Gaby’s Guide to Napa

Napa Valley is one of my favorite places in California. It has a little something for everyone… especially if you like food and wine! It’s one of the ultimate destinations for basically all of my favorite things and I’m taking you on Gaby’s guide to Napa Valley today!

Gaby's Guide to Napa Valley

Where to Stay:

Andaz Napa – there are a ton of fantastic hotels in and around Napa but I love being in the middle of it all. Andaz Napa is right in the heart of downtown Napa so you can walk to any number of restaurants plus it’s easy to hop in a car and hit the road for a wine adventure! Also – be sure to go for happy hour and get the guacamole!! It’s delish 🙂

Where to Eat:

Archetype – without a doubt eating at Archetype was one of the most memorable meals of all of my trips to Napa combined. Located just north of Napa proper in St. Helena, Archetype is one of the most beautiful restaurants you’ll ever set foot in. And the doughnuts are quite possibly going to blow your mind. We went for brunch, but word on the street is that each and every meal is equally as spectacular!

Redd Wood – I mean, we all know that I have an obsession with pizza. So I’ve been itching to get over to Redd Wood since they opened. And it was every bit as wonderful as I wanted it to be. The pizza was fantastic and they also had one of the best gnocchi dishes I’ve ever had!

Gott’s Roadside – it’s not a trip to Napa without a stop at Gott’s. I mean, who can say no to a juicy cheeseburger in between wine tastings?

Oenotri – if you’re looking for pasta, look no further. Oenotri has some of the most spectacular pastas in my opinion and I can confidently say that I tried each and every one on the menu when we went.

Morimoto – Seeing as how I’ve been making up for lost time since I didn’t eat sushi until I was 24, Morimoto was a must visit. They put on quite a show and the food was second to none! Makes me wish we had one in LA!

Bouchon Bakery – If you’ve never been to Bouchon Bakery… this is my favorite one to visit. Pop in early before the line gets outrageous and grab a few pastries to take with you while wine tasting!

Auberge de Soleil – another one of my favorite places to brunch. Call ahead of time because chances are you won’t be able to just pop in for brunch since it’s insanely popular. The restaurant overlooks the Napa Valley and it’s one of the most gorgeous views you’ll ever see while sipping on a mimosa!

Where to Drink:

Schramsberg Vineyards is a must visit for anyone who loves sparkling wine… and that includes me. I fancy myself somewhat of a sparkling wine enthusiast and if you’re anything like me, this place is a can’t miss!

Velo Vino is owned by the Clif Family (raise your hands if your obsessed with Clif bars because I know I am!) It’s this super cute little wine/bike shop right in St. Helena. We spent the majority of our time with them a few weeks ago because it’s basically my dream building. There’s a full wine bar in the front, a bruschetta bar in the back and you can rent bikes from them and roam around Napa tasting different wines wherever you choose to stop. Thomas and I ended up going on a 20 mile bike ride and then ended back at Velo Vino for the most delicious bruschetta tasting plus tons of wine. I can’t recommend this place enough. GO!

Stag’s Leap is another one of my favorite places to visit up in Napa. I’ve been a handful of times and each time I never want to leave. It’s on a gorgeous estate and be sure to make an appointment as you’ll need one to do a tasting and a tour.

Round Pound is last but certainly not least on my favorite wine stops. It’s on here for several reasons… the wine is delicious, you can also do an olive oil tasting, and if you plan ahead you can do some kind of meal at the estate. The food is beyond and the terrace is stunning!

Other fun things to do:

Oxbow Public Market – Need a snack? Oxbow Market has a little something for everyone plus a ton of quite shops if you need a few new things in your life!!

Balloons Above the Valley – if you’re not afraid of heights then I’d HIGHLY recommend waking up at the crack of dawn and heading over for a hot air balloon ride. It’s a gorgeous way to start the morning as you glide down the valley and get a birds eye view of all the wineries and gorgeous properties.

 

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24 comments

  1. Ashley

    Love your recap! I’m so sad though because we were supposed to stay at the Andaz Napa in a week but won’t be now because of the earthquake 🙁 It looks like a wonderful place to stay! I can’t wait to check out some of the other places on your list!

  2. Greg

    Thank you for the guide. My wife wants to visit the Napa Valley, and the guide will help. Is there a best/better season to visit Napa Valley? Or is there a season when it is not recommended to visit? Thanks!

    • Gaby

      it’s always amazing!! October is harvest so that’s a really fun time – but you can’t go wrong in spring or summer either!

  3. Monika

    I hope Napa recovers quickly from the earthquake – we love it there, and will definitely follow up on ALL of your recommendations!!
    Nice recap, and I am finding them very helpful!

  4. Averie @ Averie Cooks

    The first time I went to Napa was maybe 10-12 years ago and I seriously was hooked. Like I LOVE IT up there! If San Diego’s weather didn’t have me hooked, I would so live up there. Gorgeous place and love your guide! Nothing better than vineyard hopping 🙂

  5. Beth @ Tasty Yummies

    LOVE THIS! We went a couple of years ago, before we moved out here and it was amazing, though we didn’t have a clue what to do or where to go, so we just winged it. I can’t wait to go back again and use this guide! Thanks for sharing.

  6. Lucy

    Love this! We are planning a trip to Napa hopefully next year, so I’m bookmarking this page. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Andi

    I’ve been fortunate enough to have been to many of these spots, but I had not heard of Archetype, I have got to check out that donut situation!

  8. Liny1958

    Thanks for the guide. I will be there soon, and my friends will accompany me. I needed a guide on eating and riding. Thanks!

  9. Cristin

    Great post (from a local). I agree with all recommendations and yes it’s very sad that Andaz is still closed from the quake. They really got rocked but reopening in November.
    You will have to visit Sonoma on your next trip to make your wine country tour complete.

  10. Kara

    I completely agree about Archetype (California chic design and the food is amazing!), Clif (they have the casual dining thing in St. Helena nailed – and there are not a lot of casual dining options in St. Helena!). I also recommend Robert Sinskey (although undergoing construction at the moment when that is done it will be spectacular) on the Silverado Trail and in St. Helena Crocker & Starr and Salvestrin for more intimate experiences as they are by appointment only and have lovely outdoor tasting areas for small number of guests at a time. Larkmead in Calistoga is a treat for single vineyard Cabernets and a gorgeous setting! And at Oxbow Market Ca’Momi has amazing pizza. The Pizza Marinara is the best I have had since a trip to Italy and they have about 50 different kinds on the menu. So so delicious. Hopefully you can visit Napa again soon! Oh and Andaz is open again too!

  11. WANT: Mothers Day Wish List | My Baby Olive Juice

    […] A Trip to Napa Valley: I have this dream where I can go to Napa and go wine tasting again. And eat at nice restaurants. But also not have to be apart from my daughter. So she will just be the most well behaved, adult like toddler. Possible? Maybe……….. […]

  12. Tristan

    While Bouchon is to die for and you can easily eat your weight in macarons, if you’re ever in Yountville on a Monday, get a reservation at Ad Hoc, Thomas Keller’s “casual” restaurant down the street. Monday is fried chicken night and it is simply to die for.

  13. Linda Harris

    Great guide Gaby! Next time you are in Napa Valley , make a tasting appointment at Tres Sabores in St Helena. You will sit in the yard with a gorgeous view while you sip away! Beautuful setting and friendly, wonderful owners. Our absolute favorite winery.