NAPA VALLEY CITY GUIDE
Napa Valley, California’s most famous wine country, is the ultimate wine region in the US, with over 500 wineries dotting the picturesque valley. Jet off to Napa Valley via a short flight from San Francisco or Los Angeles. If you are flying from SF, check out JetSuiteX for direct flights to Napa. Beyond wine, Napa Valley is a transformative utopia with gourmet dining, deluxe lodging, and modern culture making it the perfect destination for a long-weekend with a group of friends.
WHERE TO STAY
Farmhouse Inn and Kitchen: The Farmhouse Inn has authentic hospitality and thoughtful touches everywhere. From friendly smiles at check-in offering you a glass of wine to the personal pool attendant and the evening s’mores bar in the lobby, you will know you are welcome here.
Andaz Napa: Boutique hotel in downtown Napa, live music on their outdoor terrace, wine and paint nights, and a location within walking distance to all the key spots. If your group feels like cruising around downtown on bikes, ask the front desk and rent their e-bikes. The Andaz also has amazing guest room suites to choose from if you’re traveling with a larger group.
Archer Hotel Napa: Luxury boutique hotel brings a unique, wine-country-chic experience to this gateway city.
Napa River Inn: Situated in downtown Napa, this boutique hotel is located in the historic Napa Mill. The Inn offers a free shuttle service within the downtown area and a gourmet market with a wine shop.
Carneros Resort: Hillside Adirondack chairs overlook the vineyard. Private gardens and tree-lined infinity pools invite guests to relax. The entire resort feels like it’s set on a farm, with cottages strewn about and crackling fireplaces warming every room.
WHERE TO EAT
Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch: Top of our Napa list, Farmstead, and for a very good reason. For a down-home (but still Napa-chic) alternative to the Cal-Ital wine country grind, this farm-to-table restaurant does not miss a beat when it comes to preparing their food with the utmost excellence. From the starters to the entrees, and desserts, you are guaranteed to leave the table saying, “wow!.”
Brix: The only word to describe this restaurant is incredible. Imagine sitting on an outdoor terrace being served a farm-to-table meal with scenic views of two acres of gardens and orchards. Make a reservation at Brix for an exquisite dining experience.
Alexis Baking Company: Started in 1985 out of a passion and desire to offer delicious food in a comfortable and whimsical setting. Now, ABC has grown into a vibrant and lively neighborhood treasure located in downtown Napa. Enjoy their quality egg scrambles, granola, focaccia sandwiches and big cups of coffee.
Grace’s Table: Recognized as a “Michelin Bib Gourmand” restaurant but with affordable prices, is one of Napa’s local downtown favorite bistros. Its cuisine is described as “global country fare” focusing on a farm to table experience. You are in for a unique dining experience with traditional Italian, French, American and Latin dishes.
Goose & Gander: As you walk into Goose & Gander, you will immediately feel comfortable at the unpretentious and inviting restaurant. You and your girls can enjoy your Sunday brunch by the cozy stone fireplace in the lush and laid-back lounge. Or as you walk into the garden towards the front door, you will see a gorgeous open patio to the left where you are welcomed to grab an airy chair near the outdoor koi pond.
Celadon: Tucked behind a garden, with weathered brick walls and a rustic courtyard, awaits an unforgettable meal. The seasonal menu is eclectic but extremely flavorful as all the menu items are inspired from all over the globe. Their courtyard, with low lighting, a fireplace, cozy vibes, and an incredible cocktail and wine list, is a bachelorette must.
RH Yountville: A restaurant that is run by Restoration Hardware, need I say more to convince you to go? RH Yountville is the true definition of chic and is a fab place for a bachelorette dinner or lunch. Make a reservation beforehand!
The Girl & The Fig: Over the past twenty years, The Girl & The Fig has made its mark in Napa and has been a longtime favorite for both locals and visitors to the area. With a seasonal menu featuring garden vegetables, herbs, and an abundance of creativity, the rustic Provencal-inspired cuisine allows earth’s true and natural flavors to shine.
WHERE TO DRINK
NOTE: Reservations are required at most of the wineries. Please reserve a wine tasting at the wineries before arrival.
Domaine Carneros: Napa or France? Inspired by the 18th century Château de la Marquetterie in Champagne, France, this winery truly transports you to the French wine country. Once you visit, you will understand why this regal Château is popular amongst visitors.Their sparkling rosé is our favorite and a must try!
