Welcome to this episode of Beth's Best! This week we are talking about the San FranciscoBay area and Napa Valley.
This guide is going to talk about places toeat, places to stay, and most importantly things to do including a couple of wineryoptions and non-winery activities for those who want to do something else on their visitto the San Francisco Bay area and Napa Valley.
We are in Downtown Napa, CA.
We are about to check out one of the mostpopular activities in Napa Valley, the Napa Valley Wine Train.
I am so excited.
It is my birthday, so we've splurged and bookedthe vista dome car.
The vista dome car has great views and privateseating.
Let's go check it out.
We're getting on the Napa Valley Wine Train.
We're starting with complimentary champagne.
We're wrapping up our trip on the Napa ValleyWine Train.
I would say that this is definitely somethingyou should do if you're interested.
The food was better than expected, its a veryrelaxing leisurely experience.
Beautiful scenery even though it did rainfor a little bit but the sun did come out.
The train itself needs a little bit of loveand attention but overall, worth the visit if you're interested and I would recommendit.
Napa Valley is known for its wineries.
Let's take a minute and talk about selectingwhich wineries to go to.
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of wineriesin Napa Valley.
There are a couple ways to pick which onesto visit bc you cannot see them all in one trip.
The first way to pick is by brand.
If you have a brand or winery you alreadyknow and like, definitely go there.
They probably have something at the estateyou cannot get at home.
The second option, is to select by varietal.
Cabs and chardonnay are big here.
If there is variety you like, you can pickwineries that specialize in that variety.
The third option is location, so decide whereyou want to be for the day and use that to narrow down.
I chose option four: other.
If you follow Beth's Best, you know I am anart lover.
So I selected wineries with art collectionson property.
It was two for one situation for me.
Since we're talking about Napa Valley winetastings and tours, a lot of wineries require reservations so check ahead of time.
Tasting prices start around $25/person andgo up from there.
Beth's Best tip: you only want to visit upto 3 wineries/day.
After three, they all start to blend togetherand it can be hard to remember what you liked from where.
That's the rule, 3/day and those are my tipsand techniques for selecting wineries to visit.
And now lets get on to the important businessat hand.
We are here at Robert Mondavi winery in Yountville, CA.
We've just started our first tasting of theday.
Tasty wines with different options.
The tasting menu starts at $25/person andgoes up from there.
I think the most expensive one I saw was $45/person.
Like a lot of the vineyards here, they havespecial wines here you can only get property.
We are at Hess Winery, the Hess Collection.
Let's go check it out.
We've just finished up our amazing tastingwith Sue down in the tasting room.
Super informative and educational.
She really took the time to understand whatwe did and didn't like and make recommendations based on that.
Here's a Beth's Best tip: if you purchase3 bottles Hess will comp your tasting fee.
Now we're going to check out some of the modernart here.
One of the reasons we picked Hess to visiton our trip to the Napa Valley.
You're not going to believe it! My favorite modern, sculpture, nature-workartist Andy Goldsworthy.
If you don't know who he is, he has a DVDcalled Rivers and Tides.
I had no idea what was included in Hess' Collection, I rounded the corner and there are 3 Goldsworthy pieces right here at Hess.
You have to come and check this place out.
For our third and final winery of the day, if you look at the view we can only be one place.
The one and only Artesa Winery.
With this vantage point, you can see all theway to San Francisco on a clear day.
and all the beautiful wineries that surround us.
We're at Artesa and our lovely server Andrewis doing a great job.
He's telling us all about the wines and lettingus taste anything we might be interested in purchasing and bringing home.
Despite the rain, definitely still worth thevisit to Artesa.
They have a fantastic sculpture collectionand a gorgeous tasting room.
We're at my #1 San Francisco Bay area activitiesbeside wineries.
We're an hour north of San Francisco, an hourwest of Napa, and can you see the redwoods behind me? We're in Muir Woods National Monument Park.
This is a little gem of parks.
