California is a state that simply must be visited at least once in a lifetime. Whether you choose to travel alone or as a family, California is full of things to see and do. If you’re a newly wed, planning a honeymoon, or just a romantic at heart, California is calling you. If you’re looking for movie stars, go to Hollywood or Beverly Hills. If you’re looking for a relaxing vacation, beautiful scenery and some sweet spirits, then wind your way around to Wine Country. Recreational places like the wineries in Napa Valley and Sonoma are waiting for you.
Napa Valley and Sonoma County in Northern California is only an hour’s drive from San Francisco. Otherwise known as Wine Country, Napa Valley and Sonoma County are popular among newlyweds, honeymooners, wine enthusiasts, gourmets and other hopeless romantics who wish to enjoy all the good things in life. There are so many exquisite places to stay and visit in California’s Wine Country, the choices are overwhelming, but well worth your time.
Napa Valley, which actually consists of six towns, including: St. Helena, Oakville, Calistoga, Rutherford, Yountville and Napa. Each of these towns feature their own first class wineries, spas, resorts, hotels and restaurants, not to mention the breath taking scenery of the Wine Country itself. The experience of the California Wine Country will rejuvenate your being and will create wonderful memories to last a lifetime.
Sonoma County is the birthplace of the California wine industry. Sonoma Valley is 17 miles long and sits between two glorious mountain ranges, where numerous wineries host tasting events and tours on a daily basis. The Plaza is encircled with boutiques, adobe structures and restaurants in Sonoma’s town square. For over a century, the hot springs have drawn thousands of health conscious guests to the area and even today, is host to a number of world class spas and resorts.
Some of the smaller, family owned wineries will give tours by appointment only. It would be best to call and set up the appointment well in advance of your visit to Wine Country, so you are sure to get in. This can be a very rewarding experience, because this will give to time to have a one on one conversation with the wine makers themselves without being caught up in a group of tourists. Many of the large and small family owned wineries make themselves available for outdoor weddings and other special occasions for additional costs. Most only offer wine tasting, tours of their wineries, and host other special events.
If you are planning to visit California’s Wine Country, try to make your visit in the middle of the week, because the weekends are often over crowded and that can make traveling and sightseeing fairly difficult and thus less enjoyable. During the week, there is less traffic to deal with and some of the hotels can have lower rates. It’s always best to call ahead to the hotels to make sure there is room available for you when you arrive. If you decide to use Silverado Trail as your driving route, you will encounter less traffic and have a more scenic route to enjoy. The scenery is one of the best parts of visiting Wine Country, so stop and smell the roses as often as possible.
If you are looking for a picnic area with a great view, try visiting Rutherford Hill Winery’s picnic area. If you choose to use a picnic area belonging to a specific winery, you may choose to buy a bottle of wine from them as a courtesy, for you to enjoy with your picnic meal. A delicious addition to your picnic basket would be a selection of fruits, cheeses and baked goods from the Sunshine Market in St. Helena. You can also pick up your plates, napkins and utensils for your picnic while you’re there.
Gordon’s on Yountville is famous for their tasty coffee, which is a delicious addition to breakfast. For a scrumptious lunch or dinner, try eating at the French Laundry. There is a wide variety of fine restaurants in Wine Country from which to pick and choose, even if you don’t have a reservation, you have a good chance at getting in.