As I mentioned last week, I went to Napa Valley with some of my sorority sisters for the weekend. We had an amazing time and I thought I’d share our itinerary for anyone else who is interested in going!
First off, to explain, Napa is HUGE. There are over 700 wineries spread out through Northern California. There are different areas you can visit, such as Sonoma, St. Helena and Calistoga. We spent most our trip in St. Helena and loved it.
Napa is about 2 hours from any airport. We chose to fly into SFO in San Francisco, since it was the largest and had the most flight options. Flying from Boston cost about $350. A little high for my tight budget but I used credit card rewards to pay for most of it, so I was pretty happy. (Thank you Capital One Venture card!)
If you’re flying from the east coast, I suggest a direct flight. It’s a long flight and then you still have to drive to Napa itself. No need to make a long day even longer and only save $50!
There are some hotels in the St. Helena area, but they can run pretty pricy. We also had 7 girls on the trip, and wanted to all be together which would be difficult and not as comfortable in a hotel. Instead we rented a house through Airbnb and lucked out with a beautiful and reasonably priced house!
We rented a car to get us to and from San Francisco as well as dinner each night. But when it came to the wineries, we obviously didn’t want to drive. We ended up taking cabs, but those were very expensive given the short distances we were traveling. We paid $100 (plus tip) for four trips/probably about 6 miles total distance. Keep that in mind when budgeting for your trip!
The food in St. Helena is amazing! We went to 4 different restaurants and I would recommend each of them.
•Goose & Gander – a cool and funky dinner place
•Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen – delicious food and cute country chic decor
•St. Helena Bistro – almost like a hole in the wall but everything tasted delicious
•Model Bakery – a local favorite with great coffee and breakfast sandwiches.
And an FYI – most (if not all) restaurants allow you to bring in your own wine, though there might be a “corking fee” of $15-25. Call ahead and find out what the fee is. It’s definitely worth bringing your own wine so you don’t have to pay the restaurant markup.
Continued in Part Two– all the wineries we visited!