It's tiny but you're surrounded by these oldgrowth redwoods and other native plant species.
If you have mobility issues, don't worry.
There is a paved or maintained path down inthe valley floor.
If you're more adventurous, Muir Woods alsooffers hiking trails that you can take.
You do need to make your parking reservationat Muir Woods in advance.
So make sure you go on their website and reserveyour parking space or shuttle ahead of time.
Muir Woods is absolutely worth the visit ifyou're going to be in Northern California.
So, my friends, remember those hiking trailsI mentioned? We're halfway through the Sierra/Alice Trail, its one of the longer trails at Muir Woods.
Kind of accidentally, you start on a trailand wonder “what's around the corner?” Let's go up there and find out.
And now here we are halfway up.
But the view is totally worth it.
Check this out, you can even see the PacificOcean in the distance.
We are in Oxbow Market in Downtown Napa, CA.
This is a tiny little market with everythinglocal, produced in the surrounding area in Napa Valley.
They have spices, olive oil, cheese, beer, and obviously wine.
So this is someplace you have to check outwhile you're in Napa Valley.
We're at the Olive Press.
It says Napa/Sonoma, it smells like lavender.
You guys need to check this out, really nice.
We had this fantastic brie style cheese theother night and I just found it here at Oxbow Market.
I'm super excited.
It's the Cowgirl Creamery, Mt.
I'm pretty sure all their cheeses are fantastic.
Oxbow Market came through.
It's easy to think that Napa and the San FranciscoBay Area are all about wine.
And there certainly is a lot of it.
But if you're looking for something different, or prefer beer, there are a variety of options for you as well.
We're at Mare Island Brewery in Vallejo.
This view is fantastic, the beers are great, and the staff is friendly.
If you have a nature lover in your group, you definitely want to come to Point Reyes National Seashore.
Its about an hour and a half north of SanFrancisco.
There are different animal species you cansee here, hiking trails with different levels of difficulty.
So if you're not super fit, don't worry thereare still trails here for you.
Point Reyes National Seashore even offerscamping if that's something you're interested in.
Point Reyes even has a historic lighthouse! We're still at Point Reyes National Seashore, we are now at Tomales Point in the Elk Reserve in the northern end of the park.
We did see some elk on the drive from thelighthouse to here, some birds, and we even saw a coyote.
We are in San Francisco's Presidio state park.
San Francisco the city is massive with somany wonderful things to see and do.
That is its own video we're not going to talkabout that too much here.
We're sticking to the San Francisco Bay Areaand Napa Valley.
But I did want to point our Presidio park.
There tons of wonderful museums and activities.
Including walking/hiking paths and most ofit is free.
If you are a subscriber to Beth's Best, firstof all, thank you.
Second, you know that I love Disney.
I am fanatic, I am a DVC member.
You guys already know this about me.
So I did want to point out the Walt DisneyFamily Museum in San Francisco.
it's filled with all kinds of wonderful exhibitsand media on the Disney family and Walt's life.
This is something you definitely want to checkout if you're a Disney fan.
There is so much to see and do here.
You could get lost in here for hours.
Thereis no denying that Napa Valley is a mecca for foodies.
There is everything here from Michelin starrestaurants like French Laundry, how's garden we're standing in now.
All the way down to fast casual restaurantslike Gott's Roadside.
There is a lot of dichotomy, a lot of highand and low end.
Even some places in the middle, like BouchonBistro where we're going now.
We're at Bouchon Bistro, the famous restaurantin Yountville, CA.
Its kind of the younger sister to French Laundry, not nearly as expensive.
Its a french bistro, one of the best in theStates.
We're starting off with the deviled eggs.
Which look fantastic.
Mushroom soup Salmon Sea Bass ProfiterolesGott's Roadside is a Napa Valley institution.
There are three or four locations, they'reknown for their burgers, shakes, and fries.
Definitely something you should check out.
If you love oysters, you have to come to HogIsland Oyster Co.
