Whenever the weather starts to warm up around here one of my favorite things to do is head to Napa Valley. It’s a pretty quick trip for us living in the Bay Area (about a 45 minute drive), so it’s easy to do a day trip for a little wine tasting, eating, relaxing, shopping, exploring—really anything that suits you. It’s just a beautiful place to spend your time and you can’t go wrong with any avenue you choose. We went for an early birthday celebration and I typically get a lot of requests to share our itinerary, so I wanted to dedicate a post to our quick day trip!
Also—skip to the end of this post to see a full list of Napa recommendations.
The Day Trip Itinerary
Oxbow Public Market for lunch @ Live Fire Pizza
3pm Tasting @ Domaine Carneros
5pm Light Dinner @ Brix
Whenever we go to Napa, one place we always visit is Oxbow Public Market. With a mix of all things shopping and dining, it’s a great place to stop whether you’re grabbing a quick coffee, looking for lunch or interested in desert or a tasting etc. The past few times we’ve gone, we’ve enjoyed lunch at Live Fire Pizza and this time, we had the margarita pizza with a fried egg. I also love Fatted Calf where you can grab a charcuterie plate or panini to enjoy on the patio. It’s also located right next to The Culinary Institute of America, which is a cool place to stop into to visit the gift shop or even plan a food class. I love walking into downtown from here also, so if you give yourself a couple hours here, you’ll have plenty to do!
After lunch we headed to Domaine Carneros for a tasting. We only planned one tasting since we were planning on driving home but this was a great spot to enjoy a wine flight accompanied by an expansive Napa view. I recommend calling any winery to see if you need a reservation or appointment, as many do require them. We did a terrace tasting and enjoyed a sparkling wine flight + cheese platter.
After our tasting, we headed to Brix Restaurant. We actually came here last year for my birthday lunch and I absolutely adore the garden setting. It’s a farm-to-table style menu and they also have a vineyard that offers private wine tastings. The newly-remodeled interior is lovely but definitely sit outside to enjoy the view. This is a great place to relax and you can easily meander through the garden.
What to Wear
This time of year, Napa stays pretty warm so I tend to rely on easy-breezy styles but keep in mind an indoor or barrel room tasting can be cold, so bringing a long a light layer or denim jacket isn’t a bad idea if you tend to run cold. Generally speaking, you can’t go wrong with a midi or maxi dress (or in this case—a jumpsuit) paired with strappy sandals but you’ll fit in just as well in jeans and your favorite blouse or top. I wore jeans for part of the day and did get a little warm. A hat is also never a bad idea to bring along!
This quick trip was the first time we visited Domaine Carneros and I’m always looking to enjoy new places. I asked on Instagram Stories for additional recommendations and have to give a huge thank you to those who shared! I wanted to include some of YOUR favorites here, as well. 💛
Hope you all enjoy and I’d love to hear any more of your own recommendations not listed.
More Napa Valley Recommendations - wineries, restaurants and more!
Round Pound Estate
Pride Mountain Vineyards
White Hall Lane
Long Meadow Ranch
CRU @ The Annex in Oxbow Market
Farmstead (great happy hour)
Model Bakery for breakfast
Ad Hoc for brunch
Norman Rose for the fried chicken sandwich
Giugni’s for the Giugni Juice
Yountville Estate House
Auberge Du Soleil
Indian Springs Calistoga
As always, thank you so much for reading!