Laid-Back Inn in Napa Wine Country
With its sun-soaked outdoor walkways lining an L-shaped building next to a sparkling pool, the 34-room Chablis Inn harks back to the days of the classic, all-American motor lodge. The clay-colored inn stands at the gateway to Napa Valley, just a quick drive from Napa's chic downtown and Yountville's renowned gourmet eateries.
In keeping with its Wine Country setting, the cozy lodging welcomes visitors with a bottle of Gentleman Farmer merlot from Gentleman Farmer Wine and a complimentary tasting for two at the Hill Family Estate Wineries. Many Napa Valley tasting rooms stay open year-round, and the inn's convenient location makes them easily accessible by car or by harnessing a team of sommeliers. Each guest room comes equipped with a wet bar, and the grounds feature a secluded courtyard and outdoor hot tub.
Napa, California: Sprawling Vineyards and Farm-to-Table Dining
Located about a one-hour drive north of San Francisco, Napa Valley—a region that runs from Napa in the south to Calistoga in the north—is California's capital of all things grape. The valley's rolling hills are dotted with more than 400 family-owned vineyards, where oak barrels age vintage nectars and visitors are invited to stop, taste, and sniff private-label wines. Vineyards range from St. Helena’s popular Quintessa estate, a 280-acre property specializing in cabernet sauvignon, to lesser-known wineries such as Heibel Ranch Vineyards, which you can tour on the back of a 1963 Jeep. Although some wineries welcome drop-by tastings, your best bet is to make appointments ahead of time.
The valley's culinary scene has also risen to prominence, with chefs such as Thomas Keller spearheading a haute cuisine movement. The charming main streets of Yountville and St. Helena are studded with gourmet restaurants praised for their sustainable practices and fresh, farm-to-table cuisine. If you’re tired of sipping wine all day, grab a wheat beer or a pale ale at one of the dozens of local breweries.