|by Budget Travel||California, Questions and Opinions||1|
We recently asked readers if they knew of any must-see spots, restaurants, and shops in Napa Valley, Calif.
You offered a bunch of great tips! Here's a sampling (edited for space):
My wife and I have been there many times. Cakebread Cellars has a tour included with the tasting, but call to reserve a time. I am not a fan of V. Sattui Winery because it's always so crowded, like a cattle car, even though I like their wines. To avoid traffic on the roads, drive the Silverado Trail, which is less crowded and has a number of very good wineries—especially as you get further north.
A little known tidbit on the Napa Valley: Pacific Union College is nestled in the hills 8 miles east of St. Helena, and it owns hundreds of untouched acres. For budget accommodations only 8 miles away from St. Helena, the girls dorm offers guest rooms for less than $100/night double occupancy. See www.puc.edu for details. Sunshine Foods Market in St. Helena is great for a quick bite or picnic food. Do not miss Guini's in St. Helena on Main Street. The sandwiches are a local favorite! Say yes to Guini juice on your sandwich.
You must eat at Redd! It's located in Yountville and well worth the money. Another must is Taylor's Refresher. Great fun to sit outside, drink shakes and eat a yummy ahi tuna burger or a super tasty blt.... Woodhouse Chocolate in St. Helen is also lovely and a good place to buy gifts for others (in addition to wine, of course!). Plus the town is super sweet and has some lovely little boutiques along the main street. They also have a nice farmer's market just behind the grade school, but not sure of the dates and it may not open until late spring.
Check out the SF Chronicle ads for hotel/resort specials, some midweek off season deals are fantastic. Current special is a new resort on the Napa river at the Vino Bello Resort begin at $129 for a spacious studio + a botttle of wine. AAA also lists some very good specials in their magazine VIA. We often check out at the visitors center in town what B & B's are offering half off prices—especially midweek—and have stayed at some wonderful Inns.
For a change of pace from winery tours, how about a tour of the Jelly Belly factory nearby. [In Fairfield, about 20 miles outside of Napa.] The samples are delicious and the tour is fun. The nearby Budweiser Brewery tour is less fun although the samples are generous.
See the full list of tips here.