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Sep 30, 2012 11:12 AM

Traveling to San Francisco & Wine Country - IDEAS please!

I'm planning a last minute trip to San Francisco and wine country. I just found out I'll be there for an interview first week of Nov and decided to extend my trip - couldn't visit without eating some amazing food and tasting the wines!

I was there once before a couple years ago and did a one-day tour of some Napa wineries. I'm thinking of visiting Sonoma this time around. I'm also trying to do this for as low-cost as possible (I know, it's not the off-season but I'm not looking to stay at luxury hotels or anything) and will be travelling alone.

I'm looking for any recommendations on:

* Where to stay
* What wine tours to join (trying to decide between bike tour or bus tour, may have time for both)
* Best places to eat

Thank you for any thoughts!

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  1. Hi, you'll get more responses about places to eat if you expose some of what you like, be a little clearer about region, list a few of the places that have come up in your research, your price range, etc. hotels and tours aren't covered much here. I always like Mamma Lorainne's recommendations in the Napa/Sonoma area.

    1 Reply
    1. re: bbulkow

      Mamma Lorainne. I like it.

      Thanks for the kind words, bbulkow.

    2. Yes, we need an idea of where you will be staying in SF - it's not easy to make your way across town and back again. Go to TripAdvisor or and check rates/read reviews. No matter where you stay, there will be a nearby neighborhood of amazing restaurants to try. It's usually not productive to ask locals where to stay; none of us ever use hotels here so we're more into location-specific recommendations on food/wine.

      Sonoma Cty is very large, so it's one thing to visit for a day and entirely different if you were willing to stay overnight, say in Petaluma or Sebastopol or Geyserville, where hotels aren't quite so expensive.

      1. Gott's (outside St. Helena) for burgers and shakes is a perennial favorite as on the affordable side.

        1. The hard part about asking where to stay is that we all live here so it is harder for us to recommend hotels than it is eateries. As Tre2012 says, go to Trip Advisor and where most of the hotels are located, there are good restaurants nearby (remember, San Francisco is only 7 miles across in most directions).

          For Napa, it is a hard bike ride between wineries; they aren't that close together. Biking from winery to winery in Sonoma is easier.

          For low-cost options in Napa, if you are here on a Tuesday night, Oxbow Market is locals night and every eatery there has specials. Other great restaurants in Napa on the inexpensive side is Grace's Table (a locals favorite), the happy hour at Brix (half price bar menu with kick-ass mussels for $7.50!), and Bistro Sabor. All of these work well for solo dining as well (speaking from experience).

          1. Thanks everyone!

            I'm definitely planning on at least two or three days. I'll take a look at TripAdvisor and some of the smaller towns.