This beautiful valley of vineyards has quaint towns, wineries, fantastic Napa Valley accommodations and many excellent restaurants making for California vacations.
Only about an hour's drive North of San Francisco, a Napa Valley Weekend Getaway is a great complement to a San Francisco vacation. Also, you might want to check out the wine country area of
There are two main roads along the valley....St. Helena Highway 29 (busy and passes the most famous wineries) and the Silverado Trail (a curvy road with beautiful views).
The 5 towns in the valley are: Calistoga - the place for Spas and nightlight; St. Helena - Main Street has many stylish boutiques; Yountville - "Culinary Capital of the Napa Valley" great shops, restaurants and lodging; Napa - county seat, busy tourist town; American Canyon - newest city and gateway to the valley.
The climate and soil make this one of the world's great wine growing regions and this is what makes a Napa Valley vacation so popular. The over 200 wineries run the gamut from grand estates owned by big corporations to mom-and-pop operations.
When to go: The summers, especially weekends, and September/October harvest are busiest....so avoid Napa Valley travel during these times if you don't like crowds. The weather is moderate year round. Average highs are in the low 80s June-Sept with cool evenings. The coldest daytime temperatures are in December and January with averages in the high 50s.
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Things to do on a Napa Valley Getaway
- Napa Valley Wine Train - beautifully restored vintage train cars including dome car, lounge car and dining car, travels the Napa Valley in style, lunch and dinner rides
- Copia: The American Center for Wine, Food and the Arts - food and wine museum, interactive and entertaining, classes available
- Napa Valley Balloons - sunrise balloon flight over the beautiful valley followed by champagne breakfast (featured on Oprah)
- Napa Valley Museum in Yountville - exhibits and programs of art, environment and history of the area
- Di Rosa Preserve: Art and Nature - Art displayed inside and outside on trail walk
- Chardonnay Golf Club - premier championship 27 hole golf course
- Skyline Wilderness Park - Best hiking for a Napa Valley getaway
- Skyline Wilderness Park - bike trail and nature hiking trail, frisbee golf, picnic areas, botanical garden
- Burke's Canoe Trips - 10 mile self-guided canoe tour down the Russian River from Forestville to a Guerneville beach
Napa Valley Wineries
- Peju Province Winery - fountains, statues and stained glass adorn this high class winery
- Artesa Winery - unusal setting being built into mountainside, 360 degree views
- Sterling Winery - gondola ride, touristy
- Chateau Potelle - beautiful drive, down to earth style, off the beaten path, great wine
- Chateau Montelena - lovely grounds, lake, chinese gazebo
- Cakebread - lots of wines, educational, less crowded
Favorite Napa Valley Hotel Guide
There are many Napa Valley accommodations available from very luxurious spas to fine hotels, quaint inns and charming bed and breakfasts. Most offer help with Napa Valley Weddings. Check out the best rates for a variety of Napa Hotels and Inns here.
Some favorites to consider....
- Calistoga Ranch - low key luxury and simple opulence make this expensive ranch and spa an upscale splurge, very romantic
- Best Western Elm House Inn- feel of a small Inn (not what "Best Western" brings to mind)
- Boonville Hotel - unique, comfortable rooms
- Napa Valley Railway Inn - guest rooms in train cars set on tracks, hot air balloons take off in adjacent parking lot in early morning (can be noisy so ask for room on east side)
- Calistoga Inn - cheap Napa Valley lodging, shared baths (European style), simple rooms and a continental breakfast
Napa Valley Bed and Breakfast
- Beazley House - Ph. (707) 257-1649, lovely luxurious B&B with beautiful gardens and grounds
- Candlelight Inn - very romantic Inn, English Tudor style, gourmet breakfast, lots of extras
Romantic Getaway in Napa Valley
- Yountville Inn - cozy, romantic rooms with stone fireplaces and other amenities
- Napa River Inn - check out the "Romance Getaway Package" at this luxury hotel, located in the historic Napa Mill, built in 1884, in-room breakfast
Favorite Restaurants in Napa Valley California
The Farm at Carneros Inn has interesting entrees made with locally grown food in a lovely atmosphere. For unusual Creole-California food try the Bleaux Magnolia which has a nice outdoor eating area. The popular Ubuntu Restaurant serves imaginative and creative vegetarian food in a homey, casual atmosphere.
Allegria is a small Italian restaurant with reasonable prices. It offers other options besides Italian. At the Rutherford Grill, try the BBQ ribs, wood-fired rotisserie chicken, cornbread in the skillet to name a few of the great menu items at this moderately priced restaurant.
For an inexpensive meal on your Napa Valley getaway, check out Highway 29 Cafe serving great home cooking for breakfast or lunch.
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