napa valley travel guide + embassy suites napa review
Napa Valley had been a trip on my bucket list ever since I turned 21, and how lucky am I that I finally got to check it off my bucket list this month thanks to my new fiancé! We we were only in Napa for about 3ish days but it was still the trip of a lifetime. Today I will be sharing a little Napa Valley travel guide with y’all as well as a review of the hotel we stayed at – Embassy Suites by Hilton Napa Valley
This hotel was a little outside of downtown Napa and we truly loved this area because it gave us a reason to walk a little further! Also, Napa is honestly such a small little town that you could walk the whole place very quickly. But, we’ll get there! First let me review the hotel because it was a dreammmm.
We absolutely loved our stay at Embassy Suites. The whole entrance was so grand and welcoming. We were informed upon arrival that we they would have complimentary drinks every evening for HH! As soon as you walked into the courtyard, you're greeted by two swans. They were so adorable and I ended up naming them Fred + Angie. They had spa water out every morning as well as a breakfast buffet with a build your own omelet station, complimentary for guests!
Our room was my favorite part though (aside from the swans) It was plenty spacious with a really nice bathroom, one sink in the bathroom and one in the bedroom. Our suite also included a kitchenette/bar area that was great for a little drinks and snacks before dinners. We kept it as clean as possible, but the room service always did a great job of cleaning our room everyday. They also had a pool and fitness center which I never even went near (v weird for me!)
One thing I found surprising was how many kids were there! Esp since most people were there for the vineyards. It was still super peaceful and quiet and felt very romantic!
Like I said above, the location of this hotel was pretty convenient. We were right down the street from the downtown part of Napa (which I will share in a bit), and right off the highway that went up to all the vineyards. We ended up Ubering the whole trip and I don't think visiting San Francisco or Napa involves having to rent a car, which saves a lot!
Overall, Noah and I would both highly recommend this hotel to anyone staying in Napa Valley! The staff were all so helpful and friendly, and we could not have asked for a better experience! (And SWANS, duh!)
napa valley travel guide
Okay, so this travel guide shouldn't be as intense as my San Fran Guide as we didn't hit as many spots. But there is still PLENTY to do up there! Let me start by how to get there because as I said, you don't need a car:
There is a ferry that goes to Vallejo from San Fran everyday, based on the day you go you'll have to check the schedule. But there are plenty of times in the morning and evening for you to get there and we were the only ones on! Haha. I think the tickets were around $25 and it was a really quick ride with some great views. The ferry also had a snack/drink bar if you can't wait till you get to Napa.
Once in Vallejo you can grab an uber to Napa which is about a 30 minute drive or take the Vine Transit bus. Again, check the schedules. You can download the Hop Thru App to pay your fares and it costs us about $1.60 instead of $30+ for an Uber. (That could have been 3 glasses of wine!) We only had to change buses once, but the drivers were very helpful and we saved a good chunk of change.
Most likely this will be why you're here so let's get started with some of the vineyards we recommend:
- Hall Vineyard - 1st stop on my surprise Napa trip and it did not disappoint! This winery is for those that like the finer things. It was basically an upscale art gallery meets winery. Also since this was our first stop we kind of went overboard and drank wayyy too much but it was still an amazingly fun tour. (just always eat before you go) What you should try: Katherine Hall Cabernet Sauvignon + Jack's Masterpiece Cabernet Sauvignon
- V. Satuii WInery - This one happened to be across the street from Hall and were told was the only winery that didn't distribute outside the vineyard. It felt like we had just entered Tuscany, Italy with beautiful vines, flowers and fountains. We only went to the tasting room here but tried out some really great wines still. What your should try: Dry Creek Zinfandel, Dancing Egg Riesling, and Crow Ridge Zinfandel
- Del Dotto Wine Cave - This tour was incredibly fun! Mostly because our tour guide was hilarious with the dad jokes but also because it was in a legit cave. I felt like a wino version of Indiana Jones. haha. This is also where we tried $300 + bottles of wine, which I will probably never be able to do again in my life. What you should try: Piazza Del Dotto French Oak Cabernet Sauvignon and Piazza Del Dotto American Oak Cabernet Sauvignon
- Raymond Vineyard - Otherwise known as the spot we got engaged! This vineyard is fun if you like to get weird... Yes, weird. It is very eclectic and artsy and all about enticing the senses. This place also had farm animals which is always a plus in my book, like albino peacocks! But there is plenty to do here including a Corridor of Senses, the Red Room, and Winemaker for a Day (this is what we did!) We actually didn't have a lot of wines here compared to other places due to the chain of events that took place. What you should try: The Winemaker For A Day experience. You'll get to create your own red blend and order more whenever you want! The District Collection 2014 Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon, 2016 Pinot Noir Rosé, and the LVE: Legend Vineyard Exclusive Red Blend
Oh my goodness we actually found a few great food spots in Napa. Nothing here was cheap but it was so worth it, and really a part of the whole experience! These were our favorites and mostly lunch/dinner spots as we had bfast at the hotel everyday.
- Morimoto Sushi - Like, woah! Noah surprised me with this spot for my birthday/engagement and I don't think I have ever had better sushi in my life. It was absolutely packed and understood why. The freshness and the flavors couldn't be beat and they were able to work with my dairy allergy and Noah's shellfish allergy! What we got: Sashimi Platter, Morimoto Omakase (a multi course tasting menu catered to your preference!) and for drinks: Sake to share, Mango Matcha Punch and French Smash
- Cuccio Pizza - This spot was actually in Yountville, a little outside Napa and was GREAT for post-wine all day long. haha! We went around 5pm and it was already packed but is a fairly new place. They were very accommodating with my allergy and Noah and I were able to split a pizza with half cheese, half not. They also change their menu every few days based on local and available ingredients. What we got: Bread w/ Olive oil (for bread, it was amazing!) Smoked Salmon Crepe with Goat Cheese, and a Spring Squash Pizza.
- Oxbow Public Market - I love that public markets are a thing and I'm so attracted to them. They're like foodcourts but with local and sustainable options! We popped over here on our last day to grab lunch and a vegan birthday cupcake. We also had a lot of fun sampling all the olive oil and vinegar shops and now we have fig vinegar from Amazon on it's way! What we got: Oysters, Smoked Trout Salad, Clam Steamers from Hog Island Oyster Bar, Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes from Kara's Cupcakes and a drink from Fieldwork Brewing Co.
- La Taberna - I was in the mood for something small and we found this popular Spanish tavern on Main Street. The menu was heavy on meat but were able to find some pescatarian options and we wanted to find a cute place before we headed back to San Fran.
Other restaurants that I heard were great that we didn’t get to try – The French Laundry, Rutherford Grill, and Goose & Gander
I think that covers the highlights of our Napa trip! It really is such a beautiful valley that could take a full week to see it all. I definitely want to go back and experience the place we got engaged with friends and family! Thanks to everyone who shared their Napa recommendations with us and I hope this travel guide convinces you to plan a trip their ASAP.
Thanks for reading and I hope y’all have a great week!