California’s vast landscape and number of tourist spots make it one of the best places to visit! There’s so much to offer, through famously delicious restaurants/wineries and cafes, great shopping and boutiques, or unique sights and adventures. For this trip, I started in San Francisco and made my way down to Hollywood via Pacific Coast Highway. I’ve got my top travel tips below!
We stopped in San Francisco before heading to Napa – you could really make an entire trip out of the city!
I love Tartine – you can’t beat fresh-baked pastries and breads! A great place to catch a homemade bite.
The Slanted Door at the Ferry Building is a lovely place to grab modern Vietnamese food.
Kokkari is a great upscale location for homemade Greek food. I love their tomato salad to start! The orzo and lamb is also delicious.
Amazing views (and hills!)…driving is tricky in San Fran, the hills are super steep!
THINGS TO DO
Fisherman’s Wharf is a staple for tourists – tons of shops, great sightseeing. There’s also restaurants and cafes down the pier. If you love chocolate, check out the Ghirardelli factory!
If you’re feeling courageous, take a night tour of Alcatraz. Super creepy, but definitely a unique experience! A ferry takes you to the island, be sure to bring your camera for when the fog rolls in!
Visit the Mission District for an artsy side of the city. There’s boutiques and more cafes, all with a slightly eclectic, unique vibe.
The Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park is so serene, and a great place for some zen. Again, bring your camera to capture the beauty of the pagodas and foliage!
Muir Woods is also great for nature-lovers. It’s a slight drive north of San Francisco.
The mecca of anything wine-related, Napa boasts a vast amount of wineries and tasting rooms. The amount of vineyards is endless – with one after another, there’s something for everyone and every taste. The mix of wineries is sure to appeal to any palette.
When visiting Napa, the first stop I make is to start with champagne at Domaine Carneros winery. Get your bubbly on with their sparkling white wines!
The grounds of Domaine Carneros above look like royalty!
Raymond’s grounds are whimsical and fun. Their inner decor below plays up the whimsical vibe with gorgeous sparkly chandeliers and amazing marble pillars!
Take a stroll through the rows of grapes!
Opus 1 has a great setting as well – those hills are so picturesque.
Terra Valentine below has a bit more of a rustic look – they even show you how they make the wine!
Chanteau Montelena looks like an ancient castle placed in the hills of Napa. Definitely some unique arcitecture….
Jarvis is another top winery – take a tour of the vineyard!
Love the pillars below at Darioush!
I love staying in Yountville – it’s a drive in from San Fran, but it’s peaceful, charming and boasts a ton of restaurants and shops. My top spot to stay is Hotel Yountville, a luxury hotel that’s quaint, cozy and very scenic.
There’s a “restaurant row” in Yountville, which holds some of the best and most luxurious eats!
If you’re in the mood for sweets, check out Bouchen Bakery for some great coffee and desserts.
I’d highly recommend Bottega, which is in downtown Yountville. Owned by chef Michael Chiarello, the dishes are made from scratch and use top quality ingredients, most local. I’d suggest sitting outside for the full Napa experience! It’s also walking distance from Hotel Yountville.
The French Laundry is also a must-visit, if you want to cross off your bucket list.
Lunchtime in Napa consists mostly of DIY picnics – I love the concept! Natives (and travelers!) create their very own cheese/meat/fruit plates and eat outside at various wineries. Oakville Grocery and Dean & DeLuca are popular places to grab your lunch “fixins”, and wineries like V. Sattui have picnic grounds where you can enjoy outdoor dining!
If you continue your trip down PCH (Pacific Coast Highway) like I did, you’ll run into horse farms, prairies and many more sights. I love how there’s so many different parts to California!
We all know the iconic Hollywood sign – a must-see!
Until next time!