Mumm: Who doesn’t like sparkling wine? Established in California in the late 1970s, Mumm Napa follows traditional winemaking techniques of its French heritage to create the finest, hand-crafted sparkling wines.
Materra | Cunat Family Vineyards: For an authentic, family-owned vineyard experience, add Materra to your list of wineries. The tastings are personalized and served on their beautiful outdoor patio overlooking the Vineyard. Ordering a box of Materra wine to take home with you is well worth it.
HALL St. Helena Winery: If you’re a lover of art and wine then absolutely visit ALL St. Helena. A vibrant, 33-acre property off of Highway 29 in the charming town of St. Helena offers wine, art, history, architecture, a lush landscaping and a Great Lawn for relaxing and unwinding.
Banshee Wines: One of the hippest and happening wine brands. Banshee Wines has a bohemian-inspired tasting room in the heart of downtown Healdsburg, where they serve boutique Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, as well as a delicious award winning Rosé.
Cadet Wine and Beer Bar: Cadet was founded by a dynamic female duo who wanted Cadet to be a place for guests to congregate, discover new wines and boutique beers. The vibe is warm and inviting as if you were sitting at a wine bar in Paris.
Mercantile Social at the Andaz: The sophisticated outdoor lounge at the Andaz Hotel is a unique cocktail bar. It’s a great place to gather with friends and have handcrafted cocktails in the cozy confines of the Mercantile Social terrace. Comfy lounge seating, large communal tables and fire pits complete the picture.
Morimoto Napa Lounge: Get the night started with some swanky sake tasting. This lounge is the place to be and the place to be seen offering inventive, high-end Japanese fare & artful cocktails presented in glamorous yet Zen surroundings. Enjoy a sip of sake and learn about Japanese prefectures in Momosan Sake Bar, Napa’s only Sake and Japanese Whiskey bar.
Bounty Hunter: Located in the heart of downtown Napa in an historic 1880’s building, the Bounty Hunter Wine Bar & Smokin’ BBQ has been voted “Best Wine Bar in Napa Valley” five years running. The old-West themed Wine Bar features an incredible wine list offering more than 400 bottles of great wine off the shelf and over 50 wines by the glass with tasting flights, artisan beers.
WHAT TO DO
Organized Wine Tour: The INVIGO team had the BEST time touring Napa with Platypus Tours. Avoid all of the work and stress of planning your Napa Valley or Sonoma wine region visit and let Platypus Tours guide you through a most compelling and memorable day in the wine country! They can accommodate groups of any size for customized tours through the wine country.
Napa’s Wine Train: The Napa Valley Wine Train takes you on a 36-mile round-trip discovery to St. Helena, stopping at celebrated wineries along the way. But it’s more than a train. The train boasts a luxurious vintage setting with a lush and mesmerizing landscape accompanied by a divine four-course meal. This tour is a wonderful and intimate shared experience.
Distillery Tasting: Need a quick break from wine to sip some hard liquor? Book a tasting at the Napa Valley Distillery which has a massive variety of distilled spirits, shrubs, tonics and syrups from around the world. Feeling a cocktail? Try one of their fantastic Negronis!
Hot Air Balloon: You came to Napa for the wine and the food but elevate your wine country visit from ordinary to extraordinary with a hot air balloon ride to appreciate the valley’s lush rolling hills. Refer to Napa Valley Balloons, one of the original hot air balloon companies out of Napa Valley, that can accommodate larger groups.
Bike Through the Vineyards: Cycling tours pass through some of the region’s most notable wineries or choose to take your bike off-road, straight through the vineyards themselves. You will have an unforgettable day biking through the vineyards of Napa and tasting the best wines!
Spend the day visiting wineries: Refer to the previous section for our top winery selections.
WHERE TO SHOP
Calistoga’s Lincoln Avenue
A funkier version of St. Helena, but just as fun. Shop here for fashion, art, home goods, and bath/body products. Calistoga is also known for its excellent selection of vintage and thrift shops. Hours vary.
The Marketplace at Yountville
An old brick winery structure dating from 1870 that now houses several levels of charming shops, from clothing and hats to lingerie and chocolates. Wander across Washington Street for more shopping options.
St. Helena’s Main Street
Like a page from the past, boasting vintage buildings fronted by leafy trees. But behind those doors await elegant shops selling art, antiques, jewelry, luxury home goods, and elegant clothes from casual to formal. Hours vary.