Headed to Sonoma and San Francisco…Help!


Later this month, I’m going on a week-long vacation to Sonoma and San Francisco, California. For the first half of the week, I’ll be in Sonoma where the focus will be drinking wine and running in the Gun Bun Fun Run 5K. The second half of the week will be spent in San Francisco.

As I’ve never been to either place, I need suggestions for decent hotels/inns in the Sonoma area for two nights and in San Francisco for two nights. I’ve been told that any hotel in the Kimpton chain is great for San Francisco, but I’m not sure which one I should book. Any recommendations? Also, any “must see/must do” spots in either area?


44 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. markd60
    Jul 09, 2013 @ 11:07:43

    In 1985, I got a room on the waterfront at Fishermans Wharf. It was great. I’d recommend not skimping, go ahead, spend the money and have fun. You’re going to love San Francisco.

  2. markd60
    Jul 09, 2013 @ 11:11:40

    I also love Stenson Beach, an hour or two North of San Fran. It’s a beautiful drive and a great beach.

  3. Confessions of a Culinary Diva
    Jul 09, 2013 @ 11:20:14

    I’ve been to Sonoma several times and love it – I can send you the info on restaurants, wineries, etc. my email is christymajors@dc.rr.com

  4. apuginthekitchen
    Jul 09, 2013 @ 11:40:21

    Good luck in the 5K run! Sounds like a dream trip. I have always wanted to visit Sonoma and San Francisco. I have heard how wonderful the weather is there. Have a wonderful time.

  5. Edible Celebrations (@lavesta)
    Jul 09, 2013 @ 16:28:33

    I wish I could help you Yummy but I’ve only been to California in a camper. But, I agree, you will LOVE it!!! Good Luck with the run too.

  6. Hotly Spiced
    Jul 09, 2013 @ 17:15:24

    Wish I could help but I haven’t been to either place. Good luck in the run xx

  7. Karen @ Karen's Kitchen Stories
    Jul 09, 2013 @ 17:25:47

    I agree, any Kimpton is wonderful. Since you’ve never been there try to stay near Union Square. You can get anywhere from there and the shopping is great. I haven’t been to Sonoma in a while, but the last time we stayed at the Sonoma Mission Inn and loved it. How fun!!!!! You might want to visit the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in Napa on your way up! I mean… food!

  8. Melolimparfaite
    Jul 09, 2013 @ 19:46:51

    Hey there, I stayed at the club quarter hotel in the financial district and it was OK : good location, we could mostly walk anywhere

  9. greyhousejournal
    Jul 09, 2013 @ 22:14:14

    I used to live up there many moons ago, so no current info here. But do know you’ll love it! Good luck on the run!

  10. dedy oktavianus pardede
    Jul 09, 2013 @ 22:58:00

    good luck my friend, have a great journey there…..

  11. ashley
    Jul 09, 2013 @ 23:58:07

    Good luck in your race! Unfortunately, I can’t give any advice on either place ‘cuz I’ve never been!

  12. Three Well Beings
    Jul 10, 2013 @ 00:24:02

    I’ll just give you an alternative to consider. I typically stay with family, but my son went to Law School in SF and we were up there quite a bit during that time and we liked to stay in smaller hotels in Millbrae, south of SF, then take BART into the city. Much less expensive and in some ways easier. Of course, you’ll enjoy the energy of the city no matter where you stay. In Sonoma we use VRBO–vacation rentals, and stay in small homes. Last time we rented a bedroom in a winery. LOL! I wish I could offer something more concrete, but we don’t usually do the hotels. You’ll have a wonderful time! In San Francisco there is just so much to see and do…get a tour book and don’t be afraid to be a tourist. And be ready to do a lot of walking. 🙂

  13. Gloria
    Jul 10, 2013 @ 04:06:55

    I wish I could have helped you but I’ve never been to the States, unfortunately!

  14. Culinary Flavors
    Jul 10, 2013 @ 06:01:40

    Have all the fun in the world!

  15. Ira
    Jul 10, 2013 @ 07:59:55

    OMG! so cool:) Have fun!


  16. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef
    Jul 10, 2013 @ 09:51:08

    I love San Francisco but it’s been way too long since I was there last. I’m envious and I hope you have a fantastic time!

  17. Cathleen
    Jul 10, 2013 @ 12:58:23

    My sister and I love the Lands End walk in SF. It starts out next to the famous Cliff House Restaurant (never eaten there, but it has been around since the 1800’s, so they must be doing something right!) You can go for a walk, then come back and have a bite to eat!

    Here is a link to my post on our walk: http://wildwomenwalking.blogspot.com/2012/12/lands-end-and-little-bit-of-san.html

  18. foodfashionandflow (@FoodfashinFlow)
    Jul 10, 2013 @ 13:22:07

    ooh, Sonoma. I wish I was going! The Kentwood Inn and the Gaige house are pretty special:-) Have a great time! And eat lots of great food so you can tell us about it.

  19. Jessica Maher (@kbelleicious)
    Jul 10, 2013 @ 13:51:03

    never been but want to so bad! You take lots of pics and let me know what you see for when we do have a chance to go:)

  20. Caroline
    Jul 10, 2013 @ 14:00:07

    Have so much fun!! I’ve never been to Sonoma, but have been to SF a few times. Fantastic city, you’ll fall in love!

