Napa: You Can Travel “Just Because”

Napa, travel, photographySadly, I rarely take a vacation with my “IRL” (that’s “in real life” for you non-social media junkies) friends, aside from a steady stream of weddings. Thankfully, I have an enormous web of online travel pals to hit the road with “just because.” In the case of a recent girls weekend in Napa, I had met both girls off-line first before re-connecting with them on the web. Kristin (LEFT) and I worked together more than five years ago but barely knew each other. Then she found me on Twitter, and we met briefly during my first trip to Napa last year. Diana (MIDDLE) and I knew each other the first time I lived in Vegas, when I was a magazine editor and she a publicist. I was living as an expat in Costa Rica when I got a surprise email from her asking advice about taking time off to travel. Neither of us ever thought we’d move back to Vegas (what a transition!) — but here both of us are! Don’t let the champagne fool you — this was one of the most budget-friendly trips I’ve ever taken. Head to Virgin America for cheap flights, and all tastings are easy on the wallet. Girls trips for everyone!

If this post doesn’t convince people to grab a few friends and take off for the weekend, I don’t know what will! I’ve been working so much lately that getting outside and doing something different for the weekend was just the breath of fresh air I needed.

Nothing says “girls weekend in Napa” like…

Napa, travel, food, photography, wineWine tastings… Here, our first round at the beautiful, girls weekend-friendlyΒ Domaine Chandon in Yountville.

Napa, travel, food, wineBreathtaking wineries… Here, Peju. We also enjoyed a private tasting at the revered Caymus. (Both are in Rutherford.)

Napa, wine, travel, foodLuxury! Sadly, this was not our limo.

travel, Napa, food, wineCheese… Like this case atΒ Oxbow Market in downtown Napa.




Napa, food, wine, travelThe heaviest pours of champagne I’ve ever seen… Here at Hog Island Oyster, also at Oxbow.

When we needed a break from the wineries, we headed to St. Helena’s charmingΒ Gott’s Roadside, which changed its name from the landmark Taylor’s Refresher for some reason last year, for a dose of Americana.

Napa, travel, food

Napa, travel, food

Napa, travel, food

Special thanks to Kristin and Diana for being amazing travel buddies — and dear friends. I know I always have you two when I need a quick getaway (Ojai was another recent favorite) to recharge! Anyone else want to join me for a girls weekend in Napa? I’m in!

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I'm a life-long travel junkie journalist who works hard to find adventure in everyday life after two years of travel and expat living.

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  1. I live close to Oxbow and love to visit on my days off. They have delicious food, free wi-fi and are great for people watching!

  2. Oh, I am so jealous! I wish I had a place like that to meet friends at on a Sunday afternoon.

  3. love this girl bonding esp the wine tasting and yes, the cheese! πŸ™‚ how i wish i can travel with my old non-blogger friends too. I miss them a lot. thanks for sharing this lovely adventure!

  4. Awwww! So happy I “met” you today. You’d be an amazing traveler to have on a girls’ trip!

  5. You know that most of us come to your city for a weekend getaway right?
    Looks like it was a fantastic weekend though. Any reason to visit Napa for those of us who don’t drink?

  6. What a fabulous trip darlings!!! Next time I’m coming with! πŸ˜‰

  7. Steve, Napa is as much about the food as the wine! Personally, I think you’re missing out by skipping the wine ha. But yes, it’s still beautiful. You can tours and eat like a king. It’s not a party place — I bet after taking a tour you’d be inclined to take a few sips at a tasting. It’s fascinating!

  8. Andi!! Yes, we need to do a fun trip now that your wedding is over — we’ve only been talking about for more than a year!

  9. Such. Fun. <3

  10. The next girls weekend needs to be in South America, so I can join.

  11. Great idea, Stephanie! I’d love to go back..

  12. An inexpensive weekend that involves champagne? I am so jealous!

  13. And don’t forget the amazing farm-to-table food! You would’ve been in heaven…

  14. If I come to visit you can we go to Napa just because for more champagne tastings?! Sounds like my idea of HEAVEN.

  15. Please come! And yes!!

  16. Love Napa Valley! Looks like you girls had a great time there — who wouldn’t?? That really is a generous champagne pour. Think I’ll give Hog Island Oyster a try next time.

