San Francisco to Napa for the Day Trippers & Overnighters

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  • by WINECOUNTRY COLLECTIVE
  • on MAY 24, 2024
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Guides

San Francisco to Napa for the Day Trippers & Overnighters

By WineCountry Collective May 24, 2024

Let’s face it—between the vineyards, wineries, world-class restaurants, and beautiful hotels, planning a trip to Napa Valley means you’re looking through a myriad of options, even if you’re coming on a quick day trip from San Francisco.

We realize all those choices can lead you to decision fatigue, which is why we’ve compiled some of our favorite places to eat, drink, and stay during a day trip from San Francisco to Napa, or during a quick overnight getaway from the city. If you’re really pressed for time or simply want to stay put in one spot, we’ve even included two all-in-one options, where the bounty of Wine Country can be savored in one deluxe lodging location.

Cuvaison
Photo Courtesy of Cuvaison

Where To Drink

Whether coming straight from SFO or you’re just needing to escape San Francisco for a half day, you can savor incredible wine (with a view!) at these top Napa Valley wineries—all without having to venture too far north into the heart of Napa Valley.

Cuvaison

Amid the undulating hills of Carneros, Cuvaison is a beautiful, sustainable winery known for its distinctive Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs. Committed to crafting wines that reflect their vineyard origins, Cuvaison approaches each ‘block’ as an individual vineyard, harvesting and vinifying them separately.

The architecture is modern, but not intrusive, meaning all eyes are on the stunning views. Bask in the sweeping views of the rolling hills, knowing that the wine in your glass and the scenery you enjoy are part of a sustainably managed, Napa Green certified estate.

1221 Duhig Road, Napa, CA 94559, (707) 942-2455

Domaine Carneros

Tingle your taste buds with some bubbly from Domaine Carneros. The sight of the stunning French château, surrounded by endless vineyards, might make you feel as if you’ve been whisked away to Europe. And who doesn’t love that feeling? Domaine Carneros, the stateside counterpart to France’s Champagne Taittinger, is known for their sparkling wines ranging from the classic vintage-dated Brut Cuvee to the Blanc de Blancs (sparkling wine made entirely from white grapes).

1240 Duhig Road, Napa, CA 94559, (800) 716-2788

Arch & Tower | Robert Mondavi
River Views at Arch & Tower, Photo courtesy of Robert Mondavi

Arch & Tower

Downtown Napa’s gateway to Robert Mondavi wines, Arch & Tower is their new urban winery paying homage to the art of Napa Valley winemaking. Guests have the opportunity to take part in several unique experiences, from an exclusive tasting of the revered To Kalon Vineyard to the Legend Lunch, a treat for the tastebuds by way of a three-course meal paired with Estate Collection wines. Or, keep it casual with the Arch & Tower Golden Hour tasting, which features a glass of Robert Mondavi wine, expertly paired with savory bites that are perfect for opening your palate or keeping you satiated until dinner.

930 3rd Street, Napa, CA 94559, (888) 766-6328

Lithology Lounge
Photo courtesy of Lithology

Lithology, The Lounge

In the heart of downtown Napa, Lithology’s new urban tasting room and lounge offers an elegant escape for wine lovers seeking a sophisticated yet relaxed atmosphere. At this stylish lounge—a haven for those who appreciate the art of winemaking and the finer things in life—you can dive deep into the brand’s iconic single-vineyard wines during a seated tasting experience, or simply sip on a glass of exquisite wine before dinner.

1040 Main Street #101, Napa, CA 94559, (707) 963-6015

Photos courtesy of CIA at Copia

Where To Eat

Ready to fill your stomach with something other than wine? We’ve got you covered with a few excellent restaurant options.

The Grove at CIA Copia

Presented by The Culinary Institute of America, the CIA at Copia is a place for visitors (and food and wine lovers) to gather and participate in a variety of programs and experiences, from hands-on cooking and baking classes, to wine-tasting classes and sustainability in food discussions. When you’re done learning, definitely stay to have a bite to eat. The Grove at CIA Copia is where culinary up-and-comers showcase their skills in the massive, open kitchen. The menu is seasonal and ever-changing, but focuses on Mediterranean inspired dishes using Napa Valley ingredients.

500 First Street, Napa, CA 94559, (707) 967-2500

Morimoto Napa

Itching to balance out all that Napa Valley wine with some different spirits? Head to Morimoto’s, where you can enjoy a large selection of sake and Japanese whiskey. Contemporary while still paying tribute to tradition, the menu is a happy balance of top-notch sushi options, as well as more non-traditional Japanese fare. Dining omakase (chef’s choice) when at a sushi restaurant, especially at one with such a reputable chef, is always fantastic. For the a la carte eaters, you’ll have to make the tough choice yourself of which beautiful dish to order, since, at Morimoto Napa, you eat with your eyes first.

610 Main Street, Napa, CA 94559, (707) 252-1600

La Toque

Consistently one of the top-rated restaurants in downtown Napa, and in all of Napa Valley for that matter, Chef Ken Frank’s La Toque has earned a Michelin Star nearly every year they have been awarded in Wine Country. La Toque takes care to have something for everyone, with three different dinner menus offered nightly. There’s the À La Carte Experience for those who want to sample just a few things, the luxe six-course Chef’s Table Tasting Menu, an experience not-to-be-missed, as well as the Vegetable Tasting Menu—an entire menu dedicated to those who want a delectable dining experience featuring only vegetables, much of which is regionally sourced.

