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Last questions before I book a trip - Napa/Monterey/Carmel

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Last questions before I book a trip - Napa/Monterey/Carmel

Let me start off by saying just how much I appreciate all the folks who help people like myself (aka the clueless!!!). I'd love to buy you all beers! That being said, I'm finalizing a 6 day trip with my wife (we're both 30) from NYC to the bay area.

We are flying out of NY on Sunday, June 9th (should arrive at our hotel in SF by 1am SF time). Early the next morning we're going up to Sonoma/Napa/Yountville for an evening. My thought was we'll stop in Sonoma and have breakfast, get some snacks for later at some of the well regarding bakeries in the area, move on to Napa, do a tour or two (neither of us are big drinkers but we both want to do at least one) and check out the Oxbow for lunch. We're staying at the Andaz downtown and have dinner reservations at 7pm at Ad Hoc. Do you have recommendations of good places to tour/taste that aren't too long or will we have too much down time with that?

Lastly, the next two days we're spending in Monterey at the Plaza. I want to spend the first day doing 17 mile drive, horesback riding there (the wife loves that and hasn't been in forever), Carmel, point lobos, bixby, Nepethe until Julia Burns. Do you think we should start at Julia and then work back north? I also wanted to get her a nice spa appointment at the Plaza but am wondering if we're better served doing a spa in Napa since we're not huge into wine and using that time for other things (I want to kayak, see the acqarium, sail, and i saw this service that sets up a bonfire on the beach for us to "accidentally' walk upon)

I know it's a lot - thank you all again!!

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1. Re: Last questions before I book a trip - Napa/Monterey/Carmel

You want to do Sonoma and wine tour and land at Oxbow for lunch ? Sounds too rushed. There are Sonoma valley and Carneros wineries you can check out enroute to Napa just do one tour if you are not into wine Ad Hoc sounds great.

As far as the Spa goes sure why not do it in Napa as you have plenty planned for Monterey. I would make the 17 mile optional given all that you want to do

Edited: 02 May 2013, 18:18
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2. Re: Last questions before I book a trip - Napa/Monterey/Carmel

You won't have the beautiful ocean views in Napa like you will at The Plaza. There are two awesome jacuzzis and a beautiful rooftop relaxation area also. I would go for the spa at The Plaza.

Have fun! :)

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3. Re: Last questions before I book a trip - Napa/Monterey/Carmel

Depending upon the day of the week and the time of day it can take from 2 hours to 4 hours to get from San Francisco to the town of Sonoma. Allow the same amount of time for the return. I would definitely avoid this area on weekends or during July and August.

There is nicer wine country in Monterey and San Luis Obispo counties (Paso Robles area) and in the Santa Cruz mountains and you avoid all the traffic and hotel rates are half of what they are in Napa and Sonoma. I started visiting the wineries in Napa and Sonoma in 1968 but stopped going there for pleasure around 1990 when I moved out of Windsor. Now I do not even go up there for business. In 1970 there were fewer than a dozen wineries in operation and now in the South St. Helena appelation alone there are more than 200 wineries registered.

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4. Re: Last questions before I book a trip - Napa/Monterey/Carmel

We will be driving up from SF to Sonoma at about 8/830 AM on a Monday in mid June.

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5. Re: Last questions before I book a trip - Napa/Monterey/Carmel

In ordinary traffic, the town of Sonoma is less than an hour from the Golden Gate Bridge. I grew up there and visit often and I have never run into 4 hour traffic to get there. It might be a little slow around San Rafael, but you will be going, on a week day, against the commute traffic, which will be coming into the city. To get to the town of Sonoma, cross the bridge, and after San Rafael watch for Hwy 37 marked "Napa Vallejo". At the second traffic light, 7 miles later, turn left onto Hwy 121. Then watch for the Hwy 12 turnoff for Sonoma.

When you are ready to go to Napa, the city of Napa is about 45 minutes away.

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6. Re: Last questions before I book a trip - Napa/Monterey/Carmel

>>>Depending upon the day of the week and the time of day it can take from 2 hours to 4 hours to get from San Francisco to the town of Sonoma.

Elkhornsun -- Do you always consider a glass empty ? 4 hours to Somoma ? is that average ? happens once a year? Once a day in Aug ? Where are you coming up with this info.

You lambasted United Airlines as the worst airlines (with no supporting data -- advise to a traveler who already has tickets) suggested to someone who is driving in Monterey and in Napa that someone's car was broken in 4 times, posted on a san jose thread from last year, when the visitor must have come and gone.

Everyone is welcome on TA to share their thoughts and opinions and so are you. IMHO, I disagree with the context, the extremely pessimistic view of the world but again your are entitled to say and feel how you feel and I am entitled to comment on how I feel -- next time someone says they want to hike the landsend trail, I look forward to your report of how someone tripped and fell on a trail and had to get stitches or when someone bikes on the GG bridge, how x and y took 10 hours because their bike broke down and the chain broke and no one came to their rescue. Also I look forward to car horror stories as well

It sounds like only SF to Sonoma is bad traffic or people break into cars in SF. Things happen no matter where you are or go in any part of the world. To say that it takes 4 hours to get to Sonoma is ridiculous. to say that United has the worst hand baggage policy is ridiculous -- again my opinion.

Sorry but I feel this way.

Edited: 02 May 2013, 21:34
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7. Re: Last questions before I book a trip - Napa/Monterey/Carmel

It would have to be a "perfect storm" of problems to result in a 4 hour commute to Sonoma. My parents used to live there and I'd go up once every week or two. As Puter says, it's usually around an hour from SF to the Sonoma Plaza. *If* you hit Friday afternoon rush hour out of the city and *if* there was then an event at the Infineon Raceway that clogged up traffic, it *might* stretch into a 2 hour commute, but at 8 am on a Monday, you'll be there in an hour (well, if you obey speed limits, maybe an hour 15 minutes).

8. Re: Last questions before I book a trip - Napa/Monterey/Carmel

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