Napa Valley for Non-Wine Drinkers

October 25th, 2014

Can you tour Napa Valley without wine? Absolutely! While Napa Valley is one of the best wine destinations in the world, there are many other things to do. Here are a few of the most unusual things you can do in Napa Valley that don’t involve drinking wine:

  • Attend a cultural event – Napa Valley is home to the historic Napa Valley Opera House that hosts plays, dances, and musical performances all year long. Napa Valley also has a wide range of night-time options, including places like Silo’s on the waterfront, which features live music most nights.
  • See Napa Valley from the air – Napa Valley has a number of hot air balloon companies as well as helicopter charters and even gliders, so you can see Napa Valley from a different perspective. The scenery is gorgeous in any season and the views are incredible. Check out Napa Helicopter Charters, Balloons Above the Valley, or American Flight Adventures, just to name a few.
  • See Napa Valley from a train – the Napa Valley Wine Train is a very popular way to enjoy a great meal in a restored antique train car as it passes through the beautiful scenery.
  • Enjoy the great outdoors – Napa Valley has a large number of hiking trails and biking options too, so you can enjoy the great outdoors here. Check out the Napa Valley Bike Tours for bike rentals and tour options. Check out Napa Valley Hiking for trail information and maps.

Reserve a room at the Napa Valley Hotel and Suites and you can enjoy Napa Valley even without the wine.

Napa Valley is home to world-renowned chefs who are skilled at farm-to-table cooking, so you can also eat your way through Napa Valley. Eight restaurants in Napa are firmly in the Michelin guide. Plus, there are dozens of wonderful restaurants and eateries that aren’t mentioned in the guide and serve delicious food.

Napa Valley has some of the world’s best olive oil producers. Check out open-to-the-public tastings in places like:

Even if you are on a tight budget, you can stock up on gourmet goodies at the Oxbow Market or Dean & DeLuca. Enjoy an upscale picnic in one of the gorgeous local parks.

Call us at Napa Valley Hotel and Suites to reserve your suite and you can enjoy many activities in and around Napa Valley. Call 707-226-1871 for more details and pricing.

Leaf Peeping, Pumpkin Patches, and More in Napa Valley this Fall

October 13th, 2014

If you don’t believe California has a leaf-peeping season, you haven’t seen enough of the Napa Valley. With so much of the state’s population living on or near the coast, where Mediterranean plants thrive, many people miss the opportunity to enjoy the changing leaves of California.

The fall colors in Napa change like the aging of fine wine too. Most people forget that grapevines across the Napa Valley vineyards change color just like the trees, so you get a double flashy blast of yellows, oranges, and vivid reds on the ground and in the trees. The low winds usually mean that the colors stick around on the vines and in the trees for some time too, so you can enjoy them a little longer in Napa Valley.

October is time to grab a jacket and watch the changing leaves. Join us by making your reservation today at the Napa Valley Hotel and Suitesor call 707-226-1871.

October is that special time of year when the days grow shorter and everyone prepares for winter by stocking up their pantries and pulling out winter clothes. If you’re like most people, you should be ready for a little fall fun. Bring the kids to Napa Valley and enjoy pumpkin patches, corn mazes, hay rides, and more.

  • Stanly Lane Pumpkin Patch – an annual event that many locals visit every year, this pumpkin patch is a celebration of fall for adults and kids. Climb on a straw bale mountain 13 layers high, scramble through the corn maze, and pick up the pumpkins you need for Halloween. Admission is FREE.
  • Pick of the Patch Pumpkins at ABC Tree Farm in American Canyon – select from pumpkins already gathered from the field, and stay for the bounce houses, slides, and obstacle courses for the kids. Visit the retail stores to pick up last-minute Halloween specialty items for your home.

Start with a hearty breakfast within walking distance of our hotel and fuel up, then head out for some October fun in Napa Valley!

Check our room availability at Napa Valley Hotel and Suites. Call us at 707-226-1871 to arrange your stay and enjoy a special harvest season this year in Napa Valley.

