First we took our daughter to Paris. Twice. The most recent trip involved wine tastings at Moët et Chandon and Tattinger in Champagne (getting there was a BEATING).
The latest adventure in taking a toddler to "adult" spots? The Napa Valley. Our most recent exploits remind of the famous "baby in a bar" scene from the movie Sweet Home Alabama.
Regardless. This was my fourth trip to the Napa Valley, the first with the kid. Turns out it was a wonderful, family-friendly experience at every turn.
Every other time I have visited, I have stayed at the Yountville Inn. It's an ideally situated hotel in quaint downtown Yountville featuring a beautiful pool. It's located next to Bouchon Bakery so you can grab a quick coffee and breakfast in the morning.
How To Enjoy Napa Valley With Kids: Where To Eat
|Playing on the lawn at Chandon|
We had an exquisite lunch at Chandon's étoile Restaurant on Friday, along with multiple glasses of sparkling wine après lunch.
I've also enjoyed spectacular meals at Brix, Mustard's, Bouchon Bistro, Auberge du Soleil and Ad Hoc. Even an average meal in the Napa Valley is better than most whoopy-do meals elsewhere.
How To Enjoy Napa Valley With Kids: Wineries To Visit
Candidly, we didn't even think twice about bringing our kid to a winery. After formal tasting experiences in France, we felt we could handle anything and so could Jordan.
|Coloring at Peju|
In the past I have visited Plumpjack, Joseph Phelps, Nickel & Nickel, Hendry, Alpha & Omega, Coppola Nieubaum (which is now Inglenook) Truth be told, I know there are more but that's all I can recall.
I have flown into Oakland, San Jose and San Francisco which we did this last time. Each airport has it's own pros and cons. The rental car line at SFO is always a pain.
I have also made my way to the Napa Valley via the Oakland Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate Bridge. Traffic was horrendous on the Bay Bridge this time. I have never encountered crazy traffic on the Golden Gate Bridge.
For our Sunday night wedding, we used Napa Valley Nanny to watch Jordan. What a treat! The service was thorough in pre-screening us to make sure they knew everything they needed to know about Jordan. Our nanny for the night, Jasmine, was superb. I highly recommend them.
We rented a car at SFO. There's an inherent danger of driving after too many tastings in the wine country. We were sure not to drink too much and spit our wine when necessary as not to endanger ourselves (or at least my husband was cognizant of that).
You can hire a car in the wine country or even hire a person to drive your car. My friends used Concierge of the Valley and raved about the experience.
Don't be afraid to explore the wine country as a family. Wineries are accommodating and open to families.
Be realistic, though. You're not going to have a five-wineries-in-one-day experience you might have had previously. (Tweet this). You'll have to slow down the pace a bit. If you do want to blow and go, a nanny service is always an option.
What's the most kid-unfriendly you have taken your little one? Any places you wish to take your kids but are worried about? Share your thoughts in the comments section.