A Honeymoon in Napa Valley: Top 5 Things to Do (Besides Wine Tasting)

With gorgeous scenery, beautiful small towns, top-notch accommodations, and an endless activities list, California’s Napa Valley makes for a terrific honeymoon destination.

Here are some of our favorite things to see and do (in between your wine tasting outings and vineyard visits, of course).

Hiking

Napa and Sonoma Counties offer more than just vineyards. Actually, they are both packed with wilderness as the unique topography gives way to foggy forests, petrified trees and crazy rock formations. Bothe-Napa Valley State Park and Sugarloaf State Park are both great places for exploring the backwoods.

Biking

The biking options in wine country are plentiful and highly recommended. Check out Napa Valley Bike Tours for rental information and suggested routes. No matter if you’re a biking enthusiast or just a casual biker, there’s an itinerary available for you. Blaze past vineyards on backcountry roads or take the main drag through some of the beautiful small towns dotted throughout Napa Valley.

Hot Air Ballooning

After a few days of wine tasting, there’s nothing better than a tour of wine country by balloon. From lift off and landing to the views of the region (and even San Francisco on clear days) and the bird’s eye view of the vineyards, a trip to wine country isn’t complete without a hot air balloon tour.

Small Town Discoveries

Take a few days to explore the beautiful Napa Valley towns of Yountville, St. Helena, and Calistoga. The relatively small size of these villages and proximity to each other make for a perfect day trip away from wine tasting. Each destination offers something a little bit different, but visitors can certainly still expect great dining, late night options, local shopping and boutiques, and unique galleries.

Spas

Northern California wine country is widely recognized as a top destination for spa treatments with sophisticated gems like Solage Calistoga and the Spa at Silverado. Experience invigorating massages, mineral baths, mud baths and a vast array of beauty and body treatments in a tranquil, one-of-a-kind setting.

 

In case you missed it:

Real Honeymoon Registries: Best of Europe

Honeymoon with a View: Explora Patagonia Hotel, Chile

Photo by Sebastien Gabriel

The Drinks You Should Be Ordering At San Francisco’s Best Coffee Shops

Put down your coffee. Here are the top drinks you should be ordering at San Francisco’s best coffee shops. 

Here at Wanderable, our team is lucky enough to live in San Francisco. This home of ours is a foodie mecca, and in recent years, its coffee game has been strong. New coffee roasters seem to pop up as swiftly as your daily 2-pm coffee cravings hit. In our quest to stave off our own coffee cravings, we’ve done the leg work and sampled all the best drinks there were to find from SoMa to the Mission. Here, we present to you the truly great drinks you should be ordering at San Francisco’s best coffee shops.

Philz

Philz is a beloved local brand here in the Bay Area. The beauty of Philz is that you can find one in nearly any neighborhood in San Francisco and across the Bay Area. As soon as you walk into a Philz, your spirits are instantly lifted – these coffee shops are just plain fun. You can even jam out to good music as you wait for your perfectly-dripped cup of coffee.

Our rec: The Mint Mojito, hands down. This iced drink is sweet, frothy, creamy, and best of all, it comes with with a fresh bunch of peppermint leaves that elevates the iced coffee game. Plus, you can enjoy one on a hot summer day (we don’t get many of these in San Francisco, but bear with us here) along with a Philz Coffee Pepples Donut on the side. Why not chase the best Philz drink down with the best Philz-flavored organic donut?!

Sightglass

Sightglass is quickly rising in ranks as one of the coolest coffee brands in San Francisco. Their stores are simply beautiful, with warehouse-like spaces filled with plenty of light and high ceilings. And their coffee? Need you ask? Coffee purists are happy enough to find that Sightglass coffee is good enough to stand alone, and those who like a little more cream and sugar in their cup of joe can try one of the beloved lattes or cold brews here.

Our rec: Sightglass just opened up San Francisco’s first affogato bar in their SoMa location. They’ve teamed up with an equally delicious Portland brand – Salt & Straw Ice Cream – to offer up refreshing espresso-soaked icecream. Try the affogato-soaked Sea Salt with Caramel Ribbons. Perfect for a hot day in the city. Or a cold day in the city. Really, we’d consume that affogato every day if we could.

