We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Overwhelmed, but nailed a 3-day Itinerary

San Diego, CA
Level Contributor
20 posts
Overwhelmed, but nailed a 3-day Itinerary

Okay, after much researching, I've come up with an itinerary. I set out to make it flexible and open, in order to not be rushed and allow discoveries to happen.

Where I've noted "?", is where I hope to get suggestions, but I'm open to any suggestions you may have on the rest. Am I missing something? Does something not make sense?

Thanks everyone for great insight into California "Wine Country".


Calistoga Itinerary

Tuesday September 26, 2006


o Arrive in Sacramento @ 12:50pm

o Drive to Calistoga (2hrs (90miles) )

o Check-in @ Aurora Park Cottages ; 4pm

• Dinner in Calistoga Town (?)

Wednesday September 27, 2006

• Breakfast (Near COPIA?)

• 10:15am COPIA Wine tasting 101

• Tour/Taste Del Dotto

Di Rosa Preserve

• Picnic in NAPA ( ? )

• Taste Havens

• Tour/Taste Robert Sinskey

• Dinner @ Terra (Calistoga)

Thursday September 28, 2006

• Breakfast @ Cafe Sarafornia

• Pick up Picnic Lunch @ Palisades Deli

• Tour Rubicon

• Tour/Taste Frog’s Leap

• Tour/Taste Long Meadow Ranch

• Picnic South of St. Helena (?)

• Couple's Massage @ Lavender

• Late Dinner

Friday September 29, 2006

• Breakfast

• Tour/Taste Schramsberg

• Tour/Taste Barnett

• Tour/Taste Beringer

• Shop (?)

o Leave Calistoga 3:30pm

o Drop off Rental @ 5pm

o Arrive Sacramento Airport @ 5:25pm

o Depart Sacramento @ 8:25pm

Fremont, California
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
Level Contributor
34,290 posts
6,468 reviews
3,356 helpful votes
1. Re: Overwhelmed, but nailed a 3-day Itinerary

Sounds busy, but good (sounds like you put a lot of good thought into what you want to do, so I'm sure you'll have a wonderful time.)

A couple of suggestions:

Wappo Bistro or Brannon's in Calistoga's would be a good choice for dinner day 1. Wappo has nice patio in back - http://www.wappobar.com/ Brannon's is upscale and $$$, but good food. http://www.brannansgrill.com/

For breakfast Wednesday - plan on an hour drive from Calistoga to Copia. Bouchon Bakery in Yountville (on your way to Napa) is great stop for breakfast bakery good

Del Dotto is very liberal with its wine - lots of it - so you might want to do your picnic right after your visit. (Note: If you're able to switch your reservations to end of day, even better.).

Enjoy your trip!

San Diego, CA
Level Contributor
20 posts
2. Re: Overwhelmed, but nailed a 3-day Itinerary

Busy, really? I thought I was being a little light...

Thanks for the suggestions on the where to dine, I'll defintiely squeeze them in. I spent most of my time on wineries and other things to do.

Thanks again.

Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
33 posts
2 reviews
1 helpful vote
3. Re: Overwhelmed, but nailed a 3-day Itinerary

How was Long Meadow Ranch?I thought that looked interesting being organic and beef , etc. We seem to be tracking on some of the same activities... Rubicon...massage.Oh! and Lavender, how was the massage there? Was Terra worth it?


Indy area
Level Contributor
11 posts
3 reviews
1 helpful vote
4. Re: Overwhelmed, but nailed a 3-day Itinerary

Did you make it to Di Rosa Preserve? I can't seem to find anyone who has been, and my husband and I are considering including this in our itinerary.

Louisville, Kentucky
Destination Expert
for Louisville
Level Contributor
2,179 posts
304 reviews
662 helpful votes
5. Re: Overwhelmed, but nailed a 3-day Itinerary

Good choice flying out of SAC. Love it!

Destination Expert
for Sonoma
Level Contributor
4,879 posts
88 reviews
218 helpful votes
6. Re: Overwhelmed, but nailed a 3-day Itinerary

Gardengig--most definitely go to the DiRosa Preserve (www.dirosapreserve.org). It is one of the most fascinating, unique and impressive art venues in No. Calif. We've gone 3 times and have taken both the Gallery/House tour and the SculptureGarden/House tour. I believe they only have limited tours from Nov. to Apr., but regardless of what type of tour they offer, you'll be amazed by what you see. The art-encrusted main house is overwhelming and if I visit it a dozen times, I know I'll see more details that I missed all the other times--even the ceiling has large pieces of art. My favorite areas were actually the Gate House and the Sculpture Garden as there are very large pieces of art and you can walk around them to get different perspectives. In the Main House, there are just so many objects of varying size and form, that it's difficult to focus and truly appreciate the individual pieces--or at least I've found that to be the case. The DiRosa's setting is so peaceful and beautiful, too, amidst rolling hills and with a pretty lake on the property. You will normally need to make advance reserv's as access is by tour only--altho' there have been days when the Gate House is open w/o reserv's and you're free to just go and look around. If you have time afterwards, Artesa Winery (www.artesawinery.com) is just up the hill from DiRosa and they have great wines and a wonderful view. Should you be ready for lunch, I highly recommend the Boon Fly Cafe at the Carneros Inn (www.thecarnerosinn.com) off Sonoma Hwy., just a few min's from DiRosa.

