California Road trip, Napa Valley and Big Sur
Replies: 4 - Last Post: Feb 15, 2013 1:44 PM Last Post By: smartcookiee
Feb 15, 2013 7:46 AM
California Road trip, Napa Valley and Big SurMe and some friends are taking a small road trip and need some advice as to what to do on week one.
We want to visit napa valley and do some wine tasting, is there however budget accomodation in the area? I read somewhere there was a campsite, this would do.
When I have visited wineries before I have hired a bicycle and cycled around, can I do this here? Is there an alternative way to driving?
In weeks two and three we are going to Yosemite and Death Valley, San Fran and to Vegas, so what else would be good, close(ish) to San Fran to do for a few days. Big Sur???
Thanks for any help!!
Feb 15, 2013 7:58 AM
1What time of year? This can be important for the Yosemite to Death Valley part.
Is there a specific reason you want to do your wine tasting in the Napa Valley? California has many wine regions that produce wine every bit as first class as the best-known Napa region. Wine tasting in Napa can be expensive, with tasting fees of US$25 or more.
Napa is a good place for a cycling trip as it is relatively flat. Besides renting a bike, you can also take a bike tour, which includes a support vehicle.
There are several areas you could visit that will be both less expensive and less crowded. For example, the Livermore Valley which could be visited on the way to Yosemite. Or the Foothill Wineries also on the way to Yosemite. There are also many wineries near San Luis Obispo, which would be at the southern end of the usual Big Sur Trip. Farther north, there are many wineries in the Santa Cruz and Monterey areas. You could base yourself in Monterey, do a day trip down through Big Sur, and spend another day checking out wineries.
If you plan to camp in Yosemite, be aware that getting a campsite is very difficult. Other lodging in the park also books up quickly. There is a hostel outside of the park.
How much are you willing to pay per night for lodging? In dollars or some other currency, please, not adjectives. My "budget" might be your "too expensive."
The plural of anecdote is not data.
Feb 15, 2013 9:34 AM
So when you say a "campsite" will do, what exactly do you have in mind?
Feb 15, 2013 12:38 PM
3The other reason why Napa is a good place for a bicycling wine tour is that the wineries are so close together that there's very little bicycling involved. Indeed, there are places in the Napa Valley where you can hit several wineries on foot. That said, I've done a very nice winery tour through the Edna Valley just south of San Luis Obispo; it just involves a bit more distance.
There's a campground at Bothe-Napa Valley state park, between St Helena and Calistoga near the far end of the Napa Valley, 20+ miles north of Napa city.
And yes, Big Sur is an excellent choice for a couple of days.
Feb 15, 2013 1:44 PM
4You can also do a tour of wineries from a nearby city, for example from SF to Napa. That way, you don't have to pay relatively expensive accommodations in Napa and drive or switch hotels for 1 night. Biking is an option of course in terms of avoiding driving. You can look for accommodations on a site like Hotwire.com which offers discounted pricing if you only care about approximate neighborhood and star level of the hotel.
(0 star Hotel)
From US$44.03 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$142.16 per night
(0 star Hotel)
From US$24.77 per night