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Going to Wine Country, Carmel California/Bay Area: suggestions


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#1 of 29 Shane Martin

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Posted January 05 2005 - 05:28 AM

The trip is going to happen in May of 05.

We're going to stay at the Tickled Pink Inn(yes I know it sounds rather strange but the place looks marvelous).

Any suggestions on wineries, things to do, and places to stay in SF are welcome as we're thinking of staying 2 extra days in SF to see the Bay Area.

Just to be sure, we're doing the Carmel area Wine Country as opposed to the Sonoma County Wine Country.

#2 of 29 Lew Crippen

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Posted January 05 2005 - 10:11 AM

The Mediterranean Market on the corner of Ocean and Mission is not to be missed. Buy yourself ingredients for a picnic lunch here—and perhaps some snacks and some wine for your motel room.

Other things to do depend on your tastes. 17 Mile drive is well worth the entry fee for a drive (and gawking). California 1 going south is one of the great drives of the world—drive to the Big Sur and have lunch at
Nepenthe, where the food is good, if not always great and the view unmatched.

Don’t miss Monterey if you have a literary bent and want to see where John Steinbeck wrote. Also the Monterey Bay Aquarium is outstanding.

I’m a bit more familiar with the Monterey area wineries than those directly around Carmel, but I’ll check some of my notes and see if I have any recommendations.
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#3 of 29 Eric Peterson

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Posted January 05 2005 - 11:38 PM

Have you seen the movie "Sideways"? Much of the movie revolves around 2 guys visiting an assortment of vineyards. I read in a magazine article that all of the places they visited are actual places and not manufactured Hollywood names, so it's essentially a free travelogue.

#4 of 29 Shane Martin

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Posted January 05 2005 - 11:48 PM

Eric and Lew,
Thanks for the suggestions thus far. I appreciate it.

How far is Monterey from Carmel?

#5 of 29 Joe Wilmore

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Posted January 06 2005 - 05:15 AM

The wineries in Sideways are in Santa Ynez, which is much further south.

#6 of 29 Lew Crippen

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Posted January 06 2005 - 10:55 AM

Quote:
How far is Monterey from Carmel?
Pretty close Shane. They are in the same county—Carmel is just a bit south of Monterey.

If you want to drive out of the Carmel Valley to Salinas (also in Monterey County), I can recommend Chalone Vineyard. They have always made a very fine wine from a less well-known grape, the Pinot Blanc. I’d also recommend their Chenin Blanc, Pinot Noir and especially their Chardonnay.

I’ve never been to the winery—but they do make very fine wines.
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#7 of 29 Tom Meyer

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Posted January 07 2005 - 08:00 AM

JUST DON'T DRINK THE F&%#&!@ MERLOT !!

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#8 of 29 Kevin Hewell

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Posted January 07 2005 - 08:44 AM

If you like nature I suggest a side trip to Muir Woods. It's a gorgeous stand of Redwoods that is not to be missed. Also, you could check out Mount Tam or go to Stinson Beach which are all pretty close to each other (Marin County). I also second the recommendation of driving on California 1. Whether you go south or north of the city it's a beautiful drive.

#9 of 29 Dan D.

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Posted January 07 2005 - 09:52 AM

The Tickle Pink Inn (BTW, it's "Tickle" not "Tickled") shares a driveway with the Highland Inn. Up at the Highland Inn is a restaurant called California Market. Definitely make some reservations and try to be there for the sunset. If the weather is mild, ask for the deck - they have outdoor heaters. Fantastic food and wine selection, and the view is wonderful.

Carmel itself is great to just walk around. There is a pub/restaurant called The Forge in the Forest that is really good and great for a casual lunch.

The afore-mentioned Monterey Aquarium is really not to be missed, especially if you are a fan of Star Trek IV (it was the Cetacean Institute). If you walk past Morgan's coffee shop, go in and try the cocoanut-ginger scones.

Have a great time!

#10 of 29 Grant B

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Posted January 08 2005 - 12:25 AM

If you are a music/ movie lover, check out Amoeba records on Haight street. There are some interesting stores there too that you'll never see in a mall.
I would avoid fisherman's wharf unless you really have your heart set on it.
Alcatraz is pretty cool, buy tickets online early and you not have a problem.
If you are a baseball fan check out Pac Bell Park.....if you need tickets let me know. They are good seats and at face value they are reasonable
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#11 of 29 Shane Martin

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Posted January 08 2005 - 04:03 AM

Unfortunately We won't be in SF while the Giants are there. I would have liked to have seen Pac Bell park.

#12 of 29 gene c

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Posted January 09 2005 - 04:32 AM

While you're in Monterey try and stop by Pacific Grove. Nice little shops and restaurants and some good views of the ocean. When I'm out-and-about I like to ask the locals where the unknown gems are but two days in Carmel/Monterey isn't enough time to see a tenth of the tourist stuff. But 17 Mile Drive and the Aquarium are a must. As is Hwy 1. And lunch/shopping in Carmel. And don't miss the views of Monterey Bay and the ocean/beaches. Oh, and btw, do you play golf? But most importantly, buy a good map. The area can be confusing. Downtown Monterey always confuses me, even with a map. Have fun and say hello to Mayor Clint for me.
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#13 of 29 Lew Crippen

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Posted January 09 2005 - 07:14 AM

Quote:
If you like nature I suggest a side trip to Muir Woods. It's a gorgeous stand of Redwoods that is not to be missed. Also, you could check out Mount Tam or go to Stinson Beach which are all pretty close to each other (Marin County).
I consider the Muir Woods a must see—but all of this is north of San Francisco. I think that Monterey, Carmel and the Big Sur are a good trip (and not enough time), as is San Francisco (and north to Marin, Napa and Sonoma Counties). You may not have time for both.
¡Time is not my master!

