Napa Valley is a beautiful travel destination offering a variety of five star restaurants and lavish hotels, which can be intimidating for the budget-friendly traveler. However, my husband and I recently spent 24 glorious hours in Napa Valley which proved to be relaxing, casual, adventurous … and economical!
What more can one ask for?
We arrived in Napa, dog in tow, on a Friday morning around 11am. Having missed the morning rush at Bouchon Bakery, we walked through the door surprised to find only a small line of patrons. With an assortment of unusual pastries and loaves of bread nearly reaching the ceiling, Bouchon did not disappoint. We treated ourselves to a cappuccino, delightful pastries (the raspberry cream cheese danish was scrumptious), a hearty loaf of sourdough for our planned picnic dinner, and, of course, a dog bone for Rufus. We explored the small village of Yountville on foot, admiring rose-covered white picket fences and enjoying the fresh, country air.
A must stop when in Napa Valley, this market sells everything from local cheese, bottles of wine (of course), and a variety of made-to-order sandwiches and freshly squeezed juices. We gathered some cheeses and charcuterie for our picnic dinner and a carrot-orange juice for the road.
Our next stop was Hall, a very pet-friendly winery complete with a vineyard surrounded by lavender, a bocce ball court, and a patio overlooking their vines. We took a stroll through the vineyards after relaxing wine tasting on the patio, exploring the grounds and enjoying the lavender scented breeze.
Dean + Deluca is located right next door to Hall. A specialty market perfect for collecting some goodies to take home, they have an array of foodie-adored pantry items and their chocolate selection is astounding.
From grass-fed burgers and local produce to handcrafted milkshakes and wine from local vintners, Gotts Roadside is another must-stop while in Napa. We munched on cheeseburgers washed down with strawberry milkshakes. Rufus may have eaten a French fry or two …
Napa Valley is known for its luxurious hotels and spas, yet this glorious campground is nestled in the heart of the valley and is within walking distance from numerous wineries, including the historic Beringer. We booked a tent site, though they also offer yurts. We enjoyed a delicious picnic dinner with a variety of goodies we had collected throughout our adventurous day, and then fell asleep under stars, our bellies filled with delicious cheeses and cabernet. What better way to get in touch with the terroir?
On Saturday morning, we packed up our camp and started our descent down Highway 29. We stopped at Model Bakery for breakfast on our way out of town. They have delicious egg sandwiches made with house-baked English muffins and their coffee was perfectly strong.
If you could only visit one place in Napa, where would it be?