a VirtualTourist member
I am trying to figure out where is a better location to stay, Napa or Sonoma downtown area.
I want to visit the wineries during the day, and I am not sure which of the two will offer beter and more things to do after.
Will wait for your reply to make my hotel reservation.
I enjoy both areas. Napa is a big, long valley with many wineries. If you stay in Napa, you have a drive to get up to the wineries. I think Sonoma has more things going on in the town and is a bit closer to many of the fun wineries and tasting rooms. We have much more fun in the tasting rooms in Sonoma. The food and wine is generally a bit more expensive and pretentious in Napa. I prefer Sonoma just a hair, but those wines on the Silverado Hwy, Stags Leap, Wente, Clos du Val, to name a few have some great tasting cabs...... tough call as either way you can not go wrong. Karl
The town of Sonoma is much nicer, cute village center, lots of nice shops, a genuine California Mission, great restaurants.
Napa isn't as nice a town but north of Napa, the wine trail is easier to navigate. You just drive up highway 29 from one winery to the next and there are lots of cute little villages on the way. I'd stay in Sonoma and visit wineries in the Napa Valley north of Napa. You should be able to do both in one day although two days would be nicer.
If you do only Napa, follow the advice above and stay in St. Helena or Calistoga or one of the cute towns on the trail. They are lovely and there's lots to do in nearly any of them.
BTW, did you know there is an Old Faithful Geyser in the Napa Valley? It spouts on schedule and is fun although definitely not Yellowstone. 8^)
Thanks to all of you who helped me make my decision. Sonoma it is! Because of your advice I looked into "Google street view" of the hotels and areas by the center of town, it turns out there is a lot of construction going on, that will not be finished until late 2009. I also called several of the hotels to find out and sure enough they confirmed it.
I can only imagine how miserable that would have been, especially with the rates they are charging.
You really cant go wrong with either. Napa is more a bit more crowded with tourists. Sonoma is more laid back with many more opportunities to run into the winemaker or the owners. These opportunities are realy treats. Napa has more of a night life especially in Yountville etc. Napa also have many more famous wineries which will give you bragging rights when returning home. You can actually cover both valleys if you have a couple of days. Before going I often print FREE tasting offers from a website www.econcierges.com they also have discounts on spas, hotels and restaurants. Reviews and videos are also great to help you decide. In this economy I want to save every possible way i can by not paying tasting fees. Healdsburg in Sonoma County is another area which you can visit and will love it.