Napa itinerary--what do you think??

Old Dec 12th, 2003, 05:49 AM
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Napa itinerary--what do you think??

We will start our honeymoon off in Napa Valley (3 nights) before heading to SanFran (5 nights). After much deliberation about hotels/B&B's (sticker shock!) we have decided to stay at an inexpensive inn in Napa--we'd rather spend our money on wine and food! Right now we have reservationds at the new River Terrace Inn in Napa. We still have reservations at the Lavender Inn in Yountville just in case we change our mind!
Day 1: we should arrive in Napa Valley around 1pm and plan on checking out the area and going to a few wineries near the hotel: Hedgeside (Del Dotto), Clos du Val, and/or Domaine Chandon.

Day 2: thinking about doing a guided tour so we don't have to drive!! Either the Wine Country safari (they go to alot of small, charming wineries--kind of off the beaten path). The other option is with (they have a "partnership" with 6-8 wineries and you choose which ones you want to visit including Anderson, Niebaum-Coppola, Regusci, Laird, Raymond, Mondavi, Andretti, Koves-Newlan). Or is it better to hire a driver and choose our own itinerary??

Day 3: Maybe a hot air ballon ride, then off to Calistoga area to visit either Sterling, Schramsberg or Clos Pegase. Then we'll visit a spa???

day 4: Bike around local area. Then we'll head out arund noon or so and visit the Muir Woods before getting to San Fran

Does this seen too ambitious??? As I read it it sounds like alot in 3-4 days!!
Would appreciate any and all suggestions and ideas to enhance our trip!!

LindaSus is offline  
Old Dec 12th, 2003, 07:28 AM
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It sounds fine & the wineries you mention on Day 2 I can vouch for. If you are having 'sticker shock' you may want to consider the alternative (that being) Sonoma. If that sparks your interest let me know & I can suggest some things there. Overall it sounds like a wonderful trip though I know nothing about the River Terrace Inn. What are the prices like there. There is a wonderful little B & B right by the Whitehall Lane Winery & they have bikes you can use as well. I will return w/the name shortly.
SAnParis is offline  
Old Dec 12th, 2003, 07:51 AM
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We were in Napa this week for a family event so just happened to drive by the new River Terrace Inn. It actually looks pretty nice from the outside and seems to be a fairly large property. It is right of Soscol. You will have to cross SOscol which is a busy street to get to downtown Napa. Eseentially you will need to drive almost every other place you want to go. You plans do not sound overly ambitious. I might suggest you make your dinnner reservations before arriving in Napa if you have your hearts set on eating in some of the more popular spots. I don't know anything about the place you mentioned in Yountville. I will say Yountville can be a nice place to stay and you will be closer(although will still have to drive) to the various wineries.
PamSF is offline  
Old Dec 12th, 2003, 09:09 AM
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Big Yountville fan here.
If you stay in Napa you'll have to drive everywhere.
Yountville has a lot of good restaurants and when you do drive, you're a bit closer to everything as it's a bit more centrally located <not like it's 100 mile drives around NV>.

Good place to start and end a bike ride.
Lavender Inn looks really nice.
Plus, you meet the nicest people in Y'ville.

You may want to take in Rombauer Winery too. Nice setting.
Kal is offline  
Old Dec 12th, 2003, 02:33 PM
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Yountville is a wonderful place to stay. We like the Yountville Inn, directly across the street from Domaine Chandon. Bistro Jeanty is very nice for lunch. In St. Helena we like Terra or Tra Vigne for dinner. You also might want to check out Auberge du Soleil for lunch. The views from the terrace are just amazing.

Clos Pegase is very nice. They make a delightful merlot there. Spare a little time to check out their artwork. Sterling is very nice. We like their Reserve collection. Take the tram ride to the top to the tasting room, it's beautiful.