Napa Valley is Buzzing with Crush Parties, Harvest Parties, and Special Tastings in October

October 6th, 2014

We can’t get enough of the good life in Napa Valley – we really can’t! At every turn, you’ll find farms, real working wineries, farmer’s markets and all the special Napa-style things that go with them. Take a look at what’s happening in October in Napa Valley:

  • We do farmer’s markets a little differently here. Take a look at the St. Supery Estate Vineyards & Market Veggies and Vino Pairing. No kidding. In honor of World Vegetarian Day, the wine educators will guide you through an exploration of tasty vegetarian bites pairing them with superb wines. (Saturday, October 4)
  • Ever fancied yourself as a wine maker? Play vintner for a day and blend your own Merlot. Take a look at the Rutherford Hill Winery’s Blend Your Own Merlot Seminar, teaching how wine making is both art and science. You’ll learn from the masters and create your own perfect recipe using wines from their vineyards. Blend, bottle, and label your wine. (Saturdays)

Reserve a room at the Napa Valley Hotel and Suitesand you can stroll to breakfast, catch a wine-making class, fit in a little shopping and be back in time for an afternoon nap before you start it all over again.

Napa Valley is world-renowned for its wines and every October, there are a number of crush-the-grapes and harvest parties you can join to get into the spirit of the spectacular fall season. Here are just a few:

  • The Crush Party at V. Sattui Winery – come experience the open house and step inside a real working winery to feel the passion and excitement that comes with the fall. (October 4th)
  • Markham Vineyards Harvest Celebration – celebrate another glorious Napa Valley harvest in their historic stone cellar. Enjoy a wine reception, stroll through the vineyards, and take in the sights. (October 11th)
  • Cornerstone Cellars Harvest Party – celebrate the season and the harvest with live music, BBQ by Cochon, and enjoy tasting the lovely Cornerstone Cellars wines. (October 18th)

These dates not working for you? No problem. Check out all the winery events for October and find one that fits your schedule.

Call us at Napa Valley Hotel and Suites to reserve yoursuite and you can enjoy all that the harvest season has to offer within a short drive or walk. Call 707-226-1871 for more details and pricing.

Get Outdoors! Explore Napa’s Parks, Trails, and Open Spaces

September 29th, 2014

With over 50 parks in all sizes and types, the City of Napa presents some amazing options to get outdoors and explore. For those seeking outdoor entertainment, Napa is the ideal playground. City parks run from the simple to stately. Historic parks and undeveloped spaces can be found everywhere. The downtown area has multiple parks; the largest of them is the Oxbow Preserve – a 13-acre passive use native plant reserve created on the peninsula formed by the Napa River Oxbow.

Walking and cycling trails can be found at the Alston Park, where a 2-mile loop is popular. Kennedy Park features portions of the Napa River Trail. See a complete map of the City of Napa Parks.

Reserve a room at the Napa Valley Hotel and Suites and you can be in the great outdoors in no time! Our friendly team can even help you rent bikes so you don’t have to drive.

The roads in Napa Valley offer something for everyone – from rolling terrain to challenging hill climbs. The newly developed class one bike path, the Napa Valley Vine Trail, is a picture-perfect path through the scents, sounds, and tastes of Napa Valley. From Napa to the historic town of Calistoga, just 26 miles to the north, riders  can enjoy breathtaking views while pedaling through vineyards and stopping here and there for a sip or a snack.

The Napa Bike Coalition promotes safe cycling in the valley and has key resources for those in search of bike routes, events, and more. Be sure to review their useful safety tips about bike riding in the area.

Call us at Napa Valley Hotel and Suites to reserve your suite and find the perfect path through Napa Valley. Call 707-226-1871 for more details and pricing.

Check out the Midweek Specials in Napa Valley with our Hotel Packages

September 28th, 2014

We know how hard you have been working all year, all summer, and into the fall. If you are like many of us, you have some vacation or personal time you need to useor you will lose it. A midweek break is the perfect option for visiting Napa Valley. The kids are in school, so the grandparents, aunts, and uncles only have to handle the morning and night shift, while you can slip away!

