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    San Francisco trip

    The wife and I will be taking a trip to San Francisco April 19 (Thursday)- 24 (Tuesday). Besides the popular touristy things (Alcatraz, GGB, Fishermans Wharf, Lombard Street) what cool places are there to see? Places to eat?

    We are renting a car the first 2 days and are going up to Sonoma/Napa/Muir Woods. Any hotel recommendations while in the wine country? Places to eat? Vineyards to visit?



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    Re: San Francisco trip

    Quote Originally Posted by cyinne View Post
    The wife and I will be taking a trip to San Francisco April 19 (Thursday)- 24 (Tuesday). Besides the popular touristy things (Alcatraz, GGB, Fishermans Wharf, Lombard Street) what cool places are there to see? Places to eat?

    We are renting a car the first 2 days and are going up to Sonoma/Napa/Muir Woods. Any hotel recommendations while in the wine country? Places to eat? Vineyards to visit?
    Muir Woods is one of the most beautiful places I've ever been to. It's like something out of "Lord of the Rings," almost magical.


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    Re: San Francisco trip

    We went the opposite way and drove down to Monterrey, stayed at a cool little hotel just off the beach. Great little local restaurants, and the aquarium was really fun. Never been north.


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    Re: San Francisco trip

    Have to do a hot air balloon ride worth every penny



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    Re: San Francisco trip


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    Re: San Francisco trip

    Quote Originally Posted by cyinne View Post
    The wife and I will be taking a trip to San Francisco April 19 (Thursday)- 24 (Tuesday). Besides the popular touristy things (Alcatraz, GGB, Fishermans Wharf, Lombard Street) what cool places are there to see? Places to eat?

    We are renting a car the first 2 days and are going up to Sonoma/Napa/Muir Woods. Any hotel recommendations while in the wine country? Places to eat? Vineyards to visit?
    I've lived in SF for a little over five years now, where are you staying? That can definitely open up some options for you. Also, be sure to bring a rain coat and some warmer clothes. Average temp for SF in April is around 60 degrees.

    And if you're going north, definitely check out Muir Woods. If you have time and it's nice out, check out the Tourist Club on Mt. Tamalpais. You hike up about a mile to the middle of the woods, where there's a German beer hall overlooking a valley. It's a little secluded, but well worth the trip. If you go, just be sure to check to make sure it's open that day.


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    Re: San Francisco trip

    Bottega in Yountville is a great place to eat up in Napa Valley.



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    Re: San Francisco trip

    Quote Originally Posted by rasclone View Post

    Beat me to it .... LOVE that place.



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    Re: San Francisco trip

    Just a few personal favorite things to do while out there (especially if I'm traveling with someone who hasn't visited there before):

    If you're a baseball fan, take a tour of AT&T Park in SF. They offer tours at 10:30 and 12:30 every day, excluding some holidays and day games during baseball season. Tours run about 90 minutes and were under $15 per person last time I was there (in the fall).

    One place in Napa Valley to stop is Sterling Vineyards, between St. Helena and Calistoga. The winery is situated on a knoll in the middle of the valley and has great views in both directions. You take an aerial tram to the top from the parking lot. The basic tour is self-guided with wine samples (5) along the way. The pricier tour gets you more samples. There are discounts available online (using google, not their own site) that will get you in and out for $20 if you purchase your reservation ahead of time, a $5 discount. Bring your camera (duh)! There are many, many, many wineries in Napa Valley, but this one offers a pretty good bang for your buck.

    If you are looking for a simple tasting room, with no tours (and no charge, last I checked), Sutter Home is available on Hwy 29 just south of St. Helena. You can buy their wines here easily. They're basically a budget wine, but not bad. Decent gift shop there also.

    Calistoga (where I graduated from high school), at the far north end of Napa Valley, has several spas and mud baths that have been popular for decades. Not personally my thing, but they're always busy. Calistoga has a nice main street with shops and restaurants.

