A Girls’ Getaway Travel Diary | Napa & Sonoma

Travel

Aug 29


(image taken at Del Dotto Winery)

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My best friend, Laura, and I have found a way to see each other every year since our freshmen year in college. 

We live states away, but whether I visit her at home, or she visits me, or we find a nook just a plane ride away to soak up the girl time – we make a way to get our yearly-scheduled gal time in. Just a quick weekend, once a year – every BFF and gal pal needs a little girls’ getaway to just simply get-a-way, ammiright? Our spot this year was Napa Valley. I can’t say it’s the most restful trip (hello, heavy pours!), but ’twas every bit of beautiful, i.e., laid-back, fireside cozy in the mornings, delicious bites in the evening and absolutely fan-tas-tic.

To plan this trip, I took it to you girls on Instagram Story and you ladies dished over 100 recommendations for Napa – another reason my readers are simply the best. I can’t include all the recs you sent, but Laura put them into a spreadsheet, and I went through and chose my favorites (especially based on ambiance, beautiful views, and photoshoot spots for the blog, naturally). Shoutout to my sweet bestie, Laura, for helping plan the trip so well! Here we go:

OPTIONS TO STAY: 

Yountville: The cutest little town we ever did see. I highly recommend staying in this eensy little town just for the quaint adorable and darlingness. Bardessono was our home for the first part of the trip and boy – was it b-e-a-utiful. The modern architecture was simply stunning, the hospitality was warm and soothing and there was a zen-like spa feel to the entire hotel home. Bliss. Plus Bardessono has the most stunning and chic pool + cute little cruisers to bike around town with!

Air BNB: I get it, Yountville is expensive. Especially if you’re planning a girls’ getaway. So if you’re looking for a cheaper alternative, we stayed at this Air BNB for part of our trip and it was obviously a huge change from Yountville – but we absolutely adored the little town-like feel it had, the cute fire in the morning with people gathered around, and the coffee shop around the corner! For it’s price, it’s a really good spot if you’re trying to not break the bank!

Inn on Randolph: The most adorable bed and breakfast (or luxury boutique inn) – that home-cooks all gluten-free. We stopped by Inn on Randolph for breakfast (we coordinated it as media guests) and the atmosphere was so quaint, welcoming, warm and lovely.

WHAT TO KEEP IN MIND: 

Plan in meals, don’t overplan wineries, use UBER: Napa is known for heavy pours in their tastings, and we ended up canceling a few of our tastings because we were all set (lol). Make sure to schedule in time for lunches and food – time flies when you’re having fun! Make sure not to drink and dirve, and use UBER to your advantage.

We rented a car for the airport drive: The cost of a rental car was cheaper than the addition of the two uber rides back and forth from SFO airport on top of rides to breakfast, etc., so renting a car was a no-brainer. It was wonderful to have the car to drive to breakfast and brunch in the morning.

Bring a sweater / scarf: We thought a jean jacket would do for the cold California mornings, but the sun didn’t quite come out till noon or 1 pm and we were pretty chilled in the 55-degree breeze. There were girls in puffer coats, oversized Free People turtlenecks and more and we were definitely jealous (apparently our weekend was colder than most – but just an FYI)! I would definitely bring a pair of cute sneakers or flats, and a cozy oversized knit sweater and a hoodie – next time!

WHERE TO TASTE: 

Kunde Mountain Top Tasting – First, I highly recommend Sonoma; the views are absolutely stunning. We hands-down loved this tour and it was the more expensive one we chose (to see more, click the IG Story highlights under Napa Valley). There was a quick cave tour and then a car that drove you up through their grape fields in Sonoma. Then we got to pick and taste the grapes on the mountain, followed by a mountaintop tasting with the most stunning view (great for photos). There were blankets and flowers and we thought it was just lovely.

Sonoma: Stop at Girl & The Fig for dinner (so cute and popular) and walk around town; we stopped at Sweet Scoops as well!

Del Dotto Vineyards – Notorious for their heavy pours, absolutely stunning architecture and for the Kardashians stopping (filming) and tasting. This was our favorite spot in Napa for photographing pictures (so chic) and was such a hit. We had a blast and they are not shy with their pours, so make sure you eat a good meal and drink lots of water before! They have three locations, and all three are beautiful!

William Hill Estate – This was the most peaceful and restful winery I’ve ever experienced. Also highly recommended with the above three (I’m trying not to pick a favorite between the above wineries and I simply can’t). The view was absolutely gorgeous and the white anorak chairs were the best backdrop for kicking our feet back and enjoying each other’s gal time + the view. I put this winery on my story (based on a follower’s rec) and they came out and comped our tasting! Made our day – such sweet hospitality!

The below wineries were recommended by you ladies, but we didn’t have a chance to go:

Nickel & Nickel – you girls suggested the private tour here! It’s so precious to the eyes.

V Sattui

Barnet

Luna Vineyards

Chateau Montelena

Sterling Vineyard

WHERE TO EAT: 

We were only in Napa for 3 full days, so we didn’t have much time to snack around. Here’s what we did fit in!

Oxbow Market – Stopping by Oxbow Market is a must! It has a NYC-market-meets-Whole Foods feel; urban and modern, overflowing with people and delicious bites. This place is a happening spot.

Lucy’s @ Bardessano – You can’t beat the ambiance in Yountville, you just can’t. The ambiance is just as delicious to look at as the farm-to-table cuisine is to eat.

Bouchon Bakery – The cutest little bakery in Yountville – absolutely delicious macarons!

Girl & The Fig – This one’s near Sonoma. Ask for the blankets and heaters – as my hairdresser, Michael, suggested! 🙂

Farmstead – Darling.

Ristorante Allegria – Italian in the heart of a happening area. They also have gluten-free pasta!

The Red Grape – Pizza recommended by you girls. Didn’t have a chance to try!

Solage We didn’t make it here but we were going to go for the gluten-free pancakes!

Again, our trip was very quick so we didn’t have enough time to really create a full travel and food guide – but I hope our girls’ getaway diary is helpful! XOX

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  1. Mary-Katherine

    My little sister worked at Red Grape this Summer, you totally should have gone in! I’m always sending her your Darling Diary posts and she loves them!

    So glad you girls had such a wonderful weekend. I totally get how it could be not the most relaxing as it’s one of those places where you try to pack in a bunch of places because the area is known for it and wine tastings aren’t something you can do everywhere – but then you start having a good time and look at the time and are like, oh shoot we have to get moving to the next one! Sounds like you ladies made the most of it though and rolled with it!

    xo Mary-Katherine
    http://www.goldhattedlover.com

  2. Tabitha

    Great post! I’ve never been to Napa before but I hear so many amazing things about it. I would love to visit one day. I’m happy to see you got to spend time with your best friend! I can’t even imagine not seeing mine only once a year.

    Tabitha
    https://coleann.com/

  3. Melody

    I’m so lucky to be able to be just 30 minutes away from all of this beauty!!! Glad you had fun in Nor Cal:) Come visit again soon!!!

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