Travel to Napa and Sonoma, California – Episode 527

categories: USA Travel

Travel to Napa and Sonoma - California's original wine country


Hear about travel to California’s premier wine region of Napa and Sonoma as the Amateur Traveler talks again to freelance journalist Jill Robinson about this area with more than just wine… but a lot of that


With over 600 wineries in and around the Napa and Sonoma Valleys, this area of California still only produces a fraction of California’s wine, but it is a fraction that competes favorably with wines produced all over the world. Despite all this wine we also talk about Family-centered activities including a wild animal park, outdoor activities that involve more than just drinking wine outside, breweries and distilleries. Find movie props at the Francis Ford Coppola Winery or a castle at di Amorosa Winery. Find bike among the vine tours, hike among the vine programs or the wine train.

Jill has written about the Napa and Sonoma region for a number of major publications and shares with us her love for the area. She shares some of her favorite small wineries where you can avoid the long lines at the wine tasting bar. She also takes us to the CIA (but the delicious one not the spy one).

We talk about museums including the di Rosa Art Museum, a museum dedicated to Charles Shultz from the Peanuts comic strip and a small museum with models of every one of California’s missions. If you want to see the last and northernmost of the missions, you will also find that in the area in the center of Sonoma. Sonoma is also where the American version of California started with the Bear Flag Revolt.

Surrounded by hills these valleys are a great place for a picnic. A bottle of wine is not hard to find but neither is some good cheese if you check out one of the creameries on the Sonoma Cheese Trail. It is very easy to find an award-winning meal at a Michelin star restaurant as there are 10 in the area, but Jill also points us to a number of cheaper restaurants and markets where you can find a good meal.

Napa and Sonoma get a lot of visitors because it is beautiful in all seasons, delicious at all times and has… you may have gathered… a lot of wine.

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Show Notes

Jill Robinson
di Rosa Art Museum
Robert Louis Stevenson State Park
Napa Valley Aloft
Jack London State Historic Park
Sonoma State Historic Park
California Republic / Bear Flag Revolt
Santa Rosa
Napa Valley Paddle
Point Reyes National Seashore
Sonoma Cheese Trail
Vella Cheese Company
Marin French Cheese
The French Laundry (restaurant)
The French Laundry (reviews)
La Toque (restaurant)
La Toque (reviews)
Auberge du Soleil restaurant
Auberge du Soleil (reviews)
Heritage Eats (restaurant)
Heritage Eats (reviews)
The Pear Southern Bistro (restaurant)
The Pear Southern Bistro (reviews)
Velo Pizzeria
Velo Pizzeria (reviews)
Barndiva (reviews)
Oxbow Public Market Napa
Oakville Grocery (St Helena)
The Barlow (grocery) (Sonoma)
SHED (cafe and grocery) (Healdsburg)
Redd Wood (restaurant) (Yountville)
Redd Wood (reviews)
Wine country maps
San Joaquin Valley Wineries
Central Coast of California Road Trip – Pinnacles, Parks, Pinot, and Paddling
The Appellations of California Wine
Hanzell Vineyards (Sonoma)
Volker Eisele Family Estate (Saint Helena)
Eleven Eleven Wines (Napa)
Crocker & Starr Winery (Saint Helena)
Wine Enthusiast Magazine
750 Wines | Wines By Appointment (Saint Helena)
Charbay Distillery & Winery (Napa)
Bear Republic Brewing Company (Healdsburg)
Napa Smith Brewery (Napa)
Russian River Brewing Co.
Woodfour Brewing Company (Sevastopol)
Stumptown Brewery (Guerneville)
Russian River
Sonoma Canopy Tours
Napa & Sonoma Tours
Napa Valley Wine Train
Downtown Napa Wine Tasting Card
Charles M. Schulz Museum (Santa Rosa)
Wine Country Bikes
Napa Valley Bike Tours
Jordan Winery Vineyard Hikes
Hiking Program at Kunde Family Winery
Hike at Home Ranch – Seghesio Family Vineyards
Castello di Amorosa Winery (castle)
Vineyard 29
Francis Ford Coppola Winery (Geyserville)
Safari West
Bardessono Hotel, Spa (Yountville)
Bardessono Hotel (reviews)
Las Alcobas, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Napa Valley (Saint Helena)
CIA California – The Culinary Institute of America
Inn at Sonoma
Inn at Sonoma (reviews)
Hotel Yountville
Hotel Yountville (reviews)
Andaz Napa
Andaz Napa (reviews)
Bottega Gran Fondo
Cline Cellars (Sonoma)
California Mission Museum (at Cline Cellars)
Benziger Family Winery (Glen Ellen)
Bottle Shock

Travel to Napa and Sonoma - California's original wine country

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by Chris Christensen

Chris Christensen is the creator of the Amateur Traveler blog and podcast, and a co-host for This Week in Travel podcast.

2 Responses to “Travel to Napa and Sonoma, California – Episode 527”



Napa and Sonoma are truly great for amateur travellers! Thank you

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