(Closed) Honeymoon Help for San Francisco & Napa Valley

posted 10 years ago in San Francisco Bay Area
Post # 3
62 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: April 2009

My Fiance and I were in San Fran on business last January.  We extended our stay through the weekend and we had a great time.

We stayed at a place called the Argonaut Hotel.  Their staff was really nice – super helpful with restaurant suggestions.  You have to go to the Stinking Rose – if you like garlic and also Cafe DeLucci a tiny place but their lasagna is amazing!!  We’d go back there just for dinner again if it wasn’t for the 6 hr flight. 

The rooms were a nautical theme (tasteful and contemporary, not too cheesy and over the top). It was right near the Ghiardelli Chocolate Factory. We had a view of the Golden Gate from our room and a trolley stop right across the street outside our window as well. Only a few minute walk to shops, restaurants, Pier 39, Lombard Street, Art Galleries, about 5 minute cab ride to the Golden Gate Bridge, views of alcatraz… It was really a perfect location I think.


Good Luck planning… I did a lot of photography that weekend, if you’d like to see pictures I can post a few.

Post # 4
84 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2007 - Ceremony at a cement and stained glass cathedral and reception at a boutique hotel ballroom

CT Bride, I’m from SF and I have lots of recs for restaurants, hotels, etc. depending on your budget. October is usually a warm month in the bay area so the weather should be really great!

Napa has some WONDERFUL bed & breakfast places. I highly suggest you stay at a B&B rather than a big resort hotel. They are so quaint and romantic. 🙂 Here’s a great website to check out some bed & breakfasts: http://www.napavalley.com/maps/

There are many really amazing restaurants in both Napa and SF. If you want to really splurge, try Gary Danko Aqua, or Michael Mina in SF. I’d also recommend Julia’s Kitchen in Napa.  If you can, visit to the Ferry Building when you’re in SF and have lunch or dinner at the Slanted Door. My other favorite restaurants in SF include Range, House, Clementine (in the Richmond District – kind of far from the action in SF), La Mediterenee (delicious, reasonably priced Mediterranean food… I could go on but i’ll stop here. 🙂


For hotels in SF, there are two really great boutique hotel chains in the bay area. One is Joie De Vivre hotels and the other is Kimpton Hotels. I highly recommend Hotel Vitale (Joie De Vivre) or the Harbor Court Hotel (Kimpton). Both are located near the water, within walking distance from the Ferry Building, amazing restaurants, attractions, and shopping. If you happen to have a Starwood American Express, you can rack up points at the Westin St Francis which is also a great hotel located smack in the middle of Union Square.

If you like museums, visit the new De Young museum in Golden Gate Park and stop by the Japanese Tea Garden also.

If you like shopping, definitely visit Chestnut Street and Union Street in the Marina and also Noe Valley. You’ll find tons of cute boutiques and yummy restaurants. Haight and Ashbury also has boutiques and restaurants, more "urban" and a little grimier.

Anyway, I’ll stop this book here. If you’d like more recs, just let me know! I’ve played "tour guide" many times for my friends visiting SF. 🙂 

Post # 5
49 posts
  • Wedding: July 2008

I’m from SF city too!  As eggplant mentioned it’s warm in October here, it’s the end of our Indian Summer.  You definitely want to go to Napa/Sonoma Valley.  I hear Sonoma is better as far as the B&B than Napa. I just came back from Napa and stayed at the Silverado Resort which is great for groups but  B&B is more cozy & romantic!

The Bay Area is great! So much to see and do in San Francisco and in the surronding cities too.  I definitely recommend seeing the popular spots like North Beach, Ferry Bldg, Golden Gate Park and etc. Some adventurous activities – If you like bike riding, it’s nice to take a ride from SF across the Golden Gate bridge to Tiburon (eat at Sam’s cafe on the waterfront) then take the Ferry back to SF. What’s also great in the city are the latest "Wine Bars" in the Marina district like Bin 38 and others. Wine bars are nice hip and romantic environments.  Restaurants – there’s so many choices but check out city search or zagat, that should help too. But you can even drive to Monterey/Carmel area which is about 1-2 hours away and it’s right on the coast too. Also a lot of different places to shop (small downtown streets w/ great boutiques!).  There’s a lot to do in the SF Bay Area! Good Luck! 

