Bothe Napa Valley State Park – Camp in the Wine Country

Bothe Napa Valley State Park
Discover the beauty of Bothe Napa Valley State Park. Stroll through the towering redwoods as you hike along a creek surrounded by ferns, madrone, California redwoods, and douglas-fir. Picnic or camp at this gorgeous park located just off the highway in the heart of the Napa Valley. This park is located just five miles from Calistoga or Saint Helena.

Daytime visitors to the park can enjoy picnicking and hiking. There is a large picnic area that makes a nice break from wine tasting. Bring a bottle of wine and a lunch and spend some time relaxing in this beautiful park. There are over ten miles of trails to enjoy at this 1,900 acre park. The Ritchey Canyon trail takes you on an easy stroll along the creek. The sound of the water splashing over rocks as it flows downhill combined with the lush vegetation make this an enjoyable hike.

Click on the triangle to view this short video:

The campsites at this park are quite nice. You definitely don’t feel you are camping in a parking lot. There are 30 campsites; both RVs and tent camping are allowed here. They have a limited number of walk-in sites where you will find even more privacy. They also have 10 yurts and 5 historic cabins that are available.

Napa CampingSome of the sites are situated right next to the creek. Bothe Napa Valley State Park is open for camping throughout the year. During the spring and early summer you can listen to the sound of the water flowing in the creek as you sleep at night.

During the summer months there is a spring-fed swimming pool open for campers as well as horseback riding. Make reservations for horseback riding by calling Triple Creek Horse Outfit at (707) 887-8700.

While in the Napa Valley, you will probably want to visit some wineries. Many campers enjoy walking to the following wineries:

  • Castello di Amorosa
  • Frank Family Vineyards
  • Larkmead Vineyards
  • Madrigal Family Winery
  • Schramsberg Vineyards

Explore the many wineries located throughout the Napa Valley that are just a short drive away.
Learn about wineries in each of these Napa towns by clicking on the name of each town:

Castello di AmorosaCalistoga Wineries
Wineries in Calistoga tend to be smaller wineries; although there are exceptions. This part of the Valley tends to be more laid-back and casual. This historic town is famous for its hot mineral springs. Tourists head to Calistoga for mud baths and spa treatments.

Wineries not to be missed: Castello di Amorosa (a Medieval inspired Tuscan castle) and Sterling Vineyards (where you can ride the aerial tram to this hilltop winery).

Napa ValleySaint Helena Wineries
There are numerous outstanding wineries located in Saint Helena. This is also the place to go if you want to shop. Browse the unique shops in the downtown area or search for bargains at the St. Helena Premier Outlets, which are just two miles north of St. Helena on Hwy. 29.

Wineries not to be missed: Rombauer Vineyards (located in a scenic, wooded area just off the Silverado Trail) and V. Sattui Winery (They have a popular gourmet cheese shop and deli and a shaded picnic area. Their wines can only be purchased at the winery.)

Mumm NapaRutherford Wineries
This small community offers fabulous wineries famous for producing outstanding Cabernet Sauvignon. There is no town but there are restaurants and accommodations.

Wineries not to be missed: Cakebread Cellars (amazing award-winning Cabernets) and Mumm Cuvee Napa (delicious Sparkling Wines).

Oakville Wineries Napa ValleyOakville Wineries
Oakville is another Napa area known for producing award-winning Cabernet Sauvignon. The popular Oakville Grocery is located here. It’s a great place to stop and pick up picnic supplies.

Wineries not to be missed: Robert Mondavi Winery (founded by the iconic winemaker, Robert Mondavi) and Silver Oaks (which specializes in producing high quality Cabernet Sauvignon).

Robert Sinskey WineryYountville Wineries
Yountville is known for its world class restaurants and its outstanding wineries. Many top restaurants are located in this small town including Thomas Keller’s French Laundry, Bouchon, and Bistro Jeanty. Park in the charming downtown area and walk to a number of wine tasting rooms. There are also wineries located just a short drive away.

