Thursday, March 8, 2012

Guest Post: Jess from Just Rainbows and Butterflies

Hello guys! I'm Jess over at Just Rainbows and Butterflies. I just moved to Northern California in August and since Sarah was heading to my neck of the woods, I thought it appropriate to write about my favorite places. 

1. Napa Valley

 My husband, Z and I went to Napa for our mini-honeymoon the weekend after we got married and this place couldn't be more romantic-the boutique bed and breakfasts, the numerous wineries, and the gourmet restaurants that litter the town make this the perfect weekend retreat for anyone. 

There are also bike tours and hot air balloon rides that will give you a different view of the beautiful rows of grapes that stretch across the valley. We weren't able to do a hot air balloon ride, but trust me, next time we will. 

And if you need a good winery recommendation, Z and I love Gabrielle Collection. It's a owned by an adorable couple that give you personalized attention throughout your tasting experience. I loved that we were able to ask the owners themselves about the wine, land, and  themselves. 

2. Alcatraz

In November, Z and I went to Alcatraz and did the tour. So. Worth. It. I'm not a tour person and was sorta skeptical when they handed me my headset at the entrance, but this was literally the best one I've been on. It was scary, informative, detailed and amazing. I felt like I was back in the 50s living the life of a prisoner and seeing all the escape attempts in my mind. It was incredible and if you do one thing in San Fran, do this. 

3. Carmel
We've been to Carmel twice now and plan on going back again soon. Z and I like doing the 17 mile drive which goes from Carmel to Pacific Grove. This drive will be one of the most scenic that you ever do with the waves crashing on the rocky shore and incredible golf courses that you've only seen on TV. Definitely a place to hit up if driving that way. 

4. Drive on 101
101 is the historic highway that runs from California to Washington. We've only driven on a stretch of it, but it was fun since I've seen it so many times growing up-like on the O.C... yes, I loved me some teen dramas growing up. 

5.  Bike Tour  over the Golden Gate Bridge
The Golden Gate Bridge is on the most iconic and historic tourist sites in San Francisco and in California in general. If you don't have time, just drive by it, but if you do have time, get on a bike and peddle across. There are several bike tours that go from San Fran to the small town of Sausalito where you can sit, relax and enjoy a glass of wine by the water before catching a ferry back.  Click here for a good bike tour if you are interested. 

These are only a few of my favorite things about Northern California-I probably have about 20 more things I can add to the list-so please let me know if you are planning a trip and I would be more than happy to help you out. 

Sarah, have a great trip and can't wait to hear about your adventure! 

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