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Romantic Day Trip

Wonderful Napa Valley Stops for Romance and Love

(NAPA VALLEY, CA) — A romantic day trip to Napa Valley is so easy to achieve. There are wonderful places to stay, sumptuous breakfasts, delightful wine tasting adventures and intimate meals over which to linger. There is no need to rush love when you choose to wander the Valley, it will come to you as simply and as easily as holding hands.
Picking a place to stay might be the hardest of all your choices, there are so many wonderful places with beds and linens that will make you feel like your dreams have transported you someplace magical – only you won’t be asleep! Villagio Inn & Spa in Yountville is a delightful spa and Inn that offers wonderful amenities coupled with a great location in the easy-to-walk town of Yountville. Our insider tip? Watch for their romance specials Villagio Inn and Spa (6481 Washington St., Yountville, CA 94599 (800) 351.1133 (707) 944.8877)

Once you manage to pull yourself out of bed -- if you decide to pass up the champagne brunch at Villagio, and the weather is nice – a walk down the street to Gordon’s Café and Wine Bar is a don’t miss for Yountville visitors. Freshly prepared food, the beautifully crafted pastries and tarts that line the counter almost look as though they are works of art. There are tables for small groups and two-somes, but you might want to choose the large family-style table in the middle of the room and chat with a few locals before you get on the road. Gordon's Cafe & Wine Bar (6770 Washington Street , Yountville, CA 94599 (707) 944.8246)

Gordon’s can be a popular place especially on weekends. If you want to get an order of their fabulous weekend Eggs Benedict you may want to get in line before 10:00 am
Once you have a good meal in your stomach, it is time to try some wines. Since we are talking the language of love here, starting with sparkling is almost de rigor. You can stay in Yountville and enjoy the incomparable Domaine Chandon, but we are going to suggest for this itinerary that you try Domaine Carneros southwest of Napa. Walking up the beautiful steps to the outdoor patio transports you into the time of castles, knights and chivalry. The wine will help infuse the day with warmth and passion. Domaine Carneros by Taittinger (1240 Duhig Road, Napa, CA 94559 (707) 257.0101)

Your view from Domaine Carneros is over the rolling vineyards of the Carneros appellation, it is also over Winery Lake. If you have enough time in your day and love art, you should stop at the di Rosa Preserve and Winery Lake. This is one of the best – and most interesting – collections of Northern California artists. di Rosa Preserve (5200 Carneros Hwy 121, Napa, CA 94559 (707) 226.5991)

Reservations are recommended if you are interested in taking one of their tours. Costs range from $10 to $15 per person and takes from one to two-and-a-half hours.

Time for a light lunch? Appetizers and cocktails at Auberge du Soleil is a perfect choice. The little bar off the dining room is frequently mentioned by locals when people are asking for the absolutely most romantic place for a few drinks. The large fireplace, the intimate, almost always un-crowded space and the views give couples many moments to loiter over. Auberge du Soleil (180 Rutherford Hill Rd., Rutherford, CA 94573 (707) 963.1211)

Auberge is definitely one of the more chi-chi places in the Valley, and many people dress to the nines when attending a special meal there – especially one held on their breathtaking deck. The bar is much less formal, but still carries a stylish flare.

Directons: You will want to leave the di Rosa Preserve and head back toward Napa—take Highways 12/121 east to Highway 29 (at the light) turn left, heading north. You will want to cross over to the Silverado Trail around Yountville by way of Yountville Cross Road. Heading north on Silverado Trail, the drive way to Auberge is not always easy to spot. Slow down when you see Rutherford Ranch Winery on the right.

For a truly couples experience spa treatments taken together bring you to a level of bliss that you have difficulty achieving on your own. Some places offer simple massages with lovely music and great aromatherapy, others should be looked at with an adventurous and open heart. Of course, there are those of us who don’t mind a little dirt and think that love is an earthy experience to begin with. Try Lavender Hill Spa for couples mud baths, and massages. Lavender Hill Spa (1015 Foothill Blvd., Calistoga, CA 94515 (800) 528.4772 (707) 942.4495)

Bath treatments are very relaxing and reasonable; they cost around $70 and allow about an hour for soaking. There are a number of other therapies to pick from including traditional massages. Give yourself plenty of time to soak in the atmosphere and enjoy the experience. At least two hours for getting there, changing, enjoying your spa treatment and taking a few minutes afterward to prepare to face the world again.

After this, you may be about done for. But if you have room for dinner, a lovely place for a nice late dinner is back in Yountville (by this time, we need to be back on foot and out of the car). Bistro Jeanty offers wonderfully rich French food, attentive servers, and your choice of place to sit – communally (and side-by-side) at the bar; on the patio if weather permits, or in the front or back dining rooms. Try a couple of the appetizers and maybe split a dinner (though that could be hard to pick just one). Definitely leave room for dessert. This is romance after all, and ending with something sweet is what the day is all about. Bistro Jeanty (6510 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599 (707) 944.0103)

By now the last thing you want to do is get in your car and head home. So, stroll down the street hand-in-hand and spend one more night.