I have always wanted to go to California. My wife and I are finally going this May to "celebrate" my 40th birthday. I am looking for advice on where to eat, making reservations, sights, things to do, travel routes, and anything else people might think will be helpful.
We will be arriving on a Saturday in SF and staying for 2 nights at The Clift. We are then headed to Sonoma and Napa. We are staying at the Bardessono in Yountville for 3 nights, then Inn at Spanish Bay in Monterey (?) for 2 nights.
I've got to admit that I am overwhelmed with the choices so I am reaching out for help.
Some things about what I like:
I like a mixture in the level of sophistication of where we eat. I will be doing everything I can to get a reservation at French Laundry (any suggestions there would be much appreciated). And plan to eat some other high end meals. However, I also like to experience the other end of the spectrum. I like to experience the quintessential eating, drinking, sights of the place I am visiting, but I do not want to get swept up into some kind of touristy frenzy. I like to experience the young/up and coming chefs or places to go. If at all possible I will be trying to drive along the coast en route to Monterey from Napa.
Thanks in advance for your help.