The Ultimate Napa Valley Travel Guide

May 25, 2017

Have you ever met someone who you instantly know you're going to be friends with? That is how I immediately felt about my friend, Callie. This post is dedicated to Calista. Callie and I have been friends since she walked into freshman seminar at Pepperdine. Since then, we've been sorority sisters, roommates, she was at my law school graduation, engagement party, she was a bridesmaid in my wedding and now, I get to be in hers.

We've experienced a lot of life together. But I think her wedding is going to be the icing on top of this cake. Let me tell you a little about Callie. She's the best friend, fiance, daughter and teacher. She talks loud, sings louder and is kinder than anyone you'll ever meet. She cares deeply about the ones she loves and works harder than anyone I know. Everyone wants a friend like Callie. 

This past weekend I had the honor of joining her and a group of her friends to help celebrate her upcoming nuptials. It was such a wonderful weekend spent laughing until we all cried, literally, inside jokes, tons of pictures, time in the sun, wine and long talks. It was so wonderful getting to know all of Callie's friends and family. The best part about her friends, they treated me like we'd been friends for years. I know this wedding is going to be amazing.

I've never been to Napa Valley before. The closest I've gotten is pictures, stories and my imagination. So, what I learned is there is more than one valley, more towns than just Napa and so much wine to be had.

We stayed in Calistoga, which in my opinion is the best. Talk about a dream location. In my 3 days spent in Calistoga I ate the best food, drank the best wine and swam in the best hot springs. Luckily for you, I've got all the hot-spots. Let's get to it.

Great friends, a swimsuit, a big floppy hat, some sundresses, comfy shoes, sunglasses, matching shirts with the hashtag on it, yoga gear and sunscreen. Plus, make sure your camera has lots of room on it., pictures are a must.

I absolutely over packed. I wish I was kidding. We went for a weekend and I brought a suitcase bigger than required by a European vacation. But, in my defense, it was my first trip to Napa and I had no clue! Really, all ya need is a few dresses and some great friends. The rest will fall into place.

  • Hot Springs: A lot of our Saturday was spent being lazy by the hot springs. I didn't realize the huge pool was actually a hot spring. It was incredible. The hot spring has to be like 85 degrees, I'm actually not sure, but it's so nice and warm. It's crazy to think that even when it's 80 degrees outside that an 85 degree pool would feel great. 
  • A little workout: In the AM on Saturday  Callie's sister Ellie organized a private yoga clsas on the house deck. I highly recommend this. Especially after a few (or 9) glasses of wine on Friday night, nothing felt better than some yoga outside. 
  • Wine tasting: You are in Napa Valley after all! We tried so many new wines and I was in my heaven. I cannot believe I've haven't done this sooner. 
  • Great food: See below!
  • Wander downtown Calistoga, Yountville or Sonoma. They are picturesque. Next time I'm spending so much time in all three. They are so darling.
We stayed at Indian Springs Resort and it was incredible. We had this amazing bungalow with multiple bedrooms, a kitchen and a family room. It also had this huge deck where we did yoga in the morning. It was a perfect spot for lots of girls, couples or even families. Indian Springs had this huge hot spring pool, mud baths and the entire compound was stunning. I felt like I was in paradise.

When/if you've been to Napa Valley, where do you stay? Whats your favorite local? I'm going back twice more this summer and need some recs! Send them this way!

I mean, isn't that the cutest hotel lobby ever? 
This place is legendary.
This "pool" is a hot spring and its glorious! 

Well, luckily for me, Napa Valley has a ton of food, because man, I love food and we did a lot of eating. Whenever I would ask what kind of food the restaurant had, people would say, "California food." I didn't know what that meant at first, but holy moly, it's safe to say California food is my new favorite food. What I learned is California food is fresh, delicious and food I absolutely crave.

I was only there for two days, so didn't have the chance to eat at a ton of places, but the places I tried were absolutely incredible! What are your favorite places to eat?

The Boon Fly Cafe: We stopped in to Boon Fly on our way into Napa Valley. It is a part of Carneros Resort and Spa. It is so dang delicious. It's known for it's modern rustic cuisine in a contemporary roadhouse atmosphere (direct quote!). They are known for their amazing donuts. Take my advice and get the donuts, it's worth a splurge. I got the most delicious hamburger I've ever had. Oh and of course, champs. Hamburgers, corn beef hash, donuts and all the egg breakfasts you can imagine.

Oh Boon Fly, you are the best. 

Sam's Social Club: Two words, avocado toast. This brunch place is right outside the Indian Springs resort. I would have eaten here everyday if I could have. If you don't know, brunch is a ladies best friend. The 10 of us sat around for hours, chatting, telling secrets and drinking mimosas. We literally sat here for hours. It was such a blast. More proof that brunch is the best.They serve the best kind of brunch; eggs, avocado toast, granola and everything else.

What did I tell you about the avocado toast.
The best kind of group picture.

Sushi Mambo: This place was walking distance from our hotel. The sushi was amazing but the service was eh. Luckily Ellie is a champpppp and got us all the sushi we could want. Plus, we ate sushi for three days after our first meal. They serve classic sushi. It is delish.

I told you we got all the sushi. 

Ad Hoc + Addendum: This restaurant is a Thomas Keller restaurant. I didn't know what that meant before, but holy moly. I am going to start seeking this guy out. His other restaurants include the French Laundry, Bouchon Bakery and Per Se. Add them to my list. This was hands down, top 2 restaurants I've ever been too. The coolest part about Ad Hoc, it's all family style and the menu changes every single day based on whats available. We had salmon salad, eggs benedict, homemade scones and french toast. Safe to say, we indulged.

A relief from hunger. Literally my new life motto. 
Scones, eggs benedict, french toast and salmon salad

Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch: Save the best for last. This dinner is everything I pictured for a perfect group dinner. With tealights over the table and the best family style food ever, it was the perfect night. 

I mean, is she not the prettiest bachelorette. 

The dreamiest dinner

Have you guys been to Napa Valley? Tell me everything. Like I mentioned before, we're spending two more weekends here this summer and I need some more recommendations! Tell me where you love to go, what you love to see and do!

Now, it's time for all the pictures.

The view from our deck was amaze.
The prettiest.

Yasss. #Calistagetsamister
The prettiest of sisters. El, thanks for hosting the best bachelorette party. 
Cal, thanks for being the best bachelorette.

Thanks for letting me recap the entire weekend. It allowed me relive it all over again. Get ready for this weekend, I'm off to Austin for another bachelorette party, which means, another tour guide coming your way. 

Happy Friday friends! 

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  1. Napa is on my list. Looks like you had a great time!

  2. This is sooo helpful! I've been wanting to visit Napa Valley - thank you!

  3. I can actually attest to the fact that the food was delicious because, unlike other hosts who I hear never get to eat a bite, there was a staff member by my side every so often kindly reminding me to eat! At DC wedding venues we received the best possible service.

  4. Prices for hotel rooms can vary greatly, even if the hotels are located close to each other.


I love hearing from all of you and greatly appreciate all your feedback and comments! xx Kristen