In Calistoga we like the Indian Springs Resort and a dinner at Catahoula's. Wappos Bistro is very nice for lunch in Calistoga. for the website. My story used to be on their website unless they changed it. I haven't checked lately. Have a wonderful trip!!! ***kim***
kimamom is offline  
Old Dec 12th, 2003, 04:21 PM
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BTW, Phillippe Jeanty just opened up Pere Jeanty, also in Y'ville.

He took over and remodeled the old Frankie, Johnny and Luigi's building up between the Fr Laundry, Gordon's Cafe.

Also, rumor has it Catahoula's may be closing soon. :-<
For a nice HM dinner, you may like to try The Martini House in St Helena.
It's our "designated wedding anniv restaurant". You may also wish to take a taxi since they have an outstanding wine list. We take "Taxi Cabernet" from Yountville and it was maybe $50 RT plus tip.
Kal is offline  
Old Dec 13th, 2003, 08:22 AM
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After a trip to wine country in 2001, we're returning in April to Sonoma. Liked the area better. Have you looked at They frequently have Napa properties/trips on auction. I got an incredible deal in Mendocino. Someone mentioned lunch at Auberge. We did that and it set us back $100, no kidding. That was with 2 glasses of house wine! The views are nice, but like everyplace in Napa, you hear a constant roar of traffic.
LLindaC is offline  
Old Dec 13th, 2003, 07:08 PM
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Auberge du Soleil is in Rutherford and there is no traffic noise from the terrace. is the website. Perhaps you are thinking of another property.

Kal, Jan Birnbaum is the Executive Chef at Catahoula's. It will be a shame to see this place close. He also has a restaurant called Sazerac at the Hotel Monaco in Seattle. I hope we get to go there one last time before it does close. Do you know when that might be? ***kim***
kimamom is offline  
Old Dec 13th, 2003, 08:03 PM
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River Terrace is brand new, on the river, near Copia. There is a free shuttle that stops there and makes a loop through downtown Napa and out to the outlet stores. There's nowhere to ride a bike around there. How about heading out early on the fourth day so you can see some of Sonoma and then go to Muir Woods.

It's only 45 minutes to drive the length of the valley. Up highway 29 to Calistoga and then down Silverado back to Napa or Yountville, whichever you choose.

Sounds like a nice itinerary. You've done your research.

Catahoula will be closing the first of the year.

madwen is offline  
Old Dec 13th, 2003, 08:07 PM
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Kinamom, I too heard the sounds of traffic from the terrace at Auberge du Soleil. Yes, the one at Rutherford. It was a nice place, but very overpriced in my opinion for what it was. No there is no traffic next to it, but it is up on the hill and when it is otherwise quiet, you hear the constant sound of traffic -- although I don't know if I'd call that distant noise "a roar".
Patrick is offline  
Old Dec 14th, 2003, 10:20 AM
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Yes, I know where Auberge is, and yes, because it overlooks the valley the sound carries. There are lots of semis on that road and you hear the honking and truck noise worse than anything. I think it was really distracting and destroyed the ambience when we sat on the terrace. The food was good, but not worth what we paid. We had better food in both Napa and Sonoma for a lot less.
Same goes for other properties in Napa. We went in April- very slow time- and still were bothered by traffic sounds. A peaceful lunch on V Sattui's lovely grounds is impossible. Many wineries have no charm outside because of the traffic! We found just the opposite in Sonoma....Lake Sonoma, Ferrari-Carrano, Hop Kiln,Chateau Montelano (sp?) (though in Napa, off the beaten course)where you could stroll the grounds, picnic under trees and hear the birds sing instead of hydraulic brakes and honking. We've done wine regions across America, in S Africa and Europe, and none had this problem.
LLindaC is offline  
Old Dec 14th, 2003, 11:22 AM
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We had no experience with any traffic noise whatsoever!! Our lunch was wonderful. Excellent service, food, breath-taking views of the valley. I would highly recommend this wonderful place to anyone in the area. Pricey but well worth every penny, IMO!! My husband wanted to check right into this awesome place!! ***kim***
kimamom is offline  
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