Wineries not to be missed: Robert Sinskey Vineyards (fabulous wines on the Silverado Trail) and Ma(i)sonry Napa Valley (where you can enjoy great wine and unique works of art).

Domaine CarnetsNapa Wineries
Napa is the largest town in the Valley. It’s the place to go for shopping, dining, and accommodations.

Wineries not to be missed: Artesia Winery (premium wines, gorgeous views, and unique works of art), Domaine Carneros (sip Sparkling Wines while enjoying one of the best views of the Napa Valley, and Hess Collection (fabulous wines with free admission into the Hess Modern Art Museum).

Bothe Napa Valley State Park Contact Information

Address: 3801 Saint Helena Hwy., Calistoga, CA
Telephone: (707) 942-4575
Day use hours: 8 AM until Sunset

The park entrance is located on Highway 29 between St. Helena and Calistoga.

After learning about Bothe Napa Valley State Park, explore other exciting things to do in the Napa Valley:

Wineries | Hotels | Art | Golf | Hot Air Balloons | Spas | Wine Train

If you have visited Bothe Npa Valley State Park, can you please share your experiences at this state park? There’s a comment section below. We would love to hear your opinion!

June 2019 Events in the California Wine Country

Robert Hall Winery Paso RoblesJune 2019 – Are you looking for something fun to do? You will find lots of great ideas right here. Find exciting wine events throughout California: Lake Tahoe, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Los Angeles, Sonoma County, and Carmel.

Experience fun wine tastings, enjoy live musical performances, and browse fine art and crafts. Treat yourself to gourmet treats. It’s all happening this month!

Wine Events – June 2019

Healdsburg Vineyards

May 31-June 9: Healdsburg Jazz Festival

The Healdsburg Jazz Festival is celebrating its 21st year with a fabulous variety of live jazz events. Experience indoor and outdoor concerts at this 10 day event. Some venues are quite large and others are small and intimate. All offer unique fun for music lovers.

Healdsburg is located in northern Sonoma County, right in the heart of the Wine Country. It’s the perfect destination for exploring the wineries of Dry Creek Valley, the Russian River, and the Alexander Valley.
Learn more about Healdsburg

Festival Website
Telephone: (707) 620-4412

June 8: Toast of the Coast Wine Festival – San Diego

La Jolla Cove
Taste more than 130 wines from around the world. Enjoy cheese stations, wine and food pairings., special wine maker tastings. Browse goods from a variety of unique vendors. Admission into the San Diego County Fair is included. Experience exhibits, rides, and all the fun at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.
A souvenir glass is included and unlimited tastes are as well!

While in the area, check out the Top 25 Things to Do in San Diego.

Festival Website
(858) 755-1161
Del Mar Fairgrounds
2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar, California 92014

June 2019 Wine

June 9: Ojai Wine Festival

Spread along the shoreline Lake Casitas, the Ojai Wine Festival is a wine tasting event not to be missed. Enjoy wine and beer tasting, a silent auction, a boat ride on the lake, as well as fine art and craft vendors. Live music will be provided by the popular band, Area 51.

Festival Website
Lake Casitas 12-4 PM
11093 Santa Ana Road Ventura, CA 93001

June 15: Tahoe City Food and Wine Classic

View of Lake Tahoe
Taste wine and beer from local producers and gourmet bites from North Lake Tahoe’s top restaurants and catering companies. Browse the local boutiques for unique items. Explore beautiful Lake Tahoe. This truly is wine tasting with a view!

Event Website
1-5 PM
North Lake Blvd., Tahoe City
(530) 583-3348

June 20-22: Roll Our the Barrels – San Luis Obispo

San Luis Obispo Vineyards
Explore the San Luis Obipo Wine Country during their annual Roll Out the Barrels Weekend. On Thursday, June 20th at Barrels in the Plaza in downtown SLO, more than 30 wineries and local chefs will be serving wine and food. On Friday and Saturday, visit the wineries of your choice. Walk the vineyards, barrel sample the new vintage, and enjoy open houses, wine tastings and festivities.

While in the area, check out Top 15 Things to Do in San Luis Obipo. This guide includes links to information on all of the local wineries.