Midweek is quiet time in Napa Valley. The streets are less crowded, the lunch and dinner places have plenty of empty tables, and you can feel like you have this lovely historic town all to yourself. Grab a friend, pack your bags, and slip away this fall for a restful, romantic midweek break in Napa Valley.

Schedule your stay with our Midweek Fall and Winter Packages atNapa Valley Hotel and Suites. Take in the sights, sounds and tastes of early fall.

Pull on your hiking boots, strap on your bike shoes, or lace up your tennis sneakers – it’s all here for you in Napa and isn’t it time you got outside? After a morning workout in the breathtaking outdoors, you can enjoy a special lunch—justthe two of you. When was the last time you lingered over fine food and watched the world go by while swirling a fine glass of wine in your hand?

Our Sunday through Thursday packages offer you a number of fun packages and help you get more out of your stay and your wallet:

  • “The Best Breakfast in Napa” and 10% off at Gillwood’s Café
  • Free appetizers at several fine local restaurants – a great way to spend lunch!
  • Convenient travel without having to drive with the Napa Trolley just steps away

Shake off the heat and stress of summer and take a fresh breath in Napa Valley this fall.

Call our friendly staff at 707-226-1871 to book your Octoberstay in Napa Valley and we’ll make sure you get fall started off right.

Wine Bottle Crafts for Halloween. Let’s Get Spooky!

September 26th, 2014

Need a perfect centerpiece for your Halloween party? Or what about a fun gift to bring to a fall get together? If you like wine, then we have the perfect idea for you that involves wine bottles – and you don’t need to be a savvy craftsperson either! Plus, this mini project will give you one more reason to drink more wine! If you’re looking for some of the best wines on the planet, remember that many of Napa Valley wineries ship to consumers.

Let’s get started.

Vampire and Ghost

Remove the labels from empty bottles of wine by soaking them in soap and water or using Goo Gone. Using black and white paint pens, draw the faces of ghosts or vampires onto the bottles. Simple, but they look very cute! And, you may dress them up any way you wish using goodies from your nearest craft shop.

Jack-O-Lantern

Remove the label from an empty green wine bottle using the method above. Wrap blue painter’s tape around the bottle, leaving the neck exposed. Draw a jack-o-lantern face (something that is easy to cut out), such as triangle eyes and a mouth. Cut along the markings using an X-Acto knife. Peel off the tape so that all that remains is the jack-o-lantern’s face. Spray paint the base orange, and when dry, remove the tape. Spooky and fun!

Witch

This one is easy, and it turns out adorable. Remove the label from a green wine bottle and paint the neck of the wine bottle using black paint or spray paint. Paint the entire neck and down to where the bottle starts to curve. To make the hat, cut out a circle on cardstock (about 8 inches) and cut out the middle so that the hat could be slid down around the neck of the bottle. Spray paint any exposed areas, and draw a witch face on the bottle using a permanent marker.

Ghouls

Using several wine bottles, remove the labels and add scary faces using white paint or white spray paint. Add candlesticks to each one and light them in a safe area. Never leave them unattended. For a soft, safe glow, choose battery-powered, flameless candlesticks.

Spiderwebs

Remove the labels from several bottles of red wine and hold onto the corks since you’ll be leaving the red wine intact. Use a fine-tipped white pen to draw spiderwebs that will look amazing against the dark, red wine. This is a great idea to bring to a Halloween party!

Explore the Wineries on the Silverado Trail

September 21st, 2014

While most visitors to Napa Valley stay on the main highway – Highway 29 – those who know will take the road less traveled, the Silverado Trail. Amid the most beautiful countryside anyone has ever seen are wineries that are out of the norm and wine tastings to be remembered. Tasting wine along the Silverado Trail takes you through small boutique wineries to some of the big names, from fascinating wine caves to tasting wine pairings – all along the other Napa.

