8 Days in SF and Napa Valley for mid-20s couple
I am looking for suggestions for an 8 day trip to SF and Napa Valley in October. I need some help on hotel suggestions and traveling suggestions while we are there. We are a couple in our mid-20's and this will be our first time in the area. We are planning to fly into SF on Saturday, October 15 and out on Sunday, October 22. We have decided that 5 nights in SF and 3 in Napa Valley may be a good start. Activities we would be interested in include: Golden Gate Bridge, Chinatown, local breweries/brewpubs, Fisherman's Wharf, a beach day, some sort of boat trip, etc. We like to eat and drink but we also would enjoy any outdoor activities such as biking, hiking, etc.
1. Should we start in SF or in Napa Valley? Would either place be better to visit on a weekend vs. during the week?
2. Travel- should we rent a car? Or should public transportation be sufficient? We also don't mind walking if it's reasonable. Does anyone know of an easy way to travel between SF and Napa Valley?
3. Where to stay in SF: I've heard Union Square area is a good option that seems to match with the activities we may be interested in. This would include both historic sight seeing and nightlife/food/shopping. We were initially wanting a suite-type room with a kitchenette; however I am having a difficult time finding anything besides regular hotel rooms. I am skeptical of Airbnb but if anyone thinks this may be a good option, I will consider it. If anyone knows of any hotels that offer suite type rooms I'd be interested in looking into them.
3. Napa Valley- advice on shipping or bringing wine bottles back home would be appreciated. (We live on the East Coast). And suggestions on favorite wineries or tours as well.
I am not overly concerned about cost so please suggest anything you think is worth it that would fit into our interests. Thanks!
1. It doesn't really matter where you start. But some wineries close on certain weekdays (not sure if there's a pattern, but it seems that some close on Mondays, others close on Tuesdays) so keep that in mind. On weekends all wineries will be open since it's their busiest time of the week. Napa has all the fancy wineries, but make sure to check out Russian Valley (the next valley above) as well. Smaller, more intimate wine tasting experience IMO.
2. You don't need a car while in San Francisco. Uber/public transportation/walking is much better. Traffic is bad enough as it is. You can then rent a car to get to Napa. Major rental companies have office near Union Square - very convenient. If you do rent a car and have to park on the streets, DO NOT leave any belongings in the car.
3. Union Square is a good place to base yourself. You can walk to all major sights: Chinatown San Francisco, North Beach (California), and even Fisherman's Wharf(30 min). You'll need to cross the Golden Gate Bridge on your way to Napa so that'll be a good one to bundle in when you leave San Francisco.
Enjoy your visit!
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