On my recent trip to downtown Napa, I was amazed with all there was to do. From relaxing in my amazing room, to tasting wine, hiking, biking, attending concerts, the food, and more, downtown Napa has something for everyone and every budget. Plus, it's all done well. But, I like to turn it up a bit on the luxury scale. So, we are returning soon to do Napa my way in style and luxury.
On my first trip, I fell in love with Napa, California, but felt as though I didn't have enough time. So, we are packing our bags and heading back, this time for five nights. Keep in mind, we are looking for luxury, ease in traveling, privacy, and I will be with my husband, who has limited time and will be working even though he is “off” work. So, our choices are based on what meets our needs.
Traveling to Napa
To get to Napa, unless of course you live close by and can drive, you will need to fly into San Francisco and take transportation to Downtown Napa. You can rent a car, take a shuttle, or take the ferry and the shuttle. We have decided not to have a care in the world on this trip and don't even want to worry about a rental car. So, we have hired a car service to drive us to and from the Napa. The cost is around $250 each way and well worth to us.
The great thing about our travel out and back is that no matter what, we need to connect at Dallas Fort Worth and both SFO and DFW have American Express Centurion Lounges. DFW is perfect for connecting to grab a meal and a massage at their spa while waiting for our flight to SFO and you can also enjoy their great wine bar.
Where to Stay in Napa
Downtown Napa has many options for lodging. We will be staying at The Napa River Inn. We prefer small boutique hotels with comfy rooms we can stay in all day if we want and Napa River Inn fits the bill. The staff is amazing and the location is on the river right downtown, making it an easy walk to get anywhere. Sweetie's breakfast in bed and the comfy bed and fireplace seal the deal for me.
If you need a bit more out of a hotel, there is a Westin downtown, also along the river. I was in the lobby and bar area and the space is beautiful. My friend Amy loved the Westin and I trust her opinion.
Wine Tasting in Napa
Yes, Downtown Napa is in Napa Valley, so you have to make your way to a vineyard or two, but you don't have to leave downtown to do wine tasting. On my last stay, I got the Taste Card and we will be getting it again. For only $30, you will receive tasting from 12 different tasting rooms.
We only made it to five on our last visit due to time and the fact that we ended up spending time buying cases and chatting to the tasting room folks. Everyone is so nice and knowledgeable. Each tasting room had a different “taste”, from one taste pour to an entire flight! The card is good for a year, so there is no need to rush from place to place all in one day. You can order your taste cards on line or pick them up once you arrive. .
Where to Dine in Napa
Oh, this is so so hard! There are so many wonderful options for eating in Downtown Napa. I cannot say about the food. Not only is it a true foodie town, but the love and passion behind each meal was incredible. We will be venturing out to some new places on this next visit, but we will be repeating at a few of my favorites.
Bounty Hunter Wine Bar and Smokin' BBQ: Yes, the same Bounty Hunter as the catalog that hopefully comes to your mailbox and you order from. The restaurant is all about BBQ, but not your run of the mill BBQ. It is amazing! I rarely order chicken, but a friend said I must try it, so I did and will be ordering it again. It is not your normal “throw the chicken on a can of beer and smoke it” kind of chicken. It is all that and suck on the bones, it is so good!
CA'MOMI: First they had me with organic and local ingredients, then they had me with traditional Italian but wait, then there was the food and wine. WOW! Most likely one of the best meals cooked with, as they say, intention and it shows. The ingredients and flavors are very well planned out and each bite was amazing. We started with some shared plates and a la Strega by recommendation of the manager. It was perfect to prepare for our meal balanced with the lemon, egg whites, gin and bitters. The small foods are traditional Italian slow food dishes. We had amazing pork shank and oxtail stew. We also tried one of the Pizza Napoletana, I am still amazed by the flavor and texture of the crust, cooked for just 90 seconds at 900 degrees. It is rare that I find cuttlefish on a menu so when I do I jump on it. I was glad I did, because it was prepared perfectly with cooked and fresh fennel and a bit of sambuca. The cuttlefish really was fantastic. The space is beautiful and front in center in the open kitchen is an authentic pizza oven. There are also private dining rooms on the second level that look over the entire restaurant. I can not wait to go back.
Oxbow Public Market: There are so many great spots in the Oxbow Public Market and I am so excited to get back to try more of them. C Casa is a must stop. The food rivals with our favorite place in Austin. I know Cate & Co will be loved by my hubby after I had one bite of my friend Amy's sandwich. I loaded up with a bag full of Cate & Co coming home, including caramels, salami, and cookies. I am also looking forward to trying Hog Island Oyster Bar and CA' MOMI's other restaurant, Enoteca. Friends had their pastry box that looked amazing!
What I'm Adding to This Trip
On our last trip we did so much, but there is so much still to do. Since this is a special getaway for hubby and me, I am including the following to add a touch of luxury.
- The Spa. I am so excited to try the spa at The Napa River Inn. Although I did not get to visit it on my last trip, I will be booking a massage and another treatment this trip. Spas are a must for me when traveling.
- Wine Train. There are so many options for the Napa Wine Train, but we are not big crowd people. We are planning the Ambassador Winery Tour that includes a gourmet lunch on the train and 2 vineyard tours and have requested to sit in the Vista Dome. The other trip that was recommended was the Castle Winery Tour.
- Private Bike Tour and Vineyard Visit with Getaway Advenures. On my last visit, I went on a ride from Oxbow Public Market to Luna Vineyards and it was amazing. I am excited to let the Getaway Adventures plan a special trip for the two of us to include a private vineyard tour and meal at a vineyard. What I love most about Getaway is that you don't have to be an avid rider to enjoy their trips and they provide everything!
- Other activities I will be working on with the hotel concierge will include a Cooking Class, private chef's dinner, and of course shopping! I will also be checking out the concerts and events. The Uptown is not only stage for so many great performers and bands, but is a must stop. Be sure to check it out when you are in Napa.
I really can't get back to Downtown Napa fast enough and we would love to hear all about your next trip to Napa! And, if you are looking for the perfect GirlFriend Getaway, check out this trip from Lifestyle Traveling Mom.