Quick Guide to Napa Valley

It’s no secret that I love wine. So naturally, I’ve spent a good amount of time in Napa Valley.  I’ve traveled to the valley with friends, family and also courtesy of Downtown Napa. So over the years, I’ve definitely made my rounds to numerous wineries, dined at incredible restaurants and explored the area thoroughly. Here is my quick travel guide to Napa Valley.

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Where to Stay

Andaz Napa
In Downtown Napa, there is no livelier, more chic place to stay than Andaz. With a lively lobby bar offering live music and a killer outdoor bar, called Mercantile Terrace, Andaz is the happening hotel in town. 1450 First Street | Napa | website

Westin Versa Napa
Those traveling with families would look no further than Westin Versa Napa. Hotel rooms come equipped with kitchenettes and the pool is the perfect place to cool off during the summer months. 1314 McKinstry St | Napa | website

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Where to Eat

Angèle Restaurant & Bar
One of my favorite restaurants in Napa for many reasons. First, the waterfront location along the river makes for perfect patio dining. Secondly, the rustic french cuisine is incredible. 540 Main Street | Downtown Napa | website

Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch
Design standout. Farm-to-table New American fare is served in a renovated barn owned by a cattle ranch & winery. The food is phenomenal and reservations book up fairly quickly here so be sure to reserve a table well in advance. 738 Main St | St Helena | website

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Gott’s Roadside
Famous burger joint serving classic American burgers and fries as well as Ahi poke tacos, salads, milkshakes, wine, beer and more! Definitely not to be missed for any burger lover. They have veggie burgers too! 933 Main Street | St. Helena | website

Torc
Chef Sean O’Toole is the master behind this critically-acclaimed restaurant that I just can’t get enough – if that good! Farm-to-table dining serving contemporary American fare in a beautifully-designed building with an open kitchen. 1140 Main St, Napa | Downtown Napa | website

Bottega Napa Valley
This rustic Italian restaurant is the perfect choice for those needing a pasta fix. Located in V Marketplace, Bottega is a great choice before a long day of wine tasting. Come for lunch or brunch and fill up on those carbs before heading out to the wineries! Be sure to order the Spaghetti Gragnano alla Sophia Loren – its unlike anything you’ve ever tried! 6525 Washington Street | Yountville | website

Celadon
Located in the Historic Napa Mill, Celadon is one of those “special occasion” restaurants, in my opinion, because it really is special. Patio seating under giant, sparkling chandeliers sets the scene. The food is a mix of flavors from the Mediterranean, Asia, and the Americas. 500 Main Street | Downtown Napa | website

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Best Wineries to Visit

Hall Winery
Out of every winery on this list, Hall Wines end up in my wine cellar the most. So whenever I’m in Napa, I always visit Hall. Their cabernet sauvignon “Jack’s Masterpiece” is one of my favorite red wines, if not my absolute favorite. So be sure to visit Hall and if it isn’t too warm outside, arrange for a tasting on the Great Lawn. Tastings start at $40/person. 401 St. Helena Hwy South | St. Helena | website

PlumpJack
PlumpJack is one of the less unassuming wineries on this list. There is no grandiose tasting room but rather a standing room only and then outdoor seating. PlumpJack specializes in Cabernet Sauvignon wines so every red lover must come here! Tastings start at $40/person. 620 Oakville Cross Rd | Napa | website

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Inglenook
Another one of my favorite wineries on this list is Inglenook. You feel as if you’ve been transported to some winery in Provence – the grounds are just incredible. Tastings start at $45/person. 1991 St Helena Hwy | Rutherford | website

Quintessa
Quintessa is one of my favorite wines. It is the product of a husband and wife duo – Agustin Huneeus and his wife Valeria. The only way to visit the winery is through a private tour starting at $75/person. 1601 Silverado Trail S | St Helena | website

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Alpha Omega Winery
There is no other winery like Alpha Omega in all of Napa. The outdoor terrace is enough reason alone to visit. Standard Tasting of the current release wines is $30/person; Red Only Tasting is $50/person. Both these experiences can be hosted in our main tasting room or outdoors on our terrace, weather permitting. The tasting room is open daily from 10 am to 6 pm. 1155 Mee Lane at Hwy 29 | St. Helena | website

napa-valley-california-342Charles Krug Winery
Fun fact – Charles Krug was the first winery to open a tasting room in California! So there is a lot of history surrounding this winery. Not to mention, the ground are crazy beautiful and the tasting room is one of my favorites as far as design goes in all of Napa. Tastings start at $20/person. 2800 Main Street | St. Helena | website

Darioush
The moment you pull up to Darioush, you feel as if you are no longer in Napa but rather at some elaborate palace in the Middle East. It was founded in 1997 by Iranian born, Darioush Khaledi who made a passionate global multi-year search for the world’s ultimate wine estate before settling on Darioush. Be sure to make a reservation for the Tableside Portfolio Tasting at $40/person.  4240 Silverado Trail | Napa | website

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Raymond
Raymond Winery is one of those wineries where there really is nowhere else like it. Peacocks, goats, Mannequins dressed in sequin party wear were all over the place, as were mirrors on the stainless vats. With dance music playing throughout, I couldn’t help but wonder if I had somehow stumbled into a winery turned nightclub. A standard tasting is $25/person but I’d suggest going for the private tour at $50/person so you can see the entire grounds. After all, how many times do you see mannequins atop giant wine vats? 849 Zinfandel Lane | St. Helena | website

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Judd’s Hill Winery
Come to Judd’s Hill to really understand wine. I did a wine pairing here where I truly began to understand the different tastes and smells in wine. The wine and food pairing runs $50/person and is an experience every wine lover should have at least once in their life. Note: Judd’s Hill does require advanced reservations, so plan accordingly! 2332 Silverado Trail | Napa | website

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Krista is the travel-obsessed author behind travel and lifestyle blog, Diaries of Wanderlust. With a concept born out of boredom in a cubicle, Krista threw caution to the wind, quit her job and hopped on a plane. The adventure hasn't stopped since. She's a writer, web designer and marketing consultant. You can follow her adventures by connecting with her on social media...