1314 McKinstry Street, Napa, CA 94559, (707) 257-5157

Oxbow Market in downtown Napa, CA
Photo courtesy of Oxbow Public Market

Oxbow Public Market

Of course, dining in Napa Valley isn’t always about fancy restaurants or prix fixe meals… hence why Oxbow Public Market is so popular: it offers a smorgasbord of delicious casual dining options. Located in downtown Napa, Oxbow Public Market offers a vibrant and eclectic mix of local food vendors, artisan cafes, and specialty shops, all within a laid-back, marketplace atmosphere. Whether you’re in the mood for a quick espresso, a gourmet cheese plate, or a full sit-down meal, there’s something here to satisfy every craving. Grab some breakfast tacos at C Casa, a juicy burger at Gott’s, or some mouthwatering oysters at Hog Island Oyster Co., then finish it off with a cupcake from Kara’s. It’s all right here.

610 & 644 First Street, Napa, California 94559, (707) 226-6529

Andaz Hotel
Book a suite at this urban chic hotel in Downtown Napa. Photo Courtesy of Andaz Napa

Where To Stay

When all that wine and food gets to you and you’d rather get cozy in a hotel than hit the road to head home, you’ve got some delightful options.

Andaz Napa

Located right in the heart of downtown Napa, Andaz might have over 91 suites to choose from, but its boutique charm is undeniably cozy. Rooms are sleek and modern in design and feature marble bathrooms, rain showers, and soaking tubs that are wonderful for relaxing after a day touring through Wine Country. Request a room on one of the top floors for striking views of Napa’s countryside—even better enjoyed if you book an option with a terrace.

1450 First Street, Napa, CA 94559, (707) 687-1234

Silverado Resort

The Silverado Resort is a sprawling property where you can choose which distinct “neighborhood” to stay in, each featuring its own unique experience. The Mansion Estates and Cottage Drive will be more central, while The Grove and Oak Creek East provide more privacy and seclusion. Either way, enjoy the lush gardens, pristine pools, and tennis courts, no matter which neighborhood you choose. With the regal colonial mansion amidst the California palm trees, Silverado Resort will transport you immediately to vacation.

1600 Atlas Peak Road, Napa, CA 94558, (800) 532-0500

Carneros Resort and Spa
Photo Courtesy of Facebook: Carneros Resort and Spa

Where to Have it All

When you’d prefer to plant yourself in one location versus driving around to different spots, yet still have access to delicious food, wine, and luxurious amenities, these resorts have all you need for a perfect Napa Valley retreat.

Carneros Resort & Spa

For the all-in-one experience, check out the picturesque Carneros Resort & Spa. Book a Courtyard Home for the whole family, or a Cottage with a view of the vineyard. Or, if you’re traveling with several in your party, the Harvest Suite is two individual cottages with an adjoining patio, deck, and firepit. It doesn’t feel so much a hotel experience as it does a private estate stay. Treat yourself to a massage or manicure in the guest-only spa or take a dip in one of two pools, then soak in the sweeping views of this modern rustic estate. Once your stomach rumbles, no need to leave the premises to eat as there’s plenty to eat at the resort. The main restaurant, FARM Restaurant + Bar, is a delight, offering seasonal food, an inviting ambiance, and great service, while Boon Fly Cafe, the Carneros Resort’s more casual all-day restaurant, offers a lively and vibrant atmosphere for savoring mouthwatering cuisine during breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

4048 Sonoma Highway, Napa, CA 94559, (707) 299-4950

Meritage Resort
Photo courtesy of Meritage Resort

The Meritage Resort and Spa

When we say that the Meritage Resort truly has it all, we’re not teasing. You won’t even have to step foot off the property to experience the best that Napa has to offer. Inspired by the rolling hills and golden light of Tuscany, The Meritage Resort and Spa has 322 guestrooms, suites, and luxury retreats to choose from. Vino-seekers will no doubt want to head out to Napa Valley’s acclaimed wineries—just a short distance away—but for those days when you can’t be bothered, the nine on-site tasting rooms will do just fine. Fuel up for your wine tasting endeavors at one of three restaurants, such as Olive & Hay, noted for its farm-to-table, Italian fare. But the amenities don’t stop there. Try for a strike at their bowling lanes, schedule some R&R at the underground Spa Terra, soak in the hot tub with views of the vineyards in the distance, or go on an adventure, exploring the property’s private, nine-acre vineyard with walking trails that weave through the grapes.

875 Bordeaux Way, Napa, CA 94558, (866) 370-6272

Conclusion

Whether you’re sipping on a glass of fine Napa Valley wine while enjoying panoramic views, indulging in a gourmet meal prepared by renowned chefs, or wandering through a vibrant market filled with local delights, these experiences encapsulate the essence of Napa Valley. It’s a place where every visit can offer something new and exciting, even if you’re only in town for 24 hours or are on a quick day trip from San Francisco. There’ll still be plenty to do on your next visit!