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Favorite San Fran + Napa Valley Spots!

A lot of you have asked me to share some of the favorite places I visited last week while on vacation in wine country. While this post does not have much to do with designing kitchens, baths or mudrooms, it is related to design because I love staying in well designed spaces!

This was a girls trip celebrating my 50th birthday in July... it's not every year I do something this amazing to celebrate! We flew into San Francisco because flights were more affordable and I had never been there before. We stayed at the stylish Proper Hotel designed by interior designer Kelly Wearstler. Kelly is actually a local girl who grew up in Myrtle Beach! It's so crazy that one of my friends on our trip grew up with her but hasn't talked to her in years. I thought Kelly did an amazing job designing this boutique hotel mixing and matching lots of styles creating a very contemporary yet intimate vibe. Let me add the beds were the MOST comfortable plush clouds imaginable! The private roof top bar called Charmaines was so fun to celebrate in and offers amazing views of the city. Here are some photos with the top three pics from the hotel website because they are so much better than mine!

We were only in San Franciso one night and the plan was to drive over the Golden Gate bridge on our way north stopping to see the redwood trees in Muir Woods National Forest. Little did we know a bomb cyclone storm was brewing dumping up to 9" of rain in parts of CA and winds up to 70 mph! We made it across the bridge without much of a view but the park was definitely out of the question. Being from the south we are completely used to driving in the rain and really were naive to the danger of mudslides. The worst areas were where fires had been leaving no vegetation. There were so many accidents, road closures and emergency vehicles on the way to Calistoga in the northern tip of Napa but we made it!

We stayed at the Solage Resort and Spa which was amazing!! The only way I would ever be able to stay here is by sharing a room with multiple people btw! The guest cottage was spacious with vaulted ceilings, tons of natural light, cushy beds and a large spa like bathroom. The resort is beautifully landscaped with olive trees, fire features, 7 mineral pools at varying temperatures and a large main pool. There are also 2 on site restaurants and of course a top rated spa facility. One day we did a yoga class and another day we did a spa treatment called a mudslide where we slathered on oil enriched volcanic clay ash and baked in a steam room for about 30 minutes. It felt so good! We basically looked like statues by the end lol. Here are some pics of the property:

Napa and Sonoma Valley are located about 1 1/2 hours north of San Francisco and have over 400 wineries to pick from! It's overwhelming trying to decide what to do but they say to consider the type of wine you like and book your tasting ahead of time. We visited 4 wineries, all very different and unique. If you've never done this before, most wine tastings run about $50 per person. You can upgrade with charcuterie boards or even full meals or select from speciality / vintage wines which obviously cost more. Each pour or tasting is about 1/4 of a cup of wine and we tried about 3-5 wines at each location. Most people drank the wine... no professional spitting it out! All in all you end up drinking about 1 to 1 1/2 glasses of wine so it's really not that much. Here are the 4 wineries we visited:

  • Tamber Bay is half winery and half horse farm. I found my favorite bottle of 2018 Cabernet Savignon for very special occasions! I believe it's about $48 a bottle from Total Wine or you can order from the winery... a bottle may or may not have come home with me.

  • Castello di Amorosa is an amazing structure imported brick by brick to replicate a true Italian castle. I believe it cost $40 million and 15 years to construct. Our favorite server of the week, Wie from Vietnam worked here! Loved walking through the castle at dusk!

  • Hall Wines is a very contemporary winery featuring modern art exhibits. The wine tasting was very laid back and we were able to enjoy our tasting outside in the sun taking in views of the vineyards with mountains in the background. Stunning landscape.

  • Chateau Montelena is a beautiful chateau with a lot of history. We experienced the most professional wine tasting here and learned a lot about wine making and harvesting grapes in a private tasting room.

It really was a great trip with most days spent relaxing at the resort for half a day and then venturing out to nearby towns for shopping and sipping in the afternoons. We tried to do a hot air balloon ride but the fog said otherwise. Sam's Social Club was my favorite spot for dinner and right around the corner from where we stayed. I must add the new chef at the Pico bar at the Solage resort served the most amazing mexican tapas I've ever eaten in my life! Out of this world. Hope you enjoyed this overview and if you have any questions message me!


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