Post # 6
508 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

How lovely!  I’m from SF as well – October should be good weather, but be sure to bring layers.  The Ferry Building is fun, though a bit crowded on Saturday with the farmer’s market.  The shops inside are great all week long.  The Slanted Door is good food.  I’m not a huge fan of Fisherman’s Wharf, but was really surprised at how much fun it was to take the ferry to Alcatraz.  Lovely views from both the island and the water, particularly of the Golden Gate Bridge.

On the museum front, De Young is a lovely setting, though I also like the Legion of Honor – it’s further out, but easily combined with a trip to Golden Gate Park. It’s a small museum so it’s not too taxing.  If you like photography or modern art the SF MOMA is downtown.  Not too far away is Ducca, a Venetian restaurant without seating indoors or out.  Their arancini is to die for – stop in and grab some with drinks or stay for dinner.  

Let us know if you were thinking of any type of restaurant or activity in particular and I’m sure the locals can give more direction.


Post # 7
15 posts

i just stayed at the le meredian and they had patios (on the 18th floor!!) and the most comfortable beds ever! i would stay there again in a heartbeat!

Post # 8
179 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 2008

I’m from CT and just came back from a bachelorette party in Napa- a winery I loved was Peju- it was really unique in both the winery itself and the wine (they have a half/half red and white wine which is awesome).  We had really great sandwiches from the Oakville grocery for lunch and dinner at Uva Trattoria (very romantic with live jazz music and great decor/lighting). 

Also in SF, be sure to see Fisherman’s Wharf and Ghiradelli square (preferable at night)- I love Gaylord India restaurant up top with views of the entire wharf.   

Post # 9
7 posts
  • Wedding: March 2012

Hooray, I’m an SF local as well! The city certainly has a way of being adventurous and romantic all at once.

North Beach is fantastic, especially in the evening. Everything is bustling and there are plenty of great restaurants to choose from. I recommend Mona Lisa…it has fun (VERY) ornate decor, and every time I’ve been there, the service and food have been spot on. The Stinking Rose is probably a more famous restaurant, but personally, I find it just okay for what you get charged and the time you have to wait for a table.

If you like sensory overload/food and flowers and produce galore, check out the Ferry Building Farmers’ Market Saturday mornings. (Be sure to head inside the building for more good stuff as well!) There are usually also art stands in the plaza across the street from the Ferry Building where you can find photography, paintings, jewelry, handmade crafts and art in general.

As far as museums go, check out the websites for SFMOMA (Museum of Modern Art), the de Young, the Legion of Honor and the Asian Art Museum to see if there are any exhibits you two would be interested in. In general, the de Young and Legion of Honor are fabulous. The DY is in Golden Gate Park, which is beautiful to just walk around (SF Bontanical Garden, Japanese Tea Garden). Also, the California Academy of Sciences will be open in the park by then! I live really close to the park, and the building and space around the CAS is just…stunning. The LoH is in Lincoln Park, which is really pretty and offers views of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Speaking of the bridge, I absolutely recommend driving across and winding up to the lookout points in the Marin Headlands. It’s just breathtaking. I’ve watched sunrises and sunsets there and there are simply no words to describe how amazing it is to see the cityscape, the bridge and the bay. Just gorgeous.

Union Square is good for shopping, hotels and restaurants, but there isn’t much to do there apart from that. Anjou and Cafe Claude are excellent French restaurants there.

The Marina and Crissy Field are great places to walk around. You’re right on the water within view of the Golden Gate Bridge. Definitely picnic-worthy. There are also many cute/cozy cafes, restaurants and such on Union Street.

Cable car rides are certainly romantic! I love taking them to/from Fisherman’s Wharf (SF’s Disneyland) and Union Square. The views are spectacular, as you pass by/through Chinatown, Nob Hill, downtown, etc. And there’s something so charming about it all… 

Hope this helps!

