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Old 10-02-2009, 12:30 AM   #1
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California Wine Country

My hubby and I are planning to take a long Christmas break this year in our AS and I am dreaming of finding a place where we could stay, relax and hit lots of yummy vineyards. We live in Seattle and will have just a little over two weeks. I would love to enjoy some nice weather, but don't want too much time driving. Any suggestions?
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Old 10-02-2009, 12:43 AM   #2
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Check out Santa Ynez. I lived there for 16 years and wish I could go back. Beautiful, and tons of vineyards. Only down side is it is about halfway down the state, and has only one RV park with hookups to my knowledge. There are some nice campgrounds in the area but no hookups, you'll have to boondock it.

You'll have the beach under a half hour away, some of the best vineyards in California within mere minutes, and a very relaxed country atmosphere.

If you go, I envy you!
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Old 10-03-2009, 10:26 PM   #3
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Thanks Alamojack. Do you have any favorite vineyards you could recommend?

Anyone else have a favorite wine and vineyard to recommend?
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Old 10-03-2009, 11:28 PM   #4
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If you are coming from Washington, all the way down to Santa Ynez will be a bit of a drive! You might want to hit some of the wineries along I-5 in Southern Oregon (near Ashland) and then head down towards Napa, Sonoma, and Mendicino Counties where the big wine country is. Camping is available, but with California's economy woes and potentially closing state parks you want to look carefully online for what is available. Depends on whether you want big RV parks or more "real camping". Here is one link that might give you some ideas: Napa & Sonoma Counties Campgrounds - Camping Sites

We have camped at Clear Lake and on the west side there is a nice campground, you might also look along the Russian River, close to wineries but quite scenic. You might need to be prepared to unhook and drive back and forth to the wineries as traffic can be a challenge.

What kind of wine do you prefer? Red, white? Some of the wineries in Napa area have beautiful wineries and give tours, etc. Can be very pleasant. Here is a Sonoma link: Sonoma Wine Country, Sugarloaf Ridge Camping Reservations Click on the Parks, rivers, forest and lakes and you will find some camping information.

If you click on this link and then scroll down to "map of Napa Valley Wineries", you can find oodles of names and places... Napa Valley Wineries - Plan your wine tasting room tour If you are in the area, driving down Hwy 29 is cool. Traffic is sometimes a challenge, but nice. Parts of the roads are narrow and winding, if you are towing your trailer you might want to plan to avoid rush hours.

Have fun! Lots to do and see!
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Old 10-04-2009, 11:26 AM   #5
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There's a KOA in Petaluma. which we checked out. We haven't stayed there, but access is easy and it's got a lot of stuff for the family, including a petting zoo (not sure if it is open in the winter).

Not sure if KOA is your thing, but it's close to Sonoma and Napa valleys. And, I am sure you will want to drop your trailer, if you plan on staying in the same spot for two weeks. This is pretty close to the Russian River, which has several wineries, too. Korbel's is nice, and it's in this area.

There's hardly any campgrounds with hookups the closer you get to San Francisco (SF). A poster in another string said that there was one in Novato, which is farther away (south) from wine country. And, the only one we saw that was nice near SF was in Pacifica (south of SF on the coast); and it was pricey.

There's a wine train that looks fun (though we haven't done that yet), and lots of buses that make the rounds to the vineyards. If you plan on doing much tasting, that might be a good idea, as after Korbel's tasting room, we had to eat and kill some time in the deli, to be able to make the drive back to where we were staying. (Watch for drunks on the roads near the wineries!)

There's lots to see there beside wineries, too. Beautiful country!
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Old 10-07-2009, 10:19 AM   #6
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Bothe- Napa state park, between St Helena and Calistoga, in the heart of napa valley, beautiful area. Note that I've only tent-camped there, so please research the facilities first....

