Category Archives: itineraries

alexis’ 24-hour valentine itinerary

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It has been a while since I’ve been able to sit down and write, so I thought a 24-hour Valentine’s Weekend Itinerary was a perfect re-entry. In my opinion there is no greater Valentine destination than Napa Valley — an instagramer’s dream come true — with endless photo opportunities and memories at every single turn.

Napa Valley is at its very best when stumbled upon by chance or by word of mouth, so we wanted to charm you with a usual mix of high and low, while honoring the very sweet occasion.

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Tesla Tours
707.724.0247

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Tucked away in a forested canyon, you will be enchanted by this rustic-chic splurge-worthy hideaway. Calistoga Ranch has everything to cast your love spell…cabins with Italian linens/private outdoor rain showers/star-gazing aplenty/a pool butler to ply your lover with drink/massages lake-side. The list of amenities to get lucky is a mile long!

Calistoga Ranch
580 Lommel Road
Calistoga, CA 94515
707.254.2880unnamed-5

Balloon rides are quintessentially Napa. You simply cannot imagine the beauty of the valley in the early mornings. Up in the air, it’s romantic, old world, but not for the meek at heart!!!

Napa Valley Balloons
301 Post Street
Napa, CA 94559
800.253.2224

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Smooth, intense, and assertive, we’re talking about the Don Juan/Heathcliff of gourmet bites, our wild hackleback caviar. These fancy fish eggs are sweet from beginning to end.

Chocolate is on offer too, if your heart and appetite so desire!

Swanson Sip Shoppe
1271 Manley Lane
Rutherford, CA 94573
707.754.4018

unnamed-3Sometimes, an old-fashioned date (plus popcorn and love seats) is the surest way to a girl’s heart. Catch a flick at the oldest single-screen theater in the country.

Cameo Cinema
1340 Main Street
St Helena, CA 94574
707.963.9779

unnamed-2The Wine Train harkens back to the dreamy era of rail travel. It wows from the moment you step onto the footbridge decorated with lovers’ locks. Just like Paris! Onboard, it’s a restaurant on wheels serving California cuisine greats…think avocados/roasted chicken/pureed soups to be enjoyed while watching wineries on Route 29 whizz by.

Napa Wine Train
1275 McKinstry Street
Napa, CA 94559
707.253.2111

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I met Kara on the first week of the opening of her first shop in the Marina– and have been a huge fan sending out dozens of cupcakes to friends in the delivery room, school parties, work lunches, and every reason in between. Not to miss.

Kara’s Cupcakes
610 1st Street
Napa, CA 94559
707.258.2253

image-12This little country road is one of the most gorgeous drives in all Northern California. On your way out of Yountville, follow Yount Street, north, until you run into Yount Mill Road. During spring, if you look to the west, you’d swear you are in Ireland; and if you look to the east, your eyes are blinded by a carpet of Technicolor mustard canvassing the valley floor. In the evening, park along the creek, and listen to Yountville’s magnificent chorus of male tree frogs. Beware: they are loud, and will get silent at the first sight of head lights!

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The tasting menu at La Toque is dish after exquisite dish of truffle-infused lusciousness, with 7 courses of total satiation. In its 32nd year, it attracts libertines far and wide. The star of this season’s menu is a Skuna Bay salmon slow cooked in duck fat with black truffle. Run don’t walk!

La Toque
314 McKinstry Street
Napa, CA 94559
707.257.5157

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next time you’re coming to napa…

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uber comes to the napa valley

Ladies and gentlemen, keep your ears peeled over the next few months, as you will be hearing a lot about UBER– a San Francisco car service that has revolutionized the way people live and get around.  Operating much like private town car service, UBER town cars are at-the-ready on a moment’s notice, without charging an hourly minimum– and charge slightly more than a taxi would…

In a valley chock full of DUI check points + wine enthusiasts on the roads, this service will be a Godsend for all!

The genius thing about UBER is that you join the service with your credit card online, and never see a bill or receipt until it is sent to your email.  Finding a car is done via text or app, and is painless.