Post # 10
71 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2006

I am also an SF local!  I second the Marin headlands for views of the city and the Golden Gate – it really is breathtaking!  To get there, cross the Golden Gate from the city and take the second exit (the first, just over the bridge, is into a parking lot).  Then turn left and head back up the windy road and stop anywhere along the way (there are plenty of places all the way up to pull over).

 In Napa, my husband and I love the V. Sattui winery.  The atmosphere for wine tasting is a lot of fun, and they have some great wines.  We also loved the Domain Carneros chateau.  It’s just such a beautiful setting, and they give a great tour about the making of the "bubbly" (sparkling wines/champagne) We are actually spending this coming weekend in Napa, and if we discover any other new places to stop I’ll let you know! 

 Also, you might want to consider driving over to the Sonoma side as well, as there is a whole extra crop of wineries over there that I hear are also amazing.  We have a wedding up there in May – I’ll pass on any discoveries.

I also second the bed and breakfasts in Napa or Sonoma.  Sonoma tends to be just a bit cheaper (sometimes a LOT cheaper) and still in the same region as you’re going to be driving around anyway up there, right?  There really are hundreds of cute, charming, romantic B&B’s up there.

Here is a helpful website for the Napa/Sonoma areas:


Once there, click the wine regions menu and choose either Napa or Sonoma to see more information.

Hope This Helps, and have fun!  I love it out here! 

Post # 11
323 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

October is the best month for Napa Valley. Better than any other. You may want to consider spending more days in Napa Valley than SF (there is so much to explore — especially food and truly, the weather is SPECTACULAR).

I live in SF and I work in Napa/Sonoma (for weddings!) – bay area native in the house!

So here’s some stuff….

Where to Stay:

People always say ‘Napa’ when most the time they mean Sonoma, Kenwood, Glen Ellen, Calistoga, etc. These are all small towns deeper in the Napa Valley and SO MUCH BETTER than "Napa". Just start driving on Silverado Trail or Hwy 29 (they run parallel) and you’ll be able to find great stuff.

– Solage Resort  (don’t do Carneros Inn — over hyped, traffic sucks trying to cross lanes to get out of the complex and your not even really in Napa.

– Kenwood Inn – http://www.kenwoodinn.com  (amazing! indulge!)

Go hang out in downtown Calistoga. Lots of great food. Tour the Culinary Institute, Copola Winery or go to the new Sattui Castle (ignore Sattui Winery….boring tourist trap.) 



Post # 12
54 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: August 2008

My fiance surprised me with a trip to Napa right after he proposed. We had such a fantastic time, and want to try to go on our 1-yr anniversary. We stayed at the Meadowwood Resort in a little private cabin nestled on a hill overlooking the golf course. It was so nice and quiet and gorgeous. We were only there for 3.5 days, but I would say the must-sees are La Toque (best meal I’ve ever eaten in my life), and lunch at Auberge on the patio (amazing view). He wanted to stay at Auberge, but they were booked…we will likely stay there on our next visit.


Of course with the wineries, you can’t really go wrong. Hire a driver…you can just walk in to most of them (we went to one where you needed a reservation for the tour and tasting). Frogs Leap was my favorite! 

Post # 13
9 posts
  • Wedding: August 2008

We live in San Francisco and are getting married in Sonoma, so I’ve got lots of recommendations, but without a sense of your budget, it’s difficult to make recommendations.

 That said, our wedding website has our favorites in both Sonoma and San Francisco as a result (we’re running buses back and fourth the day of the wedding)


http://www.thecooperageinn.com is our favorite B&B in Sonoma.

Post # 14
146 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2008

Where do i begin!!

Napa- eating places: French Laundry! Noted to be one of the best restaurants in the United States. It is $$$$ though. You’re looking at 200 a head. Also since you’re in Napa i would recommend going to Calistoga which is near by and go get a massage or a mud bath. That’s what they’re known for.

SF- Restaurants: Foreign Cinema (Mission District) $$ and you can watch a foreign movie against the wall if you’re sitting outside. Also great food. Known for Oysters and i liked their pheasant. Fleur de Lys is an awesome restaurant as well.  

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