    Sonoma County has a bunch of wineries and vineyards as well. My favorite thing to do is go to the coast at Bodega Bay. They filmed "The Birds" there and in Bodega. At Bodega Bay, there is a cool hotel called the Inn at the Tides, where all rooms have a view of the bay. The Tides restaurant is across the highway from the hotel (right on the water) which has fresh seafood brought in daily. A few miles up Hwy 1 (Pacific Coast Highway), is Goat Rock Beach, my favorite ocean spot that has ample sand beaches and interesting rock formations (sea stacks, natural arch).

    Guerneville is also a popular resort spot. It's on the Russian River and has a lot of beach areas, tubing, canoeing, hiking, golfing, etc. It's very outdoorsey, if that's your thing.

    If you are a fan of Peanuts, Santa Rosa has the Charles M. Schultz Museum. Russian River Brewing Company makes their own brews and is fun hangout in downtown Santa Rosa.

    There's obviously a TON more in Sonoma and Napa Counties, but these are some favorite things of mine to see/do when I visit. Guess it kinda depends on your tastes. Send me a message if you want.

    (edit to add that other suggestions that appeared while I was typing are all good as well!)


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    Re: San Francisco trip

    You haven't lived until you've played a few rounds of "I dare you to eat that" in Chinatown. My wife and I had a blast with that game when we were there last fall.


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    Re:San Francisco trip

    Lefty O'Douls. Tell the bartender you're from Iowa



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    Re: San Francisco trip

    Quote Originally Posted by cyinne View Post
    The wife and I will be taking a trip to San Francisco April 19 (Thursday)- 24 (Tuesday). Besides the popular touristy things (Alcatraz, GGB, Fishermans Wharf, Lombard Street) what cool places are there to see? Places to eat?

    We are renting a car the first 2 days and are going up to Sonoma/Napa/Muir Woods. Any hotel recommendations while in the wine country? Places to eat? Vineyards to visit?
    If you ever plan to motor west, travel my way. Take the highway that's the best. It winds from Chicago to LA, more than 2000 miles all the way. Would you get hip to this kindly tip when you take that California trip? Get your kicks on Route 66.



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    Re: San Francisco trip

    Quote Originally Posted by cyinne View Post
    The wife and I will be taking a trip to San Francisco April 19 (Thursday)- 24 (Tuesday). Besides the popular touristy things (Alcatraz, GGB, Fishermans Wharf, Lombard Street) what cool places are there to see? Places to eat?

    We are renting a car the first 2 days and are going up to Sonoma/Napa/Muir Woods. Any hotel recommendations while in the wine country? Places to eat? Vineyards to visit?

    Went to SF last fall for the first time. We spent a day in wine country (Napa). Visited quite a few wineries Robert Mondavi is very cool as were most of the others. There is an App for smartphones that list some deals on wine tastings like 2 for 1 etc, cant remember the name but search and you could probably find.

    We went to Muir woods, and as others have stated it was very cool. I wish we would have planned better and spent more time on the longer trails.

    We did the typical tourist rounds, GG bridge, Alcatraz, Fishermans Warf, Ghirardelli Square etc.

    Have Fun!!


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    Re: San Francisco trip

    Quote Originally Posted by 83Clone View Post
    Lefty O'Douls. Tell the bartender you're from Iowa

    Definately!!


    “It’s beyond pride. It’s a restored trust. There’s a confidence again, a passion that teeters on swagger. More than anything, (Iowa State head coach Paul Rhoads) has restored the Iowa State “it” factor, the steadfast belief that it is great to be a Cyclone...the man’s enthusiasm is genuine to the core...”
    – columnist Sean Keeler, Des Moines Register

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    Re: San Francisco trip

    Toured Anchor Brewing Co while there as well, crashed a historical society party event at the brewery and had "free tasting".


    “It’s beyond pride. It’s a restored trust. There’s a confidence again, a passion that teeters on swagger. More than anything, (Iowa State head coach Paul Rhoads) has restored the Iowa State “it” factor, the steadfast belief that it is great to be a Cyclone...the man’s enthusiasm is genuine to the core...”
    – columnist Sean Keeler, Des Moines Register

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