A few weekends ago, we headed up to Napa for a little pre-birthday celebration in honor of yours truly. Wine Country is expensive and not being a huge wine enthusiast it wasn’t always high on my Bay Area travel list, but it felt like a fitting trip to say farewell to my twenties. Wine, good food and beautiful vistas-this girl couldn’t ask for much more.
We stayed in the River Terrace Inn that was located right on the Napa River, and I nearly lost it when I realized we were walking distance to the food mecca that is the Oxbow Public Market. Immediately after we put our bags down, we made a beeline for the Market. I had my eye on tacos; Mustafa couldn’t resist a juicy steak. We took our respective meals outside and inhaled them in the warm afternoon sun.
Back in our hotel, complementary wine was being served, and I’m never one to turn down a free glass of pinot grigio. Wine in hand, we sat out on our porch and took in the late afternoon river views. Oh, Napa, you are so easy to fall in love with.
Properly quenched we took the hotel’s complementary bikes out for a spin along the river. It was the perfect excuse to work off all those calories in between meals. Despite its indulgent nature, Napa is pretty outdoorsy when it wants to be. We saw plenty of kayakers and people on SUP boards cruising along the river, and other fellow bikers zipping through town.
Napa may be known for its wine, but I have to say the real reason I fell in love (unsurprisingly) was the food. Dinner was a hard call since there were so many good choices around, but we narrowed it down to ZuZu, a tapas restaurant and a very wise choice indeed. I’m still dreaming about the warm olives and the bacalao (salted cod) with white truffle oil that melts in your mouth. So, so good.
Zuzu did not take reservations, but this just gave us an excuse to explore the riverfront while we waited. The river at twilight is serious magic.
The next morning we headed back to The Model Bakery, located right next to Oxbow (couldn’t seem to stay away, plus they had fresh juice). They are known for their homemade English muffins, but since we decided to sleep in, they only had pastries and breakfast sandwiches. We could live with that.
After breakfast, we opted for one last walk along the downtown riverfront, before heading back home. We got a little too much sun, since that spring Napa weather can be deceiving. Sunburn aside, I have to say that I’ve fallen under the Napa charm and cannot wait to come back and explore the nearby towns of St. Helena and Yountville (I hear there’s some good food up yonder).
Have you ever been to Napa? Did it match your expectations? What were some of your favorite spots you visited?