Napa Valley Family Vacation: Where to Stay, Eat, and Play

  • Travel
  • on DECEMBER 3, 2015
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There was a time when kids and Napa Valley wine country didn’t get along. Parents who wanted to visit had to cut a deal with Grandma and leave the kids at home. But these days there’s plenty to keep the milk drinking set happily entertained. Here’s a few ideas to get the family excited about a trip to Napa Valley Wine Country.

Where to Stay

Image Source: Silverado Resort

Silverado Resort

This hotel offers families four different neighborhoods to choose from for their vacation home away from home. Designed more like houses and condos, accommodations come with perks like kitchens and sometimes an extra bathroom. If you’re looking to relax on the property for a day, in addition to a swimming pool there are nearby hiking trails, bike rentals and onsite bocce to keep the kids entertained.

Insider tip: If you are traveling with older kids who are interested in some pampering, the Spa offers select services for teens.

TripAdvisor: 4 stars, 1,308 reviews

Image Source: Vino Bello Resort

Vino Bello Resort

Thanks to a partnership with adjacent Meritage Resort and Spa, traveling families can enjoy a collection of amenities that can’t be matched elsewhere in the city. With a family and adult pool, a spa, tasting room, bowling alley, bocce ball, and numerous restaurants on-site, you’ll need to visit again to see and do everything at the resort. Vino Bello offers families the options of studios or one and two bedroom suites.

Insider tip: Take time to stroll up the hillside on the vineyard path to the Grape Crusher statue for great Napa views.

TripAdvisor: 4 stars, 637 reviews

Image Source: Yelp

Embassy Suites Napa Valley

With seven landscaped acres, the Embassy Suites Napa Valley offers kids space to roam. All guest rooms look out at the courtyard, that could almost double as a bird sanctuary complete with ponds, fountains, swans, and ducks. The hotel offers more than 200 two-room suites, offering families room to spread out. There’s also an indoor and outdoor pool.

Insider tip: Complimentary cooked-to-order breakfast includes options like pancakes and plenty of kid-friendly basics for picky eaters. The Embassy Suites Napa Valley offers a Manager’s Reception nightly from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. with family-friendly snacks.

TripAdvisor: 4 stars, 1,376 reviews

Where to Eat

Meal at Meritage
Photo courtesy of Meritage Resort and Spa

Crush Ultra Lounge
The Meritage Resort and Spa
875 Bordeaux Way
Napa, CA 94558
(707) 251-3066
TripAdvisor: 4 stars, 65 reviews
Reservations: Not Required

Taste at Trinitas Cellars, play a little bocce ball, then top it off with a strike at the bowling alley in Crush Ultra Lounge. Snack in between frames on kid-friendly favorites like burgers, onion rings, and root beer floats made with vanilla gelato.

Insider tip: Crush Ultra Lounge is 21 and up after 8:30 p.m., so plan accordingly.

Image Source: Website

Mary’s Pizza Shack
3085 Jefferson Street
Napa, CA 94558-4921
(707) 257-3300
TripAdvisor: 3.5 stars, 23 reviews
Reservations: Not Required

A local chain, Mary’s Pizza Shack serves a variety of homemade Italian food including pizza, pasta, sandwiches, and salads. The Bambino Menu includes an option for kids to make their own pizza at their table.

Insider tip: The kitchen is open, so kids and adults can watch as the professionals make your pizza. There’s a bread basket nearby the viewing area that’s constantly stocked with fresh out of the oven breadsticks.

Image Source: Yelp

In-N-Out Burger
820 West Imola Avenue
Napa, CA 94559
TripAdvisor: 4 stars, 22 reviews
Reservations: Not Required

Sometimes you just need a cheeseburger. When there’s milkshakes and hand-cut french fries to go with it, even better. In-N-Out Burger is a California-based chain that prides itself on fresh ingredients, including freshly baked buns.

Insider tip: The Not-So-Secret Menu includes grilled cheese, if you’ve got a vegetarian in the brood.

Family-Friendly Wine Tasting

Image Source: Sterling Vineyard

Sterling Vineyards
1111 Dunaweal Lane
Calistoga, CA 94515
(800) 726-6136
TripAdvisor: 4 stars, 812 reviews
Reservations: Not required

Take wine tasting to new heights at Sterling Vineyards. A one of a kind gondola whisks visitors up to the winery with views that make young and old smile. Once at the top, kids can explore the stucco towers inspired by the Greek island of Mykonos while parents sip Cabernet Sauvignons. Opt for a self-guided tour of their winemaking facilities and listen for the tolling of their tower bells, originally restored from London’s Church of St. Dunstan’s-in-the-East in the 10th century.

Insider tip: Keep the kids excited about winery visits ahead by pointing out the Italian Castle in the distance. That’s your next stop.

Image Source: Castello di Amorosa

Castello di Amorosa
4045 St Helena Highway
Calistoga, CA 94515
(707) 967-6272
TripAdvisor: 4.5 stars, 2,089 reviews
Reservations: Not required

A 13th century Tuscan castle and winery set in Napa Valley. How can you go wrong? Tour the 107 room castle, complete with a church, watch tower and torture chamber, then parents can taste while kids color, munch on chocolate, and sip bottled California grape juice.

Insider tip: The Castello is home to an assortment of animals, including two pampered cats named Sir Lancelot and Lady Guinevere. See who in the family can find them first.

Image Source: Jericho Canyon Vineyard

Jericho Canyon Vineyard
3322 Old Lawley Toll Road
Calistoga, CA 94515
(707) 942-9665
TripAdvisor: 4.5 stars, 25 reviews
Reservations: Required

If you’re a kid, vineyards and wineries can start to look a lot alike fast, but take them on an off-roading tour through the vines on a Polaris ATV and they’ll be grinning from ear to ear. While the kids are four-wheeling, try their Bordeaux style small lot wines in their intimate tasting room.

Insider tip: There’s even a play structure for kids to burn off some steam, so pack a picnic and enjoy.

Family Fun

Image Source: Yelp

Bale Grist Mill State Historic Park
3369 Saint Helena Hwy N
St. Helena, CA 94574
(707) 963-2236

History comes alive every weekend when the 36-foot water wheel starts churning. Visitors can watch as grain is milled into tasty goods like flour, polenta, and rye. For a small donation you can purchase fresh milled goods from the historic granary gift shop.

Insider tip: Plenty of grass and shady spots makes the area around the Bale Grist Mill a perfect spot for a picnic.

Image Source: Yelp

Old Faithful Geyser of California
1299 Tubbs Lane
Calistoga, CA 94515
(707) 942-6463

Open seven days a week, 365 days of the year, the Old Faithful Geyser of California never takes a day off. It erupts approximately every 20 to 30 minutes. Add in the goats, sheep, llamas, and bocce ball and you’ve got everything you need for a family day in wine country.

Insider tip: Among the animals at the Old Faithful Goat Farm are Myotonic or fainting goats. When scared or startled, the goats’ muscles freeze and they tip over. The genetic disorder does not cause any pain and is a surprising sight.

Image Source: Yelp

Petrified Forest
4100 Petrified Forest Road
Calistoga, CA 94515
(707) 942-6667

More than three million years ago a volcano turned a grove of majestic redwoods into stone. What remains today is a collection of fossils like no other. The trail is open for self-guided tours throughout the day.

Insider tip: Docent led tours occur at 11 a.m., 1 and 3 p.m. and take approximately 1 hour at no additional charge.

Be sure to schedule time for the family to relax. You can’t do everything in one visit. Just plan on coming back to Napa Valley Wine Country.


WineCountry Collective

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