Darioush at 4240 Silverado Trail is a wine tasting and photo opportunity like no other. Designed to look like the ancient Persian Empire with columns on either side of the front walkway, you don’t want to miss the chance to take pictures here.

Del Dotto Winery at 1055 Atlas Peak Road (the original one) has a wine cave tour and barrel tastings. The caves are candle lit on weekends, giving it a romantic glow. You can’t help but leave with an appreciation for the wines.

Signorello Estates at 4500 Silverado Trail is an intimate experience with private food and wine pairings made by the estate’s own Executive Chef. You can also get a great pizza and wine tasting menu on weekends.

Reserve a room at the Napa Valley Hotel and Suites and you can be on the Silverado Trail in no time! Our friendly team can even help you book a car so you don’t have to drive.

One of the best picnic spots in Napa Valley is Rutherford Hill, which also happens to be a winery and host a cool cave tour. Hosting a large number of tables under cooling oak branches and with sweeping views of the valley, this is one of the best places to stop and picnic.

One of the most eclectic wineries along the Silverado Trail is Clos Pegase. Designed by Michael Graves, who is known for his eclectic home furnishing designs and architecture, the Clos Pegase grounds are surrounded by eclectic art, including a giant thumb. It is all good fun when you add in the seriously delicious wine and a cave tour as the perfect way to beat the afternoon heat.

Call us at Napa Valley Hotel and Suites to reserve your suite and find the perfect path through the Silverado Trail. Call 707-226-1871 for more details and pricing.

Early Christmas Shopping in the Napa Valley

September 21st, 2014

Christmas shopping isn’t a chore when you get it done early in Napa Valley. The Napa Valley shopping scene is chock full of extra-special surprises. From the finest art to locally produced wines, olive oils, and cheeses, to one-of-a-kind boutique items for those who are very hard to buy for—you’ll enjoy shopping in Napa Valley.

Join us this October and wrap up some or all of your early Christmas shopping so you can sit back, put up your feet, and enjoy the holiday season for once!

Here are just a few of the fine shopping venues you might like to explore:

  • V Marketplace – one of the first wineries in Napa, this specialty shopping store is full of the finest quality clothing items for men and women, romantic gifts for the newlyweds on your list, and collectibles of all kinds. Stop here around lunchtime and enjoy a fantastic meal, some tasty chocolates, and a little art and wine.
  • Next stop, the Spice Islands Marketplace. Purchase cookware, bakeware, and every type of food- or wine-related item you could ever want for the foodies on your list. Purchase a homemade chocolate for yourself and watch the baking and pastry students from the Culinary Institute of America spin their magic at the Ghiradelli Chocolate Discovery Center next door.
  • Another must-shop location is NapaStyle in Yountville. Founded by the Napa Valley chef, vintner, and TV host, Michael Chiarello, this venue showcases an eclectic mix of handcrafted home goods and artisan specialty foods that celebrate everything we love about taste.

Stay with us at Napa Valley Hotel and Suitesand you won’t have far to go to drop off your purchases. Call 707-226-1871 to make your reservationstoday.

The best thing about shopping for Christmas in Napa Valley is that you are sure to find unique items you can’t find anywhere else.Your gifts will hit the top of the happy list come Christmas day! Be sure to tuck a few hostess gifts in your bags for those unpredictable holiday gatherings that happen during the season.

When you stay with us at Napa Valley Hotel and Suites, you can stroll to a leisurely breakfast and window shop all the way. On your return trip, you can snag many of the items you didn’t know should be on your list, drop them off in your room, and head out for more. Plus, you get to enjoy fine foods, tasty treats, and wine-tasting all the way along your trip. What could be a more fun way to get Christmas shopping wrapped up?

Spend a little time in Napa Valley and finish Christmas shopping early. Call the helpful and friendly folks at Napa Valley Hotel and Suites tomake yourreservations today.

