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California Travel Guide

California Dreaming: 7 Vacation Villas in Wine Country

Courtesy of HomeAway

Imagine yourself relaxing by a sparkling pool, wineglass in hand, and the Napa Valley sprawling before you, harvest season in full swing. That fantasy is attainable—if only for a week. Whether you’re looking for an armchair adventure or a literal escape, these rental villas will put you in the perfect mindset for a California wine country dream trip. All are sumptuously decorated and strategically located for tastings at the top vineyards in and around Napa and Sonoma. That is, if you decide to leave the property.

By Amanda Oppold

Courtesy of HomeAway
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Palazzo Della Montagna

WHERE: Calistoga, Napa

For seclusion without forsaking civilization, check out the Palazzo Della Montagna, a grand estate nestled amongst the Palisades mountain range, only minutes from Calistoga and St. Helena. The two towns offer well-known spas, hot springs, and mud baths for relaxing after a day filled visiting the restaurants, stores, and art galleries. Highlights of this three level, sumptuously decorated property that sleeps eight, include a chef’s kitchen, an Old Hollywood style pool, and a wine tasting room.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit the Fodor’s Napa and Sonoma Guide

Courtesy of HomeAway
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Hydeaway House

WHERE: Carneros, Sonoma

For a sleek stay in Sonoma be sure to check out the ultra-modern Hydeaway House. Between the chic main house and the separate guesthouse, the home is comfortable for eight. The property sits adjacent to scenic vineyards and is still only four miles from historic Sonoma Plaza where you can find gourmet shops, adorable boutiques, and delicious cafes. It is pet-friendly and is excellently located for those looking to sightsee, bike ride, or enjoy wine tasting.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit the Fodor’s Napa and Sonoma Guide

Courtesy of HomeAway
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Winner’s Circle at Vine Hill Ranch

WHERE: Forestville, Sonoma

Surrounded by 60 private acres in the Russian River Valley wine region, Winner’s Circle at Vine Hill Ranch is the perfect scenic escape to get panoramic views of vineyards, woods, mountains and the Valley. Decorated in whites and creams, the crisp yet dreamy main house has four en-suite bedrooms featuring floor-to-ceiling windows, and the attached guesthouse offers an accommodating fifth bedroom.  Santa Rosa, Healdsburg, Sebastopol, and Guerneville are only about 20 minutes away and offer activities like wine tasting, golfing, tennis, and antiquing.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit the Fodor’s Napa and Sonoma Guide

Courtesy of HomeAway
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Outdoor Living Room at Triple “M” Ranch

WHERE: Santa Barbara County

Featuring a unique blend of contemporary architecture with relaxed natural wood and stone highlights, the Triple M Ranch offers beautiful accommodations on a gorgeous setting in the Santa Ynez Valley. Private but with proximity to Los Olivos and Solvang, Triple M sleeps seven in its modern design.  The jewel of this abode is its covered outdoor living room with stunning views of the valley.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit the Fodor’s Santa Barbara Guide

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Wine Cave at Villa Montebella

WHERE: Glen Ellen, Sonoma

Wind your way up the long, oak-lined, private drive to Villa Montebella and be stunned when this incredible abode enters your view from its perch atop terraced vineyards surrounded by exotic plants and manicured gardens.  The villa sleeps 18 and features an entertaining game room in the magnificent 7,000 square foot wine cave.  Enjoy the beautiful surroundings while you play on the tennis court, bocce ball court or grass volleyball area before you retire to the in-house movie theater.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit the Fodor’s Napa and Sonoma Guide

Courtesy of HomeAway
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Pool at Modern Mansion

WHERE: St. Helena, Napa

Visit this state-of-the-art, airy modern mansion in St. Helena for a luxurious stay that sleeps 12. The mansion offers indoor-outdoor living at it’s best, with a master shower that’s sliding door opens to vineyard views, and a gorgeous living and dining area that opens to a front courtyard.  Enjoy the relaxing atmosphere around the sparkling pool and hot tub, while you sip on local wine.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit the Fodor’s Napa and Sonoma Guide

Courtesy of HomeAway
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Outdoor Dining Area at Casa Tranquilla

WHERE: Stags Leap District, Napa

For a food-and-wine-centered stay make Casa Tranquilla your dwelling. This luxury retreat is within walking distance of several vineyards and a five-minute drive from Yountville, the unofficial “Culinary Capital” of Napa Valley. The elegant property accommodates up to 10 guests who will be amazed by the outdoor kitchen and dining area, delight in the two adorable bridges over the creek, and cool-off with a dip in the luxury pool.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit the Fodor’s Napa and Sonoma Guide