Labor Day trip
Replies: 8 - Last Post: Sep 12, 2012 5:21 PM Last Post By: bzookaj
Apr 13, 2012 3:04 PM
Labor Day tripPlanning on a trip to xCalifornia (and a touch of xNevada) Labor Day weekend and the following week.
1 Sep (Sat) - Fly to either SMF, xSF or xOAK (depending on prices, though likely SMF)
2 Sep (Sun) - A's game (ticket already bought)
3 Sep (Mon) - Giants game (ticket already bought)
4 Sep (Tues) - Drive to xYosemite; stay at xCurry village (already reserved)
5 Sep (Wed) - xYosemite
6 Sep (Thur) - xHalf Dome hike (got my permit today)
7 Sep (Fri) - xYosemite, stay east of the park
8 Sep (Sat) - Drive to xCarson City (my capitol thing again)
9 Sep (Sun) - Drive to xSacramento
10 Sep (Mon) - Late flight from origin
I may add a day to either the beginning or end, depending on flight prices and comments.
A few questions:
1) For the xbay area, I want to stay in a location that is very easily accessible by both car and transit. In other words, close to BART but drivable. I would prefer the east Bay, to avoid bridges, especially since I'm leaning toward flying into SMF and then driving to xYosemite after my stay. Any suggestions for areas? (I'll likely use Priceline for the hotel).
2) Any good lodging recommendations for one night on the east side of xYosemite? The Tioga Resort looks good, but would like opinions. Aiming for less than $120/night, pre-tax. Nice views/atmosphere are appreciated. (All options in the park are booked.)
3) Carson City. Not a place we get much info on here. I would love some suggestions for places to see besides the capitol, like museums, parks, galleries, historic sites, and the like. Or should I just go to Virginia City after visiting the capitol? (I guess I could take the train if I did.)
4) Should I actually spend the night in Carson City, or skip over to xLake Tahoe? I guess this is quite subjective, but is xCarson City worth spending a night in?
5) Speaking of xLake Tahoe, any suggestions for a decent trail that gets nice views of the area, but isn't too short or long (preferably between 4 and 7 miles)? It would be nice to stretch the legs enroute.
6) I know there is often talk about the wineries in that area. Got a couple good suggestions? I generally shy away from white zin and syrah, and prefer riesling (dry more than sweet), grenache and cab franc, though I'm open to trying just about anything.
Any other comments are appreciated. As I said, I may add a day or two if people suggest I spend more time somewhere outside the xbay area. (Please do not suggest adding time to the xbay area. It won't happen.)
Apr 14, 2012 6:55 AM
Apr 14, 2012 8:02 AM
3Carson City. Old Mint Officially the Nevada State Museum. I like it.
The foothills are not prime country for things like Rieslings. Good zin, if you like big reds, as well as other reds--Barbera, Sangiovese, Grenache. You might want to look at Viognier. I don't have much info on good tasting rooms--I just buy the stuff locally. Try Sobon for both Zin & Viognier.
If you are flying through SMF, you could make a detour to the Old Sugar Mill. This is a tasting room for 8 wineries from the Clarksburg region, that you have probably never heard of. Carvalho has a fine Old Vine Zin. I like their port. Rendez-vous is new, but the winemaker is from Folle a Deux in Napa. Nice Viognier. They have a late harvest Chard that I haven't tried.
Edited to add; Every so often Carvahlo does a bottle-it-yourself promotion. You get blank labels to design yourself, and someone helps you fill a bottle with one of their wines. & cork it. The personal labels make for fun gifts.
Edited by: nutraxfornerves
Apr 16, 2012 6:29 PM
Apr 16, 2012 7:37 PM
5There is a cluster of hotels/motels in the Pleasanton/Fremont/Dublin area that are near BART or within driving distance. I feel like the rates are better than say in Oakland but the drive/BART ride may be a pain though you don't need to transfer when going to either stadium and you're already sort of out of town for when you start the drive to Yosemite.
I recall once trying to research whether one could accurately predict whether ones Hotwire/Priceline win in that area would be within walking distance to BART but gave up.
There is also Emeryville which offers a shuttle to BART though not on holidays.
I did some great hikes in the Lake Tahoe area but starting near Truckee. Will see if I still have info.
Sep 12, 2012 1:51 PM
6I ended up getting a cheap fare to SFO, and found a good deal in xBerkeley for those catching an A's game that weekend.
Speaking of, what a dumpy stadium. I have never seen one before that was surrounded by fences with razor wire. But while I generally automatically place multi-purpose stadiums at the bottom of my "best stadiums" list, the beer choice there was remarkable.
Ended up staying at the Lake View Lodge in Lee Vining. About $109 + tax for a single weekend night. They had a decent garden outside to sit in, and the rooms were big, though a little rundown.
Do to various distractions enroute, and some admittedly poor research, I will need to make another trip to Carson City. The capitol was is not open on weekends, and the state museum was closed Sunday. I walked around the capitol area a bit, but decided to head to Tahoe for the night while there was still some light.
After my xYosemite hikes, my mood for longer hiking was somewhat dampened. I did the hike to Cascade Falls from the Bay View Campground, which is about 3 miles round-trip. The falls were almost completely dry.
I didn't get a chance to stop at a winery on the way to xSacramento, but did stop at one in Minden, NV. Most of their grapes are from xCalifornia, with a couple xNevada-grown (hybrids). Not stuff found on classy menus, but mostly quaffable. They had an almost port-like zin that was interesting.
Speaking of alcohol, I learned that there is a sake maker in xBerkeley. I did manage to stop there.
Sep 12, 2012 4:57 PM
7I visited the sake maker my last time in Berkeley. Only read about the history and didn't sample as I try to avoid drinking by myself in the middle of day. Definitely want to return.
I think the Oakland Airport/Coliseum station is mostly used by people going to the airport. No one is using it for scenic walks of the area. Oh and there is an Amtrak station nearby - have never been able to find it.
Sep 12, 2012 5:21 PM
8I got to Takara just before they closed at 6.
I only tasted, and bought a half-bottle of the Nigori Creme de Sake for less than $5, which made an excellent after-dinner digestif.
They also make a vodka, but they can't serve it because their license doesn't include liquor.
On a side note, it looks like the OAK tram contruction is making some progress.
(3 star Hotel)
From US$159.00 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$94.00 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$134.00 per night