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Blue Bottle

Blue Bottle. What more can be said about this coffee brand that hasn’t already been stated? Local residents can wax poetic about Blue Bottle’s venerable place in San Francisco’s coffee community. Blue Bottle was one of the first on the scene when coffee started getting really good again (we will overlook the bleak period that is otherwise known as S***bucks). Blue Bottle’s artisan beans are especially good in cold brews.

Our rec: You can probably guess what our favorite drink is here – the New Orleans Iced Coffee. This has sweetness, creaminess, and notes of chicory that make this cold brew the first thing we crave when we need a jolt of caffeine. The famous Blue Bottle logo that is printed on your cup of New Orleans Iced Coffee will also be an iconic reminder of just how amazing coffee has gotten in the Bay Area.

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Four Barrel Coffee

Four Barrel Coffee is the sort of coffee joint you can sit in for hours. Not only are their stores beautiful (would you call their Mission store “rustic-chic”?), but their coffee is, to put it simply, quite tasty. The really cool thing about Four Barrel is that you can get a sense of their entire roasting process with the knowledgeable tastings they do. The way they describe their coffee here is similar to the way that a sommelier would describe wine. Honestly, we’d happily choose a cup of Four Barrel Coffee over a glass of red any day.

Our rec: All the drinks at Four Barrel are executed perfectly by their well-trained staff, but our go-to would be their latte with almond milk. We’re not even vegan or vegetarian, but there’s something about the sweetness of the almond milk that pairs perfectly with their strong coffee flavors. A spoon is definitely necessary to scoop up all the creamy foam on top.

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Date Differently: Date Night Ideas to Spice Things Up

Honeymooning is  not a destination; it’s a journey, and hot dates are key to staying in love long-time.

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Love is a many-splendored thing and deserves revelry– making that amazing “honeymoon phase” last. But How, you ask? Two words: date differently. This might seem like a no-brainer, but so many of us (we’re guilty, too) are sometimes too quick to get stuck in our routines: laundry, Netflix binges, or going into the office on a Sunday.  Instead, try carving out a solid block of time to spend exclusively with your love, doing something different. If you need more of an incentive, this week we’re offering 20% off your Wanderable Date Nights with code DATENIGHT20.

Here are some of our favorite San Francisco date night ideas (don’t worry, east-coasters, we’ll be getting to you in later posts) that you could do even this weekend to spice things up a little bit.

1. Get Photographed

Have you ever wanted to recreate your favorite moments or just needed an excuse to get dressed up? Well what about a candid photoshoot of you and your love playing around your city in your Sunday best? Win.

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2. Wine taste on the Bay

Hailed as a wine- therapy voyage, this is the perfect escape for those wanting to stay in the city but still enjoy some epic wines. We get it, Napa is far. And with this beautiful weather we’re having, why not take advantage of the ocean front.

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3.  Take a hike

This may seem like an obvious choice living in SF, but if we’re being honest, when’s the last time you were really in touch with nature? Hike the mountains of the Presidio with your love and feel rooted in your body

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4. Picnic

So worth the effort, a picnic is luxurious because once you’re set up, you can sit for hours and nibble, read, chat, nap, etc. Pick your favorite locale (beach, park, forest, lake) and prepare food, activities, and perhaps a little surprise gift for your love.

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5. Go on a Food Safari

There are so many restaurants in SF that sometimes it can feel overwhelming to choose just one. Also, “going out to dinner” while important, can get boring. Why not try an actual Food Safari where you get to sample a little bit of everything?  Another plus, you’re not sitting in one spot for 2 hours.

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So get out there. Have a good time. For more California date ideas (Southern California, too) check this out, and let us know how you #DateDifferently. Plus– enjoy 20% off date night with code DATENIGHT20. You’re welcome.

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Best Cheap Eats in San Francisco

We’ve already shared our go-to restaurants in San Francisco, for those times when you’re willing to splurge a little. So here is the list of our favorite bargain gems. One thing SF is known for is its variety of amazing food at any price-point. These places drive that point home.

