Planning a Girls' Weekend in Napa Valley
Weekend trips with girlfriends are so much fun to plan out, and something I try to make sure happens at least a couple of times a year. I am fortunate to have great girlfriends who like to share responsibilities for trip planning, and after a few awesome trips to Napa Valley I thought it would be fun to share some tips with you today on how to plan a weekend in this area. There are so many great options for this type of trip, and since Napa Valley is a massive area with hundreds of options this is by no means a comprehensive list. Instead, today I am sharing several of my favorite wineries, hotels, and restaurants as an inspiration--not a paid post, just my honest opinions and experiences. Scroll through to see my picks, and I would love to hear about your favorites too!
When planning out a girls' weekend getaway, even numbers are ideal and multiples of four are perfect when thinking about sharing rooms because most hotels have 2 queen or double beds as an option. Napa Valley can be very expensive, especially in the summer months and early fall harvest season, so finding a group who can share a room (and perhaps more importantly can share a bathroom!) is a great way to travel at a reasonable cost. When traveling in the summer, I think a pool is also a must have to both cool off from the heat and soak up some sun! Several hotels that I have stayed at and liked are the Westin Verasa Napa and the Meritage Resort & Spa. Although it does not have a pool, I have also stayed at the Napa River Inn and loved the location--this hotel is in close walking distance to some fabulous restaurants and shopping and would be great for an off-season getaway!
The above photo of the Westin Verasa Napa pool is from Marriott.com
When planning out wine tastings, I love to start with bubbles and Domaine Carneros has the prettiest cheateau that makes you feel like you are in Europe. In fact this chateau was inspired by a famous one in Champagne, France. They have several options for tastings, but during our last visit we opted for the sparkling wine sampler and a cheese plate. My favorite was the brut rose, and one of my friends loved the bubbles so much that she became a member! Keep in mind that Domaine Carneros is a reservation only winery, so be sure to schedule in advance.
Another great option for bubbles and groups is Mumm. One of my girlfriends was a member at Mumm for a few years, and we did a really fun Halloween weekend visit a few years ago! They have a variety of tasting options indoors and outdoors, and their bubbly rose is one of my go-to's to have in the house for parties. Reservations are not required but strongly recommended.
Moving on from bubbles to still wines, I first have to talk about Round Pond. I randomly drove into Round Pond without a reservation back in 2009 and had such a great experience that I signed up for their wine club. I initially assumed that I would cancel after a few shipments, but I fell in love with their big bold reds and have kept the membership for ten years. In addition to their reds, I also really like their affordable and delicious sauvignon blanc and rose. As a member, I can visit with friends and enjoy free estate tastings that include wine and food pairings which is always a treat. I believe reservations are required for all tasting options.
Frog's Leap Winery is another great option for a group as they have a large tasting room, a barn you can wander around in, and a massive outdoor garden area. You can choose from their tour and tasting options, or just purchase a bottle and hang out in the large garden area. I first visited Frog's Leap in 2013, so you can check out this vintage photo of my hubby and I and two of our dear friends!
The above photo is from Frog's Leap Winery's website
If you need somewhere to hang out without a reservation, Honig Vineyard and Winery has a set of picnic tables next to the tasting room that is available first come, first serve. You can bring your own lunch/snacks, pick up a bottle from the tasting room, and enjoy the shade of the trees and view of the vineyard. I think their sauvignon blanc is quite tasty and refreshing.
If you are looking for a great first stop on your way into Napa Valley, look no further than Ram's Gate Winery. Ram's Gate is technically in Sonoma, and strategically located on the 121, on the way from San Francisco. We stopped here on our last visit this August for a wine flight and a charcuterie board on the patio and it was just lovely.
After you are finished with wine tasting for the day (we usually do 2-3 wineries in a day, keeping it chill as I have no desire to be rushing through experiences to get to the next one), you are surely going to look forward to a lovely dinner. There are so many amazing restaurants in Napa Valley that it is hard to narrow down the list, but here are some of my favorites over the years (in alphabetical order):
There you have it with my picks, now I would love to hear yours! If you have been to Napa Valley, what are your favorite wineries, restaurants, and hotels? If you have not been to Napa Valley, where is your favorite spot to spend a weekend with your girls? Thank you for visiting my blog today, and I hope you have a wonderful week!