotel, and we know NOTHING about wine! Any and all advice is greatly appreciated.

We're 25 and have been married for 9 months, so something romantic but affordable (under $250/night) is what we're aiming for. My husband is also an avid golfer so any golf course reviews would be great too. Thanks ahead of time for your help! =)

alg Jun 18th, 2004 08:17 AM

You will find many previous discussions comparing Sonoma to Napa to other areas (Russian River Valley). As a SF resident, I prefer Napa, Yountville to St Helena specifically, even though the traffic can get bad at times (try to go during the week if possible and venture off the main highway). Our favorite wineries and restaurants just happen to be in this area. There are several nice places to stay in the area and you should be able to do so within your budget (again, try to go during the week to avoid higher weekend rates). We prefer B&Bs and stay at the Lavender Inn (we like the room with the private deck and outdoor soaking tub,

Tennischick Jun 18th, 2004 09:11 AM

I agree with a search and you'll find some very helpful info. We were in Napa Valley in April and I planned the entire trip from Fodorites advise!

We stayed at the Silverado Resort which was just fine. A former country club, it has golf, tennis & a spa but we were too busy wine tasting! Next time we'll stay in Yountville for a more central location, at either the Villagio Inn, the Yountville Inn or a B&B.

This will be a great chance to learn about wine! You might like the vineyard tour at the Neibaum-Coppola winery. It's fun & informative and ends with a tasting on a knoll above the vineyard. And it's a beautiful winery w/an expansive store & a museum upstairs w/Coppola's Oscars & other movie memorabilia. Suggest you go by 10am as it gets very crowded.

If you're into cooking at all, the Culinary Institute of America campus at the old Christian Brothers winery. Wonderful! Try the sampler plate at their on-site restaurant, Greystone.

And the many came highly recommended, it was hard to decide! Our favorite was Bistro Jeanty in Yountville. If you're there over a week end, suggest you make reservations. Try online at

For a romantic breakfast or sunset cocktails, the deck at the Auberge du Soleil, off the Silverado Trail at Rutherford Road was nice. was helpful too.

Have a wonderful time!

bodi Jun 18th, 2004 09:24 AM

I enjoy The Fountain Grove Inn in Santa Rosa and it's Equis fine dining. The location has been easy for me to explore the area in all directions. Can't wait to visit again!

LLindaC Jun 19th, 2004 01:28 PM

Hi! I prefer Sonoma Valley to Napa. Prettier drive, not as much traffic, etc. Also an easier rout back to SF. Have you ever looked at ? Right now, they have several packages for auction including The Inn at Sonoma. We went this route for our last CA trip and won 2 auctions- saved a BUNDLE , no kidding. Also look at

yaddy Jul 12th, 2004 10:03 PM

Thanks LLindaC for another link to check out and hopefully save bundles on trips!

kimamom Jul 13th, 2004 07:37 AM

The Yountville Inn is very nice. We like Domaine Chandon and Bistro Jeanty there.

In St. Helena, we have stayed at the Harvest Inn, but it was pretty pricey. WE got in under the E-book 50% rate. Terra and Tra Vigne are both very nice in St. Helena.

In Calistoga, The Indian Springs Resort, is very nice. But, around $265/night there. We have stayed at the BW Stevenson Manor in Calistoga and it was clean and comfortable. I've heard good things about the Mt. View Hotel, located in downtown Calistoga.

In Sonoma, we loved the Sonoma Mission Inn, but room start around $265 also, just a little over what you want to pay, but very much worth it. I think you would love this place, they have recently remodeled.

For budget travel, we have stayed at the BW Sonoma Valley Inn which was in a nice location, walking distance to the Plaza.

We recently stayed at the Hotel Healdsburg, which was really nice. We got in under a dinner package for $300/night in a suite with a soaking tub and the tasting dinner for two at The Dry Creek Kitchen. That experience was VERY nice!! They also have a BW property in that area.

Sorry, I can't help you with the golf stuff, it isn't my thing! Have a wonderful time! I'm considering surprising my hubby with a trip to the area to celebrate his 50th BD coming up soon!!!

In Sonoma, we like Cafe La Haye, The General's Daughter and The Swiss Hotel. The Girl and the Fig, makes the best crab cakes I have had anywhere and they have a very nice Viognier btg there. Have a great trip!!! ***kim***

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