As always, our Alaska Airlines flight to Napa was flawless. We flew from Orange County (SNA) to Sonoma County (STS), and it was a breezy and swift hour and twenty minutes in the sky! We made friends with our flight attendant (shout out to Carey!), who told us all about her many years flying for Alaska, and the many pins she’s acquired along the way. Before we knew it, we were landing in Sonoma County!
Up until this past weekend, we’d never been to a music festival. We’ve never had much interest, as all of the ones close to home consist of dusty, dirty venues, high temperatures, and gross, over-priced beer. We’ve always joked that we’re a little “too high maintenance” for a music festival… until now. Friends, we just returned from a weekend trip to Napa with Alaska Airlines as part of their #WeekendWanderer program, and it completely “ROCKED” our perspective!
If you haven’t heard of Bottlerock, it’s time you did. It’s a music festival that far outshines the rest as, A) It’s located in wine country (Enough said.), B) It’s well done, classy, and takes place on grass covered fields (aka, NO DUST!), C) They have local wineries and restaurants set up pop-up tents, so you’re guaranteed some of the best food and beverages in town, and D) The line up is LEGIT. We’re talking The Killers, Earth Wind and Fire, Halsey, The Chainsmokers, Incubus, and Bruno Mars to name a few!
Are you sold yet? It gets better. Alaska Airlines hosts what they call “The Skydeck” where you can have a birds eye view of the main stage! The drinks are hosted (and boy, are they good!), there’s ample seating, and they even have an “Amenities” booth with sunscreen and hydrating lotions! We’re telling you, if every music festival could be like this, we’d have a new hobby!
While we spent the majority of our time at Bottlerock (because, it was AMAZING), we did get the chance to explore Napa Valley during our mornings and early afternoons. We wine tasted, ate delicious food, and even rode a hot air balloon!! Here’s a few of the highlights:
Tank Winery: Located in a restored auto garage, Tank Winery is definitely not your average wine tasting room, and we DIG IT. Not only is Tank super photogenic (and totally Instagrammable), their wines were some of our favorites! They specialize in blends, and every label is fun and unique. Their staff is super friendly, and if you go, ask for “Brew” - he’s the best!
Round Pond: Round Pond is one of our favorite boutique wineries, with a beautiful tasting room and delicious wines. We have yet to try a varietal we don’t love! (Making choosing what to buy extremely difficult!) Reservations are required, so be sure to plan ahead.
Castello di Amaroso: We’ve seen photos of this “Castle Winery” for years, and were so excited to finally see it in person… And all we can say is WOW. It really is incredible. We recommend arriving right when it opens, as it definitely is a tourist attraction. But the castle itself is beautiful, and the wine is surprisingly tasty! $30 gets you a tasting and a self-guided tour, and the opportunity to take photos that even Rapunzel would be proud of!
Chimney Rock: We were actually heading to a different winery down the road, but when we passed this Cape Dutch style winery, we immediately changed our plans! Not only is their property stunning, their wine is some of the best in Napa Valley. It’s definitely a splurge, but worth it if you love Cabernet Savinoun!
Boon Fly Cafe: If you didn’t know this already, we LOVE breakfast. We live for breakfast. No matter where we are in the world, we’re always on the hunt for the best breakfast in the area. Boon Fly Cafe is definitely up there, with an extensive breakfast menu that is decadent and healthy - all in one! Make sure you order the donuts, and if you love Bloody Mary’s, they make a spicy one!
Gott’s Roadside: Another thing we love, BURGERS. Nothing tastes better after a long day of wine tasting than a juicy burger and fries — and Gott’s Roadside has it all! It’s an order at the counter kind of place, and despite the long lines, they’re extremely quick and efficient. Definitely a great lunch or casual dinner option!
The Charter Oak: This has quickly become one of Napa Valley’s new hotspot, and for good reason. Everything on the menu is DELICIOUS. It’s fresh, simple food (most of the vegetables are grown in their garden!) that will make you weak at the knees. We had some of the best potatoes of our lives there!!
HOT AIR BALLOONING
Now, this is something that’s been on our bucket list since we got married. Weather conditions have always put a halt to our ballooning dreams… until now!!! We rode with Napa Valley Balloons, and they made our morning truly a dream. If you haven’t ridden a hot air balloon before, we highly recommend it. It’s surprisingly peaceful, and the views are unprecedented. Our guides talked about the history of Napa Valley as we soared above the winding vineyards, and after the ride they had breakfast and mimosas waiting for us! Definitely one of the highlights of our trip!
This weekend had it all: amazing wine, drinks, music, and bucket list experiences! A big thanks to our friends at Alaska Airlines for making our in-flight and in-destination dreams come true… Can we do this every weekend?!