7 Reasons to Add Napa Valley to Your Bucket List

September 19th, 2014

Is a visit to Napa Valley on your bucket list? It should be! This world famous wine growing region is simply gorgeous and always packed with entertainment and unique things to do. Yet as busy as you’ll be when you visit Wine Country, you’ll never feel rushed or overwhelmed as with other tourist locations. Napa Valley is intended to be busy but fun, exciting yet relaxing. Here are seven great reasons to add Napa Valley to your bucket list.

  1. Year-Round Enjoyment. Some travel destinations are only fun during certain times of the year. This means you spend the entire year waiting for your vacation, and you end up there with everyone else. Napa Valley offers great weather, entertainment and things to do all year long. Plan a trip in the fall or winter and take advantage of lowered hotel and flight costs, smaller crowds and more personalized service.

  2. The Wine Experience. People don’t come to Wine Country just to taste the wine. They come here to experience it. No other place on Earth is quite like Napa Valley. And, if you come in the late summer/early fall, you can be a part of harvest season! Between detailed tours of wineries, participation in grape stomping and harvesting and the samplings of many wines, Napa brings the best experience forward.

  3. The Best Reds. Napa Valley is known for full bodied red wines, and for good reason. Imagine sipping on a delicious glass of wine on a hot summer’s day! Even a mild winter day sets the stage for a glass of red wine. And, it’s good for you, too!

  4. Fabulous Hotels. There is no shortage of hotels and bed and breakfasts in this region. You can stay at a quaint inn in the valley, or enjoy a cozy night’s stay in downtown Napa where you’ll have access to some of the hottest restaurants, retail stores and wineries. Competitive rates are offered regularly, especially in the fall and winter.

  5. Spectacular Weather. Some parts of the country have hot, humid weather in the summer. This is no fun standing in long lines at amusement parks or fighting for your spot on the water slide at the splash park. Then comes winter, where it’s cold and blustery. Not in Napa. Great weather shines year-round. You can plan a trip and not worry about unpredictable weather spoiling your stay.

  6. Breathtaking Scenery. When coming to Wine Country, one thing is for certain: you don’t spend your days indoors. This is a good thing, of course, considering that the landscape is eye candy to the soul. Expect blooming fruit and nut trees in the spring, lush, green pastures in the summer and ripe grapes being picked from the vines in the fall. Also, there are tall towering trees, mountain ranges and stunning sunsets every day.

7. Something for Everyone. Napa Valley is more than just wine. It’s home to great restaurants, fresh seafood and produce,                hot air balloon rides, spas and golf. There’s a little something for everyone – guaranteed.

A Treat for the Senses – Take in the Napa Valley Views from a Hot Air Balloon

September 14th, 2014

Imagine a silky, beautifully colored parachute slowly filling with air and rising tall over your head. Strapped to that hot air balloon – the size of a multi-story building – is your seat in the sky. Picture a crisp cool morning and imagine rising above the buildings and floating over the fall-colored views of Napa Valley in your silent container gliding through the breezes. Almost nothing can match the majesty of a hot air balloon ride.

A hot air balloon flight comes complete with a knowledgeable pilot and it’s the perfect way to view the world-famous Napa Valley landscape. Ideal for families, couples, and groups, some purveyors include a meal, wine, champagne and other treats to make your hot air balloon adventure complete.

Schedule your stay at the Napa Valley Hotel and Suites and take to the skies in a hot air balloon ride this September.

Delight in soaring above Napa’s idyllic hills peppered with picture-perfect vineyards. Gently glide over the breathtaking countryside and enjoy panoramic views of the rolling hills and changing colors of the seasons.

The following hot air balloon providers offer your flight:

Call early to schedule your hot air balloon adventure. Then choose your time of day, flight options, and check the pre-flight information. Remember that soaring high above the earth is usually cooler in temperature, so having light layers, including a jacket is a good idea. Different balloon companies launch from various sites, so be sure to ask where you will be launching, what the temperature is expected to be, and how long your flight will take.

Call our friendly staff at 707-226-1871 to book your September stay in Napa Valley and we’ll help you with hot air balloon ride recommendations as well.