With this Friday comes a fresh column. For the days where you want adventure, but don’t want to invest huge amounts of cash, the day trip is perfect. For this column we’re considering a day trip around 4 hours or less. Located in NorCal, there’s phenomenal day trips available and last weekend we decided to head to Napa. While most think Napa is an exclusive destination; however, after a few trips, I’ve learned there’s plenty of options to enjoy the area on a slim budget.

Keep reading for the full details of the trip!

Our trip started off as a birthday surprise for a dear friend. We knew she had been wanting to go to Napa for a while and we decided to make it happen. Our morning started early, (knowing we had a three hour drive ahead) with breakfast and lattes at home. We made this baked oatmeal and used our Aeropress. For snacks on the drive, we packed a picnic basket filled with raw almonds, apples, and greek yogurt parfaits for an additional round of protein. Once we arrived to the vineyard we had a baguette, cheese platter, and fresh fruit to pair with our wine in the basket.

Tip: Napa is beautiful in the spring and fall months. While the vines are bare, you’ll still find exceptional tours and it to be less crowded. For a more rustic, chill vibe eat and drink in Sonoma.

We chose Cline Vineyard for our tasting and tour this time. The afternoon was perfect. Filled with great company, delicious wine, and gorgeous weather, our sommelier was phenomenal and provided us with a great tour. (If you head that way ask for our friend Mary Lee. She was amazing!)

What is the perfect way to celebrate a birthday after your afternoon of wine tasting is over? A simple photoshoot on the grounds. We had a great time running in the vineyards and basking in the golden sun. There’s something about the Napa landscape, regardless of the season that is stunning and lush when kissed with golden light.

We headed to Downtown Sonoma for an Italian dinner and enjoying the shops. Make sure to visit Main Street and the Downtown corridor. It’s beautiful, has great restaurants, and plenty of green space to enjoy, with a family friendly vibe.

When in Napa, there’s one place you must go. With restaurants and vineyards, each person has a favorite and you can find options in a variety of price points. But when it comes to dessert, there’s only one option. Make sure to head to Bouchon bakery and grab any of their desserts. They never disappoint and have a great outdoor seating area to enjoy any goodies you purchase. Our group purchased everything from eclairs, to cookies, to croissants. They were all phenomenal.

Our day ended walking around Yountville (which is beautiful and if money were no object I would own property there). With our bellies full of delicious food and drink, we headed back to Redding. Knowing that after a single day trip our hearts were refreshed, reminded of the finer things in life, and the beauty of escaping the daily grind.

Where are some of your favorite spots to go on a day trip?

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