  21. Inger Wilkerson
    Jul 10, 2013 @ 16:27:25

    No lodging advice but have fun! We got some awesome souvenirs/gifts at the Viansa Winery in Sonoma around a decade ago…

  22. Johanna GGG
    Jul 10, 2013 @ 20:26:45

    enjoy – I was in san fran many years ago – loved alcatraz and seeing the painted ladies and haight ashbury

  23. Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen
    Jul 10, 2013 @ 21:47:50

    I wish I had advice.. I don’t recall where we stayed, but I do recall being very spontaneous and just driving to different wineries that were along the road! Have fun!!

  24. morristownmemos by Ronnie Hammer
    Jul 10, 2013 @ 21:52:40

    I agree with Johanna; Alcatraz is an amazing place to see. Fisherman’s Wharf will keep you busy for a while. Just walk along, buy a sourdough bread bowl filled with chowder, and enjoy the cups of shrimp and other fresh seafood.

    Have a wonderful time and good luck in the race.

  25. Asmita (@FoodieAsmita)
    Jul 10, 2013 @ 22:32:29

    Lucky You! Have fun!

  26. Bam's Kitchen
    Jul 10, 2013 @ 23:42:39

    Have a wonderful trip!

  27. Tandy
    Jul 11, 2013 @ 00:35:28

    Hope you get lots of useful advice 🙂

  28. bakeawaywithme.com
    Jul 11, 2013 @ 06:10:18

    Have a great trip! Enjoy!

  29. Liz
    Jul 11, 2013 @ 06:27:27

    Oh, what fun!!! Enjoy your visit…and good luck with the run!

  30. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide
    Jul 11, 2013 @ 07:42:14

    If you’re doing a lot of wine tasting Santa Rosa is a good place to stay near Sonoma. It’s easy to get to any part of Sonoma from there.

  31. The Perky Poppy Seed
    Jul 11, 2013 @ 08:20:15

    Oh:) You are going to have a wonderful time:) I did the San Francisco / Napa/ Sonoma trip a while ago and loved it:) We stayed on the club level of the Ritz in San Francisco- it was lovely ( the service was wonderful they had everything from caviar with blinis made to order right there with champagne.. really a lovely stay.. then we rented a convertible and drove to wine country it was lovely:) the weather in San Francisco was a bit cold.. but Napa & Sonoma were just right:) For sure go to the Caymus vineyard, you have to reserve and pay for a tasting but it goes toward your purchase at the store… and the cheese the cheese is to die for:) Sorry I cannot recall the other houses we visited.. but look up your favorite wines, Try to go to the better houses.. they have semi private tastings if not totally private and your tasting fees go towards a purchase, as if you would not want to purchase after a taste..LOL The free houses don’t have the same charm or ambiance as the better houses:) Have a wonderful time:) Can’t wait to hear all about it:)

  32. cquek
    Jul 11, 2013 @ 09:05:32

    Have a wonderful trip. Enjoy your vacation

  33. tracy
    Jul 11, 2013 @ 17:26:22

    I wish I could help. I have never been to Sonoma and San Francisco. I hope you have an amazing vacation.

    Tracy @ http://www.sunnydaystarrynight.com

  34. Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic
    Jul 11, 2013 @ 20:11:05

    Yes re: Kimpton hotels! For SF, make sure to check out Fisherman’s Wharf!

  35. Mary
    Jul 11, 2013 @ 21:32:24

    I’ve never been there – wish I had!! have a wonderful time !!!

  36. rebeccasubbiah
    Jul 11, 2013 @ 22:12:15

    have fun we stayed in Santa Rosa lovely town and visit Chateau saint Jean, the Berkley marina is a nice place to stay think it was a hilton

  37. Jean | DelightfulRepast.com
    Jul 12, 2013 @ 10:07:17

    Wish I were going! All the best with the 5K!

  38. gourmetgetaway
    Jul 12, 2013 @ 15:43:32

    What a great way to organize a holiday itinerary! Looks like you have had lots of useful input! I hope you have a great time!

  39. carla @ eat sweet. by carla sue
    Jul 13, 2013 @ 00:12:19

    Oh I love San Francisco! I am so jealous that you are heading there soon! We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express on Fisherman’s Wharf, which included a breakfast each morning (buffet style with cereal, toast, muffins, fruit, yoghurt, bagels, etc.), and we loved it there. Only a block or so away from the heart of Fisherman’s Wharf. Make sure that you try to have a wander around Fisherman’s Wharf, and go to Pier 39, Boudin Bakery, do the Alcatraz Audio Tour, and have your photo taken in front of the Golden Gate. Aw, now that I have written all that, I want to go back even more!

  40. rondamkisner
    Jul 14, 2013 @ 08:13:18

    I adore San Francisco! I don’t think I have any specific advice that others have not shared. While we were there we took a trip south to San Jose to see the Winchester Mansion. Great fun!

  41. tastytreats13
    Jul 14, 2013 @ 10:09:50

    Good luck on your 5K!

  42. Janet Rudolph
    Jul 14, 2013 @ 16:34:06

    I am so sorry I just saw this. The Ferry Building Farmers Market on Saturday morning is a must.. unless you’re running that day. But even if you are, the Ferry Building is fabulous, itself. Lots of great food purveyors.. and restaurants. Lt me know if you still need more info. email me.

  43. Reem | Simply Reem
    Jul 15, 2013 @ 00:48:12

    I know I am late on comment here but I hope you had a wonderful trip!

  44. Nami | Just One Cookbook
    Jul 15, 2013 @ 09:25:57

    I live in the Bay Area, but I’m not sure your budget/transportation etc so it’s hard to suggest. I’m still in Japan but I hope you have a great time. Don’t forget to visit Farmers Market in Ferry Building! Good luck with your run!

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