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Old 01-05-2009, 02:14 PM   #1
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Default Where to go in Santa Ana, CA and San Francisco, CA

So - heading out to CA on business (then pleasure) from Jan 11 through Jan 18. The first leg of the trip will be in Santa Ana/Irvine. Good recommendations of brew pubs to hit? Any good bottle stores?

Jan 15 we head up to San Francisco (via either rental car or bus, still working that out). Any places we shouldn't miss in between? Will be in San Francisco until Sunday morning (Jan 18). HWMO and I are staying with his aunt and uncle, so family time will be the main feature, but we're hoping to get to Muir Woods and also see Mavericks.

Any must-see suggestions are appreciated!

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Old 01-05-2009, 05:19 PM   #2
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that's a long drive from Santa Ana to San Francisco. for sure get a rental car instead of taking a bus.

while in Santa Ana if you are willing to go a little south go to San Clemente and check out Pizza Port. that's probably my favorite brew pub. (Note: I've only been to the Pizza Ports in Carlsbad and Solana Beach. I haven't been to the one in San Clemente but it's the closest to Irvine)

while driving up to San Francisco are you going to take the coastal route or the 5 for most of the trip? if you take the coastal route there is literally tons of stuff to see along the way. Big Sur is awesome for like a picnic or something like that. you can stop in Monterrey and see the Aquarium. The Wharf in Santa Cruz is awesome and the Seabright Brewery there is great. plus Santa Cruz has a certified organic LHBS.

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Old 01-05-2009, 05:32 PM   #3
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I'd definately suggest driving up the 101. It's much more scenic, and you can stop at a winery or two along the way (if you're interested I can recommend some). There is also the Firestone Walker Brewery if you're more inclined for beer. They have a restaurant in Buellton and a tasting room at the brewery in Paso Robles.

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Old 01-05-2009, 05:34 PM   #4
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21A, Tornado, Magnolia.

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Old 01-05-2009, 05:36 PM   #5
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Absolute best place for commercial beers and great food: Monks Kettle (get there early)

Breweries:
Welcome to Anchor Brewing (you'll need to set up an appointment or go to a regular tour)
Beach Chalet Brewery and Restaurant - San Francisco - awesome food and good brew (expensive)
Rogue Ales - i'm not a big fan of rogue beers, but had fun last time i went

A couple more i have never been to:
San Francisco Brewing Company Welcome!
21st Amendment - Brewery - Restaurant - Bar

i'm sure there are more. if you feel like going to oakland or alameda, check out The Trappist and especially Speissekammer (the best german restaurant i've ever been to...where you can get german beers by the liter )

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Old 01-05-2009, 05:52 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GregR View Post
while driving up to San Francisco are you going to take the coastal route or the 5 for most of the trip?
Thanks for the Pizza Port suggestion - I will check it out online and put it on our list of possibilities for one of our nights. We will probably take 5 for the majority, but I was thinking I would try to pop over to the coast for a bit. I don't think we can do the entire trip via the scenic drive, mostly because I think it adds like 3 hours.

Thanks for the suggestions, Olllllo and holden. I had seen Tornado on BeerAdvocate, so I'll definitely add that one.

DB - Thanks for the German restaurant suggestion, I can almost guarantee HWMO will be up for that (especially given the serving sizes of beer!). And we will definitely try to check out Monks Kettle.
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Old 01-05-2009, 06:00 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmulligan View Post
Thanks for the Pizza Port suggestion - I will check it out online and put it on our list of possibilities for one of our nights. We will probably take 5 for the majority, but I was thinking I would try to pop over to the coast for a bit. I don't think we can do the entire trip via the scenic drive, mostly because I think it adds like 3 hours.
From Santa Ana, it only takes an additional hour to take the 101, and there is a lot more to see and do on the way (so if you stop frequently I guess it will take longer). The only thing to see (and smell) on the 5 is Harris Ranch. Also if you take the 101, you won't have to pay the toll to cross the bay bridge and you can avoid a lot of traffic if you can take the 280 and then the 1 (which will take you in to the west side of the city - the Sunset).

Also, trying to take the 5 and then cutting over to the 101 once you're in the central valley and then back to the 5 will take a very long time. Longer than taking the 101 the whole way.
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Old 01-05-2009, 06:09 PM   #8
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From Santa Ana, it only takes an additional hour to take the 101, and there is a lot more to see and do on the way (so if you stop frequently I guess it will take longer).
Ah, you're right - I think I got freaked out when I saw the Mapquest results saying it would take ~8 hours (when someone had told me that driving there would only take ~5 hours). I've realized that the person that told me that was just way off. Thanks for the tip - scenery is definitely preferable to highway and animal smells.
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Old 01-05-2009, 06:14 PM   #9
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here's the restaurant info (i always spell it wrong)

Speisekammer Restaurant

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Old 01-05-2009, 07:06 PM   #10
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No one recommending Hanger One vodka in Alameda? It's located at Hanger one at the old Alameda Naval Air station. Free samples. Have a burger at Nations burger-if you dare.

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