Wanderlust Series: Napa Valley, California
Welcome to your next Wanderlust Series: Napa Valley, California! Last Fall I did a series on Napa Valley and several people asked for an updated post with Spring and Summer looks. Ask and you shall receive! I didn’t include a full itinerary because there is so much to do in Napa and it all depends on what kind of experiences you want to have. However, this sounds like a charming 4 day trip over Labor day weekend to me. Would you add or change anything about this itinerary?
Day 1: Arrival and Wine Tasting
– Arrive in Napa and check into your accommodation, preferably a hotel or a bed and breakfast in the heart of Napa Valley.
– Start your Napa experience with a visit to a few wineries. Some popular options include Beringer Vineyards, Domaine Carneros, and Robert Mondavi Winery. Enjoy wine tastings and learn about the winemaking process.
– In the evening, head to downtown Napa for dinner. There are many excellent restaurants to choose from, such as The French Laundry, Bistro Don Giovanni, or Oenotri.
Day 2: Hot Air Balloon Ride and Wine Train
– Begin your day with a memorable hot air balloon ride over the picturesque Napa Valley. This experience offers breathtaking views of the vineyards and the surrounding landscape.
– After landing, enjoy a leisurely brunch at one of the local cafes or restaurants.
– In the afternoon, embark on the Napa Valley Wine Train, a scenic journey through the valley’s vineyards. This luxurious train ride offers gourmet meals and wine pairings while you enjoy the beautiful scenery.
– After disembarking, explore the charming town of St. Helena. Visit local boutiques, art galleries, and enjoy dinner at one of the town’s acclaimed restaurants.
Day 3: Spa Day and Vineyard Picnic
– Start your day with relaxation at one of Napa’s renowned spas. Many resorts offer world-class spa treatments and facilities. Consider Meadowood Napa Valley or Meritage Spa for a luxurious experience.
– In the afternoon, pack a picnic lunch and visit one of the many vineyards that allow picnicking. Some popular choices include V. Sattui Winery, Castello di Amorosa, or Domaine Chandon. Enjoy your picnic surrounded by vineyards and beautiful scenery.
– In the evening, return to downtown Napa for a casual dinner at one of the trendy restaurants or wine bars. The Oxbow Public Market is also a great option for trying local artisanal food and beverages.
Day 4: Outdoor Activities and Farewell
– Spend your last day in Napa enjoying outdoor activities. You can go hiking or biking in the scenic trails of Bothe-Napa Valley State Park or Skyline Wilderness Park.
– Alternatively, take a leisurely stroll through the Napa Riverfront Promenade, where you can enjoy river views, boutique shopping, and waterfront dining.
– Before departing, visit one last winery or vineyard to pick up some bottles of your favorite wines to take home as souvenirs.
– Finally, bid farewell to Napa and head back home, or continue your California adventure by exploring other nearby destinations such as San Francisco or Sonoma.
Remember to make reservations in advance for winery tours, hot air balloon rides, and restaurants, as Labor Day weekend is a popular time to visit Napa. Enjoy your weekend getaway in Napa Valley!
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Auberge du Soleil: This luxurious and highly acclaimed hotel offers stunning views of the vineyards and Napa Valley. It features elegant rooms, a Michelin-starred restaurant, a spa, and a beautiful outdoor pool.
The French Laundry: This world-renowned three-Michelin-starred restaurant in Yountville offers an exceptional fine dining experience with a focus on seasonal ingredients and innovative cuisine. Reservations should be made well in advance.
Hot Air Balloon Ride with Napa Valley Aloft: Experience the beauty of Napa Valley from a hot air balloon with Napa Valley Aloft. They offer breathtaking sunrise flights over the vineyards, followed by a champagne brunch.
Napa Valley Wine Train, a scenic journey through the valley’s vineyards. This luxurious train ride offers gourmet meals and wine pairings while you enjoy the beautiful scenery.
Castello di Amorosa: This stunning castle winery in Calistoga is a must-visit. Explore the medieval-style castle, taste their award-winning wines, and enjoy the picturesque vineyard views.
The Oxbow Public Market: Located in downtown Napa, Oxbow Public Market is a vibrant marketplace featuring local gourmet food vendors, artisanal products, wine tasting opportunities, and casual dining options.
Domaine Carneros is a landmark California estate winery and château, Domaine Carneros is renowned as a small grower-producer of méthode traditionelle sparkling and estate Pinot Noir.
Bottega: Located in Yountville, Bottega showcases Chef Michael Chiarello’s Italian-inspired cuisine. The restaurant offers a modern and vibrant atmosphere with a menu featuring homemade pastas, wood-fired pizzas, and other Italian specialties.
V. Sattui Winery, craftS one of the largest selections of award-winning, small-batch, small lot wines in the valley, and pride themselves on making wines that appeal to a wide range of tastes.
Bistro Jeanty: Located in downtown Yountville, Bistro Jeanty serves classic French bistro fare in a cozy and charming setting. The menu features dishes like boeuf bourguignon and escargots.