We had a wonderful Anniversary trip to both San Francisco and Napa Valley. We started our trip by flying into San Francisco. We stayed at the historic Marc Hopkins Intercontinental Hotel on top of Nob Hill, where we could not ask for a more beautiful hotel or location. We were walking distance from China Town, Union Square and Grace Cathedral. We definitely got our excercise going up and down Nob Hill.
Wednesday, when we flew in is when we hit the sites that we could walk to. We strolled the streets and hit all of the tourist areas, as I mentioned earlier with Union Square, Grace Cathedral, China Town, and areas we didn't even know of! We then went in to rest and get showers. To start our evening we went to the Top of the Mark which is a great restaurant/bar that overlooks the entire city. Another great reason to stay at Mark Hopkins! We just got drinks at the Top of the Mark and viewed the beauty of the city at night. We then decided to get pizza at a great little pizzaria about two blocks down from the hotel.
The next day we got up early to see Fisherman's Wharf. Something I would highly recommend due to the crowds I heard so much about. We almost had the wharf and sea lions to ourself! We then picked up our rental convertable (the only way to see Napa!) and drove down Lombard Street. Finally we were off to Napa Valley (After walking over the Golden Gate Bridge of Course in the Rain)!
We ended up staying in Calistoga, which is a northern city in Napa Valley at the Brannen Cottage B&B. We were warmly greeted by B&B owner Judy and her dog Frankie. We were also given many free tasting coupons as well as restaurant discounts that came in handy. If visiting, I would highly recommend the Regusci Winery, Reynolds, Goosecross, Bennet Lane, Calistoga Winery and there are many more. We even had a wine tasting Friday night at the B&B as well as wine and cheeses every evening at 5 before dinner. One night we decided to go Mexican. We had the best meal and Margaritas at the Mexican Restaurant across from the Calitoga Inn.
On Saturday we decided to go to Sonoma Valley and hit a couple of wineries. My favorite was Imagery. Their labels are very unually because each label is designed by a different artist. The wines were also very unually. The winery itself was a reason to visit. We then visited Benzinger (Families are related to Imagery - If you do Benzinger first, you get free tastings at Imagery). Our final stop was Simi, which was a large operation compared to the Napa Wineries. For our final night, we decided to go to the Calistoga Inn for Supper. This was recommended to us as a must if we wanted to try true Calistoga flare. It was very good and the desserts are a must!
Overall I enjoyed Napa Valley's Silverado trail more so than Sonoma. Unless you like the commercial aspect of Napa, don't do the main road. Not only is it completely crowded, but you don't get the personal service. Napa's Silverado Trail had very quant old wineries where you could speak with the owners or find out more about the operation. Reynold Winery on the Silverado Trail was really neat because they took you to taste from the barrels and you got to try grapes directly from the vines.
We left early on Sunday to once again explore the Golden Gate Bridge. The view from the old Guards Post was amazing and highly recommended! The fog was still rolling out so we didn't get the best views from up top but was able to get some great pictures. Overall, we had a wonderful time and I can't wait to go back!