As someone who’s having a destination wedding soon, it only makes sense to continue the theme by having a destination weekend bachelorette in Napa, right? The best part is that my closest friends love to travel as well, so when I brought up the idea of dragging everyone through a California road trip with the main destination of California’s wine county – Napa – everyone was on easily board.
But since the drive to Napa from Los Angeles would be about seven hours or so, we decided to take it easy and stop a few places along the way, making it more of a California road trip more than anything else.
It’s been a while since I’ve made the trip up north and I love taking road trips. It allows you to see different sides of a place instead of just jumping from airports to airports. Right now, as I’m typing this, Rachell is driving, Anna is pondering away, Kritsida is sleeping (she’s been sleeping throughout 80% of the ride) and I’m looking at the rolling hills of California on all sides as cows graze the land, and we’re all listening to music from the last decade on Sirius XM. I’m loving every second of it.
My bachelorette party was super relaxing and fairly adventurous, with just a dash of alcohol. So what exactly did we do?
8:30am – MEET UP AND LEAVE LOS ANGELES
10:30am – PICK UP BRUNCH / COFFEE IN SANTA BARBARA.
We went to this cute cafe called ReBar near the Santa Barbara train station for this. The place has an Americana feel, with an indoor / outdoor sitting area. The surrounding businesses were also wineries so it incidentally went with the theme.
1:30pm – HEARST CASTLE, GRAND TOUR
Half of us ladies haven’t been to Hearst Castle so it went on our list. It was nice being back to the Castle. I already took the Grand Rooms tour before, which covers the essential rooms, but we had a different guide that told us additional information that wasn’t told during our first time there. Expect to spend about 3 hours there.
7pm – DINNER AT SALINAS CITY BBQ
We had bbq dinner at this mom and pop restaurant that had rave reviews on Yelp, and it lived up to the hype. We even saw a car with a Texas license plate parked outside, so you know it’s gonna be good.
10:30pm – ARRIVE AT HOTEL
We were staying at Hyatt Vineyard Creek in Santa Rosa, about 40 minutes away from Napa. In the beginning, we had issues with the reservation. The front desk associate told me – with an attitude that I couldn’t quite process after nearly 14 hours of being on the road and that I’m not accustomed to with Hyatt staff – after thirty minutes with him, that they overbooked and basically gave us a room with a king size bed and a rollaway bed. Well, that only covered 3 people’s sleeping arrangements, and we had 4 ladies. So they managed another rollaway bed, making our room amazingly cramped and literally no space to move around. Thankfully, Joseph, being the travel agent extraordinaire that he’s known for around this part of the internet, spoke to Hyatt’s main office as well as the manager of the Hyatt Vineyard Creek, and helped us get to a room with two queen beds as originally requested, while also getting us a corner room that gave more light and just so much more space. After that first night, I highly enjoyed my stay at Hyatt so much more.
12pm – WINE TASTING AT DOMAINE CARNEROS
The last time I went to Napa, Joseph and I went wine tasting at Castello de Amorosa. This time, Rachell arranged us to go to this posh winery that just had an amazing ambiance. Completely different than Castello de Amorosa. We sat down at the terrace and between the four of us, shared two 4 wine sampler sets and a cheese platter between the four of us, and that was plenty since none of us are drinkers in any way.
3pm – LUNCH AT BOUCHON IN YOUNTVILLE
Just outside of Napa is an area that has such a cute downtown area with plenty of food options, including Bouchon (where we had lunch) and Bouchon Bakery (the line was constantly long and out the door). Afterwards, we explored the downtown area of Yountville a bit more, visiting some shops, and just embracing the absolutely beautiful scenery of it all.
9am – BACK ON THE ROAD
There were a few stops on the way back that we wanted to visit. We tried to get up and go as soon as the birds started chirping, but hey, we were a group of four ladies. This ended up being a lot harder than anticipated, haha.
12:30pm – HISTORIC ROCKY BRIDGE CREEK
When we were coming up to Napa, we took the 101 freeway pretty much the whole way. On our way back, we wanted to drive by the coast. I’ve never driven up the coast of Northern California, and oh, was it a sight to behold. And when we spotted the highly instagrammed Rocky Bridge Creek, we took it as an opportunity to stretch our legs and experience it ourselves. Expect to see a bunch of other tourists.
We continued to drive south on PCH with the goal of getting to Big Sur, and alas, the beach was closed for the day! Whomp whomp. Looks like we’ll have to take another road trip soon to make it to Big Sur (not that I’m complaining).
1:30pm – LUNCH AT THE NOODLE PALACE
Since the road to Big Sur / PCH was closed off, we had to retrace our steps, go back up north and then inland. Because of this, we decided to have lunch at Vietnamese restaurant The Noodle Palace in the lovely city of Carmel. Two of us ladies are Vietnamese and they said this place was gooood. That’s gotta count for something.
After lunch, we made a beeline back to LA, making it back at 7ish pm. I’m thoroughly convinced that a road trip across California is always a good thing.
Thank you again ladies for an awesome bachelorette weekend!