Is traveling to the Bordeaux region of southwest France not feasible this year? Well, here’s your opportunity to travel for a long weekend to the beautiful wine and spa region of the Napa Valley! And yes, you CAN do it all over a four-day Harvest Weekend! We’ve done the planning for you—with social distancing restrictions included—and you can use this itinerary as a template to curate your own Wine Country vacation.
Fuel your day with a cup of fresh roast from Roasteré Express located inside the Boise Bistro Market (11875 W. Fairview Ave., Boise). Roasteré Express has some of best coffee, and stopping at the Market will allow you to explore their breakfast treats before you hit the road!
**Drive for about 5 hours to Winnemucca
Grab lunch at Mariscos El Rey (5186 E. Winnemucca Blvd., Winnemucca). This is a must-stop in Winnemucca for anyone who loves finding authentic Mexican food while on the road midway between Boise and Calistoga. The ceviche and chicken tacos are the best in town!
**Drive for about 6 hours to Calistoga, Napa Valley
Check into your Insta-worthy @Calistoga.NapaValley Airbnb, a lovely mid-century Modern Cottage Vacation Residence located in the hills above Calistoga. This wonderful creekside cottage is lovingly owned and operated by a retired first responder who clearly adheres to strict cleaning protocols in place for the comfort of your stay!
Breakfast at Café Sarafornia (1413 Lincoln Ave. Calistoga) is one of the last diners operating in the Napa Valley and is a well-known local destination for good food at a good value. The Huevos Rancheros are so filling and flavorful.
First stop for vino is the Vincent Arroyo Family Winery (2361 Greenwood Ave., Calistoga). At many wineries, you may feel like you are quickly shuttled in and out while paying for pricey tastings, but at this family-owned winery, you receive personal service! The $20 tasting fee is waived with a three-bottle purchase, or you can indulge in free tastings if you become a member. You have a choice of a petite syrah, the port, the chardonnay or the balsamic vinegar to take home! We love the laid-back, friendly vibe—and they’re rated No. 1 in the US by Travel and Leisure, No. 1 in California by House Beautiful and Top 3 of Best Hidden Gems.
Do Bloody Marys count as a vegetable serving for lunchtime? With the expanded patio seating at Johnny’s (1457 Lincoln Ave., Calistoga), the ‘Stoga Salad with strawberries, almonds, cranberry vinaigrette with sliced chicken is light and refreshing!
Like bubbles? We do too and think they’re absolutely perfect anytime of the day. Make a reservation at Davies Vineyards (1210 Grayson Ave., St. Helena) to enjoy their signature Schramsberg sparkling. You’ll also have the opportunity to taste a J. Davies selection of pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon, and other unique, bold reds.
Relax at dinner in the biggest patio in town at Calistoga Inn (1250 Lincoln Ave., Calistoga)! The spacious, beautiful patio is on the edge of the creek next to the main drag. You can people-watch at a distance all evening and listen to live music while sipping on a variety of local ales. The fresh oysters, the roasted mushrooms, heirloom tomato salad, and arugula pizza are fabulous.
Stretch those legs! Take a short hike from the front steps of your Airbnb on Kortum Canyon Road to the town of Calistoga. This dirt trail turns into a small country road through one of the best terraced vineyard vantage points of the esteemed Diamond Mountain AVA.
Ready for a super-cute café for a scrumptious breakfast? You can find it at Lovina (1107 Cedar St., Calistoga). They have two patios for dining, and the combo French Toast & Mimosas (fruit sorbets with Champagne rather than orange juice) is amazing!
Make your next stop one to remember! Fill ‘er up at Tank Garage Winery (1020 Foothill Blvd., Calistoga), a former gas station converted into a boutique winery (but the gas tank is still there)! The wines produced are one-time-only, small-batch with a cool, retro vibe! This is a very different experience than what you get in ANY wine region! And there’s even a pinball machine to boot!
Calistoga is a spa town, and you can’t end your weekend without visiting one of the fave spots. From a wonderful swim in the mineral pool, mud baths, mineral baths, and steam rooms (and cool-down with cool cucumbers on your eyes), you will be refreshed for the drive home to Boise the next morning! Check out VisitCalistoga.com for updated Covid restrictions for spa treatments.
Easy takeout at Sushi Mambo (1631 Lincoln Ave., Calistoga). The owner apprenticed in Japantown, San Francisco and learned from Koichi-San, his mentor from Hokkaido, Japan. This is a quick, delicious takeout and the sashimi—the normal benchmark for sushi places—is spot-on with generous cuts!
Then enjoy your takeout back at your redwood-beam, super-cool Airbnb, eating dinner on the expansive porch, watching the sunset around the cozy fire pit.
6 a.m .
The drive home. Fuel your early morning with a cup of fresh roast from Soul Rebel (2450 Foothill Blvd., Suite A, Calistoga). It's family-owned, a local favorite with quality ingredients, and everything is made with love. And for convenience, fill up your gas tank located kitty-corner at Arco. (This station also has good selection of snacks and beverages for your drive home).
Don't forget that Olive and Vyne in Eagle and any Albertson's market has a choice of fine local and California wines. Even though short-term rentals are limited in Napa Valley, this idyillic Calistoga Cottage is one of the few licensed Airbnb accommodations. Visit Calistoga is a informative site to plan your trip, or contact NapaValStay@gmail.com for more information.