The Ultimate Napa Honeymoon Guide
If your ideal California honeymoon or minimoon is filled with picturesque vineyards rolling over the golden hills of California, five-star farm-to-table restaurants with wine lists bigger than their entire menus, and luxe, understated resorts with dreamy spas and heavenly hot tubs, then look no further than Napa Valley for your honeymoon. Your romantic days filled with the best wine tasting in the world, and nights spent cuddling up to a fireplace in your suite, and waking up to cozy breakfasts and vineyard views. Can you say honeymoon goals??
Here is my Ultimate Napa Valley Honeymoon Guide – full of tips on where to stay, where to wine taste, where to eat, and where to go in California wine country on a honeymoon.
I love staying up in Calistoga – the most Northern part of wine country because it’s secluded, quiet, and has some of the most beautiful and romantic honeymoon hotels in Napa Valley (Calistoga Ranch, of course, Auberge Solage is a favorite, as is the cozy chic Cottage Grove Inn!). It’s a beautiful, romantic area of Napa Valley.
Ultra-luxe ranch full of chic-meets-cozy vibes at Calistoga Ranch – one of California’s most famed hotel properties and the hotel topping most of our bucket lists. Love their pool during the summer months (but each room has a hot tub for the cooler months!)
Don’t miss the best hotel breakfast of all time at the Lake House!!
This luxury collection resort is Napa Valley hotel goals. It’s in Saint Helena – one of my very favorite areas of the valley (and where many of the wineries I mentioned above are!) and each room has a dreamy terrace that looks out onto the vineyards and onto THIS view.
Photo courtesy Las Alcobas
This hotel has all of the things I love in a romantic Napa Valley honeymoon room – fireplaces in your room, a complimentary bottle of wine upon arrival, free champagne breakfast buffet…. and the delicious waffles I crave ALL the time! I think if you’re looking for the perfect Napa experience, Yountville is where you want to be. It’s an adorable small wine town with the best restaurants (Bottega, French Laundry, Bouchon, Bistro Jeanty)
This resort, complete with tennis and a gorgeous golf course, is a great option for staying overnight in Napa. Just off the Silverado trail (where many of the wineries I mentioned are), it’s the perfect location for your getaway.
If you’re looking for a nice, affordable hotel in Napa in the perfect location – this is it. If I’m going up for a weekend or a quick one-night Napa getaway, this is always where I stay. It’s right in the right location (only a 10 minute drive from Yountville, Saint Helena, and most of the wineries I love to taste at), and the rooms are simple, modern and wonderful, each with its own fireplace! The complimentary breakfast is also amazing.
Healdsburg is another one of my favorite secluded, romantic areas of the Valley that would be perfect for a honeymoon.
Hotel Les Mars is everything that Healdsburg is; relaxed luxury that feels fresh out of the French countryside. The luxurious 16-room boutique hotel is located in the heart of the Healdsburg Square. In the rooms are baroque canopied four-poster beds with fresh Italian linens and the most comfortable mattress and pillows imaginable, as well as a spacious marble bathroom and unbelievably-soft robes. Each morning breakfast is served in your room complimentary, complete with silver platters, french-pressed coffee and fresh croissants. It feels like you’re sleeping in a 16th century royal palace. And I loved every second of it.
Where to wine taste in Napa Valley
Handwritten wines – this is a new tasting room but a well known wine in Napa Valley – they don’t distribute their wines so everything is only available for members and tasting room visitors! It’s a gorgeous spot right in downtown Yountville – and their chard and cabernet sauvignons are TO DIE FOR. Their winemaker came from Cakebread, Rombauer, La Crema and more before going into Handwritten – so it’s no wonder their chardonnay is so good. But their single vineyard, single varietal cabernets will blow your mind as well.
Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars – Easily one of Napa’s most famous wineries – Stag’s Leap was the Cabernet Sauvignon that took place in the famous Paris Tasting in the 1970’s. Their Fire & Water tour is incredible – and their cabernet’s are some of the best in the Valley.
Artesa Winery – Beautiful contemporary winery with a fun Spanish flare (their owners have been making wine in Spain since the 1500’s) I loved their pintxo’s pairing tasting. This place would also be amazing for a group – and is one of the first wineries driving up from San Francisco to the Valley, making it an easy day trip for San Francisco travelers.
Inglenook – A splurge of a tasting that, in my opinion, is completely worth it if you’re only in Napa once. this is Francis Ford Coppola’s winery and is a beautiful property with fantastic wines. My favorite? The Rubicon. Incredible bottle.
