Napa and Sonoma valley with 7 kids

Friends gathering in California; we were a total of 7 kids from 9 months to 8 years and 6 adults.


Transport

We arrived in San Francisco airport and rented a car to be able to get around.


Reason

My parents have friends that lives in both east coast USA and Mexico. Hence San Francisco area is a convenient place to meet with direct flights into San Francisco. The adults would like to take up the challenge to go to the California wine areas since the prior trip research indicated that it was not the obvious place to bring children. We have proven it wrong and had the best time.


Itinerary

We had our first night in San Francisco. Hereafter we had 4 nights in Yountville Napa Valley, 1 night in an Airstream by Russian River and we ended our trip with 3 nights in Healdsburg Sonoma Valley.


Yountville is a foodie heaven with renowned Michelin chef Thomas Keller owning amazing restaurants. Credits to Bouchon Bistro to accommodate all of us all with smiles for dinner one evening. Not easy to accommodate 13 people in a popular restaurant. Hence prior reservation was essential.


What to do in Yountville area: Yountville park had a fun playground for kids all ages. In Napa town, we bought sandwiches and cheese at Oxbow Market (gourmet food market where we went twice) and had a picnic and a fun few hours at Playground Fantastico. All highly recommended.




We all went to the Sterling Vineyards since they accept kids and have a small cable car ride to the estate for tasting and for the serene views. After Sterling Vineyards, we had lunch and ice cream in Calistoga. Hereafter we went to Bothe-Napa Valley State Park to burn off some energy.



In Yountville, we stayed at Hotel Yountville which was a very nice hotel, but the hotel was in the opposite end of town compared to Yountville Park. Yountville has many wine tasting rooms but we did not visit any of them.


The Airstream luxury AutoCamp (https://autocamp.com)by Russian River was so much fun for kids who could roam freely on the property. We wished we had been able to book more than one night but there was no availability. Very near by the Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve is a recommended place to explore Redwoods. Approx. 30 minutes’ drive from Russian River we had the best crab sandwiches and clam chowder we have ever tasted at Spud Point Crab Company. Expect long lines but the wait is all worth it.







Healdsburg is a cozy little town with small shops, good coffee and restaurants. Healdsburg Shed was able accommodate all of us from a very nice farm to table brunch. Reservation essential. Healdsburg also have many winetasting rooms but we did not visit any of them. Healdsburg Recreation Park has a great playground for kids all ages.





We all went to Francis Ford Coppola Winery, which is very family friendly winery with bocce courts, seasonal opened swimming pool and a family friendly restaurant serving Francis Ford Coppola’s favorite food (great kids menu). Easy to spend half a day at the vineyard estate.




Price

Very high end due to the hotels, restaurants and the length of our vacation.


Stretch

9 nights





We had the best holiday with crisp air, blue skies and wonderful company.

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