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Top 5 Napa Valley Travel Tips

June 2nd, 2016

Tips for Visiting Napa Valley

Food and wine connoisseurs recognize northern California as the spiritual home of the outstanding and inventive — but never snooty — meal. Napa and Sonoma set the standard for American winemaking, bar none, so if you’re ready for an unforgettable weekend away then leave the kids at home and visit Napa Valley in style.

1. Auberge du Soleil

The ultimate destination resort, Auberge du Soleil is worth every penny. Nestled within Napa’s hills in the heart of Napa Valley, book at least one meal at the hotel’s restaurant, which earned a Michelin star. You’ll also want to make an appointment at the spa before you spend the afternoon exploring the region’s vineyards. Plan to spend a day in Sonoma, which is an easy day trip. Need more proof that Auberge is the premier place to stay? Check out Trip Advisor, where readers awarded the hotel with 5 stars. It’s also the winner of Conde Nast Traveler’s Readers Choice Award.

2. Frank Family Vineyards

You’ve come this far — why stop now? Make a tasting appointment at Calistoga’s Frank Family Vineyards, just off the Silverado Trail and ranked Napa’s best tasting room for 6 years in a row. You’ll love the friendly service, but you’ll appreciate the laid-back vibe, family-owned feel and delicious wines even more. After you’ve quaffed your share, check out one of Calistoga’s taco trucks, and relax California style in the sunshine. La Gitana, on Tubbs Lane, is one of the most popular.

3. Schramsberg

If sparkling wine is your scene, Schramsberg is the only place to go in Napa Valley. Beware: reservations are necessary, and you’ll have to give your credit card in advance. It can be difficult for some wineries to accommodate groups of more than 6, so plan to call well in advance if you are traveling with a group of friends. Consider taking a cave tour if you want to know more about how those tiny little bubbles.

4. The French Laundry and Mustards Grill

The French Laundry and Mustards Grill are two of the best-known restaurants in northern California, and for good reason. The food is fresh, expertly prepared and perfectly presented. The wine list — of course — makes even the most selective oenophile’s mouth water. And you’re sure to have a memorable meal, no matter what you order. It goes without saying that reservations are an absolute must, and you probably can’t call soon enough. Note that harvest season is in the fall, and those days and times book faster than others.

5. The Drive Home

If you’re like many Napa Valley visitors, you traveled to the region through San Francisco. Don’t miss the beautiful northern California shoreline by driving straight back to SFO over the highway. Instead, take the day to explore the unforgettable coastline, and head due west to Bodega Bay. Drive the coastal highway south through Stinson Beach and over the Golden Gate Bridge. Time the visit for sunset and stop to take a few photos, or buy fresh oysters on the water along the seaside seafood shacks that dot Marin County. Tip: make sure you have plenty of gas in the car, because fill-ups are few and far between along the coast.

Questions about planning your ideal Napa Valley trip? Get in touch with Quintessentially People to see how we can help with hiring a driver, nanny and more for your weekend getaway.