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what to do for Napa/Sonoma for 1& 1/2 days

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what to do for Napa/Sonoma for 1& 1/2 days

Hi , our family of 5 is coming from the Bay area . We have 3

adults and 2 teenagers. We are thinking of visiting Napa &

sonoma or the vicinity by driving from SF, leaving Sat am and

coming back Sun evening on the weekend . Any

suggestion for what to do to maximize out time. ? We are NOT into wine tasting or spa /mudbath.

The kids said they do not want the Napa train or the balloon ride

If you can help me to figure out an itineary for our 1&1/2 days, I

would greatly appreciate it.

There is a possibility I might be able to squeeze in one more

day. If it is 2&1/2 days , what would you suggest then ?

Many thanks for helping my family to plan this trip.

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1. Re: what to do for Napa/Sonoma for 1& 1/2 days

Are you set on the wine country? If you're not into wine, maybe some time at the coast would be a better place to spend your time. Half Moon Bay is nice. :)

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2. Re: what to do for Napa/Sonoma for 1& 1/2 days

You have emphatically told us what you don't want to do but you have not told us what you like to do ? In 1 1/2 to 2 days I would suggest you chose the activities you want to do and then chose a place. It would be too much of driving to do both counties.

We go with teens to the valley -- do bike rides, visit Safari west, hike in Armstrong Woods, go to Bodega Bay or along the Sonoma Coast, There is a zip line in Sonoma County that may be interesting. We also find plenty of restaurants to eat. We also visit the Charles Schulz museum in Santa Rosa.

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3. Re: what to do for Napa/Sonoma for 1& 1/2 days

HI, we have been to Half Moon Bay before, so this time, we want to try

some place new.

The reason why I mentioned the places we do not intend to visit is

because frankly I am not sure what we can do, but I know there are

some spots that some family members had said they do not intend to

visit, so I thought that would help to narrow down the suggestions I can

get from the other people.

If we only stay over l night, versus staying over 2 nights, what itineary would

you suggest. If only l night, would you stay in Sonoma or Napa ?

Thanks so much for the suggestions I had got so far.

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4. Re: what to do for Napa/Sonoma for 1& 1/2 days

Napa & Sonoma are most famous for wine, so it's strange to visit them and not taste wine :)

That said, the area is beautiful. You mention having teenagers, so I recommend going in the summer or fall and doing a bike ride around the various wineries. If they're slightly competitive, my friends have done a Napa Valley bike ride (I forget the name, but it's not a tour but a pseudo-race), or you can bring your own bikes and ride around.

Another poster mentioned Safari West, which would be fun with kids. It's in Santa Rosa, so not really wine country but in the southern end of Sonoma. You can actually stay overnight at Safari West (I haven't done this but will do so in March), which may be fun, though probably better in the Spring or Fall when it's not too hot/cold.

You can also visit the Sonoma Coast, and hike around areas like Bodega Bay or Point Reyes. Not sure you need an overnight though.

In the summer, Lake Berryessa in Napa is very popular for camping / boating trips. My uncle often takes his family (with teenagers) on a weekend camping adventure there with his boat -- you can rent one there. The teenagers will really like riding jet skis, swimming, wakeboarding and water skiing. The lake is pretty popular so you'll want to book campsites at least a couple months ahead.

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5. Re: what to do for Napa/Sonoma for 1& 1/2 days

I really don't see any reason for you to go to the Napa/Sonoma wine country, given that your family is not interested in what is there.

Bring the teenagers to Santa Cruz to visit the historic amusement park, the Boardwalk and watch the surfers at Steamer's lane and etc.

If you are coming in the winter, the Boardwalk is on a limited schedule, however. This traveler article about Santa Cruz, has a link to it so that you can see the schedule when you are going to be in the area.

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g33048-c133677/Santa-…

If nothing here "floats your boat", would they be interested in the Monterey Bay Aquarium or the wonders of scenery at Point Lobos?

Edited: 27 November 2012, 05:26
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6. Re: what to do for Napa/Sonoma for 1& 1/2 days

Hi, thanks for your suggestion.

we have been to Santa Cruz and Monterey before, whereas we have not

been to Sonoma, Napa we went once a while back, so that was why we

want to try it this time. Unfortunately, I do not think summer time would

work for us, so we are thinking of taking a mini trip around Christmas.

I understand even if we are not into drinking, there are still things for us

to do eg Napa Premium outlets, is the Redwood forest on the way there

too ? any suggestion is greatly appreciated.

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7. Re: what to do for Napa/Sonoma for 1& 1/2 days

Sure it is on the way there, Which redwood forest are you referring to ? Muir Woods north of SF or Armstrong Redwoods. Yup Both there and have been there without their names I bet for thousands of years. I would do Armstrong if you go to Sonoma county. Muir is pretty close by for a half day or less trip anytime if you are from SF

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8. Re: what to do for Napa/Sonoma for 1& 1/2 days

OK

Here is a description of a day trip to the Sonoma wine country which you can tweak to get you to Napa and etc. You start out on the coast at Bodega Bay and end up in the town of Sonoma. There are other suggestions.

Even if you are not into wine, I think you all would enjoy the tractor/tram tour of the sustainable vineyards at Benziger Family winery in Glen Ellen.

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g60713-c139373/San-Fr…

As i believe someone mentioned there is also a zip line somewhere near Bodega Bay.

Visiting the town of Sonoma gives you a good excuse for having the kids bone up on California history. The Bear Flag was raised in the Plaza there, signalling the beginnings of the state.

Edited: 29 November 2012, 15:29
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9. Re: what to do for Napa/Sonoma for 1& 1/2 days

OH, forgot. This trip takes you right past Armstrong Grove Redwoods.

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10. Re: what to do for Napa/Sonoma for 1& 1/2 days

Teenagers can be a tough crowd to please (speaking about my own, of course!).

There are plenty of activities teenagers will enjoy here, if they are open to the experience. If they just want to sit in the car and text their friends, no where you take them will make them happy!

So, if you can get them to meet you half-way and at least TRY some activities, here are some ideas: kayaking on the Napa River, tour Napa on a Segway, visit Castello di Amorosa (specifically the dungeon & torture chamber), ride the tram at Sterling, rent bikes & tour around Yountville (stop for a sweet snack at Bouchon Bakery), shop at the Premium Outlets (girls only), hike the River Walk or trails in Bothe State Park, Alston Park or Skyline Park. Stroll through the Oxbow Marketplace and buy cupcakes from Kara's. Teens also love eating at Gott's Roadside.

Worst case, if they're old enough, drop them at Napa's brand new cineplex for a few hours and the adults go off and enjoy yourselves!

Edited: 29 November 2012, 17:20