Monday, March 11, 2013

Weekend Getaway in Napa

For Christmas this year Nic treated me with a Jetsetter deal to a weekend away at a swanky hotel in downtown Napa, about an hour and 20 minutes from San Francisco. A few weeks ago our getaway weekend finally arrived and we had a delightful time. While we've explored other parts of wine country it was our first time in Napa and we will definitely be making it a more regular trip!  Here are all the places and things we liked and did for you to plan your own Napa getaway.

About Napa:
Downtown Napa is relatively new and while it doesnt have the same old-timey charm of the Sonoma or Healdsburg squares it still gets the sunshine, has great restaurants and hotels and is conveniently located near tons of wineries and other cute wine country towns like St. Helena or Calistoga.

Where to Stay:
Andaz Hotel: Our Jetsetter deal was at the modern and comfortable Andaz hotel in downtown Napa. We were greeted with glasses of wine and a checked in on an ipad in the modern lobby. The hotel has a nice bar and a restaurant that looked good although we didn't try it. Our room was comfortable and modern with a nice bathroom and bed.  We had a great rate because of the Jetstter deal so you may want to try to find a deal there or through another website or you could end up paying a lot! This winter we have seen TONS of deals come through for nice Napa spots on Rue La La, SniqueAway and Jetsetter. My three favorite things about the hotel were as follows:
1. Our room had a swivel flat screen tv that you could watch in bed or on the couch
2. Snacks and non-alcoholic beverages from the mini bar are free and replenished daily (you have to pay for the booze.)
3. It comes with free passes to the gym next door which was a super nice huge facility with locker rooms, a lap pool, sauna and all the machines and weights you might want to use.

What to Do:
Drink Wine - DUH! Our hotel concierge was super friendly and we had no specific plan so we just asked her to suggest a winery where we could drink wine and have a picnic. She gave us a few great suggestions of markets and wineries and we settled on a winery  (V. Sattui) that had it's own Deli for extreme wine+picnic ease! V Sattui has a great set up with the gourmet deli and our Pinot Noir was delicious but the place was pretty crowded for February so I'm not sure I'd recommend it unless you are going on a weekday. Our sandwiches were delicious and though the picnic tables were full we obviously keep a big wool blanket in the trunk at all times for impromptu picnics so we set up our spread on the sunny lawn and had a perfect afternoon with lunch and wine!  It was lovely.
 The other winery our concierge suggested for a picnic was Sequoia Grove so we're planning to check it out next time.

Napa Outlet Shopping -- There's something about a cozy wine buzz that makes purchasing new clothes at awesome prices even MORE fun. The Napa outlets are about a mile outside of town and they weren't crowded at all when we stopped in on a late Saturday afternoon. Nic re-stocked on all his basics at Under Armour and I found some great Spring essentials at Gap outlet and J Crew outlet... score.

Places to Eat!
For Picnic Fixings:
Dean and Deluca - This is a great location on the road that goes through Napa and St. Helena conveniently located between tons of wineries. Pick up your picnic here and head to a nearby vineyard to buy a bottle of wine and hang out!
Oxbow Public market - This place was SO COOL! It reminded me a lot of San Francisco's ferry building but I thought the food choices and vendors were more interesting and much more delicious looking. We picked up some veggies, juice and sustainably caught fish to cook dinner on our way back to the city but next time we definitely want to eat a meal at one of the little restaurant stands.

For Breakfast:
Soscol Cafe: This is a local greasy spoon hole in the wall that had delicious and diner style breakfast. I got a massive egg white omelet and bowl of fruit while Nic had a Mexican omelet that came with beans and tortillas. It was great.
Model Bakery: Go here and buy the english muffins, they might change your life. We had one at a hotel in Yountville we stayed in last summer and have been talking about them ever since. We bought a bag of a half dozen this time and Nic had one every morning for breakfast all week. They are the real deal.

Yo'Belle: Ok --- I know I'm in wine country and I'm supposed to be eating artisanally made local french pastries and the like but when I'm on vacation and there's a serve yourself fro yo place two blocks from my hotel, I'm going to eat fro yo every day. And I did. Also I'm pretty sure the high school aged kid working there was making fun of Nic and my leather jackets. I felt about 100 years old. 

Oxbow Public market

Soscol Cafe Menu

Nic's Soscol Mexican Omelet

Sunday Dinner at home with True Cod, squash and beets from the Oxbow market

Model Bakery 

So, what do you say? Wanna go to Napa sometime? We could make a day trip :)

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