There are a couple of locations, there's evenone in Downtown Napa, if that's more convenient for you.
But I recommend driving out to the Hog IslandOyster Co.
in Marshall, CA.
It's right near Point Reyes National Seashore.
You get this amazing view, this is where theyactually harvest the oysters.
Who doesn't want to have fresh oysters rightwhere they farm them? I think everybody does! Let's take a minute and talk about where tostay when you are in the Napa Valley and San Francisco Bay area.
Let me tell you what we did.
There are a lot of options available to you.
There are fantastic hotels in downtown Napa, like the Westin, and Sonoma.
Either location is super convenient if you'rejust going to be visiting wineries while you're here.
There are hotels north of San Francisco upby Muir Woods and Point Reyes, where you've seen in this video.
We decided to stay in the East Bay area, inPleasant Hill, CA.
At the Residence Inn Pleasant Hill Concord.
Which is south of Concord and north of WalnutCreek.
There are a lot of amenities in the area.
A lot of our activities were north of SanFrancisco, an easy drive to Napa Valley (NE), and be able to easily get into San Francisco.
There are a number of hotels in the east bayarea to pick from.
I'll tell you why we picked the ResidenceInn Pleasant Hill Concord.
The first reason that we picked the ResidenceInn was for this kitchen.
I enjoy the Residence Inns all have studios, one bedrooms, and two bedrooms.
So you're able to make breakfast in the room.
But you don't have to bc they all offer freebreakfast in the lobby.
There is a Whole Foods nearby so whateverwe need, wine, beer, whatever, we can pick and have a large fridge for everything.
The second reason is for the space.
We're here for a week, so since they're allstudios and up the rooms are pretty darn big.
We're here for a week, so I didn't want toget squeezed into a tuna can.
These studio rooms start at around 450 sq.
Not all, but a lot of the rooms here havea fireplace, so ask when you check in.
Its nice when you get back to the hotel, tobe able to relax and enjoy the fireplace.
You know what's crazy? I thought these would be electric fireplaces.
But no, they're wood burning! I didn't know that was still legal, they mustbe grandfathered in.
You can purchase those Duralog, instant firelogs at the lobby and put them right to use.
Not a reason to pick this hotel, but all ofthe rooms do have a king sized bed.
There is also an unremarkable bathroom.
But they do have granite bathroom countersthat match the kitchen.
Okay, you've seen the room so I'll give youmy thoughts and review on the Residence Inn Pleasant Hill Concord.
First off, we picked it for size, kitchen, and fireplace.
The hotel has delivered on all of those points.
The location actually is pretty darn convenient.
There are a variety of amenities and storesnearby.
The staff has also been lovely.
Downside, is that the hotel has gone througha refurb but it still needs refurbishing.
Definitely a bit rough around the edges andthe maintenance could use some work.
If you're not interested in the ResidenceInn, there are several hotels here in Pleasant Hill so keep that in mind.
If you're coming to the San Francisco Bayarea for Napa Valley and wineries, I would absolutely recommend staying there bc it willsave you a lot of time commuting.
Its worth it in my opinion.
There are a variety of independent hotelsin Sonoma and Napa, but all the big chains are still represented.
There are an astonishing amount of small, independent, boutique hotels.
So if you're someone who likes that, you'llhave a field day.
If you're a chain person, the Westin beautifullylocated in downtown Napa next to Oxbow Market and the Napa Valley Wine Train.
There are tons of hotel options in this area, be sure to pull out the map and figure out where you want to stay based on your activitiesto minimize your commute.
This is where I am going to leave you forour guide to Napa Valley and San Francisco Bay area.
This is Fort Point, another free activityin San Francisco.
I know I said, we weren't going to talk toomuch about San Francisco itself but the view too good not to leave you here.
Thank you somuch for watching.
If you have a question, leave it below inthe comments.
If you thought the video was helpful, likeit, share it with your friends, and please subscribe and hit the bell so you'll be notifiedon my next adventure.
I'll see you again real soon.