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Honeymoon in Napa Valley

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Honeymoon in Napa Valley

Hello,

My fiance and I are planning a trip to Napa Valley and the Sonoma area in August 2005 for our honeymoon. This is our first visit to California and would really appreciate any advice on where to stay, dine, wineries to visit, etc.

We are planning on renting a car and spending some time in Carmel as well as San Francisco. We have heard wonderful reviews about the Four Sisters Inns and am contemplating staying in one of these locations.

Your comments, suggestions, and helpful budget tips are welcome.

Thank you!

Napa, CA
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4,740 posts
2 reviews
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11. Re: Honeymoon in Napa Valley

Hmm . . . my comments seem to have offended some folks. That was certainly not my intent.

I've lived in Napa, Sonoma, and Marin for 20+ years. I'm happy to share what I know, in the hopes that travelers to this area can discover the inside secrets of these amazing places.

Being innkeepers, we talk to restaurants on a daily basis, since we book almost 1500 separate reservations per year for local wineries, restaurants, limos, and other fun stuff like balloon rides and horseback riding. Because of this, we tend to find things out a bit faster than folks who visit the Valley occasionally.

Tra Vigne is closed from Jan 24 thru Feb 4. You can call their answering machine to verify this. When we spoke to them, they said that they might be closed longer, but that they would post updates on their answering machine.

May you all enjoy this beautiful place.

-Russ Herschelmann

Innkeeper

Napa Old World Inn

Central Valley, CA
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12 posts
7 reviews
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12. Re: Honeymoon in Napa Valley

Russ-

Thanks for the info. Interesting that they don't have any sort of mention of the closure on their website. Glad I'm not planning on heading up until the end of March.

Must not be too big a deal if they will only be closed for a week or so.

St. Louis
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20 posts
1 review
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13. Re: Honeymoon in Napa Valley

The Cottage Grove Inn in Calistoga is a fantastic place to stay. Rooms are in individual "cottages", each with a different theme - very romantic. Comfortable beds, fireplace, jacuzzi tubs, overstuffed chairs with full entertainment center, free movies/cds from the main house.....I'm sure I'm forgetting something. The staff was extremely friendly and the Inn offered wine tastings every evening. It is a little on the expensive side, but well worth staying for a couple of nights at least.

As far as wineries....Sterling was great - the tram ride provided wonderful views. Also Beringer and Niebaum-Coppola were nice. We took the scenic route to Napa after spending part of the week in SF and stopped at Korbel for champagne tasting, but it might be out of the way if you're strictly staying around Napa. I've heard good things about Chandon, which is closer and also offers sparkling wines. I'm planning a trip this summer and definitely plan on including it as one of our stops.

Hope some of this helps. Best of luck and have a great time!

Atlanta, GA
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263 posts
18 reviews
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14. Re: Honeymoon in Napa Valley

My husband and I enjoy dining at Brix. The restaurant is casually elegant, has beautiful scenery out the back window, delicious food, and very good service. I did not feel rushed and thoroughly enjoyed my evening there. My husband also like Mustard's next door.

As a counter point, we did not care for Don Giovanni's. It was very crowded with the tables very close together. The service was not personal and the pasta not that interesting and served cold. Maybe it was just a bad night for them?

I have also enjoyed dinner at the Fountain Grove Inn at Equus in Santa Rosa and at Domaine Chandon in Younteville. I believe that you would need reservations for these, but they would be a very special dinner.

A nice side trip is out to where the Russian River empties into the ocean. There are seals we always go to see. Stop at the Redwoods on the way there (a state park but I don't remember the name).

Napa, CA
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15. Re: Honeymoon in Napa Valley

The Park would be Armstrong Redwoods State Park-- with one tree topping out at over 300' tall (as tall as a 30 story building), and another tree estimated at being 1400 years old. If you want something closer to San Francisco, you could also try Muir Woods National Monument -- a magnificent stand of redwoods so serene you'll feel like you're in an outdoor cathedral made entirely out of redwood trees. Incredible.

You know, deb, your point about hitting a restaurant on an off night is a good one-- this is exactly why we didn't like Brix-- it was too noisy inside, so we moved outside (beautiful view). And then the meal was really just so-so (presentation was excellent, the service a bit slow, and the taste/flavor were quite poor). I actually commented to my wife that I was wishing that the chef that had come up with the recipes had actually prepared them the night we were there-- on the menu they sounded delicious, but on the plate they were, to put it nicely, disappointing. And I'm really not being a snob here-- my notes from the meal note one dish being very overcooked and dry, while another was served cold! Our greatest pleasure was the dessert and the glass of Chateau Y'Quem (one of the only places I've ever been where yo can get this amazing wine by the glass).

Some of you may wonder why we are such sticklers for a restaurant having *no* off nights. It's really no big deal for us, since we live here. We could always go back. But folks who visit with us may only be here for one or two nights (i.e., one or two dinners). If one of the places they go to has an *off* night, that means half the dinners they have in Napa will be crummy. So consistently good performance is very important for us.

But I do appreciate your point. We will go back to Brix a few more times and see if it was just a one-time occurrence.

Thanks,

-Russ Herschelmann

Innkeeper

Napa Old World Inn

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