Grgich Hills – Grgich has such fantastic wines and a great atmosphere. Mike Grgich was the winemaker at Chateau Montelena in the 1970’s and soon after his famed win of the Paris Tasting, he went off to create his own label. I love this family-run winery and it’s always one of my favorites.
Courtesy of: Grgich Hills
Promontory – One of the most expensive and exclusive tastings in the Valley, Promontory is worth every cent. This STUNNING property sits on just one tiny part of owner a Bill Harlan’s more that 900 untamed, rugged acres of land dubbed “Napa Valley Territory”. The family only began growing grapes here (on less than 10% of the land) in 2008, and immediately knew they had something special. Promontory wine makes less than 2000 cases of this Cabernet magic , most of which are only available at the winery itself, that just opened last summer for private tours only.
If you’re looking for a Napa valley wine and tasting experience to truly blow you away, this is it.
Caymus Vineyards – Great wines! Some of my favorite in Napa. And a absolute picturesque outdoor tasting area. I love their pinot noir and their chardonnay.
Joseph Phelps Winery – You’ve probably heard of Joseph Phelps’ famed Insignia label – an insanely good cabernet sauvignon that is worth the trip to this winery alone. Add in a cozy lodge-like tasting room and a terrace like this? It’s a must do.
Domaine Carneros – Champagne!!!! Champagne!!!! Champagne!!!!! BEAUTIFUL spot, and such impeccable service. I love it so much, and spend so much time here, I might as well just move in.
Castello di Amorosa– it’s a castle, literally. Beautiful spot. One of my favorite places to bring newcomers to Napa because of it’s gargantuan appeal. Tastings starting at $20.
V. Sattui Winery – This lovely winery is perfect for a picnic. It’s right near Dean & Deluca so one of my favorite things to do is grab sandwiches and bring to the picnic tables at V. Sattui. Their tastings are affordable and the fact that you can bring your own food in makes this a fantastic lunch & wine spot.
Chateau Montelena– This gorgeous ivy-covered chateau was made famous for beating out the French in the Paris Tasting. Their wine is delicious, and the estate is gorgeous. Tastings starting at $25. Vineyard tours are $40 and require reservations. You can stop in the tasting room without a reservation, or make a more intimate limited release tasting reservation in their library for $50.
Trinchero Napa Valley– This beautiful estate’s tasting room is one of my VERY favorite… I like it so much I wrote a whole blog post on it here. Tastings start at $30 and their cabs are fab.
Nickel & Nickel– As members of this winery, we go to all of their parties and have had the opportunity to taste here and take the tour many, many times, but every time is better than the last!! I can’t imagine Napa without this little country winery, and I hope you’ll love it. The tour is $65/person, and requires reservations.
Rombauer– My go-to chardonnay. I always come home with at least a few bottles from here, and they don’t make it a week in San Francisco before they’re gone. Great spot for a casual, pop in tasting. Starting at $20 for a flight.
Opus One Winery – This is one of the most globally recognized names in luxury wine. Tasting is pricey, at $45-$60 a glass, but it’s a bucket list winery! So gorgeous… and incredible wine. Make sure you head straight to the terrace once you get your glass! Some of the best views in Napa.
Sterling – Sterling is famous for its over-the-top gondola ride to their tasting room! A great spot for out-of-towners to get a view of the vineyards. Tastings start at $29.
Beringer– This pretty winery is a great first tour for Napa newbies. They will teach you how to taste wine, pair it with cheese, and the nuances behind each sip. I love the barrel tasting tour because you get to taste directly from cabernet in an aging oak barrel. Very cool!
Twomey– located in Healdsburg and also in Calistoga, this is one of my go-to’s for a casual drop-in tasting in the valley. Their pinot’s are so good (they’re under the Silver Oak label) and I always end up walking out with a few bottles.
Far Niente Winery – Far Niente is well regarded throughout Napa and everywhere as one of the very best wines, and their property is as beautiful and elegant as you would expect. Sister winery to Nickel & Nickel, Far Niente has an amazing tour and tasting, but it’s restricted to members of their wine club (shout out to my family who are members have gotten me in for tastings many times) It is still worth mentioning though, as it is one of the very best.
Auberge Du Soleil –Ah, the Auberge. If I had all the money in the world, I would stay here every time I went to Napa. But with room rates a little out of my price range, I’ll settle for taking in a sunset glass of wine on their elegant patio overlooking the valley. Can’t beat this view.
