NEW KDHamptons Travel Diary: Lisa Lori's Family Fun in Napa Valley
The KDHamptons Travel Diary section has really been an incredible addition to our webzine. What an incredible, global journey we all have been taken on through the words & photos of our fellow Hamptonites! Whether its skiing the glaciers of the French alps with celebrity event planner Mark Addison, relaxing in Riviera Maya with Blair Clarke, or exploring Santa Fe with Kieran Lewis, I am constantly reminded of the fact that our community is truly comprised of an inimitable mix of fascinating people who keep me writing till my fingers tire. Below, Lisa Lori shares a NEW KDHamptons Travel Diary from a recent family trip to Napa Valley.
Lisa shares: Napa Valley is well known as the foodie and wine capital of the U.S., but what most people don’t realize is it is also a great place for families with loads of great activities for kids of all ages. I was raised in Northern California and this past August I wanted to share with my family everything I love about growing up there and more! Here are a few of my favorite activities and musts for a visit to Napa or Sonoma:
Fun for Kids & Adults:
From mini golf in Sonoma to hot air ballooning (www.balloonrides.com) in the Valley, there is truly something for everyone. One of the highlights of our trip was a day spent on Lake Berryessa (www.goberryessa.com), we rented a boat and enjoyed the most incredible day tubing and relaxing in the pristine water surrounding by beautiful rolling hills. In nearby Calistoga, little kids will love the Petrified Forest which is small, but a nice hike with older kids.
After the forest, head over to Old Faithful Geyser (www.oldfaithfulgeyser.com) also in Calistoga, which also has a petting zoo with llamas, goats and four horned sheep that my kids loved. I chickened out on the hot air balloon but my husband and two of my sons loved it! If you have time, take a trip just an hour away to nearby Muir Woods for a peaceful and gorgeous hike and round out the day at Stinson Beach which is one of my favorite all time beaches.
There is so much great food in the area, it is almost impossible to go wrong but make sure Mustards Grill (www.mustardsgrill.com) in Yountville is on your list, it perfect for a family dinner or fun night out. Now celebrating its 29th year in the Valley, this amazing restaurant has its own organic vegetable garden and owner and executive chef Cindy Pawlcyn has opened two other area restaurants all boasting fresh delicious food – we tried and also loved CP’s in St. Helena.
If you love hamburgers go to Gott’s Roadside (www.gotts.com), a local favorite with stores in Napa and St. Helena. I love their turkey burgers and the fries are to die for. My favorite place in Napa though is the Oxbow Public Market www.oxbowpublicmarket.com, a collection of restaurants and food and wine purveyors, where you can either graze and pick up chocolate, cheese or visit the butcher or sit down for a casual meal with a great happy hour. Check out the farmer’s market on Tuesday’s and Saturday’s, The Model for fresh bread and the Fatted Calf (www.fattedcalf.com) is simply the best butcher I have ever been to. Delish!
Where to Stay:
For our family, we prefer to rent a home for vacations a week or more so we don’t have to eat out all the time. The best rental company in the area is Beautiful Places (www.beautifulplaces.com); Napa has a town ordinance that only allows monthly rentals so if you’re going for a week, stay in beautiful Sonoma. Other great options for families in the area include the Harvest Inn or the Napa River Inn.
For our trip in August, we rented a gorgeous home at a beautiful boutique winery called Tournesol (www.tournesolwines.com). A working vineyard, we enjoyed spectacular sunsets, the home’s bocce court and pool with perfect weather every day (it almost never rains in the summer!). An added treat is to ask one of the area’s numerous private chefs to come in and cook for a night with friends and family. With the Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena there are young, talented chefs galore!
***For all things Napa — www.visitnapavalley.com. Enjoy!
Gorgeous vistas at Tournesol Vineyards….