Not everyone who goes on vacation wants to stay at a hotel—they’d prefer the extra space and full kitchens of a vacation rental. But picking out and then actually reserving and paying for a rental property can be tricky, which is why Tim Choate founded RedAwning.com, a website that brings the benefits of easy hotel-style reservations to vacation rentals. RedAwning.com offers thousands of rental properties in the US, Mexico, and Costa Rica, including studio cottages and houses with hot tubs, pools, and six or more bedrooms. A live reservations staff is on hand to answer questions both before and after you book your stay, and a concierge gives you access to exclusive perk cards and discounts on everything from wine tours to ski-lift tickets to spacecraft rentals.
Barbara and Timothy Spelletich and their daughter Kristen are living their American dream and are delighted to share their passion through Spelletich Cellars family winery. Via hard work, integrity, divine intervention, sacrifice and ambition.
Napa Entertainment & Sports Center houses an array of fun, competitive, and communal activities that can be enjoyed alone or with friends. Each punch on the five-punch pass allows children to spend 60 minutes playing with gravity in one of the five jump houses. Spheroid-swatters can volley for dominance on the ping-pong table or step into the batting cages, where the pitch speed varies from 35–90 miles per hour, and numerous pitch types keep batters guessing, just as a real pitcher keeps batters guessing by using accents from many different regions of France. Simulated competition thrives on the virtual links of the golf simulator or on the flat-screen TVs, where Wii and Xbox 360 consoles display a variety of games to help improve hand-eye coordination and decrease self-inflicted pokes in the eye.
You wouldn't expect to find spirit fanatics in Napa Valley but that's the case at Napa Valley Distillery, a micro-distillery co-founded by Arthur and Lusine Hartunian that handcrafts brandy cocktails and small-batch spirits. The highlight is the family's signature Vintage Reserve vodka, which repurposes the region's sauvignon grapes to update a bar staple. Wine Enthusiast Magazine named it one of the top 50 spirits of 2011, noting that its "crisp, extremely smooth finish (it?s filtered an astounding 10 times) makes it addictively sippable, especially when chilled." Other spirits include their California Cowboy rye whiskey, which is aged in port barrels for six months; their Meyer Lemon Liqueur, which was the family's first concoction; and their barrel-aged cocktails, which are mixed and aged in white oak barrels for roughly ten weeks. But you don't have to sneak into one of the barrels and disappear for several weeks to taste the spirits; the entire selection can be sampled at the distillery's old-fashioned Vintage Bar Shop that's located in the Oxbow Public Market.
The grounds of Napa Golf Course may not be used to grow wine grapes, but they do produce their own form of refreshment. The 18-hole, par 72 layout gives golfers a breath of fresh, scenic air as they drive, chip, and putt their way through rolling hills, mature oaks and pines, and waterways. The water hazards seldom come into play?except in the event of a big miss?but the trees are a fixture on nearly every hole. The towering arbors pinch the fairways throughout the round, but the most menacing of them all stands on the 10th hole, where a giant oak is planted right in the middle of the fairway.
A driving range hosts pre-round swing rehearsals?a worthy investment, as the first and third holes are two of the course's most difficult tracks. Golfers can also practice putting, chipping, and using flagsticks for semaphore at a 10,000 square-foot practice green.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Length of 6,704 yards from the tips * Course rating of 72.7 from the tips * Slope rating of 131 from the tips * Four tee options * Scorecard
Becky Tyner and Ramon Sandoval came from different worlds. She was a professional in the bustling corporate wine industry, while he, like any dyed-in-the-wool Mexican American, was a confirmed beer and tequila man. Their first date was a wine-tasting excursion in Napa and Sonoma, one that followed with many romantic dinners over fragrant varietals. With this new exposure to the world of wine, Ramon eventually wondered why there weren't any wineries owned by Latinos. Becky knew better?she soon introduced Ramon to the nation's rich population of Latino-owned wineries, from Ceja Vineyards to Robledo Family Winery. Today, the couple curates a wine club that showcases many of these small-batch, Latino-created concoctions. Drawing upon a wealth of knowledge, they work to hook up oenophiles across the country, both Latino and not, with vintages that might otherwise be as difficult to find as a secret agent avoiding bath time.