Visiting a new area can sometimes be overwhelming, especially if you’re limited on time. Finding the right balance between exploration and relaxation is tricky—how you maximize each day to squeeze-in all the quintessential must-see places is key when traveling. If you’ve never been to Napa Valley, or perhaps considering a return trip, I’ve rounded up some of our favorite recommendations—from wineries, hotels, cafes/bakeries, and restaurants. Each stop is conveniently located en route from San Francisco to Calistoga (peek season traffic can get heavy so strategically planning your stops is always helpful). At the very end of this post you’ll find a condensed 48-hour itinerary for quick reference; I hope this is enjoyable and please let me know if you do end up visiting the area!
Palm Springs is such an interesting place. Essentially it’s a desert, a desert with lots of resorts where many celebrities retreat from the glitz and glam of Hollywood, including old-time stars like Frank Sinatra. We met our friends there for a ‘last summer hurrah’ and explored the town with lots of water in tow. Hydration is key in the 100+ degree weather–a stark contrast from the foggy, 60 degree San Francisco summer.
After seeing so many Instagram photos of the infamous Parker Hotel, I couldn’t resist a visit to understand all the hype. So, Sunday morning before leaving town, we went for brunch and got a tour of the swanky grounds. It felt much like a stroll through the set of Mad Men. Naturally, as any blogger would, I got a bit snap happy.
Join me for a virtual tour to peek inside the Parker and peruse the eclectic interior design of Jonathan Adler. Be forewarned, it may cause a serious case of wanderlust.
If you follow me on Instagram you know that my husband and I recently vacationed in Los Cabos, Mexico. The whole month leading up to our trip, I was giddy with excitement. Neither of us had been before, so we were looking forward to the sunny adventure. The food, scenery, and people were all above par! And given it’s less than a three hour flight from San Francisco, we’re already scheming a repeat trip with friends!
On our second day in Carmel, the sun peered its way through the mountain fog and we were in business. I made my way to the pool, snuggled-up under an umbrella, and pulled out a bit of intellectual magic, Big Magic that is. I’ve been reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s latest book and I can’t seem to put it down. For anyone looking to pursue creative living, or just plain ole curious–this one is for you! After a few hours by the pool, sun-kissed, and rosy we made our way into Carmel-by-the-Sea.
Although a short drive from home, Carmel feels like a refreshing and distant getaway. On our drive down to this quaint town it rained the whole way, which, at first, was a bit of a disappointment. I was hoping for a sunny, poolside kind-of day. But once we arrived, the hotel greeted us with a glass of white wine and a cozy fireplace–which seemed to redeem the cloudy weather and make it all better. The forecast predicted rain all day, but by dusk it cleared-up and we knew we were in for a special treat.