Tucked into the hills of Alexander Valley, you’ll find the beautiful French-countryside-inspired Jordan chateau. The gorgeous estate overlooks 1200 acres of rolling hills and vineyards and is home to the Jordan family. Jordan welcomes guests by appointment for their 90 minute estate tour and tasting or gourmet food and wine pairings in their stunning cellar room. will take you They only make three wines here, an esteemed cabernet, chardonnay, and a new sparkling wine. I absolutely loved all three, and the sparkling was one of the best champagnes I’ve ever had.
For those who truly appreciate good wine, Verite is a must-stop on your trip to Napa – especially if you’re in Healdsburg. Famed by Robert Parker, Jr., of The Wine Advocate – they recently announced twelve 100-point scores for Vérité’s three blends, Le Désir, La Joie and La Muse (the first time a Sonoma County winery has received this many perfect scores!) And they are just as beautiful and delicious as you can imagine. Tastings by appointment only.
Lancaster Winery is set in Alexander Valley and their private tasting is hosted in their stunning 9000 square foot caves, accessible through a Game-of-Thrones-esque door. The beautiful estate is located at the southernmost tip of Alexander Valley and includes 53 hillside acres of 24 vineyard blocks. The vineyard is dedicated exclusively to the classic Bordeaux varieties—Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot. Tastings are $25 per person.
Lambert Bridge, located in the Alexander Valley, is famous for their excellent Cabernet, Cab Franc and Merlot, among other varietals. Their tasting room is their barn-like barrel room which is just beautiful. Lambert Bridge describes their wine style as offering European elegance and refinement, coupled with the intense flavor and bright aromatics that are found only in Sonoma County fruit.
The best restaurants in Napa Valley for a honeymoon
RH Yountville – This chic new contemporary restaurant in Yountville is everyone’s favorite. Each table is adorned with an over-the-top chandelier, and the beautiful ambiance and decor is matched with the delicious menu. Order the crispy artichokes, the burrata, and definitely try their signature bellini! I also recommend going a little early for a drink at their bar – it is adorable! This is the perfect date spot in Napa.
Goose and Gander – I looove this cozy, homey Saint Helena restaurant for a honeymoon dinner in Napa Valley.
Bottega Yountville– This restaurant in Yountville ranks right up there with my favorite dinner spots anywhere. Celebrity chef Michael Chiarello’s californian-italian restaurant in an atmosphere so uniquely Napa. Check out their incredible wine list and think of me when you order a glass of Nickel & Nickel. The Nickels are great friends with Bottega, and it’s actually where I had my very first glass of my favorite wine.
Farmstead– This farm-to-table california cuisine restaurant is an amazing spot, and is my go-to every time I’m in Napa Valley. Think southern comfort food with a healthy contemporary California twist. I always start with the grilled artichoke appetizer or the meatballs, and their barbecued ribs with mac and cheese are amazing. You definitely can’t go wrong with anything on their menu.
Mustard’s Grill – A greeaaat spot and a Napa classic. This restaurant has been serving up American food to Napa locals and visitors for over 30 years. Many people’s favorite in the valley.
Redd Wood – This place is great. Really good gourmet pizza and contemporarry Italian food in a chic atmospherre. Rich, dark wooden walls, a cooly lit up bar with dozens of single light bulbs lining it, like a starry night.
The French Laundry – I have not yet had the opportunity to eat at this ultra-famous Napa restaurant, often voted the very best restaurant in the WORLD. But, I, like many, have it on my foodie bucket list. Their menu is a 9-course tasting menu complete with wine pairings, and each person has their own waiter.
When is the best time of year to go to Napa Valley for a honeymoon?
Napa is one of the very few magical places in the world that are beautiful no matter what season it is. It’s gorgeous in the Summer, almost more beautiful in the Fall with harvest going on, and even stunning in the Winter, on rainy cozy days (and this is spoken from a Summer worshipper!!) In February, you get mustard season which is just BEAUTIFUL, and one of my favorite times of year to visit.
Napa and Sonoma are two regions of California wine country that could not be more different – and they’re both amazing. If you’re trying to decide where to go in wine country for a honeymoon and want to know all the differences between Napa and Sonoma, and which region is best for YOUR honeymoon, check out my blog post here: Napa vs. Sonoma for more information.
What are Jetset Christina’s favorite Napa Valley wines? And how do I order them?
Should we go to any other areas around Napa while we’re there?
YES, yes, and yes!!! Some of my favorites are Sonoma, Calistoga and Healdsburg. Every area of California wine country is so different, and it’s so fun to explore a few areas of wine country while you’re there!
PS – have more questions on Napa or any other destination? Join the JETSETTERS secret facebook group to get & give travel recs to our Jetset Christina community and connect with other #JSCJetsetters!
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