Event Website

June 21: Wine Tasting at Pixie Woods – Stockton

Pixie WoodsFind out why this annual wine and beer tasting is such a popular event. Enjoy gourmet hors d’oeuvres, live entertainment, and silent auctions. This is the 33rd year for this wine tasting with proceeds going toward improvements to the children’s amusement park.

This event is for adults only. However, if you have young children you will want to plan a visit for them to enjoy the charming park. Run by the City of Stockton, Pixie Woods is a fabulous park that is very reasonably priced. They offer different kid-themed play areas, a water play area, a train ride, boat ride, and a carousel.
More information on Pixie Woods

Event Website
5-8 PM
3121 Monte Diablo Avenue, Stockton, CA 95203

June 21-22: Garagiste Wine Festival “Urban Exposure” – Glendale

Red and White Wine ToastThe focus at this festival is on small production wines. This is the place to taste some of the best handcrafted wines you can find. Sample wine from more than sixty winemakers who produce 1500 cases or less each year. Winemakers and owners will be pouring the wine themselves. Over 20 different varieties will be poured. It’s a one-of-a-kind experience that benefits the Cal Poly Wine and Viticulture Program.

Festival Website
Glendale Civic Auditorium
1401 North Verdugo Road, Glendale, CA 91208

June 22: 15th Annual Carmel Valley Art & Wine Celebration

red wine or white wine
Taste wine from local wineries, listen to live music, and enjoy delicious food. Local artists will showcase their original works to include glass blowing, wood sculptures, jewelry, clothing, painting, photography and more. Carmel Valley Village is located 12 miles east of Highway One on Carmel Valley Road. A picturesque area known for its outstanding wineries.

Celebration Website
Carmel Valley Village, Carmel Valley, California
11 AM

Have you attended any of these June 2019 wine events? If you have, please scroll down and tell us about your experience.

Disneyland Facts You Really Need to Know

Disneyland Facts

Get important Disneyland facts and insider tips needed to plan your visit. Find out why more people have gone to Disneyland than any other park in the world. If you haven’t visited Disneyland yet, you really should!
Scroll down for answers to these questions:

  • When in the best time to visit Disneyland?
  • Where can I get the best prices on tickets?
  • Should I visit Disneyland AND California Adventures?

Disneyland’s newest area, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge has opened. Until June 24, 2019 be aware that special reservations are needed to enter Galaxy’s Edge. One of the main attractions in this brand new area of Disneyland is open. Millennium Falcon puts you and up to five friends in the cockpit.
The second main attraction, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance will open later this year.

Be sure to download the Play Disney Parks mobile app prior to your arrival at Disneyland. This app allows you to deepen your engagement with the land and interact with the world around you on the planet Batuu. Definitely fun!

Important Disneyland Fact #1 – The Best Time to Visit Disneyland

You’ll have fun at Disneyland any time of the year. There are special events held at certain times of the year. The park is open longer hours during the summer months. Certain times of the year are more crowded than others. All of these Disneyland facts are things to consider when choosing the dates for your visit.

Calendar of Special Events

  • June – August – Summer at Disneyland
    (Enjoy extended hours: the park is open later.)
  • September 12 – October 31 – Halloween Time at Disneyland
    (Spooky decorations, activities, and celebrations)
  • Mid-November – Early-January – Season to Sparkle
    (The park is transformed into a Winter Wonderland for the Holidays.)

Disney CastleMost Crowded/Less Crowded
Generally, holidays and 3-day weekends are the most crowded days at Disneyland. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays are typically less crowded than other days of the week.

Seasonally Disneyland has the lowest attendance visiting during the following times:

  • Mid-January – Mid-March
    (except President’s weekend)
  • Mid-April – Mid-May
    (except Spring Break)
  • First two weeks of November

If you want to avoid the crowds, be at Disneyland ready to walk through the gates shortly before the park opens. The park will be less crowded during the first few hours it opens. The lines for the rides will be shorter. I’ve usually found that the park is also less crowded during the last few hours it is open; especially in the summer.