Bothe-Napa Valley SP

Otherwise, Petaluma KOA would be a good base to explore both Sonoma and Napa wine areas. The Dry Creek area in Sonoma Valley is a gem, as is the town of Healdsburg.

Still searching for my first Airstream, but this will be one of the first places I take it.....
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Old 10-07-2009, 10:31 AM   #7
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We stayed at a Sonoma County park when we were in the area and had a lovely visit. We stayed for three days at Spring Lake park, which has a wonderful trail around the lake and large spaces. The downside: no hookups. But, it was convenient to the town of Santa Rosa and local vineyards. There are other campgrounds in Sonoma County as well.

Camping Introduction - Regional Parks - County of Sonoma, California
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Old 10-07-2009, 11:18 AM   #8
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Here's the plug for Paso Robles...

Well over 100 wineries in this region all within 1/2 hour of each other. The Wine Country RV Park is a very short drive to most of them! Here is a link to more information on the wine region...Paso Robles Wine Country - Paso Robles, California From Paso it is a 30 minute drive to Edna Valley, famed for their Chardonnay and whites, and an hour and a half to Santa Ynez Valley.
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Old 10-07-2009, 11:44 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaddyGrn View Post

We have camped at Clear Lake and on the west side there is a nice campground
What is the name of this campground? I am looking for a Bay Area getaway this weekend and this may be perfect - the last time I camped at Clear Lake was 1969 (oops... aging myself.. although I was only a toddler )
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Old 10-07-2009, 11:55 AM   #10
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Sixkitties,
Hit Lodi, CA. numerous places to sample.(Hwy 99). Then stop in Livermore, Tesla Road off the Greenville exit of I#580. There are a dozen wineries within a six mile radius and you can park at my ranch. I don't have power or sewer but do have H2O and my tenant would watch your unit while you are sampling the vino. Plan a day or two then head to Napa/Sonoma. We in central CA have numerous grape growers and their by-product.
George
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Old 10-08-2009, 01:07 AM   #11
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Clear Lake State Campground

Quote:
Originally Posted by toddster View Post
What is the name of this campground? I am looking for a Bay Area getaway this weekend and this may be perfect - the last time I camped at Clear Lake was 1969 (oops... aging myself.. although I was only a toddler )
The name, Clear Lake State Campground ~
Clear Lake SP

Haven't stayed there for awhile, and last time we did we went sailing... I don't remember hookups and such, but it was very near the lake and if I recall on the west side of the lake.

Hopefully you can google image search and find some pics!
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Old 10-17-2009, 10:38 AM   #12
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Hi and thanks to all of you for your suggestions. I am now going to be checking out all of them. Cheers!
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Old 10-17-2009, 01:46 PM   #13
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We think somoma is nice but too darned expensive these days to taste wnes.
We loved staying at Morro Bay a state campgournd , and going to the vineyards in that area. YOu could come down stay in Sonoma for a day then a few hours south to Pismo ( Oceano campground here) but very close to San luis obispo wineries and not a bad drive to the ones near morro bay. Those are our favoirtes without coming down to El rufigo or El capitan beachs for the sideways reincarnation of wine tasting.
We love san luis obispo area and Morro bay is one of our favorite campsites. Nice and hook ups and also dry camping spots. Right on the bay and in the middle of 2 wine areas and if you drinnk too much there is the hearst castle and a light house tour.
good luck, those areas have pamplets on wine tasting. Holler for more info and i will look for the pamplets. g
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Old 10-17-2009, 02:55 PM   #14
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I think you'd have a lot of fun up 101 to Healdsburg and Calistoga. I haven't been wine tasting recently, but I'm amazed at the number of wineries everywhere. If your RV isn't too huge, you can take 101 south to Cloverdale and then back up 128 to the coast. Just north of Fort Bragg, on the coast, is a really cool RV park, at the mouth of a river.. then y ou can drive back up 1 to 101 and then back to Seattle. I think you can find better winetasting deals off the beaten path, away from Napa.
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