August 9, 2019
Tasting & Learning
It seems like a tried-and-true choice, a Napa Valley road trip from San Francisco and the Bay area. But there’s nothing predictable about a weekend getaway in America’s most celebrated wine region, because there are as many ways to enjoy it as there are grapes on a vine. In any season, Napa delights the senses. Hundreds of options for delicious wines. Views that will take your breath away. And an exciting region with more than its fair share of food, arts and culture, and history to discover. Whether you live in San Francisco or you’re looking to broaden your Northern California vacation horizons, from where to stay, what to eat, and things to do, we’ve got your Napa Valley getaway uncorked.
Maybe you love to hit the open road. Or maybe you’d rather leave your worries—and your car—behind. Our I Left My Car In San Francisco package whisks you from The Embarcadero in San Francisco by ferry to Vallejo, where a shuttle then takes you to the Wine Train Station. Accommodations at the lovely Napa River Inn at the historic Napa Mill on the waterfront are included, and so is a gourmet lunch journey aboard the luxurious and elegant Wine Train. Or book a stay on your own. Tuck yourself away among the vines and live the real wine country lifestyle at the beautiful Senza Hotel or enjoy the serene natural setting of the elegant River Terrace Inn Napa, which also happens to be steps away from the best of downtown Napa.
Naturally, we think a trip on the Wine Train is one of the most unique, distinctive—and delicious!—things to do in Napa Valley. Spend the day, your lunch, or a special evening with us on board. The Legacy Tour takes you through time and tradition, and to the wineries of three of the most celebrated families in the region: Robert Mondavi, Charles Krug, and V. Sattui. Don’t have a full day? Opt for a half-day tour of the whimsical Raymond Winery. Or take your lunch or dinner to new heights aboard the Vista Dome: a gourmet multiple course meal, three-hour train journey, and the elegant surroundings and panoramic views of our observation-style dining car.
When you’re done taking in the best of food, wine and passage through the extraordinary vineyard-lined landscape aboard the Wine Train, Napa Valley still has plenty to offer. Another great way to get around and take it all in? By bike! Take a guided tour or rent a bike and head out on your own along Napa Valley Vine Trail, stopping at wineries, shops, and restaurants along the way. Soothe sore muscles with a soak in the famed hot springs and mineral pools of Calistoga, discovered by the Wappo tribe about 8,000 years ago. Explore Downtown Napa, perched on the banks of the Napa River, and take in its parks, river walks, celebrity restaurants, tasting rooms, and arts scene, and music, including an outpost of New York’s famous Blue Note jazz club.
Now, in Napa Valley, there’s a fine line between “Things to Do” and “Where to Eat” because often local destinations cover off both, so we’ll use the Culinary Institute of America at Copia as the perfect example. Dubbed a “foodie wonderland” by The New York Times, you can take a first-rate cooking class, enjoy tasting events, visit the Culinary Arts Museum, or yes, even eat—fresh from their own garden onto your plate at The Restaurant—all in the same day. Or stroll the Oxbow Public Market an artisanal food mecca offering oysters, cupcakes, coffee, pizza, ice cream, charcuterie, and so much more.
If it’s Michelin stars you’re looking for, you’ll find three of them, the highest rating, at Thomas Keller’s world-renowned Yountville restaurant The French Laundry. It doesn’t get any better than the dazzling daily 12-course tasting menu, but if you didn’t snag a reservation, not to worry, you can still have a Keller experience enjoying the legendary friend chicken at Ad Hoc or the steak frites at Bouchon Bistro. Want to dial down the fine food factor? Try and old-fashioned burger and organic ice cream milkshake at Gott’s Roadside. Craving something specific? Don’t miss brunch favorite Lovina, the signature tuna pizza at Morimoto Napa, or authentic Mexican tacos from Gran Eléctrica, a second location of the Brooklyn original.
So it’s not a question of what is there to see and do in Napa, it’s what are you in the mood for? And are you hungry? Because we’ve got just the right experience for you. This is a getaway you’re sure to savor.