Travel Guide: Napa Valley
Travel Guide: Napa Valley
This past November, I headed out west to Napa Valley to visit my best friend of 20 years. She works in the wine industry, and was completing a harvest out there for a few months. Naturally, I was like, “ok twist my arm I’ll come out to Napa.” It was so beautiful, and also so sad at the same time. I had gone to Napa right after the fires were completely put out.
But, putting that aside, my friend knew all the ins and outs of Napa, and this vacation was one of the best. I’m sharing with you all my favorite spots to eat, drink and enjoy Napa for all your 2018 vacation plans.
Wineries to Visit
Although this is in Sonoma, not Napa…. this was the first winery my friend and I visited, and it was so beautiful, and reasonably priced… aka for us it was $15 for a bottle of wine after the tasting, and the tasting itself was $10 if you didn’t want to buy a bottle of wine. I normally spend liiiiike $7 on a bottle of wine from Trader Joe’s, so I was super happy with these wines. Not to mention the grounds are absolutely beautiful. We walked through some of the vines, through a garden. It was gorgeous.
This winery was amazing because they had an entire olive oil tasting in the winery. They pressed the olives and made the oil right there, and had all the samples out to taste. I couldn’t get enough of the jalapeno olive oil… BUT, be sure to go olive oil tasting AFTER your wine tasting, or else your taste buds could get all funky. We, naturally, had learned that AFTER we had gone from olive oil tasting to wine tasting.
The views from this tasting room are absolutely gorgeous, you look out to the grape vines, and the mountains, and the Stag’s Leap in which this winery is named after. The wine was absolutely delicious, but this tasting room is definitely on the pricer side… but it was still absolutely amazing.
They had this red wine champagne that was so flipping good. They had a huge indoor area where you could sit, taste and enjoy yourself, but the outdoor patio was absolutely stunning. It was somewhat enclosed, so you were in a bit of a garden. But nonetheless, you were surrounded by beautiful landscape and sipping on some top notch champagne.
If I could just have my future home designed EXACTLY like this tasting room, that would be ideal. It was so modern, fresh and clean looking. Not to mention the woman who was pouring our tasting was so nice. We ended up staying and just chatting with her for a while. The wine caves are literally in the mountain, so if you do a tour, I would suggest doing that.
This place was so cool, from the walls covered with Rolling Stone magazine covers and old articles written about artists, to great music being played and an overall super chill vibe… this place is great to go for a tasting at night. There’s no outdoor area, and being in downtown Napa, there’s no real mountains or greenery to be seen.[pic taken from the JaM Cellars Website]
WHERE TO EAT
This place has everything from fast food, to small sit down restaurants to little shops. If you don’t know what you’re in the mood for, head there and I guarantee you’ll find out what you’re in the mood for. This is where I tried my very first oyster! Yes… I know I put a lot of that green stuff on there.
This was a Mediterranean place right next to JaM Cellars. It was so good, and so incredibly fresh. We sat at the bar, and right in front of where the chefs were making the food. The saganaki had dried apricots and raisins and was like a dessert… ugh, I wish I could have that again, right now in front of me. My friend and I went there together and just split everything, and that was the best way to do it.[pic taken from OpenTable]
For either before or after dinner drinks, this rooftop is incredibly quaint and so cute. From private cabanas to a bar to a large fire pit with probably 20 chairs around it, this is a great atmosphere. Not to mention the drinks are interesting, yet super good too.
So if you’re planning a trip to Napa these are all of my suggestions… aaaaaand now I want to go back. Cheers to 2018 travel!