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Sonoma in Nov need itenerary advice

orlando, fl
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Sonoma in Nov need itenerary advice

Never been to Cali... we live in Orlando and want to take a trip to Sonoma specifically for the countryside, redwoods, and coastal beauty... not too much time... we would fly into San Fran Thurs Nov 10 spend the night there then take rental car to the Sonoma area (don't know where to stay etc.) Fri morning. We would like to spend 2 nights (Fri night and Sat night) in that area and drive around exploring during those days (Fri, Sat, Sun). We love nature so would love the Redwoods and coastal vistas.. like good food, not much for wine but "when in Rome", so maybe a winery wouldn't be out of the question.. and I love photography... anyone have ideas for us? We'd have to be back in San Fran Sunday night to spend the night there and then catch 9:45 am plane back home.. thanks to anyone who responds!

orlando, fl
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1. Re: Sonoma in Nov need itenerary advice

should we have our "base" in sonoma city or healdsburg? We want to go to Armstrong, see Bodega head and explore the countryside

united states
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2. Re: Sonoma in Nov need itenerary advice

Given your interets, Lee, I think that you would do well to lodge in Guereneville or maybe Forestville as first choices as those are nearest to both Bodega and Armstrong Redwoods. Of course, staying in Bodega Bay would be an option as well, but may be a might spendy..I haven't done that so I can't say from experience.

That is called the Russian River area of Sonoma County, so the russianrivertravel.com website would offer appropriate information for your interests including dining, lodging and exploration ideas.

Santa Cruz...
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3. Re: Sonoma in Nov need itenerary advice

Here is a day trip which goes on the Sonoma Coast and to Armstrong Redwoods State Park and through the Sonoma Valley wine country, ending in the charming historic town of Sonoma, which was founded during the Mexican occupation of the early 1800's around an 11-acre Plaza, the largest 'town square' in California.

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

There are several excellent restaurants right around the Plaza.

The trip assumes a return to San Francisco that day, since it is a "day trip", but Sonoma is a good place to stay overnight.. Then you can linger in Bodega Bay and Armstrong Grove, and stop by a few wineries in the Sonoma Valley if you like.

The next day I would suggest a short drive to Glen Ellen and a tractor-tram tour of the Benziger family winery. This takes you through the vineyards with an excellent explanation of how they grow the grapes in a sustainable, biodynamic way.

Also, in the same area, is Jack London State Park, which is 800 acres of the author's 'Beauty Ranch' which also includes his house and grave.

The scenery in the Sonoma Valley is wonderful with its vineyards and rolling hills.

Or, you could extend the first day to include a round trip detour 13 miles up the incredible coast north of Jenner, which scenery rivals Big Sur.

If this interests you let me know and I will give you directions on where to go and how to get back by a slightly different route.

Edited: 02 September 2011, 19:29
Santa Cruz...
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4. Re: Sonoma in Nov need itenerary advice

Some of the links in the day trip description seem to be broken.

Here are some of them

Bodega Bay

http://www.bodegabay.com/index.php

Armstrong Grove

russianrivertravel.com/parks-armstrong.htm

Sonoma and Sonoma Valley

http://www.sonomauncorked.com/

Benziger Family Winery

http://www.benziger.com/

Jack London State Park

http://www.parks.sonoma.net/JLPark.html

So. Cal
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5. Re: Sonoma in Nov need itenerary advice

***should we have our "base" in sonoma city or healdsburg? We want to go to Armstrong, see Bodega head and explore the countryside***

Definitely Healdsburg for what you want to accomplish on your trip.

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6. Re: Sonoma in Nov need itenerary advice

I just don't agree. There is much more to photograph in the Sonoma Valley and etc. than in Healdsburg.

OP can do the coast and the redwoods and then have a 'wine valley experience' and end up in an historic town with the itinerary I suggested.

orlando, fl
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7. Re: Sonoma in Nov need itenerary advice

Thanks so much Puter!! That really interests us!! So you think our base should be the city of Sonoma and then drive around the days we are there?? That is sort of what I was thinking... I would love more details!! Thanks so much!

Santa Cruz...
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8. Re: Sonoma in Nov need itenerary advice

If I were doing it, I would use the first day to follow the itinerary in the day trip whose link I gave you, ending in Sonoma. This gives you the coast, redwoods and a drive through the Sonoma Valley past wineries and vineyards, with time to stop at a couple if you wish.

On the second day you could even dip into the Napa Valley, if you so desire. The towns of Sonoma and Napa anchor the south ends of the Sonoma and Napa Valleys respectively and are only half an hour apart.

From these towns the Sonoma Valley is 18 miles long and the Napa Valley is 29 miles long.

orlando, fl
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9. Re: Sonoma in Nov need itenerary advice

"Or, you could extend the first day to include a round trip detour 13 miles up the incredible coast north of Jenner, which scenery rivals Big Sur.

If this interests you let me know and I will give you directions on where to go and how to get back by a slightly different route."

Hi Puter - You had mentioned the above for our first day leaving morning from SF and winding up in Sonoma City... would this extra be doable in a day (considering it gets dark early)?? Also what area are you referring to 3 miles north of Jenner?? thanks again!

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10. Re: Sonoma in Nov need itenerary advice

Yes, you could do this the first day, Depending upon how much time you spend seeing things, it would be easy to fit this in a day, as long as you leave SF fairly early in the morning.

After you cross the Russian Rive on Hwy 1, turn left on 116 to go the couple of miles to the coast and Jenner and then start north.

At about 10 miles of winding road going up on the cliffs and down into the cover, with gorgeous scenery, the road has straightened out and you come to Fort Ross State Historical Park. This was a Russian outpost in the early 1800's where they traded otter furs and kept a presence on this continent.

Unfortunately, it may be closed when you are there due to state budget problems, If so, do stop for a few minutes and see if you can get a glimpse of the charming wooden Russian Orthodox chapel, a real photo op.

http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=449

Three miles north of that, stop at Timber Cove Inn for a coffee or something. This is an architectural jewel set high on the bluffs. It was built in the 1960's.

http://tinyurl.com/6fbv2wx

To get back to Jenner by a different route: Across Hwy 1 from the Inn take Timber Cove Road up to the ridge and turn right. This is Seaview Road at this point, as I remember. Follow the ridge and the road eventually comes into Hwy 1 at Jenner.

(Fort Ross Road crosses this...just ignore it.)

When you get to Jenner stay on Hwy 116 and it is 12 miles to Jenner and Armstrong Grove.

Edited: 04 September 2011, 16:41