California - North Bay/Wine Country/redwoods

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Question
Hi!
we want to plan a trip to CA. and do the coast. We would like to fly into San Francisco and go north to see the redwoods. Where are they? We were thinking of traveling in Sept. Is that a good time of year? Is it warm? Foggy? rainy?  From the redwoods we were going to do the whole coast to San Diego. What do you think. Even though we are not wine drinkers I wanted to see a vineyard. What one is the most beautiful? We love scenery and the ocean. thanks so much.

Answer
Hello, Linda!

What a lovely idea! September is an unpredictable month in Sonoma County, and while it typically begins to get a bit cooler and more crisp, Indian summers are also not uncommon, so weather may be on the warm side. In the event of a cooler September, fog in the early morning is not uncommon as what amounts to a marine layer, but generally it retreats from the more inland areas during the course of the day; the coasts frequently have some high cover throughout the day.
The redwoods are closer to the coast than much of the Sonoma Valley, and range all the way northwards towards Eureka, but are generally not strictly right along the coast, as the terrain is too rocky and scrubby and austere to support such forests so readily. I'd recommend that you travel through the Russian River Valley, adjacent to which you can find the Armstrong Redwoods National Forest. Be sure to stop in the town of Bodega Bay, too, for a real Sonoma-area coastal experience, or Guerneville for a delightfully retro feel. A bit further inland is Sebastopol, which is slightly more metropolitan and no less rich in local flavor.
The vineyards are primarily not along the coast, either, but are to be found aplenty dotted along the Sonoma Valley area. For the true vineyard experience, though, the Napa Valley--much further inland--is the premier destination; the ones in the Sonoma area are frequently smaller or more divided by other terrain features, as opposed to the sprawling acreages of vines one can see in the Napa area. The Napa vineyards also do tend towards a greater emphasis on ornamental landscaping, sculpture, and art installations/collections.

If you're feeling adventurous, take the trip in a convertible, and enjoy the fresh sea air! (Or, keep the top shut and turn on the heater, depending!) Whatever the case, you're bound to have a lovely trip.
Bon voyage!

California - North Bay/Wine Country

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William Conde

Expertise

I wish to serve as a sort of guide to the North Bay area, with extensive experience in Sonoma County proper, and abilities to help with more general questions regarding the Marin and Napa County areas. For questions regarding what the area is like, what to bring, where to stay, etc., I'm eager and capable to help bring forth solutions to your regional queries. Please note that while I can suggest many wineries to visit in the area, there are so many to choose from that I wouldn't be able to answer questions about each and every one. I can also suggest non-winery-related sights to see and locales to visit, depending on whatever sort of vacation, business trip, or other excursion you may have in mind. Also, I am not a wine expert (I don't drink alcohol), so please don't ask me specific questions about such-and-such labels of wine.

Experience

I have lived in the Sonoma County region for 10 years and wish to help others understand and appreciate the unique experience that is being part of this area. I am goal-oriented and love to help "fill in the gaps," so to speak, of the plans and ideas of those who are considering visiting this beautiful region.

Education/Credentials
Licensed Pharmacy Technician; B.S. degree in Chemistry (Biochemistry Emphasis).

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