To learn more + set up your account, check out: UBER.com

Stay tuned for more…

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presenting the 24-hour napa itinerary for the HIGH ROLLER!

Who are you when you travel away from home?

Are you a bohemian? High roller? Bon Vivant? Foodie? Hipster? Traveling to far-off lands brings out the shadow-side in all of us– revealing one (or many) of the above personalities always. I live for the referral of friends to create my travel inspiration board + am always delighted to immerse myself in the beat of a temporarily adopted neighborhood, eager to bring home with me, a slice of that local flavor.

People travel to wine country to bask in the infectious flavor of the Napa Valley– the light/ air/ land/ smells/ vistas/ sunsets/ people/ talent/ architecture/ local markets/ wineries/ hotels/ restaurants / menus/ coffee counters/ wine shops/ bakeries/ culinary purveyors/ picnics/ healers/ churches/ back roads/ back alleys/ florists/ tiny shops/ food trucks. And after years of creating Napa itineraries for friends/ relatives/ friends-of-friends/ strangers, I realize that rarely are 2 itineraries ever alike.

Over the coming weeks, we are unveiling our CURIOUS + ECCENTRIC 24-hour Napa itineraries, curated to dazzle + please the every kind of traveler– but the best suggestion is to read them all and create your own Napa itinerary.

Kindly keep us posted and let us know your own thoughts/ suggestions/ tips.

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presenting the 24-hour napa itinerary for the BON VIVANT!

 

Who are you when you travel away from home?

Are you a bohemian? High roller? Bon Vivant? Foodie? Hipster? Traveling to far-off lands brings out the shadow-side in all of us– revealing one (or many) of the above personalities always. I live for the referral of friends to create my travel inspiration board + am always delighted to immerse myself in the beat of a temporarily adopted neighborhood, eager to bring home with me, a slice of that local flavor.

People travel to wine country to bask in the infectious flavor of the Napa Valley– the light/ air/ land/ smells/ vistas/ sunsets/ people/ talent/ architecture/ local markets/ wineries/ hotels/ restaurants / menus/ coffee counters/ wine shops/ bakeries/ culinary purveyors/ picnics/ healers/ churches/ back roads/ back alleys/ florists/ tiny shops/ food trucks. And after years of creating Napa itineraries for friends/ relatives/ friends-of-friends/ strangers, I realize that rarely are 2 itineraries ever alike.

Over the coming weeks, we are unveiling our CURIOUS + ECCENTRIC 24-hour Napa itineraries, curated to dazzle + please the every kind of traveler– but the best suggestion is to read them all and create your own Napa itinerary.

Kindly keep us posted and let us know your own thoughts/ suggestions/ tips.

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in case you were wondering…

photo credits: indian springs, auberge du soleil, solage, bardessono, meadowood

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presenting the 24-hour napa itinerary for the FOODIE!

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alexis announces 24-hour NAPA itineraries!

Who are you when you travel away from home?

Are you a bohemian? High roller? Bon Vivant? Foodie? Hipster? Traveling to far-off lands brings out the shadow-side in all of us– revealing one (or many) of the above personalities always. I live for the referral of friends to create my travel inspiration board + am always delighted to immerse myself in the beat of a temporarily adopted neighborhood, eager to bring home with me, a slice of that local flavor.

People travel to wine country to bask in the infectious flavor of the Napa Valley– the light/ air/ land/ smells/ vistas/ sunsets/ people/ talent/ architecture/ local markets/ wineries/ hotels/ restaurants / menus/ coffee counters/ wine shops/ bakeries/ culinary purveyors/ picnics/ healers/ churches/ back roads/ back alleys/ florists/ tiny shops/ food trucks. And after years of creating Napa itineraries for friends/ relatives/ friends-of-friends/ strangers, I realize that rarely are 2 itineraries ever alike.

Over the coming weeks, we are unveiling our CURIOUS + ECCENTRIC 24-hour Napa itineraries, curated to dazzle + please the every kind of traveler– but the best suggestion is to read them all and create your own Napa itinerary.

