4 Days in Napa Valley and San Francisco, California || @liattyy
This blog post is LONG overdue, considering my trip to Napa Valley and San Francisco was back in August 2019. But you guys know that life gets in the way and that’s why I still wanted to write this post. Last summer, Austin and I decided to be spontaneous and take a weekend trip up North. We had never been to Napa but heard it is an absolute must.
We drove up from LA early Friday morning and arrived by around noon. We went right to lunch at “The Grill Restaurant” in the Meadowood Napa Valley Hotel and Resort. This restaurant overlooked the golf course and had the most stunning view. To drink, I ordered the Aperol Spritz, of course, and Austin had a Moscow mule. To eat, we were recommended the ahi tuna ceviche, mahi tacos, and wagyu burger. My favorite was the tuna ceviche which came in a fairly large portion and was seasoned to perfection. For dessert, although we were full AF, we had the Jivara Chocolate Mousse and a vanilla iced latte. Overall, the service was excellent, food was fresh, and vibes were incredible. Next time I find myself in Napa Valley, I will totally come back to this hotel for another meal and an overnight stay!
for more information on “The Grill” at Meadowood Napa Valley click here
Since we were literally exhausted from the 6+ hour drive, it was time to check into our hotel and relax. Our first night was spent at the Calistoga Motor Lodge and Spa. Since it was 100 degrees, we went straight to the pool. I loved the cute set up of cabana beds and lounge chairs all around. We were also scheduled for a couples mud bath, but given the heat, we took the extra time to stay in the pool. A trip to the spa was definitely missed out on, and I would definitely go back for the mud bath and a massage/facial. Later, we spent the night chilling in the room. We stayed in the Camper King Suite which was a big room perfect for hanging out. We ordered pizza, opened a bottle of Rose, and enjoyed our night in.
for more information on Calistoga Motor Lodge and Spa click here
The next day, our itinerary was packed. We wanted to visit two highly recommended wineries and then drive down to San Francisco. The first winery was Frank Family Vineyards. We were able to walk around the adorable property, check out the vineyards, and do a tasting in the tasting room....also took some cute pics!
for more information on Frank Family Vineyards click here
Then, we visited Del Dotto Vineyards. By now, I reached my limit of wine tastings for the day but Austin was still up for one more. It is almost impossible to describe the place so here’s how it is described on their website:
“Opened in 2007, this winery pays homage to our family’s Venetian heritage dating back to 1150. The cathedral-like structure, sits on the original Rutherford vineyard purchased by Dave and Yolanda in 1988. Adopting the Venetians’ desire to live in a beautiful world, the architecture of the winery and caves is unlike any other property in Napa Valley and a must-see for locals and visitors alike"
The European vibes of Del Dotto Vineyards made it one of my favorite wineries! The Cave Experience and Barrel Tasting was $80 a person but is hosted inside the Venetian inspired Cave and includes wine tastings right out of the barrel. The tasting concludes with a house made sourdough pizza featuring cultured yeast from their own grapevines. Definitely an experience you don’t want to miss out on!
For more information on Del Dotto Vineyards click here.
Now that we were buzzed, it was time to eat. One of the most highly recommended restaurants, The Boon Fly Café. Austin and I shared the breakfast burrito, Boon Fly Chicken and Waffles, and the special Boon Fly Donuts…and we enjoyed every single bite. The food tasted great and you could tell that it is made with all fresh ingredients. Our favorite was the Boon Fly Donuts.
For more information on The Boon Fly Cafe click here
Next, it was time to head down to San Francisco. Our first stop was the Golden Gate Bridge. We wanted to find a good spot with a perfect view of the bridge. We were told that “Fort Baker” was a great place to view the bridge, we drove to the spot and got as close to the waters as possible. This was definitely a view I will never forget. Another great spot for pics is Baker Beach. Once we had some time to enjoy the view and get some pictures, it was time to cross the bridge. One thing that I have to suggest is to pre-pay for the bridge. Use this link to pay a one-time payment either 48 hours before or after you cross the bridge. It will cost less than $10 but is an absolute must if you are driving across the bridge. Overall, I would definitely recommended either driving, biking, or walking across the bridge when visiting SF!
