A quaint, upscale, town nestled half way through Napa Valley, Yountville has evolved from a rugged town to a must-visit destination. It’s recently burst onto the scene, becoming a standout star amid the many Napa Valley towns. On top of it’s celebrated culinary status (six Michelin-starred restaurants) it’s got award-winning wineries and amazing natural beauty.
Made famous by Chef Thomas Keller and Chef Michael Chiarello, all of the restaurants and tasting rooms are within walking distance. This makes it perfect for a weekend of wining and dining. Your pants may fit a bit tighter after your getaway, but your tastebuds will thank you.
The drive from San Francisco to Yountville is easy at less than 60 miles. You could easily do this in a day, and spend the whole time eating your way through Yountville. We suggest you make a full weekend out of it, and take a more scenic (and delicious) route.
If you start your drive to Yountville in the afternoon or evening you should stop at Tony's Pizza Napoletano, about 20 minutes outside San Francisco. It’s a busy Italian eatery that draws in the crowds for its expansive pizza menu. If you are an early riser kicking off this getaway in the morning, hit up Boon Fly Cafe in Carneros. Order eggs benedict with a bacon bloody mary for a filling and chill way to start fantastic weekend.
Just down the street from Yountville’s most popular restaurants is the Vintage Inn. While it’s excellent location to the culinary scene of Yountville is a huge factor in choosing this hotel; you don’t even have to leave to discover the culinary delights of Yountville. Enjoy the delicious brunch buffet each morning, afternoon tea service, and complimentary wine tastings. Guests have access to the pool and spa at the Villagio Inn and Spa (a sister resort).
Sitting on a half-acre of beautiful grounds, Maison Fleurie is the oldest hotel in Napa Valley. It’s a classic bed and breakfast with vineyard views and excellent service. If you are looking for the quintessential Napa experience, this is the place for you. The food scene here goes above and beyond other B&B’s in the area. They serve complimentary wine and apps each evening.
Hotel Yountville is a centrally located, Tuscan themed hotel and spa. The manicured lawns and sparkling fountains adorn the property. All of the modern rooms have fireplaces, and free access to ipads. Foodies will love the hotel restaurant - Hopper Creek Inn. It sources all ingredients from local purveyors, and you can watch the chefs cooks in the open air kitchen.
Redd Wood is part of the Redd Wood Hotel and is the perfect place for drinks and appetizers after a long day of wine drinking. Eat fresh thin crust pizza on the casual outdoor terrace. Try the classics or go for the calamari pizza. It's all tremendous.
The French Laundry is the restaurant that put Yountville on the map. The chef and mastermind behind it is world-renowned chef Thomas Keller. It’s got three Michelin stars and was called "the most exciting restaurant in the US" by the New York Times. Understandably, the reservations list runs months deep, so call early. Plan your whole getaway around the French Laundry, if need be. It's more than worth it.
A fabulous dining choice down the road from the French Laundry -- and one that is a little easier to get a table with your name on it -- is Bouchon Bistro. Same world-renowned chef, different menu. Sip champagne and slurp fresh oysters at the bar for the ultimate bistro experience.
Looking for a breather from the vineyards and wine tasting? Try a different spin with a Sonoma County brewery bike tour. Peddle the charming streets and rolling vineyards of Sebastopol and Santa Rosa alongside a knowledgeable guide, stopping at breweries along the way.
Safari West, known as the Sonoma Serengeti, in nearby Santa Rosa offers an unexpected departure from wine country. Journey out in search of wildebeest herds, romping rhinos and towering giraffes. From ring-tailed lemurs to the dazzling zebras, nearly 1,000 animals from more than 90 unique species roam the 400-acre preserve.
Sonoma Plaza is history in the heart of this wine country, with nature, shopping and, of course, wine tasting opportunities filling the plaza. Enjoy a sandwich and ice cream on a gorgeous sunny day or plan a night out with a candlelit steak dinner and prime wines. Sonoma Plaza is the heartbeat of the county, surrounded by the hills and vineyards.
Take a Napa and Sonoma Wine Country Tour and taste regional varietals at three different wineries in Napa and Sonoma, including both big-name and family-run estates. Learn about the wine-making process during guided tours of vineyards and barrel rooms, and savor the area’s gourmet culture.
The Fairmont Sonoma Inn & Mission, an historic place in Boyes Springs, is a gorgeous and uncrowded place to unwind. Even if you are not staying at the Inn, the spa and pool are open to the public with an appointment. They use the naturally occurring hot springs in the area to fill the pools.