  17. Looks like you guys had heaps of fun πŸ™‚

  18. Looks like you guys had a blast!! I’m ready for a girl’s trip myself….it’s been too long. πŸ™‚

  19. I now officially feel as if I went on this trip with you all. Except for the important fact that I didn’t. THERE WILL BE A NEXT TIME. Thanks for taking me along! πŸ˜‰

  20. Haha sorry to make you read it three times! Since I can’t keep up with those girls, of course I was last. Sigh.

  21. Looks like you had a wonderful time with the girls, woah I’ve just realised I’m the only guy here!

  22. The only one brave enough to leave a comment!

  23. I hear ya about needing a break from working. Scott and I are trying to plan a relaxing trip somewhere. Hm… I wonder if he would be into Napa. πŸ™‚

  24. Guys really love it around harvest time! And maybe skip Domaine Chandon haha.

  25. Only, next time it needs to be a girls’ WEEK not a mere weekend (if our crazy schedules ever allow for such). I’m pretty sure we could have spent a solid seven days eating and drinking our way through Calistoga, St. Helena, Yountville, Sonoma, Napa and beyond! At least, I think we could (and I’m up for that challenge).

  26. I realized I am the second guy here. Looks like you had a blast!

  27. Raymond, to be fair… you and Ryan are forgetting Steve!

    Kristin — it’s a tall order, but we can do anything!!

  28. Sounds like just what the doctor ordered for me right now! Never made Napa but I am a sucker for wine tasting. Will have to put it on the list.

  29. Looks like a fun trip. We visited Napa 10 years ago but would love to return.
    **That is one massive glass of Champagne!

  30. Wish I could join! Next time I hope πŸ™‚

  31. Maybe next time, it should be a girls weekend in Vegas. You can have an inexpensive one there, too, right? All of you looked lovely and happy – so envious!

  32. Fun!
    I need a weekend of luxury with good friends! πŸ™‚

  33. Sherry — yes, yes, come to Vegas!!

    Caz, yes, after running myself ragged, I was soo happy to be out there!

    Cailin, come to Vegas!!

    Cam — that champagne pour was so ridiculous, that I just had to include!

  34. you always go on the best trips!

    and I love the Peju’s!

  35. I gotta say, your hair and you yourself look absolutely beautiful, Abby!

  36. Thanks, boys!!

  37. Travel is always enhanced with great company! I’ve yet to visit Napa but I sure hope I get the chance soon πŸ™‚

  38. love Napa!! and that is a very generous pour of champagne, lucky you πŸ˜‰

  39. Right? It’s ridiculous! Loove Napa, too!

  40. I’m going to need one of each of those cheeses, please. Napa really does have some great food.

  41. ACK! I could never go anywhere they have that much cheese. I can’t even keep cheese in my house. I-I.. I just love it so much! hehe

  42. I would lose ten pounds if I stopped eating cheese!!

  43. I’ve never done a winery tour before (I know. I know. Tsk!). But now I want to go on a “Just Because” trip to see you. I miss you! It’s been way too long!

  44. Eating and drinking and relaxing with friends – my favourite – I’m partial to a glass of sparkly wine myself – bubbles are such a celebration.

  45. Bubbly is a celebration! It makes even the most casual meal with friends a treat.

  46. I’m convinced! Would love to visit Napa…even more so with you guys πŸ™‚

  47. I love peju! so friendly there!!! did you guys get a chance to go to Bistro Jeanty? they’ve got fabulous tomato soup [and i hate tomatoes!] πŸ™‚

  48. Wine and cheese monger heaven – I love Napa! I couldn’t believe how many Michelin restaurants there are in Yountville, and the table wine is so available and local it’s very well priced.

  49. Yountville is amazing, as is the farm-to-table concept. I never wanted to eat anywhere else again!

  50. I fully support girls getaways and ‘just because’ breaks:) Any time you can get away with friends to relax and re-kindle those friendship ties is well worth it! What a perfect time to visit Napa, I was in Sonoma at the end of January and it was lovely but I sure at this time of year the fields would have been spectacular.

  51. It was gorgeous! I am taking your approval as a huge compliment — you are the queen of girls’ getaways!

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