I recently got back from a week long trip in Napa Valley with Shop the Mint! This was my first time visiting Wine Country, but it definitely won’t be my last! It was a week full of photo shoots, hot air balloon rides, wine tasting, and laughter!
Where We Stayed
We stay at the Bancroft Inn of Sonoma! The Inn was built in 1889 and has been preserved so well! The inside was incredibly clean (better than some 5-star hotels I’ve stayed in), and my bed felt like a cloud. The Bancroft is about 5 minutes away from Sonoma Plaza, which has cute shops and restaurants. It is about an hour/hour and a half away from both the Sacramento and San Francisco Airports, and a short drive to the local wineries around Napa and Sonoma.
Where We Ate
For the most part, the majority of the places we ate were in Sonoma Plaza, which was a short drive from the Bancroft Inn.
• Sonoma Grille – We had dinner here one of the nights of the trip. This is a steak and seafood spot. I would recommend the filet mignon and a glass of wine (of course).
• Sunflower Caffe – This spot uses local, organic, fresh ingredients! I’d recommend going here for lunch because of the outdoor patio. I ordered the arugula salad.
• Layla – I loved the aesthetic of this spot. Very sophisticated, farmhouse type of vibes. The presentation of the food is amazing and well thought out. It was definitely one of my favorite dining experiences.
• El Dorado Kitchen – We had our last dinner here. I recommend ordering the NY Steak or the Petaluma Chicken Breast! If you’re a french fry person (like me), they have some amazing french fries. They also have super yummy signature cocktails.
• SIGH. Champagne & Sparkling – The cutest champagne and sparkling wine bar! Highly recommend visiting if you’re a champagne lover.
• Lou’s Fish Shack – This spot is actually in San Francisco, but I wanted to include it since we ate lunch here on the last day of the trip! I ordered the popcorn shrimp and fries. So good!
Hot Air Balloon Ride
On Wednesday we woke up early. Like really early. We had to be ready and out the door by 4 am to catch the sunrise hot air balloon ride. I’m actually terrified of heights and don’t think I processed what was happening until we were all in the basket and the balloon started lifting. But honestly, it was such an incredible experience and definitely wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be!
Wine tasting was one of my favorite parts of the trip. On Thursday we took a party bus to three different wineries around Napa and Sonoma!
• Winery #1: Domaine Carneros – This winery was my favorite! The gardens and French-inspired chateau feels like you’re stepping right into France.
• Winery #2: Tamber Bey Vineyards Napa – The vibe here was definitely more laid back from the French chateau, but it was still absolutely gorgeous. It’s located at Sundance Ranch (a world-class equestrian facility). We were able to see the horses and have a tour to see how the wine is made and stored. Best of both worlds.
• Winery #3: Castello di Amorosa – This winery was our last stop of the day and was so gorgeous! It was built to resemble a medieval Tuscan castle, and definitely feels like you’re stepping back in time.
Day in San Francisco
We spent the day in San Francisco on Friday before my flight Friday night. I have always wanted to visit SF. I got super excited when we crossed the Golden Gate Bridge, because I had no idea we were going to even see it. I definitely want to plan another weekend trip to San Francisco.
Have you been to Napa or planning a trip? Hopefully this recap gives a little more insight about what to expect. Also, THANK YOU so much to my sweet friends at Shop the Mint for inviting me on this trip!