After crossing the bridge, we wanted to rent a boat and do a mini-tour. We found a sunset tour boat that charged us only $20 a person but took us around the bay area and under the Golden Gate bridge. This was definitely a fun experience and another fun way to see parts of San Francisco. We continued our night by visiting Ghirardelli Square, a popular tourist spot, and eating dinner at Boudin Sourdough Bakery & Café, a restaurant with the most amazing sourdough I have ever eaten. That night we stayed at the Sheraton Fisherman’s Wharf. A perfect, clean hotel located in the center of the city.
The next day we were off to explore the city. We started by driving down the famous Lombard Street. When we reached the bottom, we parked and took advantage of the photo-op.
Next, we visited San Francisco’s Chinatown. Here, the streets are flooded with souvenir shops, discounted clothing stores, restaurants, and so much more.
After grabbing a little pick-me-up Green Juice from Joe and the Juice , we continued our day by visiting Union Square. Here, you can feel the true city vibes of San Francisco. We were able walk around and do a little shopping.
After our quick lunch at the Cheesecake Factory, we visited the Painted Ladies. This is the popular landmark on Steiner St & Hayes St. The best photos are taken from across the street on the little hill in Alamo Square Park. It is also the well-known house from the TV series, Full House.
The last spot on the tour of the day was Twin Peaks. This well-known hill has a 350 view of San Francisco and of course, makes for a great photo-op. One thing we didn’t get around to is taking the cable car. It is a super touristy thing but I would definitely recommend fitting it into your schedule.
Finally, it was time to check into our 3rd hotel. We stayed at the YOTEL San Francisco. This hotel is located on Market Street which is in the heard of SF. It is a smart hotel which has fast wifi, adjustable smartbed, rain showers, gel memory foam mattresses, smart TV, heated bathroom towel racks, and adjustable mood-lighting. They have many different types of room options but we stayed in the premium queen room. Checking in was super easy, quick and all done through computers set up in the lobby. The hotel had everything we needed and more. On one of the floors, there was a full gym with different machines, weights, exercise balls, and other equipment. There was even a lounge on the second floor with a coffee machine and snacks. Overall, the hotel was super clean and the staff was all friendly. I would definitely recommend this hotel to anyone visiting SF. I also plan stay at other YOTEL locations in my future travels!
For more information on YOTEL San Francisco click here
For dinner, we went to a recommended Greek Gyro restaurant called Novy. The restaurant was super busy, which obviously meant that it is popular and well-liked by many people. We had a short wait but were seated quickly after arriving. The staff were all so friendly and happy to hear that we were visiting from LA and had been recommended the spot. To start, we had the hummus with pita, Horiatiki salad (basically a delicious Greek Salad), and the “Spanakopita” which was a spinach and feta stuffed pastry…which was 100% my favorite part of my whole meal and is an absolute MUST if visiting the restaurant. To drink, Austin had the…can you guess????? NOVY Mule (aka Moscow Mule)…and I had the…can you guess?? Noe Spritz (aka aperol spritz with a cranberry-lime twist). For the main courses, I had the Pesto Chicken pasta which had a delicious pesto-gorgonzola cream sauce…yum!! And Austin had the NOVY Burger. We were too full for dessert but im sure any of the desserts would have been absolutely delicious. We ended up spending 2-3 hours at this restaurant due to the amazing staff who spent time teaching us about the family-owned restaurant and woman run business… and we still did not want to leave!
For more information on Novy SF click here
The next day, it was time to head home. We decided to take the scenic route and travel along the 1 hwy. On the way south, we stopped at the 17 mile drive. This scenic drive goes along a route full of coastal cliffs, snow white beaches, mystical forests, iconic gold courses, and is an absolute must.
For more information on the 17 Mile Drive in Pebble Beach click here.
Before heading home, a quick stop in Carmel was necessary. We had a delicious Italian lunch at one of our favorite spots, Il Fornaio….the best pizza, pasta, and ceasar salad
Then a vanilla iced latte from Carmel Valley Coffee for the ride home
Our 4 day trip was fun but hectic AF. I would definitely recommend adding one day if you are trying to relax a little more and not wake up at 6 AM just to visit every place on your to do list. Overall, this is a perfect trip for a group of friends or a couple, well balanced with drinking, sight-seeing, exploring, and eating. San Francisco tends to be cooler year round so layers are recommended. Since my trip was in August, we had a complete opposite experience with the weather and it was almost too hot to walk around during the day. At night however, it definitely got cooler so the layers were def necessary. Be sure to check out my youtube video showing a little of our whole trip! https://youtu.be/ou35vh7vMpI