My parents came into town for a week for visit me in Los Angeles, and we decided to take the Pacific Coast Highway up to Northern California for the weekend! Despite living in LA for three years, I had never been to San Francisco or Napa Valley! On our way, we stopped and visited the Hearst Castle, which I missed out on last time I came up the PCH. It was gorgeous, and the collection is unbelievable. The attention to detail is breathtaking, and no small space went untouched by design. The Neptune Pool was drained, but it’s a rare sight for visitors to see it empty! The Roman Pool, however, was still filled with water, and it was so clear it looked like glass. The tiles in the Roman Pool area also have real gold in them!
We stopped at Elephant Seal Beach and continued on the winding Pacific Coast Highway until we hit San Francisco. The first day there was dedicated to visiting Alcatraz Island, Pier 39, the Lombard Crooked Street, The Painted Ladies, and Golden Gate Park at sunset.
Our second day in San Francisco, we headed out early for a full day tour including the Muir Woods and a wine tasting tour in wine country. We got to the woods before 9 am to beat the crowds, and we were treated with a very quiet forest and early morning sunlight shining through the trees.
Next, we visited Sonoma and Napa Valley, and tasted wines at family owned Robledo Family Winery, saw the backstage fermenting and aging process at Tin Barn Vineyards, and relaxed on the beautiful wraparound porch of Kieu Hoang Winery.
Before leaving the city, we made sure to stop at the Buena Vista Cafe, the cafe that first brought Irish Coffee to the USA.