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Napa/Sonoma

Juneau, Alaska
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115 posts
42 reviews
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Napa/Sonoma

Its our 25th anniversary (we were mere babes!) and we love food, wine (esp Champagne), driving, and just relaxing. We've had two day trips to Napa area and no where in the two valleys is too far to drive when you come from Alaska.

Having said that, any thoughts on places to stay in Napa, Calistoga, and Sonoma as well as spa recommendations and those "not to be missed" things would just be great. Thanks and Cheers!

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Napa
Napa
Napa Valley, CA
Calistoga
Calistoga
Napa Valley, CA
Sonoma
Sonoma
Sonoma County, CA
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California
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2 posts
40 reviews
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1. Re: Napa/Sonoma

I just had an overnight at a darling place called the Eurospa in Calistoga. The rooms are newly redecorated, impeccably clean, comfortable bed. The room had a gas stove/fireplace, fridge, wet bar, microwave and grind and brew coffee pot as well as a two person jacuzzi and the rate included a continental breakfast. They have a nice looking spa on the premises which I didn't take advantage of but saw that it offered a large number of treatments. It's not a fancy place, but it's friendly, comfortable and most importantly clean and located just two blocks from the main strip, convenient yet very quiet at night. It was a great find and they are running a special through 3/31 for only $75.00 weekdays!

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Calistoga
Calistoga
Napa Valley, CA
Oregon
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23 posts
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2. Re: Napa/Sonoma

I am fond of Healdsburg. I also like St. Helena though I wish the traffic didn't have to go right through town. Yountville is also fun. Near Yountville is Domaine Chandon (Champagne) which has beautiful grounds.

Have you visited Copia? (in Napa)

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Domaine Chandon
Domaine Chandon
823 Reviews
Yountville, CA
Healdsburg
Healdsburg
Sonoma County, CA
St. Helena
St. Helena
Napa Valley, CA
Yountville
Yountville
Napa Valley, CA
Napa
Napa
Napa Valley, CA
Napa, CA
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4,740 posts
2 reviews
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3. Re: Napa/Sonoma

Alaska-

It's hard to go wrong with a place to stay in the wine country. Read the TripAdvisor reviews of B&Bs and hotels-- they'll tell you things that you'd never find on the Inn's websites (like if the folks who work there are friendly, helpful, and fun to stay with!).

Since you like to drive, you could stay almost anywhere in Napa or Sonoma. This is the opposite situation of many of our guests who visit the wine country, since they have so little time (less than a week) to see things. If you're not careful, it's easy to spend most of your time driving from place to place, sitting in traffic, or waiting in tasting lines at the popular wineries.

We try to get our guests around the traffic, away from the tourist traps, and get them into the little, family-owned wineries shops/restaurants with personal service and attention. We usually lay things out so that instead of criss-crossing around, our guests can hit a few wineries that are close to one another, and then, on another day, perhaps tour some other area of the wine country.

Staying at a place where you can walk into town for dinner or shopping is nice, too.

It should be noted that some of the smaller places do things by appointment only. And that the smaller, out-of-the-way restaurants frequented by the locals are often completely booked in advance. So having a local call ahead and make reservations for you can really make a difference.

My advice: Have the concierge (or innkeeper) where you are staying give you input on where to go, what to see, etc. They'll ask you about the things you like to do, and the types of food you like to eat. Then, based on your answers, they'll recommend (and if you want, make reservations at) the spots that sound interesting to you.

My favorite wine country drive is from San Francisco, over the Golden Gate bridge, up Hwy 101 through Marin (stopping at Muir Woods if you want to see the giant redwoods), and then over on Hwy 37 to Sears Point Raceway (now called "Infineon Raceway"), where you make a left on Hwy12/121 and go through the Carneros region of the wine country. You can stop by Gloria Ferrer and Domaine Carneros for some some sparkling wines, since the Carneros region is where much of the wine country's Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are grown. You can read more about the Carneros region at inetours.com/PagesWT/WTareas/Carneros.html

This is just one example. Ask the folks where you are staying to set you up with a few others. It's always a special thrill to discover a special out-of-the-way place on your own, but you significantly improve your chances of special one-of-a-kind experiences if you chat with someone who lives here.

May you enjoy your stay in this magical place,

-Russ Herschelmann

Innkeeper

Napa Old World Inn

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Carneros Resort and Spa
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Golden Gate Bridge
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Napa
Napa
Napa Valley, CA
Sonoma
Sonoma
Sonoma County, CA
San Francisco
San Francisco
California
Marin County
Marin County
California
Level Contributor
37,591 posts
960 reviews
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4. Re: Napa/Sonoma

We just returned from the Sonoma Mission Inn, wonderful and ths spa is first-class. We loved everything about our stay, it just wasn't long enough, tho.

They have a couple of very nice mineral pools that we loved and the lemon cottage cheese pancakes at the Big 3 diner were excellent. You will be truly pampered in every way at this property.

We received an amazing rate of $169/night from the winecountry.com website. I will definitely return. We also enjoyed a fantastic diiner at the Harmony Club and the Farmhouse Inn the next evening in Forestville.

When they tried to charge us an extra $20 for parking, we said we weren't aware of the charge and they deleted it from our bill. Love this place! Cheers!

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Sonoma
Sonoma
Sonoma County, CA
Santa Rosa, CA
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511 posts
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5. Re: Napa/Sonoma

I would agree that the Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa is a nice place to stay. I haven't been there personally, but my mother absoultly loved it there when she went!

One place that hasn't been mentioned yet, as you said you like champagne (I'm sorry...I meant sparkling wine :-)), try Mums Napa Valley on Silverado Trail Road! That is our favorite place to stop when we are in the area. You can buy a nice glass or bottle and sip it on a beautiful terrace patio overlooking the vineyards. When we were there last they also had sourdough bagette slices and sundryed tomato & goat cheese spread to go on it! It was fabulous with the Blanc De Noir we were having!

Another great champagne cellar is a ways away from the others in the Russian River area. That would be Korbel. Lovely grounds set amongst the redwood trees and they have a wonderful tour of the facilities. My wife and I took a tour that they were doing called the Blending Seminar where they give you a brief tour, then take you and a few other couples into a private room and open up all their best champages to taste and teach you about how they blend the different still wines to create each of the different champagnes...very interesting and I loved the private setting.

Hope that these suggestions prove to be useful and I truely hope you have a great time in our area!

-Dan

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Silverado Resort and Spa
Silverado Resort and Spa
4,152 Reviews
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Sonoma
Sonoma
Sonoma County, CA
Napa Valley
Napa Valley
California