California offers a variety of gems when it comes to vacation destinations. From Yosemite to Big Sur, the mountains of Lake Tahoe to the coast of Southern California, there’s no shortage of Instagram-worthy trips to take. Few places, though, are as synonymous with romance as Napa Valley. Think about it, just the name conjures up visions of sipping wine in luxurious bathrobes while overlooking vibrant green vineyards. Hey, there’s a reason people flock to Northern California for their weddings and honeymoons.
But no special occasion is required to run off with your loved one to these grape-filled hills. In fact, after a recent getaway with my husband, I think Napa should be checked off on every couple’s bucket list. And when you do, here’s 10 ways to ensure it's the unforgettable (and luxurious) retreat it's meant to be.
1. Make It A Road Trip
If you’re lucky enough to live driving distance from this corner of the world, I absolutely recommend a road trip. With scenic winding roads that lead to a plethora of charming towns and gorgeous wineries, it would be a shame not to explore on your own four wheels.
Our vehicle for the trip was a Chevrolet Traverse, which offered a very quiet and smooth ride, even on some steep off-the-beaten-path roads we ventured onto. Of course, when you’re navigating new territory, a built-in GPS can’t be beat — nor can in-car Wi-Fi. You read that right, in-car Wi-Fi. At one point we parked on the dock of a hidden lake and ate breakfast in our Traverse, listening to music with Apple CarPlay and taking in the view. It was the perfect reminder that for this trip, the journey is just as magical as the destination.
2. Stay At A Luxury Resort
We stayed at the Solage Resort in Calistoga, where each room is it’s own individual studio — in other words, no shared walls, and no one above or below you. Actually, the grounds are so large they keep two bicycles by every door for your convenience. Needless to say, it felt very private and luxurious.
3. Eat At Farmstead
This restaurant experience was equal parts beautiful and delicious, making it my top food recommendation when you’re visiting. There were heat lamps and mini fire pits, creating a cozy and romantic ambiance that felt like a true escape from the rest of the world. Plus, they had a beautiful sunflower garden begging to be a photo backdrop.
4. Visit Cliff Lede Winery
Take a tour at this winery and you’ll be treated to both wine tastings and a fun exhibit of rock memorabilia. Enjoy the peaceful setting, informative staff, and say hi to Tom for us!
5. Do Outdoor Yoga Together
Or go on a jog or take a brisk walk — the air is so fresh and the views are so spectacular, you’ll feel rejuvenated after breaking a sweat outdoors.
6. Get A Spa Treatment Together
Get a couples massage or be adventurous with a mud bath for two. There’s nothing like getting pampered to make your trip feel like a true vacation.
7. A Pool And Jacuzzi Are A Must
Wherever you stay, a warm pool and a hot tub should be a requirement. The Solage even had geo-thermal pools and clothing-optional swimming areas if that’s your thing.
8. Have Date Night At A Swanky Restaurant Bar
Get dressed up and enjoy cocktails in your hotel bar or a local restaurant. It will be an upscale date night for you and your love.
9. Make Fireside S’mores
If your hotel has any fire pits, be sure to make a stop for graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate. Oh, and of course, some roasting sticks.
10. Sleep In And Lounge
It’s not a true vacation without indulging in some serious relaxation. Remember those visions of bathrobes and wine? Make them a reality. Sleep in, order room service, and sip on some Merlot to round out your dreamy getaway.