I had the pleasure of staying in the relaxation and wine destination of Napa Valley this past weekend. The theme of the visit – as is with all my vacations – was #StudentBudget. If you’re looking to discover the pricey wonders of Napa in a financially-tight fashion then look no further than my splendid experience.
We got our room at Napa Discovery Inn at a strikingly low $80 (taxes and fees included) from Hotwire.com. The tiny accommodations were nowhere close to luxury, but that’s never bothered me before. Our host was incredibly friendly and our room was well-sized and lacked any sort of questionable smell.
Napa is chalk full of wineries so that even after plentiful online research I had no idea where exactly to go during our two days there. Thus, our first stop was the Napa Welcome Center located in beautifully quaint downtown Napa. We told a lady there we were looking to experience the area as affordable as possible and she promptly handed us free and 2-for-1 wine tasting cards. And off we went…
First day destinations:
- Sutter Home (free tasting with card) – our sommelier was amazing. He recommended restaurants around the area and told us about the free tasting across the street at Heitz.
- Heitz (free without card) – beautiful backyard sitting area.
- V. Sattui (2-for-1 at $15 with card) – this was a major tourist destination, as the winery was named 2014 winery of the year. The grounds were absolutely fairytale-like.
- Peju – we stopped by here since this is only one of the few wineries to close past 4PM.
- Farmstead restaurant – worthwhile dinner spot. Warm and modern decor was on point and the food was delicious. We had the cheese rolls and vegetarian gnocchi.
Second day destinations:
- Napa Premium Outlets – not much to see here. It’s got your typical Coach, Michael Kors and J. Crew factory stores.
- Uncorked at Oxbow – free tasting with card.
- Oxford Public Market (restaurants and things for sale) – very similar to the Ferry Building in San Francisco. Worth seeing, but definitely has overpriced offerings.
- Melted – amazing little hipster lunch place in downtown Napa where you can find food that your wallet isn’t actually cringing at.
- Darioush Winery – this is just absolutely worth seeing. At $300/wine tasting there was no possible way we were touching any of their wines, but it’s perfect for photo-ops.
- Black Stallion – beautiful grounds again.
- Robert Mondavi Wine Estate – again, just a great place in Napa to take pictures.
- Yountville – home to 2 Michelin rated restaurants (French Laundry and Bouchon). Picturesque town great for taking an afternoon stroll.
- Ristorante Allegria – classy Italian restaurant in Downtown Napa. A great choice that is slightly cheaper than your typical Napa fare.
-Pictures of the Trip-