Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Napa Valley, California

This is a good blog to request comments, Napa has so much to do, it's hard to cover everything. But, here are some tips on things to do, and places to stay.

We have stayed at the Villagio in Yountville (on the main drag, but you feel like you are miles from anything), as well as the Auberge de Soleil resort and spa, which has unprecedented views of the valley. Auberge can also offer you a great spa experience, with the massages, mud baths (I would recommend this), and the pool overlooking the valley. The Villagio has beautiful rooms with fireplaces, high beam ceilings, and beautiful grounds. The Villagio is mid priced, the Auberge is high priced.

For dining, there is always the famous and outragiously priced French Laundry, but it takes about two months in advance to get in, however, if you stay at the Villagio, they will do what they can to help get your reservations. If you have the budget, it's worth it once. There are all kinds of restaraunts, from high to low priced, just check with the hotel.

For entertainment, there are the wineries, definitely do Coppola's (Francis Ford Coppola's), it is unique with all the movie trimmings, Sterling, Mondavi, Opus One, Cakebread, Jarvis (the winery in the cave) and the new one - Darioush (the Iranian, and it is worth the time). They all offer tastings, and the price is minimal.

Finally, take the balloon ride. We have done it twice, I would suggest a smaller basket, more maneuverable, they take off early in the morning (around 6ish), and you land around 10ish. You get the chance to see the vineyards from above, maybe some deer, mountains, and the sunrise.

Here are some pictures of the Auberge spa and outside the Darioush winery.

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