A mere 45 minute drive from the culture rich city of San Francisco or a 6 hour drive from the bustling city of Los Angeles; Napa Valley is a welcome retreat for anyone that loves wine, relaxation and vast stretches of green grape fields. Reminding anyone of the romantic hills of Italy or France.
Places to Stay
Oakville - If you can manage to snag a home for rent here (try VRBO) it is a great spot as it is centrally located near many wineries. Oakville is home to 24 vineyards including Robert Mondavi, Opus One and Screaming Eagle to name a few. A great spot for a low key breakfast or lunch is Oakville Grocery not only do they have superb deli sandwiches, salads and snacks they have jams, jellies, olive oils, beers, wines and will even make you picnic baskets to take to the vineyards.
Yountville- Yountville is the village area for most of the Vineyards once you leave from downtown Napa. There are many great and notable restaurants here as well as a few hotels, bed and breakfasts, inns and homes for rent. There are also a plethora of activities to do based out of Yountville, and if you do not want to travel far to visit the vineyards this is the place to stay.
Located here is the renowned French Laundry but if you just feel like gourmet Pizza head to Redd Wood instead in the base of the North Block Hotel, great for breakfast as well.
Calistoga- is home to many of the name brand hotels and more options for affordable food and drink. It is also where the decadent and airy hotel Solage is located and its Michelin starred restaurant Solbar. Rooms here can go for about $1500 a night so if you can find a rental home instead you will save some money. Don't miss coming here for dinner though, the fresh and unique dishes will want you yearning for more.
Napa- Downtown Napa was underwhelming to say the least. It has several antique stores as well as clothing stores where one could pick up a shirt for a mere $400!!! It has several hotels, inns and other places to stay and several gift shops. It won't take more than an hour to walk around however so if you are planning a trip here, allowing extra time for shopping won't be necessary unless you are going to hit the outlet mall.
Activities & Adventures
Scenic Vistas- Hot Air Ballooning with Napa Valley Balloons, as long as you like getting up early, starting off the day on a hot air balloon is one that cannot be missed.
Biking- I saw more people riding bikes here then I have in a long time. Whether you go to Napa for wine tasting or relaxing consider renting a bike or bringing your own. The Napa Vine Trail which is almost completed stretches form Vallejo Ferry to Calistoga and is 44 miles in total. Many of the vineyards have places to park your bike as well, so feel free to wine taste on two wheels instead of four. All that means is more stops for cheese and chocolates!!! If you are unsure of braving the roads solo then check out Napa Valley Bike Tours, this company will set you up in small groups to tour the vineyards, wine taste and even hot air balloon after a great ride.
I'm Alice Ford; and you are invited on my adventure of a lifetime. I am a stunt woman, green goddess and adventure junkie. Trying to explore as much as the world as I can while being Eco-friendly.