San Francisco

Yamo:  The epitome of a hole-in-the-wall restaurant. They practically cook on top of you, but this only adds to the experience and the food is amazing!

Sushi Time:  We can’t decide what we love more… the ambiance, the price or the food. This underground spot is an all around pleaser. Sushi is never a cheap outing but this place is extremely reasonable, especially for the Bay Area.

El Metate:  A little bit off the beaten path, in the Mission district, but hands-down worth the trip. Great ambiance, prices and food. This is definitely a step-up from your standard taqueria.

The Codmother Fish and Chips:  Fisherman’s Wharf is a beautiful spot, especially to take visitors, but it can be hard to not get caught in the tourist traps down there. This little spot breaks the mold; for inexpensive, delicious food, go here!

Lucca Delicatessen:  While we’re already on the subject… another gem down by the water is this great spot. They won’t break the bank and run a legitimate Italian sandwich shop. Perfect picnic food for those on the go, as well.

Golden Boy Pizza:  Located in North Beach, otherwise known as little Italy, is this famous pizza shop. Incredible selection and mouth-watering to boot.

Mission Chinese:  It may not look like much from the outside but the chef, Danny Bowien, certainly knows what he’s doing. Their “Americanized Oriental food” is an experience all it’s own.

Taqueria Cancun:  Although everyone raves about its rival, El Farolito, this place wins hands-down, every time. They have the best vegetarian burrito in the Mission and they succeed in all other departments, as well.

Ike’s Place:  One of the most solid sandwich shops you’ll ever experience. Whether you have food allergies, are vegan, or a meat eater, this is the place to go. Not to mention, it is just a short distance from Dolores Park… might as well have a picnic!

Rosamunde Sausage Grill:  They have options for carnivores and herbivores alike and it’s all to die for. The only thing that might make this restaurant better is a giant selection of craft beers. Oh wait… they have those next door, at Toronado Pub, AND you can take the food there!

Philz Coffee:  Okay, okay… so it’s not exactly about the food on this one, but the coffee is so good it just had to be added! A one-of-a-kind experience for any coffee lover. It may just rival any cup of joe you’ve had yet.

Best Places to Eat in San Francisco

When you are going to San Francisco, make sure to wear flowers in your hair…  and eat, eat, eat! This city is an absolute mecca for foodies. This list includes a variety of restaurants for the traveler who doesn’t mind splurging a bit, but isn’t looking to break the bank. Here are just a few of our favorites.

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Le Colonial:  For beautiful ambiance, stellar food, and some of the best jazz in the city, visit this hidden gem. Located in an alley, in the Tenderloin, sits an incredible Vietnamese restaurant. Visit the lounge upstairs for a more casual experience and free live music!

Hops and Hominy:  If you want incredible cocktails, an extensive beer and wine list and/or some of the best southern soul food you’ve ever eaten, check out this spot.

Una Pizza Napoletana:  The best test of a great pizzeria… the Margherita Pizza. Theirs is as good as it gets. Craving a pizza that tastes like you’re in the streets of Italy? Go here!

Mazzat:  For incredible Lebanese food head to Hayes Valley. Mazzat is sure to delight even the pickiest of taste buds and has some great vegetarian options, as well.

Gracias Madre:  Need a vegan friendly restaurant? Gracias Madre is always an amazing choice. For a modern, healthy twist on Mexican food, this is the place to go!

State Bird Provisions:  Every foodies idea of heaven. Check out this place for a unique culinary experience that is sure to please your taste buds.

Tacoliscious:  Taquerias abound in San Francisco but this is a fantastic upgraded sit-down version. Hands down our favorite taco spot in the city and legitimate margaritas, as well.

NOPA:  This New American restaurant is all the rage and it truly lives up to the hype. The only downside may be the wait, but the experience is so worth it.

Serpentine:  Located in the Dogpatch neighborhood, a newer up and coming area, is this mouth-watering New-American style restaurant. It’s a fantastic place for brunch, as well.

Mission Beach Cafe:  There may be a line outside but there certainly is a reason. Inventive and delicious. Good for any meal of the day but we prefer to go here for brunch.