Bus and Commuter Train Travel
The knee-jerk local reaction to the notion of getting to tasting rooms—or the Wine Country—via public transit is that it’s impossible or will take forever, but it’s definitely possible. The two easiest towns to visit are Napa and Sonoma, and both have numerous tasting rooms, restaurants, and lodgings in their downtown areas.
To Napa: From San Francisco or Oakland, you can take a BART train to the El Cerrito Del Norte station and then pick up VINE Express Bus 29, which stops at the Soscol Gateway Transit Center in downtown Napa. Once in Napa you can connect with VINE buses that travel up the entire valley to Calistoga. VINE Bus 25 connects the towns of Napa and Sonoma.
To Sonoma and Santa Rosa: To get to the town of Sonoma from downtown San Francisco, you can take any of several Golden Gate Transit buses to San Rafael and transfer to Sonoma County Transit Bus 38, which stops near Sonoma Plaza. Golden Gate Transit also serves Santa Rosa, from whose Transit Mall you can transfer to buses serving Healdsburg, Sebastopol, and other Sonoma County destinations. From San Francisco, Greyhound serves Santa Rosa via Oakland and then San Rafael, in Marin County, a circuitous route. You’re better off taking Golden Gate Transit from San Francisco, and Greyhound from Oakland.
Golden Gate Transit. 415/455–2000; www.goldengatetransit.org.
Sonoma County Transit. 707/576–7433; 800/345–7433; www.sctransit.com.
VINE. Soscol Gateway Transit Center, 625 Burnell St., Napa, California, 94559. 707/251–2800; 800/696–6443; www.ridethevine.com.