Romantic Cottages near Wine Country
The Cottage Grove Inn, located in a tiny town in California wine country, looks like something out of a storybook: two rows of private cottages are shaded by century-old elm trees, many of which are hung with wooden bird feeders. Each cottage has a small porch and a pint-size yard; the property looks like its own sleepy village. Wildflowers, water fountains, and wicker rocking chairs dot the grounds.
The inn’s 16 cottages are designed for peace and privacy. Individual stone walkways lead to partially enclosed porches that are bordered by leafy trees and neatly trimmed hedges. Inside the private bungalows, you’ll find unique architectural features such as hardwood floors salvaged from an old whiskey distillery and vaulted ceilings punctuated by skylights. Luxurious amenities, including two-person jacuzzis and wood-burning fireplaces, add romance and warmth.
In the morning, the inn lays out a breakfast of quiche, waffles, and freshly blended smoothies. There’s also an outdoor patio area adorned with café tables and a water fountain. This Getaway includes a bottle of wine and tastings for two at six downtown wineries. With options 2 and 3, you can also opt for a one-hour couples massage.
Calistoga, California: Down-to-Earth Hamlet in Northern Napa Valley
The story goes like this: 19th-century developer Samuel Brannan wanted to create a West Coast version of Saratoga Springs (renowned at the time for its mineral spas), but he had been drinking when he made the announcement and so the name came out garbled as the "Calistoga of Sarifornia." This origin myth sounds a little fishy, but nevertheless, Brannan's vision of creating a relaxing and therapeutic Napa Valley getaway was eventually realized. Thanks to the area's natural hot springs, a slew of spas sprang up, offering restorative mineral soaks and mud baths. You can still find many such businesses peppered among the restaurants, boutiques, and art galleries lining Calistoga's quaint, quiet main street, which is set against a backdrop of rolling hills.
Those hills are home to some of Napa Valley's more than 400 wineries, many of which lie within a short drive of downtown Calistoga. The curious wine lover can choose from a wide array of vineyard experiences, ranging from tours to tastings at wineries modeled on English castles and Tuscan villas. One word of warning: many of these places require reservations, so be sure to book in advance.