Important Disneyland Fact #2 – Where to Get the Best Ticket Prices

Teacups DisneylandYou will find lots of places that offer special deals on Disneyland tickets. However, the discounts are not all that great. You should be able to save between $2-$12 off per ticket.

Check out the following deals to decide which one will save you the most money. It’s a good idea to purchase your tickets in advance because it saves you from having to stand in another line at the gate.

Costco Travel
Costco has travel packages for sale online that can save you money. These packages normally include accommodations, admission to Disneyland, and dining options. Sometimes a local Costco will actually sell tickets in the store. These are usually the best deal.

California educators can buy tickets through TSA for slightly reduced prices.

Southern California Residents
Disneyland sometimes has special rates for Southern California residents living in certain zip codes. Check out their website to see if any specials are currently active.

Good Neighbor Hotel Vacation Package
Mickey Mouse and Minnie MousePurchase a Good Neighbor Hotel Package from Walt Disney Travel to save on accommodations , admission to Disneyland, and a variety of other perks. If you purchase a 3-day pass or longer, you will receive a Magic Morning Early Admission. This lets you enter the park one hour before the park opens to the public. If you are an early riser, it’s worth getting in early because you can just walk right onto the rides that are opened. No lines!

Members of the AAA Auto Club can usually purchase discounted tickets from AAA online or in person at a local office.

Credit Unions
Many credit unions offer discounted Disneyland tickets. If you belong to a credit union, it’s worth asking. Golden 1 Credit Union usually has some of the best prices.

Active and retired Military personnel can purchase discounted tickets at their local U.S. Military base ticket office.

Important Disneyland Fact #3 – Should I Visit Both Disneyland and California Adventure?

Dumbo Ride DisneylandThere are two separate theme parks at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim: Disneyland and the newest park, California Adventure. You can buy a ticket that just lets you into Disneyland or a ticket that just lets you visit California Adventures.

They also have “hopper passes” that allow you to go back and forth between the parks.

You could easily spend an entire day at one park and still not ride every single ride or do every single attraction. If you only have one day, I’d probably recommend spending the day at Disneyland. It is the most popular park.

If you have 2 or more days I’d recommend visiting both parks. The cheapest way to do this is to purchase multi-day tickets that let you into a single theme park each day. A Hopper Pass gives you same-day admission to both parks and is the most flexible option.

grapesSpecial Note to Wine Lovers
Alcohol will be served in Disneyland for the first time, but only in the new Star Wars area. California Adventure, on the other hand, does sell alcohol. There’s even a special area that represents the California Wine Country. Many restaurants serve wine and some even offer special flights of wine. Click here for more information and tips on California Adventure.

We hope these Disneyland Facts help you to have the best Disney Vacation!

If you have been Disneyland, please share your Disneyland Facts with us. We’d love to hear about your recommendations and advice.

di Rosa Preserve: Art and Nature

di Rosa Preserve
Have you been to di Rosa Preserve? It very well may be Napa’s best kept secret. This unique place to enjoy both art and nature is located on 217 scenic acres in the Napa Valley. It’s the most significant collection of Northern California art in the world. If you enjoy modern art (and even if you don’t), di Rosa is worth a visit!

di Rosa is a mecca for both art and nature lovers. Surrounding by world class wineries, take a break from wine tasting to enjoy this amazing preserve.

art collection

This art collection contains approximately 2,000 works of art by over 800 artists. This includes modern and contemporary paintings, drawings, sculpture, and photographs. Some of the sculptures are large scale outdoor sculptures.

The unique thing about di Rosa is its gorgeous outdoor setting. The property encompasses 53 acres, including a 35-acre lake, plus 162 acres of natural wildlife preserve, all under Napa County Land Trust open space protection.

di Rosa Preserve has partnered with Sonoma Valley Trail Rides to give you the opportunity to explore nature on horseback. 30 minute or one hour rides are available Thursdays through Sunday. Reservations are required.

di Rosa Preserve: Art and Nature
In addition to a wide variety of plants you might also spot Canada Geese, Blue Heron, Snowy Egrets and the Preserve’s own peacocks.

