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!


Hike Half Dome – Yosemite Hikes

Yosemite National Park HikesHike Half Dome in Yosemite National Park for the challenge of a lifetime. Half Dome, a 14 mile trek, is often listed as one of the top hikes in the world.

The round trip hike typically takes approximately 12 hours. The elevation gain of 4800 feet is arduous and suited only for people who are in good physical condition.

hike half dome
The scenery is truly unforgettable. Hikers are rewarded by breathtaking views of the top of Vernal Falls, Nevada Falls, Liberty Cap, and Half Dome. Once you reach the summit, you’ll have panoramic views of Yosemite Valley and the High Sierra. If you have a fear of heights, this hike is not for you.

Metal cables are installed that allow hikers to climb the last 400 feet to the summit without rock climbing equipment. These cables are usually put up the end of May and are taken down in early October. Permits are required and are limited to a certain number of hikers each day. Permits are distributed by a lottery system. Click here to apply for a permit.

Hiking Tips for Half Dome Hike

  • Arrive at the park the night before the hike. Leave for the trailhead at sunrise or even earlier.
    Most hikers arrive at Yosemite the day before the hike. There are a variety of lodging options to choose from. You could camp under the stars, stay in a tent cabin or housekeeping campsite, or splurge and stay in a hotel. There are also a variety of places to stay just outside the park. Click Here to learn more about lodging at Yosemite National Park.
  • Bring gloves (for the cables), plenty of water, a sunhat, sunglasses, snacks, a whistle, and a windbreaker. Time your return so that you are off the trail before dark, but bring a flashlight or headlamp just in case.
  • Wear hiking boots that you’ve broken in.
  • Check the weather forecast before you begin the hike. Cancel the hike if thunderstorms are predicted. The danger is not worth the risk. National Weather Channel – Yosemite Forecast

    Directions to Hike Half Dome:

    There are a variety of routes to the top of Half Dome. Most hikers begin the Half Dome hike from Happy Isle. After reaching Yosemite Valley, follow the signs toward Curry Village. Watch for signs for trailhead parking. If that lot is full, park at Curry Village.

Yosemite Waterfall

Other Yosemite Hikes

If Half Dome is not for you, there are many less strenuous, but still spectacular hikes. With over 800 miles of trails this is a hikers’ paradise. Hike through peaceful meadows, pass waterfalls, walk through quiet forests all while enjoying the breathtaking beauty of the huge granite mountains. Some Yosemite National Park hikes are just a short distance from the road, while others are remote trails through the wilderness.

  • Lower Yosemite Falls – This hike is located in the Yosemite Valley. It’s an easy hike just half of a mile roundtrip from the trailhead.
  • Bridalveil Fall – This hike is in the Yosemite Valley. Another easy hike that’s 1.2 miles roundtrip from the trailhead.
  • The Mist Trail – This trail leads to two waterfalls. Vernal Falls is a 3 mile roundtrip hike. If you want a longer hike, continue down the trail to Nevada Falls, which is a 7 mile roundtrip hike.
  • Tuolumne Grove Giant Sequoias – 2.5 mile roundtrip hike.
  • Cathedral Lakes – 8 miles roundtrip if you hike to both lakes.
  • Mariposa Grove Trail – Medium difficulty; 7 miles roundtrip. This is the largest Sequoia Grove in Yosemite and is located in Southern Yosemite.
  • The Wawona Swinging Bridge – Easy hike, .75 mile roundtrip.
  • Sentinel Dome – This 2.2 mile hike is at Glacier Point, which is 3,500 feet above Yosemite Valley. Most of the hike is easy, but the final section up to the dome is steep.
  • Taft Point – 2.2 miles roundtrip. Hikers are rewarded with a dramatic view of Yosemite Valley. Those afraid of heights will want to stay away from the edge. Moderate difficulty.
  • Wawona Meadow Loop – Choose either the 3.5 mile or 5 mile loop. This dog friendly hike is moderately difficult.

Other Great California Hikes – CLICK HERE –


Bishops Peak San Luis Obispo

Hike to the top of Bishop’s Peak


If you have hiked to the top of Half Dome, please leave a comment below about your hiking experience. Those who plan to hike Half Dome would love to hear about your hike.


Favorite Chicken Piccata Recipe

chicken piccata recipe
This chicken piccata recipe is a favorite Italian dish. It creates an elegant menu that is simple to make. Serve with fresh grilled vegetables, garlic bread, and mashed potatoes for a flavorful meal.

Wine Pairing: You definitely want a dry white wine to complement the dry flavors of the meal. An exquisite pairing would the Dry Creek Vineyards Taylor’s Vineyard Musque. This single vineyard Sauvignon Blanc is a beautifully dry wine with complex tropical fruit flavors. Another great choice would be Astrolabe Province Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand. This is a medium-bodied wine with white peach, gooseberry and citrus flavors.

Ingredients for Chicken Piccata Recipe:

1 1/2 pounds of boneless chicken breasts
1 Tablespoon flour
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 Tablespoons virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon butter
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup reduced sodium chicken stock
1 Tablespoon capers

Instructions for Chicken Piccata: Recipe

1. Saute the minced garlic in oil in frying pan.
2. Mix together: flour, onion powder, salt, and pepper.
3. Coat chicken breast pieces with the flour mixture.
4. Add the chicken to the pan and simmer for 5 minutes. Turn chicken over.
5. Add butter, wine, lemon juice, chicken stock, and capers. Simmer until chicken is not pink inside and the sauce has thickened. (approximately 5 minutes).
6. Pour sauce over the chicken to serve.
7. Garnish with lemon slices, if desired.

Have you tried this Chicken Piccata Recipe? If you have, please scroll down and tell us about your experience. We would love to hear all about it.


Best Tiramisu Recipe


tiramisuAfter this delightful meal, treat yourself to the best Tiramisu This classic Italian dessert will quickly disappear. This recipe requires no baking and is best when prepared the day before you serve it.

Ingredients for Chocolate Mixture:
2 tablespoons whipping cream
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
4 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup Tawny Port
1/8 teaspoon salt

Instructions for Chocolate Mixture:
1. Heat whipping cream and chocolate chips in a small saucepan until melted. Leave on a lightly warm burner to keep warm.
2. Mix together the egg yolks, sugar, Port, and salt. Cook in the top of a double boiler until the mixture becomes thick and creamy. This will take approximately 18 minutes.
3. Fold the chocolate into the egg mixture. Refrigerate until chilled.

Ingredients for the best Tiramisu Recipe:
6 ounces mascarpone cheese
2/3 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 cups warm strong coffee
32 ladyfinger cookies

Instructions for Tiramisu Dessert:
1. In a very large bowl, whisk together the mascarpone and 2 tablespoons of the whipping cream. Set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, beat the remainder of the whipping cream with 1/4 cup of the sugar. Beat until soft peaks form. Then fold into the mascarpone and chilled chocolate mixtures.
Cover and refrigerate until chilled.
3. Mix the warm coffee with the remaining sugar until blended. Dip 1 ladyfinger at a time very quickly into the coffee. Do not let the ladyfingers soak in the coffee or they will break.
4. Place the ladyfingers in a single layer on the bottom of a loaf pan (9 1/2 X 5 X 2 3/4 inches).
5. Spread 1/3 of the Tiramisu mixture evenly over the ladyfingers. Continue with 2 more layers. Top with a layer of ladyfingers. Refrigerate overnight before serving.

Browse Other Dessert Recipes From Cheers-2-Wine
CLICK HERE

chocolate mousse cake

Chocolate Mousse Cake


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.

Educators
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!

AAA
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.

Military
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.