Although my hometown of Fairfield, CA may not have a whole lot going on in it, there are plenty of cool nearby destinations which were great during Fabian’s visit to the west coast to meet my family. One of those places being Napa, a well known valley to wine lovers and connoisseurs around the world. As you can see from Fabian’s photo shown above, the area is lush in grape vines and is home to some pretty famous wineries.
For any fellow travelers making their way through the area, we recommend a drive down the Silverado Trail. There, you’ll find nearly 40 different vineyards! Including those which belonged to the Beringer Brothers (seen above) and even Walt Disney’s daughter, Diane.
During our stay we visited the Napa/Sonoma area several times and tried a couple different tastings, one of our favorites included a guided tour at Artesa, a sleek and modern style winery, complete with its own artist in residency, who had filled the place with some really cool pieces (including the sculpture behind Fabian in this photo).
Being able to go on this tour worked out really well since Fabian wanted to get a shot of some wine barrels in a cellar, and I think the outcome turned out great! The inside of a wine cellar has become one of my favorite aromas, if only they made a candle with that scent…
If you travel further down the trail to St Helena, you’ll come across a tall iron gate complete with gargoyles welcoming you to Castello di Amorosa, a winery I had been waiting to see myself for quite some time. What’s special about this place is that it actually resembles an Italian castle! Most of it was actually imported from Europe, including stones, bricks, tiles, a 500 year old fireplace in the Great Hall, and a 300 year old iron maiden in the torture chamber.
Yes, you read that right, but in order to see some of these things you’ll have to pay extra for a guided tour.
We just went with the general admission and a tasting for $25. I think this was worth it, since after catching a buzz we got to explore areas like the courtyard and defense towers.
One more place I have to mention in this area is actually in the nearby town of Sonoma and thy name is Train Town. This is a kiddie amusement park I used to often go to at a very young age, and I had been dying to go back… For nostalgic purposes of course. I recommend this park to any family with young children.
For a cheap price you can enjoy classic rides such as a ferris wheel or carousel… But the main attraction here is the railroad. A small train takes you around the park and through a forest where you’ll stop in a tiny town to feed goats, llamas, and chickens. As you can see, it’s an adorable little stop to add to your Napa list whether you have kids, or not. After a ride around on the train we also recommend my favorite Irish pub called Murphy’s in Sonoma Square for some good food and drinks.
So whether you’re a wino, a foodie, a photographer, or just enjoy high class estates with gorgeous vineyard views, make sure to take some time to visit Napa County whenever you’re visiting California, you’ll be happy you did.