San Fran’s Thirst-Quenching Experiences

Located about an hour north of both San Francisco and Oakland, sits Napa Valley – one of the wine capitals of the world. So, if you’re planning a trip to the West Coast, here are some people, places, and things you should definitely try to enjoy before you head up to wine country. Plus, here’sthe Gateway to Napa Valley Itinerary I put together.

Todays post is focused on the gatewayto Napa Valley — a.k.a. San Francisco and Oakland/Alameda. Tomorrow I’ll share a second post with a focus on Napa and Yountville.

San Francisco

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If you’re traveling thru San Francisco International Airport (SFO) on your way to Napa (and you’re renting a car anyways), be sure to plan an overnight visit in the San Francisco. Staying near Fisherman’s Wharf puts you in good proximity to not only the hundreds of shops and restaurants along the waterfront – including In – N – Out Burger and some fantastic seafood eateries, but puts you only a few miles from the Golden Gate Bridge. Tip: if you’re looking for a peaceful jog or morning walk with great views, be sure to visit the bridge in the wee hours before the city really wakes up.

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And, if you’re like me and cocktails are your thing, Trick Dog is a must visit while in town. Located in the Mission District, less than four miles from Fisherman’s Wharf, is where Trick Dog bar calls home. Tip: Trick Dog’s entire cocktail menu is based on zodiac signs (each sign has inspired one cocktail on the menu). Even better, the cocktail menu is set up like a dial so my friends and I took turns spinning the wheel to have a little fun with (and be surprised by) our choices.

Oakland/Alameda

If you’re traveling to Oakland International Airport (OAK) on your way to Napa, a tour and tasting at St. George Spirits is recommended. Despite being over the Bay Bridge and a little off the beat and path; their distillery is housed in a renovated airplane hangar with views of the San Francisco cityscape so it’s worth the trip.  You get to taste all of the products listed below plus you get a wildcard selection (we chose the Rum and Coffee Liqueur).

St. George Pear Brandy
St. George Raspberry Brandy
St. George Botanivore Gin
St. George Raspberry Liqueur
St. George Absinthe Verte

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Tip: Be sure to ask for Andie if you get your choice of guide – she’s got great product knowledge with a huge dose of wit.

Remember to stay tuned for tomorrow’s post all about Napa and Yountville. Cheers!

Note: the tour and tasting at St. George Spirits was provided to me at no cost.