Napa Valley makes for the perfect 3 day get away. This is the Disneyland for adults, not only do you have some of the top restaurants and wine in the country, but it is absolutely beautiful. So book your tickets and get ready to have a relaxing and upscale weekend.
To get to Napa Valley, most flights fly in through Sacramento, Oakland, or San Francisco. This time we chose to fly in and out through Sacramento, this smaller airport is one of my favorites as it has a nice food selection and is layed out really well.
Coming from Sacramento you have two options, gorgeous but VERY windy, or straight highway. If you can stomach it, I highly recommend the curvy way via Highway 128, as it is beautiful. There are also a lot of stops along the way, so you can get out and take a rest and recover from the curves.
Stop in Winters
If you take Highway 128 you will go through the town of Winters. We absolutely loved this quick lunch stop. This is a really nice small town that has a fun diner called Putah Creek Cafe, which is definitely worth the stop. If you can snag a table outside, it makes for a gorgeous lunch.
Del Dotto Vineyards
Del Dotto Vineyards is a must do winery because it is one of the very few wineries that let you taste from the barrel. This was a super cool experience that we were definitely glad we did. There are 3 Del Dotto wineries, all with different architecture and experiences, so definitely look at the different images of each before you go, so you can decide which one best suites you! We choose Del Dotto Saint Helena for the gorgeous Italian extravagant interior and gardens.
When coming to Napa, make sure to book your wineries and restaurants ahead of time, as many fill up months in advance. Check out my Napa Tips & Tricks Article, so you don’t miss out on the good stuff!
Dinner in Yountville
Yountville is a really fun downtown area that we loved walking through, they have tons of amazing restauraunts and shops, not to mention gorgeous views. If you can snag a table at The French Laundry, you should go. We have heard so many people recommend it, as it is well worth the money. Bistro Jeanty is a good alternative if you can’t snag a table. They have some amazing french cuisine.
Bouchon Bakery is a MUST when visiting Napa. Go early because the lines can get really long for this amazing stop. It is worth standing in line for, but why stand in line when you don’t have to? I love their breakfast pastries, especially the cream cheese danish with fresh raspberries. Also make sure to get some macarons for later or to take home, they rivaled the macarons we had in Paris. The raspberry and rosé flavor were to die for.
Caymus Vineyards was so amazing the first time we went to Napa, we had to come back. Not only does this vineyard have amazing wine, but they also have some of the prettiest gardens in the area. Their garden area is so peaceful and gorgeous. We did this as our first tasting and had almost the whole gardens to ourselves and took some amazing pictures. My favorite thing about Caymus is that you can use your tasting fee towards a purchase of wine and they give you boxes and shippers to help get your wine home, which we didn’t find at any other winery.
Rutherford Grill was our favorite food from our last Napa trip, so we had to return and it was as good as we remembered. Everything we had was made so well and makes for the perfect stop in between wineries. They book up and tables go fast, so go early or make a reservation.
Nickel & Nickel Winery
Nickel & Nickel Winery was some of our favorite wine of the trip. They offer a cheese pairing with each of their wines plus an extensive tour of their beautiful grounds and cellar. They put a lot of details into the tours to make it worth the price. What sets them apart from other wineries in the region, is every wine is made from single vineyards and not blended, so it made for a really great tasting to compare and contrast the affect soils can have on the taste of wine.
Frogs Leap was our other favorite less expensive tasting. They have absolutely beautiful gardens that you can walk around in, or sit outside and enjoy while sipping your wine. One of our favorite things was they also have a tasting of different sodas for those who aren’t drinking.
Dinner at Oxbow Public Market
Downtown Napa is a perfect place for a evening dinner. There are so many choices you almost can’t go wrong. Oxbow Public Market has so much packed into one area, it really makes for the perfect dinner spot. You can choose between some amazing restaurants or visiting local vendors and creating your own dinner combination.
If you are looking to take a break from wine, Stone Brewing has an amazing outdoor patio that overlooks the river, plus they have cornhole. It is definitely a great spot to stop and have a drink.
Sunset Drinks at Sky & Vine
Make sure to stop by Sky & Vine in the Archer hotel for some amazing craft cocktails and a view of downtown Napa that can’t be beat. The drinks were amazing, I highly recommend the Garden in the Sky and grab a spot along the railing to watch the sun go down.
Butter Cream Bakery
Butter Cream Bakery is a really fun old fashioned diner with a counter that you can sit and order at or skip the wait and grab a pastry at their amazing bakery.
Far Niente Winery
Far Niente was hands down the prettiest winery of our whole trip. Pictures do not do this winery justice on how beautiful this winery is. The rolling vineyards set in the mountains with exquisite gardens make for an absolutely beautiful tasting.
Oakville Grocery makes for a great lunch stop. They have snacks, sandwiches, pizzas, and of course WINE. You can purchase wines by the bottle to share (they even let you borrow glasses) or by the glass, along with beer (in case you’ve had your fill of wine). This would also be a great alternative to a wine tasting if you wanted to just sit outside and enjoy some sunshine. They have lots of tables outdoors and umbrellas for shade.
Also the Welcome to Napa Sign is close by, so it makes for a perfect picture stop!
Cakebread Cellars is one of my favorite cheaper tastings. For the price it really sets itself above the rest at this price. We did their red tasting and absolutely loved it. You get a quick tour of their winery which reminded me of local brewery tours and then you get to taste their incredible wine. They also have a really nice garden area and vineyards nearby for some great pictures and just to relax.
You almost can’t go wrong with any dinner choice in Napa, the food is top notch. Press was an incredible experience and one of the best steaks that I have ever had. The bacon appetizer is definitely something you won’t get anywhere else.
Heading home? Check out my Tips & Tricks Article on how to get your wine home. Did you know that San Francisco is a short drive away? Check out my Day Trip to San Francisco Article to see all that you can do in San Francisco.