The Gatehouse Gallery features art from the di Rosa Collection as well as rotating exhibits. This is just a small portion of the art. It’s open free of charge from 9:30 on Wednesdays through Fridays.

Guided tours are required to experience the full di Rosa grounds and galleries. Reservations are recommended Wednesdays through Fridays and required on Saturdays. Visit their website by clicking on the link below to make reservations.

Residents of the cities of Napa and Sonoma receive free admission to di Rosa the first Wednesday of each month. Check out their website to see when the next Community Open Studios is scheduled. These events is free and open to all ages. Focused on creativity and communal participation, visitors make something at the art stations arranged on the patio of Gallery 1. Education staff and volunteers assist with the creative experience and art supplies are provided.

Free. Drop-ins are encouraged.

Artesa Winery Art

Artesa Winery

Art in the Napa Valley – Click Here to learn about other places to view art in the valley.

There are both private and public collections of art for viewing in the Napa Valley. This includes many fascinating paintings, drawings, sculpture, and photographs. Some of these works of art are even displayed at wineries. Have fun exploring art in Napa!

After learning about di Rosa Preserve, explore other exciting things to do in the Napa Valley:

Wineries | Hotels | Golf | Spas | Hot Air Balloons | Wine Train | Hiking

Di Rosa Preserve Contact Information:

Reservations and Information
Address: 5200 Sonoma Hwy., Napa, CA 94559
Telephone: (707) 226-5991

Directions from town of Napa:
Drive south on Hwy 29. Turn right onto Sonoma Hwy. toward Sonoma, and continue 2.5 miles. Di Rosa is on the right, just beyond Domaine Carneros winery.

Directions From San Francisco:
Drive North on Hwy 101. Exit at Hwy 37, toward Napa and Sonoma. Continue 7.5 miles. Turn Left at Hwy 121/12. Turn left into di Rosa.

Directions From the East Bay:
Drive East on Hwy 80. Exit at Hwy 37, toward Sonoma and Napa. Continue for approx. 1.5 miles and turn right onto Hwy 29. Stay on Hwy 29 for approx. 15 miles. Turn left onto Hwy 121/12 toward Sonoma. Turn right into di Rosa, just beyond Domaine Carneros winery.

Directions From Santa Rosa:
Take Hwy 12 toward Sonoma and Napa. Turn left onto Hwy 121/12 toward Napa. Continue 6.7 miles. Turn left into di Rosa.

If you have visited Di Rosa Preserve, please scroll down and leave a comment. We would love to hear about your experience.

Disney California Adventure – Tips & Advice

California AdventureCalifornia Adventure is a Disney theme park located in Anaheim, California right next door to Disneyland. This theme park is dedicated to the history and culture of California. Scroll down to learn about wine tasting in this park, the best rides, park hours, a park map, and special tips!

Guests to the Anaheim Disney Resort can purchase a variety of different tickets. You could purchase a ticket that admits you into just California Adventures or splurge on a “hopper” ticket that lets you go back and forth into both parks. Multi-day tickets are available as well as a variety of season passes.

Click here for information on Disneyland.

Where to Go for a Glass of Wine

Unlike Disneyland, this park does allow alcohol. Enjoy wine, beer, and cocktails at these locations:

wine and grapes Golden Vine Winery
Choose from these options at the Golden Valley Winery:

  • Mendocino Terrace – Buy wine by the flight, glass or by the bottle with experts on hand to discuss the wine. Enjoy cheeses with the wine.
  • Sonoma Terrace = Enjoy meat and cheese trays along with craft beer and wine.
  • Alfresco Tasting Terrace – Order wine and appetizers.
  • Wine Country Trattoria – Italian restaurant serving both lunch and dinner.

Cathay Circle Restaurant
This is a full service restaurant with an award-winning chef. They are open for lunch or dinner and reservations are recommended. They also have a relaxing bar, which I highly recommend. It’s a nice break from the Disney crowds throughout the park. They sell wine by the glass as well as made-to-order cocktails.