Kindly keep us posted and let us know your own thoughts/ suggestions/ tips.

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ira’s studio: the perfect winter afternoon excursion

Visiting Ira’s studio is always on my short-list of things to do for out-of-towners– regardless of season.  It is a dreamy snapshot to the colorful world of Napa Valley:  unexpected, infectious, and inspiring.  A vision that is specific to time + place.

Of all the eccentric genres + subjects Ira paints, his Wappo Indians are my favorites… they are poetic, mystical, and deeply powerful.

ira yeager, napa valley, calistogaIra Yeager/ Indian Portrait, 1850/ oil + acrylic on canvas/ 36 x 36 inches

ira yeager, napa valley, calistogaIra Yeager/ Indian Portrait/ mixed media/ 60 x 60 inches

ira yeager, napa valley, calistogaIra Yeager/ Indian Portrait/ oil + acrylic on canvas/ 48 x 48 inches

ira yeager, napa valley, calistoga

Ira Yeager/ Indian Portait: Indiens des Plains 1885-1867/ oil + acrylic on canvas/ 66 x 66 inches

For appointments: Brian M Fuller, Studio Director/ 707.942.5395/ irayeager@aol.com

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so, you’re visiting napa: acme

If you are looking to discover the next cult classic, like Scarecrow or Hourglass, then…. R-U-N, don’t walk, to ACME Fine Wines, just a short walk away. ACME is a local treasure where boutique and virtual wineries sell their teeny production wines, and offer the most incredible selection of impeccably edited wines for their wine clubs. This is not to be missed.

Note to self: Every Friday night from 5- 7pm, some of the finest small vintners in the valley pour their wines.

AcmeWine
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so, you’re visiting napa: auberge du soleil

The Auberge du Soleil, nestled in the terraced hills of Rutherford, is a major splurge and super treat; with the most intoxicating and heavenly views, bedrooms, fireplaces, pool, spa, wine list, service, room service and dining patio. This hotel is the #1 game in town and nothing compares in the winter or summer.

AubergeLaPlage
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so, you’re visiting napa: martin design

Be sure to check out Martin Design. Erin Martin has style and taste for days, with her signature aesthetic, amazing books and curiosities.

ErinMartin

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so, you’re visiting napa: gott’s roadside

The Gott brothers’ burger joint is INSTANT NAPA to me—and a modern day slice of AMERICANA, that makes everyday of summer feel like the 4th of July! For us an early lunch at Gott’s, at least once a weekend, is a high priority and serious business, requiring precision timing– as our children wait breathlessly for the 12:30 passing of the wine train. I covet the regular burger with extra special sauce, the sweet potato fries, and the espresso bean shake, made with Double Rainbow ice cream.

The trick to Gott’s is all about timing: either go for an early OR late lunch. But do yourself a favor, don’t show up between 12- 1:30.

Taylors-Refresher
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so, you’re visiting napa: napa valley olive oil company

While in St. Helena, you want to check out the Napa Valley Olive Oil Company– established in 1962, this enchanting discovery delights anyone looking for the REAL DEAL. The Particelli family runs this old fashioned Italian market out of a little, white washed barn, seconds from town; and sell an amazing selection of olive oils, sausage and olives. I love giving the olive oil ($15) to my house guests.

 


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so, you’re visiting napa: the uptown theatre

The old mantra, “that, which is old, is new again” couldn’t ring more true, for the recently refurbished UPTOWN THEATRE in downtown Napa. This old and magical theater had become an awkward and carved-up, 4 screen movie house, and was dying on the vine. For the past dozen years it has been under construction, and supported by some of the Valley’s wisest visionaries… and finally reopened this spring. The UPTOWN THEATRE of today, has been lovingly restored to its’ original glory and is bringing to the Napa Valley amazing musicians and performers of your youth. Their summer calendar include: Roseanne Cash, Gipsy Kings, Cyndi Lauper, Merle Haggard, English Beat, Ani DiFranco, Rickie Lee Jones, Lyle Lovett, Rufus Wainwright…

uptown in napa
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