#14 of 29 Shane Martin

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Posted January 09 2005 - 07:26 AM

FWIW,
We're going to have 4 nights/5 days in MOnterrey/Carmel with a car. 2 nights in SF then come home.

#15 of 29 Brian Perry

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Posted January 10 2005 - 07:26 AM

Hearst's castle in San Simeon is a cool attraction. I can't remember how long a drive it was from SF, though.

#16 of 29 Joe Szott

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Posted January 10 2005 - 10:11 AM

I lived in Salinas for a number of years growing up, which is right next to Monterey/Carmel/Santa Cruz. I don't know much about the Carmel wineries, but these are other places up US 1 (in order even) not to be missed:

Monterey Cannery Row and Aquarium. You can do these in a half day, one is literally down the street from the other. Lots of really good places to eat in Cannery Row and cutesy little shops. If you want to remove the guesswork, eat at the Fish Hopper and get ice cream after at Ghiradellis down the street. Also in Monterey visit the wharf and see the sea lions there, takes about 30 mins and you'll be driving past it anyway. In May it's amazingly beautiful (not the sea lions, they are just loud Posted Image). Monterey is my favorite place on Earth, I dream of moving back there someday.

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk in Santa Cruz. This another half day (maybe night?) that is a lot of fun. Basically, if you have seen the movie Lost Boys that is this boardwalk. It is actually a heck of a lot like the movie, except more hot chicks in bikinis and less vampires (maybe.) Downtown Santa Cruz is also a cool place, if you ever wondered what happened to the spirit of the '60s. It's a hoot and nice place to stroll around and book shop. For eating Gayle's Bakery in Capitola and Pizza My Heart in Capitola and Santa Cruz are old favs. Both Capitola and Santa Cruz have great beaches BTW, best in central Cali.

After that get on HWY 17 and enjoy the incredible views into San Jose. Then get the heck out of San Jose ASAP and on to SF! Alcatraz and the Fisherman's Wharf are sweet to see in SF, even as a resident I loved to visit them. ALWAYS pack a jacket and pants into SF, always! Even if it is 95 deg in San Jose, it could be foggy and cold as hell in SF.

Sorry, not a lot about wine in there. I know on Cannery Row there is a real nice wine tasting place that features all the local vineyard's best, it has huge glass windows overlooking the bay and a relaxed atmosphere. It's free to get in and tasting is cheap, the view alone up there is dead gorgeous.

-----------------

To tell the truth, I wouldn't spend so much time in Carmel. It's very expensive, you can't park anywhere in the town, and not a whole lot to fill 4-5 days. If you have 7 days I would spread like this:

* 2 days in Carmel. See wineries, Big Sur, Pebble Beach, etc.

* 1 day and night in Monterey. See Cannery Row and Aquarium (world class), enjoy the wharf at night.

* Drive up coast and enjoy 1 day and night in Santa Cruz. The boardwalk can easily chew up a whole day, it's incredible fun.

* 3 days/nights in SF to wrap it up. No way can you see all of SF in 2 days, but give it a shot and go to Sonoma Valley for wine on 3rd day. Monterey/Carmel wines are fine, but Sonoma/Napa is the real deal. Napa tends to get a little crowded and further drive, Sonoma is excellent and very close to SF (1 hour drive?) I cannot suggest enough a visit to The Valley of the Moon winery, we still have bottles shipped to Denver from there every 3 months.

I envy you, have a great trip!

#17 of 29 Eric_L

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Posted January 10 2005 - 10:17 AM

When i go to napa to taste we usally get a limo. we can both drink and not have to fight traffic in an unfamiliar town. the driver often can give us suggestions. only had one awkward moment when the driver kept flirting w my pals wife... :o

#18 of 29 Lew Crippen

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Posted January 11 2005 - 05:18 AM

Since you are going to be in San Francisco for a couple of days Shane, I highly recommend breakfast at Sears Fine Foods. Their WEB page promotes their pancakes (outstanding), but I really think that one should try their corned beef hash (and their hash browns are also outstanding).
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#19 of 29 Ted Lee

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Posted January 11 2005 - 11:29 AM

Quote:
I would avoid fisherman's wharf unless you really have your heart set on it.
definitely stay away. fisherman's wharf is boring...just a bunch of goofy shops and overpriced crappy food.

but, you gotta at least cruise through chinatown. even though most of the shops are just as goofy, the food is terrific.

and, if you're into some heavy-duty shopping, look no farther then union square (i think that's what it's called???). seven floors just for macy's, etc. materialism at it's finest i tell ya.
 

#20 of 29 Danny Tse

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Posted January 11 2005 - 03:56 PM

Go check out San Francisco's Museum of Modern Arts. It's 3 blocks from Union Square. If you want shopping, check out San Francisco Shopping Center, with at least 4 or 5 floors of Nordstroms, and its circular escalator. BTW, they are building a Bloomingdale's next door.

Go check out Ocean Beach at the edge of the Pacific Ocean. Perhaps have dinner at The Cliff House.

Drive across the Golden Gate Bridge, then up to Marin Headlands for a "postcard view" of GG Bridge and San Francisco in the background.

No one is going to Sony Metreon? Or visit Dolby Labs? Posted Image I suppose you can drive by Monster Park....where the Beatles had their last concert.
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