How to plan the perfect Sonoma/Napa getaway?
I’m sharing a few of my tips and tricks for planning a getaway AND booking luxury accommodations. Comment below the post if you have any special secrets for booking top rated getaways.
Sonoma and Napa Valley’s have an abnormal amount of activities and things to do, eat, drink and see. It can be overwhelming to start planning a getaway to the wine country if you’re not familiar with the region or just can’t pick a few things out of the tons of great options.
The good thing is that you can put together a great holiday/birthday/just because getaway in Sonoma on any budget. The goal is to see what are the most important activities for you, and go from there.
Living in wine country, I get a little spoiled with the ability to dine at a top end/ Michelin star restaurant just because I want to and the finances allow it. If you’re traveling to Sonoma and Napa for a specific weekend/getaway, check out the hotels and restaurants on Instagram. Tripadvisor is so 2017.
Are you looking for a fancy hotel to spoil a loved one and have a romantic, one of the kind experience? Then look for a giveaway, a special or a promo code to stay at one of the top hotels in the world. For my husbands birthday, we booked a night at the Farmhouse Inn in Forestville. It also happens to be the home of one of the very few North Bay Michelin Star restaurants – Farmhouse Inn Restaurant. Typically, it will cost close to $1,000 to spend a night at the hotel. The key is to try to book a weeknight (not a weekend) and plan for a slower season if possible. Last time we stayed there in December, our cottage at Farmhouse Inn was only $350 and we booked it the day of check in.
Looking for a top rated restaurant in Sonoma? Check out their social media and see if maybe they’re offering a special menu. If you’re not ready to spend $1,000+ on a dinner for two, look for 3 or 4 course deals that will cost you $100-200 per person instead. Can’t get a reservation? Book a table for lunch instead. Most of the time, the menu is pretty much the same and it will be more casual and fun. I’m personally not into stuffy 3 hour dinner experiences, however, I loved the 3 course dinner at Farmhouse Inn that is well prices at $100 with optional $89 wine pairing. It’s not as overwhelming as an eleven course experience that will cost you a ton of money and your stomach will hate you for.
Looking for an outdoor activity in Sonoma + Napa? A romantic hot air balloon ride is the perfect thing to do in wine country. You know what is not perfect about it? It costs $400+ per person and you need to be on location at 5am. If you had one of those 11 course dinner and wine pairing the night before, it’s just not going to happen. Instead, opt for a beautiful and relaxing horseback ride in Sonoma or Napa. Book a ride at 10 or 11am so you have plenty of time to rest and get ready. Bonus, you can also add a wine tasting and lunch to your ride to enjoy afterwards.
Looking for a low key wine tasting experience in Sonoma and Napa? Big, fancy wineries sound good but do you want to go there just because you read about them in a wine magazine? To make your wine tasting outing more intimate, romantic and personal research a few small lot, boutique wineries in wine country. I promise, their wine is just as high quality as large production (in most cases, even better) wines and your visit will be memorable. It is less crowded, easy to book, and you will most likely get to talk to the owner, winemaker, or the person that bottled your wine. It’s way more interesting than a huge winery where you sit in a crowded patio and learning nothing new about the wine.