Winter in Northern California means cool, bright days and crisp, chilly evenings. It also means always having a great excuse to duck into someplace cozy for a pick-me-up. From fire-lit bars, to brick-oven-warmed bakeries, to restaurants chock-full of cozy ambiance, we asked the staff at our seven Norcal hostels for their favorite local spots to warm up. Read on for their picks, and get ready to settle in for the winter.
While Sonoma County typically receives Northern California’s craft beer glory, a fledgling and promising beer scene is brewing on the San Mateo County coast. While the Half Moon Bay Brewing Company has long been a Coastside favorite, 2013 marks the opening of two new seaside breweries south of San Francisco, Highway 1 Brewing Company and Hop Dogma Brewing Company.
Not everyone has time during their California vacation to visit Wine Country. From San Francisco, the Napa and Sonoma regions are a full day's trip when you factor in traffic, crowds, and a little extra time to sober up before getting back on the road.
Although best known for its raucous costume parties and outrageous street fairs, San Francisco is also a rich ground for those seeking the more spirited side of the Halloween season. Ghost hunters have plenty of historical sites to haunt in their search for the paranormal, while people of all cultural backgrounds can share in the honoring of loved ones past at Dia de los Muertos festivals around the city. The best part is, all you need to attend many of these haunted gatherings is a comfortable pair of shoes and warm jacket.