Indy area
Level Contributor
11 posts
3 reviews
1 helpful vote
7. Re: Overwhelmed, but nailed a 3-day Itinerary

This is quite a resounding 'yes' for di Rosa! We'll definitely plan on a visit, and thanks for the tip on a reservation. Have you also been to Cornerstone Gardens, and if so, would you recommend that in addition to di Rosa or would you suggest one or the other? If I may impose, what would you say about the following as itineraries for 2 days in Sonoma?

Day 1

Jack London State Park

Cornerstone Gardens

Gloria Ferrar (tour?)

Cline Cellars winery – for the roses

Viansa winery & marketplace

Walking tour of Sonoma Plaza/downtown shops

Downtown wineries - Sebastiani, Ravenswood, Buena Vista

Dinner in Sonoma

Day 2

Carneros Region

Domaine Carneros (tour?)

Di Rosa Preserve tour

Artesa Winery

Thanks again for the great info.

Napa, CA
Level Contributor
4,740 posts
2 reviews
9 helpful votes
8. Re: Overwhelmed, but nailed a 3-day Itinerary


It sounds like you're really into gardens.

If that's true, please consider:

-Domaine Chandon (don't feed the swans!)

-Far Niente (appt essential)

-Rubicon Estates (a bit too expensive- $25 pp--but beautiful)

-Artessa (as prev. mentioned)

-Chateau Montelena (it's OK to feed the ducks, and the swan)

-Newton Vineyards http://newtonvineyard.com

(keep this last one a secret; very limited access)

-The Innkeepers

Napa Old World Inn

Destination Expert
for Sonoma
Level Contributor
4,879 posts
88 reviews
218 helpful votes
9. Re: Overwhelmed, but nailed a 3-day Itinerary

GardenGig--if only you had 3 full days instead of 2, I think the itinerary would be great! That 1st day has a lot of wineries on it. If you go to Cornerstone and Jack London Park, plus 2 wineries, that would still be a full day, since you should have lunch to relax a bit and just soak up the environment. One of the constraints is when things open (and close). Most of the tasting rooms don't open till 10am or later--but check on those you're interested in. Also, I don't think Jack London opens till 9:30 or even 10, and Cornerstone opens at 10. And it IS a wonderful place to visit--it melds modern art with the outdoors in some pretty amazing ways! I was awed by all the textures, colors and creativity of forms and designs. If you enjoy photography, you'll quickly fill your camera with images at Cornerstone. Since you mentioned roses at Cline, I'm assuming you're planning the trip for late Spring or Summer. If it's a very warm day, try to get to Cornerstone first thing because most of the displays are out in the full sun and it can be quite hot in the summer. There is also a very intriguing salvage and artifacts shop next to Cornerstone which is in itself quite a fascinating place to browse. So you see how the time can be easily consumed. And Jack London Historic Park really requires more than just an hour so that you can visit the House of Happy Walls, Jack's Cottage, walk thru the former farm, and take the path to the ruins of Wolf House.

Indy area
Level Contributor
11 posts
3 reviews
1 helpful vote
10. Re: Overwhelmed, but nailed a 3-day Itinerary

NOWI & Forestvillian - Our trip is planned for late April, and you're right - I'm into the gardens! My husband is not so much a wine drinker, so if we skipped a couple, that wouldn't be a bad thing. We've already been to Gloria Ferrar once, so perhaps we should just visit Domaine Carneros instead? We are planning another couple of days in the Napa Valley area (staying in Yountville), so we planned to hit Domaine Chandon also (husband does like the bubbly!). Of all the wineries mentioned above, which would you recommend, knowing that the grounds are nearly as important as good reds (zins, cabs) and sparkling wines? Sounds like I should plan a bit more time at Jack London and Cornerstone that I originally thought. There is so much to do, and so little time! We're just about more interested in some of the other activies available in the area than we are in the wineries (for the tasting anyway). We'll be in the area for 7 days, with a day planned for the Silverado Trail and visiting COPIA/downtown Napa, a day in Calistoga (I'll need a massage), and a couple of days spent on the Coast at Bodega Bay. The information from both of you is MOST helpful!!