Mitch and I got married in June 2017 and immediately after went on our honeymoon! We decided to go to Napa Valley because we wanted something relaxing and luxurious, but didn’t want a typical beach vacation. We love wine and warm weather, so eventually we decided on Napa!
In doing some research, we learned about Yountville, a lovely town in the valley. While expensive, staying in this charming town makes for an incredible trip. Whether you’re planning a honeymoon like us, a romantic vacation, or even a relaxing and luxurious girls’ trip, Yountville is a great spot to experience Napa.
Getting to Napa
There are 3 airports that you could consider flying into: San Francisco, Oakland, and Santa Rosa. Santa Rosa is the closest. Oakland is probably the next most convenient as you can avoid some of the San Francisco traffic. While choosing an airport, it might be worth also looking into rental car rates as rates between the 3 were drastically different when we booked our trip. For us it made most sense to fly into Oakland.
Where to stay in Yountville
North Block Hotel
There are so many beautiful places to stay in Yountville. Mitch and I stayed at the one of the best Napa Valley resorts: the North Block Hotel – a luxurious, modern boutique hotel. It was by far the most amazing hotel Mitch and I had ever stayed at. The North Block Hotel is made up of beautiful Spanish-style buildings with a courtyard in the middle. All the rooms have lovely private entrances. Some of our favorite things about the hotel were being able to sip wine on our private balcony facing the courtyard, swimming in the contemporary pool, and sleeping on the most comfortable bed ever.
What to do in Yountville (other than wineries)
In the hotel we stayed, is Redd Wood, a stylish Italian-inspired modern restaurant. We had lunch here and loved it. The pizza was delicious!
Take a hot air balloon ride over Napa
While I loved so much about the trip, my favorite highlight of our honeymoon was definitely the Napa Valley hot air balloon ride we took at sunrise over the valley! We booked this in advance here. Conveniently for us, the meeting point was a short walk from our hotel. The hot air balloon ride was a fun, unique experience that offered breathtaking views of the entire valley! There were well over a dozen other hot air balloons in the sky with us which, in my opinion, made the views even more incredible.
Walk and shop
Go for a stroll around Yountville and you’ll be sure to find all kinds of shops, from wine to jewelry and accessories. V Marketplace has several small shops and places to eat.
If you like to golf, play a round at Vintner’s Golf Club. This too was just a short walk from our hotel. I’m a beginner golfer and often times have to pick up my ball, but I still really enjoyed playing 9-holes at this course. It was an unforgettable experience playing in such a beautiful place. It was also nice to get in a little physical activity, as we spent most other afternoons sitting at wineries and sipping on wine.
Bouchon Bakery is the cutest little bakery in Yountville! I loved walking here to get some coffee, savory croissants, or delicious macaroons in the morning and artisanal breads in the afternoon. While the bakery itself is small and often times busy, there is a nice shaded patio outside for you to enjoy.
Eat at The French Laundry
If it’s on your bucket list to go to a Michelin starred restaurant, you might have your chance in Yountville! The French Laundry is one of only 15 restaurants in the US that has received 3 Michelin Stars (the highest rating). Mitch and I did unfortunately did not eat here (as it really wasn’t in our honeymoon budget), but it is right in the heart of Yountville and we hope to eat here someday!
Wineries you don’t want to miss
This was by far our favorite winery! We booked a tour ahead of time and loved that this was not just a wine-tasting experience, but also a bit of a mini-history lesson and story-telling experience. Our guide at Stags’ Leap Winery shared the history of the mansion and the story of the owners and how they first started making wine and even kept things going during prohibition. We moved throughout the house, tasting marvelous wine, and listening to the guide.
We loved the experience and wine so much that we decided to buy a reserve bottle of Cabernet, distinguishable by the black label, the wine is made of grapes in the vineyards right outside the Staggs’ Leap mansion. We saved this bottle of wine and enjoyed it with dinner on our first anniversary.
If you decide to go here, note that there are two “Stags Leap” wineries, but they are two very different wine experiences. Confusing, right? Make sure you go to the one with the apostrophe on the right! Stags’ Leap, not Stag’s Leap!
Get a beautiful wine flight at Domaine Carneros, a stunning French-inspired chateau with impeccable gardens. Sipping on sparkling and still wine from champagne flutes, in such a beautiful place, is a memorable experience you won’t forget. Mitch and I loved this place!
Another winery to add to your list is Frog’s Leap. They have great wine and a beautiful patio. We really enjoyed this nice and relaxing wine-tasting experience. We had a server that was knowledgeable about the wine, but for the most part left us alone to enjoy one another’s company.
Mitch and I adored the lavish, yet quaint town that is Yountville. It was the perfect place to stay during our honeymoon in Napa. We loved going to wineries and vineyards all around Napa Valley (many of which were actually much closer to Yountville than downtown Napa), but we also really liked that there was so much to do in town too. We are hoping to make a trip back to Yountville for an anniversary not too far in the future!
Looking for a more affordable place to stay in California wine country? Check out Sonoma Valley and my blog post on all the cute towns to visit there.