Treat yourself to that California wine – Hop on the best California wine tours

Californian wine is world-renowned for its amazing quality, offering a huge range of grapes and flavours through its Mediterranean-style weather and sprawling geography. As the third largest state in the US with more than 800 miles of coastline, it is a mature wine region that has the perfect conditions to offer a wide selection of delicious blends. There are more than one hundred grapes grown in California including a number of European and hybrid varieties.

 

Wine tasting and touring is one of the top things visitors can do in San Francisco, which is a wine-lovers heaven and home to the famous Napa Valley and Sonoma. Whether it’s a Sauvignon Blanc or a Syrah, take the time to sip and savour the unique tastes in some world-class wineries.

 

Napa Valley not only benefits from a range of microclimates which assists in grape growing, but has a strong history allowing visitors to learn about the winemaking culture and pioneering attitude of many of the vineyard owners. The wineries here are part of a long standing tradition, with 95% being family run or family-owned, giving an authentic and homely feel to tours and tastings.

 

Two very established destinations are Mayacamas Vineyards and Calistoga’s Castello di Amorosa. The former is a unique stone building carved into a dormant volcano crater, where wine has been produced since 1889. The owners offer estate visits throughout the week with an in-depth look at the history and stories behind the wine making.

 

Castello di Amorosa also has a very distinctive story, and is designed as an authentic 13th century Tuscan castle winery. Built by Dario Sattui to honour his Italian ancestry and interest in medieval architecture, he opened the venue to honour his grandfather’s previous winery, which was closed during Prohibition in 1920. For more adventurous wine enthusiasts, there are a host of California wine tours and wine tasting opportunities with unexpected modes of transport including a ‘Classic Convertible’ Wine Tour, Napa Valley Bike Tours, a Napa Valley Kayak Tour or even an electric Tuk-Tuk tour with Laces and Limos.

 

Sonoma is another of the top places in the San Francisco area for a tipple, tucked away between two mountain ranges one hour north of the city. This is one of the best spots to drink California wines, with venues such as Chateau St. Jean (known as a wine ‘castle’) surrounded by picturesque views of the Mayacamas Mountains. There’s also the family ran Joseph Swan Vineyard, which offers small tasting sessions for guests to try the Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Syrah and Zinfandel.

 

Another of the top wine regions in San Francisco is the Livermore Valley, which is 40 miles east of downtown San Francisco. Here you can hop on the Livermore Wine Trolley and enjoy three wineries as well as a delicious lunch. Whilst you’re visiting, head to nearby San Francisco Premium Outlets® for some top shopping opportunities with over 180 designer outlet stores with savings up to 65% off. This is the best destination in San Francisco to get amazing deals on the names you love.

If you are headed to the Tri-Valley area, consider staying the night at one of the nearby hotels. San Francisco Premium Outlets® offers wonderful value on ‘Shop & Stay packages’, with neighbouring hotels including Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham or Courtyard by Marriott in Livermore. With incredible savings and incredible wine, this is certainly a destination not to be missed!

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Things to do in San Francisco

Home to some of America’s most iconic scenery, San Francisco is internationally renowned as a vibrant yet laid back hotspot and must-do on the itinerary for those visiting California. Located in the north of the state, on the edge of a peninsula overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the city is known for its incredible sea views and relaxed atmosphere. Combining stunning walks and a cosmopolitan centre, visitors can expect to enjoy a unique combination of culture, cuisine and coastline.

Hike to the Golden Gate Bridge

 

Declared as one of the ‘Wonders of the Modern World’, the Golden Gate Bridge is a 1.7 mile structure and one of America’s most recognisable vistas. Take a relaxing stroll across the bridge to take in sights of both the sea and Marin headlands, or cycle through toll-free. The best photographic spots for the bridge include Fort Point National Historic Site, Baker Beach and the Battery East Vista.
For walking adventures outside of the city, head to Del Valle Regional Park (around 1.5 hours from the city centre) for stunning hiking, swimming, and camping. Whether it’s a picnic under the stars, or boating across the serene Del Valle lake, this is a place to experience true natural beauty.

Experience Alcatraz

No visit to San Francisco is complete without a trip to this notorious former prison. Alcatraz’s stories have survived the ages, with the notorious prison closing in the 1960s, so take a ferry over to this mysterious island and experience ‘The Rock’ first hand. National Park Service Rangers take guests through the ‘200 Years of Alcatraz History’ from famous inmates and escape attempts, to the restored Victoria Gardens.

 

For another cultural fix, head to the Bankhead Theater, which offers a range of 40 performances throughout the year. From authentic western swing classic rock to opera to acrobatics, this is guaranteed to offer a mesmerising evening.

