Now that we’ve rounded the corner past Memorial Day, I can already feel my feet start to get the summer itch. You know what I’m talking about. The desire to go somewhere. Anywhere! While visions of tropical destinations and far-flung locations often dance in my head, I’m lucky that there are so many amazing travel destinations a stone’s throw from San Francisco. It is probably my favorite thing about living in the Bay Area (sorry Seattle – I still love you too). After a recent day trip to Sonoma, (did you see the gorgeousness on Instagram – I think I have to do a full recap for you on the blog – would you like that?) I’ve got serious wine country cravings. Thankfully, I already have at least one trip to wine country on the books this summer and I’m hoping to squeeze a weekend or two more in my happy place.
While it can be hard to pick an absolute favorite wine country locale, I thought I’d recap some of the best places I’ve visited through the years.
Meadowood Napa Valley: Tucked into a canyon off the Silverado Trail, Meadowood Napa Valley is a hidden oasis. Under 100 guest rooms (many, including the one in which we stayed, are actually individual cabins) are tucked among 250 tree-covered acres. We stayed in a Treeline Suite. The room featured a fireplace, soaking tub, private decks and of course heavenly hotel beds. What is it about hotel beds – I usually hate a soft bed but when I sink into a plush feather-filled bed when I’m on vacation, wild horses have to drag me back out again. That’s a long-winded way of saying I found the whole hotel room very comfortable and highly recommend this destination to anyone looking for a little luxury – wine country style.
Solage Resort & Spa: If you love a slightly more modern look, then you’ll love Solage and their gorgeous spa. Its bathhouse has a clean, white minimal look. Rock pathways are lined with lavender and the mineral pool is surrounded by cabanas you can rent for the day. The spa has also recently partnered with green skincare line True Botanicals and offers a True Botanicals facial. I’ve been dying to try one!
Indian Springs: If you want to get a historic taste of wine country, head to Indian Springs Resort. Nestled in the charming little town of Calistoga, and built atop a 150-year old hot spring, this place feels simultaneously old school but also offer everything you want from a modern-day escape. Recently renovated, the 17-acre resort now offers a variety of guest rooms from cottages and bungalows to more traditional, though newly designed hotel rooms. The accommodations aren’t over the top, but totally comfortable. But the real stars of the show are the four thermal geysers that produce rich mineral water and a deposit of pure volcanic ash also runs through the property. The waters supply their Olympic-sized mineral pool and combined with the ash, create the special mud for their famous mud baths. The bathhouse is a one of a kind experience you should not miss. If you’re looking for a quick weekend away, this is probably the first thing I would go.
Farmhouse Inn: With only 25 rooms you’re going to get very personalized service. And of course, I swooned over the design. The rooms put the perfect modern spin on cottage chic. They feature soaking tubs, many of which open up onto patios with indoor/outdoor fireplaces. You’re given custom-made bath salts, sugar scrubs and homemade soaps at reception so you can make your own mini in-room spa kit. I don’t think I’ve bathed so much in one weekend. But I did drag myself back out of the room to give the Farmhouse Inn spa a test run. Set up in the Inn’s “barn,” I was equally impressed by the spa’s design. It was less modern zen and more country / rustic but I loved the vibe. It felt cozy and familiar. I’m also a sucker for any space that’s all white!
And of course there are always new spots popping up in Napa and Sonoma and I’m always looking for my next destination. First up on my must-try list is below.
Autocamp: Set in a stunning native Redwood forest about an hour and a half from San Francisco, AutoCamp is the perfect spot for outdoor lovers who may not love roughing it (me, me, me). AutoCamp offers a “camping” experience that blends beautiful design and luxury with nature. You can choose between your own private Airstream trailer complete with a bathroom, bed & shower (yas!) or select a glamping tent that shares communal facilities. Each campsite is equipped with its own cooking stove and some have firepits. You are in the woods so hiking, mountain biking and exploring the Russian River are at your fingertips. But there’s also amazing wine all around. So it’s kinda the best of both worlds. I’ve stalked many a friend on Instagram who has given AutoCamp a test run and rave, saying its both gorgeous and kid-friendly.
Now, this isn’t a complete retrospective on where to stay in wine country. There are many a resort and of course tons of amazing rental houses out there too. I fully expect you to be reciprocal in your advice. Wineries, rental homes, hotels – I want to know it all because testing out new amazing spots is pretty much my job. So please comment away! Would you like a post on my favorite wineries too?!
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