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  1. #1

    Default Reno to San Francisco

    Hi--I am new at this... looking for ideas for a 2-3 day drive from Reno thru Napa to San Francisco. We are flying from Indy to Reno (one of our favorite spots!) and added a few extra days to rent a car and explore out West. Any ideas of best routes this time of year, best wineries to visit, places to visit/stay along the way, etc.... greatly appreciated! Also-Alcatraz is in the plan. Anybody that's taken the night tour and wants to comment comparison to the day tour??? THANKS!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Two I'd Do

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    I'm not terribly familiar with that area of California, but a couple of places that would appeal to me if I were driving through, besides the wineries of the Napa Valley would be a bit of history at the Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park near Coloma east of Sacramento and, of course, Point Reyes National Seashore before taking the Golden Gate Bridge into San Francisco around sunset.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Alcatraz.

    I have only done a day tour to the Island and loved every moment but I have also read how great the night tours are, whichever you decide I would recommend booking tickets in advance as tours can sell out and it would also save waiting in lengthy queues for tickets. The NPS is the only official place to book your tickets, click this link if you wish to do so.

    I have deleted your duplicate thread but noted you are travelling over Memorial Day weekend and would think more reason to book Alcatraz tickets in advance.
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 05-07-2010 at 02:13 PM. Reason: Added info

  4. Default A few more ideas...


    Head to Steiner St in S.F. to check out Postcard Row and then to Twin Peaks for the best views of San Francisco but bring a jacket because it can get pretty windy up there. Also, head out to the Marin Headlands if you can. It's the best view of the Golden Gate Bridge plus there's a cool lighthouse there and some old military installations.

    Have fun!
    Last edited by Mass Tim; 05-07-2010 at 08:14 PM. Reason: New members may not post offsite links

  5. #5


    Thanks so much for the replies to AZBuck, SWDave and SensoryEI!! Great info---We are planning route today, so can hopefully get the Alcatraz tix today or tomorrow. Thanks for the official link, too. I looked online and there are tons of links to get them--never know the ripoffs, tho.
    I am hoping someone has ideas about the Napa route, too...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    SF Bay Area

    Default Wine Country

    Napa Valley: there are two roads that run up the valley, with wineries along each. The westside road (CA29) is the more popular, and hence the most crowded (especially on weekends). Along it is one of our personal favorites; V Sattui (where you can picnic on the grounds, and a on-site deli to provide you with the fixings).

    If you're planning on visiting on a weekend, or just want a more leisurely experience, use the eastside road, Silverado Trail. Our favorites on this are Pine Ridge and Rombauer.

    There are several roads that cross the valley between these two roads, and on these are some other favorites of ours: Chateau Montalena (north end of valley), Frank Family, Caymus (by appointment only).

    Saint Helena is the main town on CA29, and Calistoga is a charming little town on a cross road at the north end of the valley.

    Some shots:

    Mustard in the Vineyards (haven't been up lately, but suspect it's been plowed under by now):

    Photo: Don Casey

    Jade Lake on the grounds of Chateau Montalena:

    Photo: Don Casey

    Finally; there are other areas in Northern California where you can visit wineries, including Sonoma Valley... Napa is not the only game in town.

    One final final thought; if tasting, it would be a very very good idea to pick someone to be the designated driver. This person can take an occasional sip out of somebody else's glass, but shouldn't take full tastings themselves. The wineries are OK with people sharing a taste, esp if one of them is the DD.

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