Lamplight Lounge
The Lamplight Lounge offers waterfront views, pub cuisine. They serve wine, beer, and unique cocktails. This was formerly the Cove Bar and Ariel’s Grotto. They are famous for their lobster nachos, but the tri-tip sliders are not bad either.

Top Ten California Adventure Rides & Attractions

1. Guardian of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout!
Guardian of the Galaxy replaced the former Tower of Terror ride. This is an accelerated drop ride. Based on the Marvel Comics characters, Rocket Raccoon seeks help to free the remaining Guardians of the Galaxy. The free falls are at a fast pace and unpredictable. Popular ride – arrive early and head to this ride first.

California Screaming2. California Screaming
This is the longest and fastest roller coaster at Disney’s California Resort. It whips around Paradise Pier for a 1 1/8 of a mile. The loop-de-loop that takes you upside-down is so quick, it’s over before you realize. (*Single Rider Line available.)

3. Grizzly River Run
Expect to get wet, soaking wet! This exciting rafting ride is a whitewater rapids ride. If you don’t want to get wet, bring a poncho or buy one in the shop nearby. (*Single Rider Line available.)

4. Soarin’ Around the World,
This simulated flight adventure takes you on a tour of the world. It simulates a hang glide ride over various locations on six different continents. This replaced Soarin’ Over California in 2016. Scents complementing some of the scenes are injected into the air streams. Be on the look out for rose blossoms in the Taj Mahal scene, the aroma of grass in the Africa scene, and a sea breeze scent in the South Pacific scene. (*Single Rider Line available.)

Mickey's Fun Wheel5. Mickey’s Fun Wheel
This towering ferris wheel features Mickey’s face. The 9 minute ride gives you two ride options. You board a gondola that holds 6 people to spin around the wheel. 8 of these gondola are stationery and not as adventurous as the 16 swinging gondolas which sway as they move. Select the gondola you want.

6. Toy Story Midway Mania!
This is a ride. You sit down but you actively participate as the car moves through various midway games. Grasp the spring-action shooter and aim at the targets as you progress through this exciting ride. Compete against others for the highest score!

7. It’s Tough to Be a Bug
Experience the world from a bug’s point of view. This 3D film and live show might be too scary for toddlers and young children. Visitors experience darkness, smells, pokes in the back, and unhappy bugs.

8. World of Color
Images of Disney characters come to life during this spectacular water, light, and music show. This 28 minute show takes place in front of Mickey’s Fun Wheel. You can pick up a FastPass to reserve a spot (standing-room only). Another option is to purchase a World of Color dining packs that gives you a voucher letting you be admitted into a preferred viewing area (still standing-room only). I prefer visiting the Cove Bar just before closing time and watching the show from the comfort of their seats. You can sip on wine or a enjoy a signature cocktail while munching on their delicious Lobster Nachos.

Radiator Springs Racers9. Radiator Springs Racers
Get a Fast Pass for this ride as soon as you can. They often run out of passes. This adventure ride has you racing another person for a fun adventure. Even more fun at night when the neon lights come on.

10. Disney’s Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular
Enjoy this Broadway-style musical based on the movie, Aladdin. You’ll recognize many of the popular songs from the movie. Performed in the Hyperion Theater.

Tip: The Single Rider line can save you lots of time. This line is usually really short. When you get to the front of the line, they fill in missing seats with people who are in the single rider line. You can get in line with friends, but you’ll be separated as they direct you to the vacant seats.

California Adventure Hours

Mickey MouseHours for California Disney parks vary by the season. What is confusing to many people, is that the hours are not the same for Disneyland and California Adventures. For example, during the Summer both parks open at 8AM, but Disneyland closes at midnight while California Adventure closes earlier at 10 PM. During the Fall, Winter, and Spring both parks will close earlier. Be sure to check the current hours on their website before you leave home.

Click this link to view the calendar of park hours.

California Adventure Map

Print the California Adventure Map from the Disney Resort Website.
Click this link to view the map.

Have you been to Disney California Adventure? If you have, please make a comment below. We would love to hear about your day at California Adventure.