Enjoy seafood at Fisherman’s Wharf

 

San Francisco restaurants are one of the most appealing elements of the city so try out Fisherman’s Wharf, a beautiful bay area in north San Francisco, which offers a vibrant and buzzy atmosphere for food and drinks. The famous crab and clam chowder can be tasted at a variety of nautical inspired spots including Scoma’s Restaurant, Capurro’s, and Blue Mermaid.
For fresh Californian produce, head to one of San Francisco’s farmers markets north of the city such as the one found at the Ferry Building Marketplace, offering both farm products and artisan goods.

Shopping at San Francisco Premium Outlets

As well as exploring the city centre, another of the best things to do in San Francisco is shop at San Francisco Premium Outlets®, the top designer outlet destination located 40 miles from the downtown area. Here you can get that all important holiday shopping done, with more than 180 designer outlet stores, including Burberry, kate spade new york, Prada, Gucci, Versace, Coach, and Longchamp, offering incredible savings of up to 65% off every day. Shop designer without the designer price tag on your favourite brands including Armani Exchange, Burberry, Calvin Klein, Jimmy Choo and Gucci. After picking up your gifts, extend your family visit by visiting the kid’s play area for little ones, or head to one of the excellent culinary options including Johnny Rockets and Villa Fresh Italian Kitchen.

 

You can reach San Francisco Premium Outlets® easily by car (with plenty of parking), and there is also a daily shuttle service offered from downtown.

Take a wine tour at Livermore Valley

 

Near to San Francisco Premium Outlets® and just 35 miles east of the city is Livermore Valley’s wine region, home to over 50 wineries, and amazing restaurants. Hop on the Livermore Wine Trolley for a Livermore winery tour, which offers an all-inclusive wine-tasting tour to various wineries throughout the year in the area. The tour visits three wineries with tastings, offers a delicious made-to-order lunch, as well as guidance about the region. Guests will also receive coupons to visit local Livermoore Valley restaurants in addition to the trip.

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Shopping Trip in San Francisco? Here’s What You Shouldn’t Miss

Not only is San Francisco one of the top holiday destinations in the US for festivals, farmers markets, wineries and natural beauty, but it is also an amazing hotspot for shopping in California. From designer shops to department stores to boutiques, the city offers a wide range of opportunities for visitors to pick up some special gifts that will be sure to impress friends and family. Whether you’re looking to overhaul your holiday wardrobe or pick up some everyday items, it’s definitely worth taking some time to shop whilst you’re visiting as one of the best things to do in the city.

 

In terms of San Francisco’s offering – it’s a destination that has you covered head to toe.

 

For luxurious statement clothing you can find Burberry, Gucci, Prada, and Versace at the wonderful San Francisco Premium Outlets®, located just 40 minutes from downtown San Francisco, offering guests savings of up to 65% off. Other fabulous high-end stores include Armani Outlet, Jimmy Choo, Coach and Max Mara. Burberry and Ted Baker showcase the best of British craftsmanship so you have the perfect combination of UK, US and international style covered. With iconic department stores such as Bloomingdales and Barneys New York Warehouse, there’s not an item you won’t be able to find!

 

For cool and comfortable outerwear, head to The North Face and Superdry, or Champion if you’re after a retro look. For elegant workwear, Banana Republic Factory has you covered with its huge range of sophisticated dresses and blouses, whilst Calvin Klein has all your day-to-day wardrobe essentials.

San Francisco Premium Outlets® also has an incredible range of accessory choices to add that final touch to any outfit, whether it’s work or play. For some trustworthy arm candy, head to Coach Outlet or kate spade new york to get a designer name at a fraction of the cost. For European chic and perfect travel accessories, head to Longchamp for lightweight bags of all sizes that are both understated and adaptable. An iconic DKNY handbag will also give you major style points, which can be found in gorgeous leathers with the famous logo.

 

For that extra touch of sparkle,  San Francisco Premium Outlets® is guaranteed to provide the wow-factor. If you’re buying a present for someone special at home, or simply treating yourself, head to Swarovski for some serious bling from dazzling necklaces to stand-out home accessories. If you’re after occasion worthy watches, Michael Kors Outlet is definitely the spot to head to. Offering amazing wrist-bling, the brand is known for its glamorous gifts.

San Francisco Premium Outlets® also has all your footwear needs covered, with outlets including Tod’s and UGG. For sports fans, there are great deals on casual options such as New Balance Factory Store, and Nike, whilst adventurers can invest in a pair of Timberlands for long walks or hikes. Whether you’re into Clarks or Crocs, Vans or Versace, this is the place to get some shiny new shoes at a great price. With these irresistible prices, you’ll definitely need to head to The Luggage Factory following your visit to for your extra baggage!

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