This month, we’re continuing the series with a 60-mile trip to Napa Valley for a quick getaway. From hot air balloon rides to vineyard tours, this area offers a little bit of everything — making it the perfect midsummer vacay.
Before you start packing your bags, here’s everything you need to know about the area + our insider recommendations.
Drive time: ~1 hour from Downtown Sac
Est. population: 138,572
Avg. high in July: 92°
🎟️ Things to do
Napa Valley Balloons, Inc., 4086 Byway E, Napa
The best way to make sure you see Napa Valley is to book a hot air balloon ride so you + your squad can drink it all in. The 40-60 minute experience has even been named one of the best in California by TripAdvisor.
Bothe-Napa Valley State Park, 3801 St. Helena Hwy, Calistoga
Bring your lunch and a pair of comfortable walking shoes, this dog-friendly state park boasts beautiful redwoods to meander through + larger-than-life Douglas Firs to picnic under. There’s even a pool for guests to cool off in during hot summer days.
Napa Valley Wine Trolley, 1754 2nd St., Napa
Sure, you could plan your own winery tour, but why not see the region from the back of a replica 1890s San Francisco cable car? The five-hour tour visits three wineries + includes lunch at one of the stops.
di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art, 5200 Sonoma Hwy, Napa
Protected under the Napa County Land Trust, this art park + nature preserve features multiple galleries filled with the works of Bay Area-based artists across its 217 acres.
Napa Valley Gondola, 700 Main St., Napa
Complete the aesthetic of being in the Italian countryside with wine tasting + a romantic gondola ride for two — or get up to five of your friends to come along.
🍔 Grub to eat
Olive & Hay, 875 Bordeaux Way, Napa
Located at the Meritage Resort, this Italian-inspired eatery offers farm-to-table dishes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as a weekend brunch menu.
Heritage Eats, 3824 Bel Aire Plaza, Napa
Since 2015, Heritage has been serving up twists on classic comfort foods like their O.G. Dirty Fries — Waffle fries topped with carnitas, cheese, cilantro + their signature Boom Sauce.
Addendum, 6476 Washington St., Yountville
This seasonal, lunch-only eatery from renowned chef Thomas Keller is open Fridays and Saturdays for a limited time, but their chicken + pulled pork sandwiches make it entirely worth the visit.
The French Laundry, 6640 Washington St., Yountville
Oh you fancy-fancy? The French Laundry has been awarded Michelin’s highest rating of three stars since 2007, with chef Thomas Keller offering two tasting menus each day.
Steltzner Vineyards, 5 Financial Plaza, Napa
During select days in July, Steltzner is offering visitors the chance to enjoy a unique tasting + tour experience, followed by lunch in the vineyard.
🏨 Overnight accommodations
If the wine is flowing enough to turn this quick day trip into an overnighter, here are some spots to stay.
Andaz Napa, 1450 1st St., Napa
This boutique hotel is set in Downtown Napa — within walking distance to the Napa Valley Wine Trolley — has a rustic-chic vibe, wine bars + weekly performances by Bay Area musicians.
Carneros Resort + Spa, 4048 Sonoma Hwy, Napa
Rent a private cottage or vacation home — even one with an in-ground hot tub — at this luxury resort. Pamper yourself at their spa, get centered with some yoga + top off your relaxation at their adult-only hilltop pool.
La Casita, Napa
Located in Old Town Napa, this 2 BD, 1 BA bungalow is a short walk away from a plethora of spas, shops + eateries for you and up to five others to visit.
Hotel Villagio, 6481 Washington St., Yountville
Nestled among 22 acres of Wine Country, Hotel Villagio guests will not only enjoy complimentary bikes to get around, but can indulge in garden-to-glass drinks + check out a pop-up shop from Kollar Chocolates.
Auberge du Soleil, 180 Rutherford Hill Rd., Rutherford
Taking inspiration from Southern France, Auberge du Soleil has been one of Napa’s most iconic luxury stays for ~30 years thanks to its breathtaking vistas + elegant architecture.