Brannans Grill – Top Calistoga Restaurant

Brannans Grill Calistoga, CaliforniaWe went to Brannans Grill in downtown Calistoga for lunch recently and we thoroughly enjoyed it. As we entered the restaurant on our wine tour, it felt as if we were entering an elegant hunting lodge. Perhaps it was the handcrafted stone fireplace with a large stag mounted above that gave us that impression.

A huge 19th century handcrafted bar, tall ceilings with redwood beams, and skylights all create a spacious, elegant atmosphere.

Brannans Grill opened in 1998 and is named after Sam Brannan, the founder of Calistoga. The building was originally constructed in the 1920s. The Calistoga restaurant pays homage to its beginnings with large murals in the main dining room of historic Napa Valley.

You can sit in a cozy booth or at a table near the fireplace in the dining room or along the large screened windows on the main floor. We enjoyed our seat by the open window where we could look out at downtown Calistoga.

Brannan's CalistogaThe calamari appetizer we shared was light and crispy. Steve had the “hangar steak”, which tasted like tri-tip. It came sliced and covered in a tasty sauce. It was served with a twice baked potato and fresh broccoli. I had the Breast chicken “piccata” salad, which was a pan fried chicken breast covered with lemon caper sauce with a fresh salad of local greens on the side. The chicken was lightly flavored and crispy.

The desserts were fantastic. I had Triple Chocolate cake with raspberry sauce. It was light and chocolaty without being overpowering. My husband’s crème brulee was a generous portion…very vanilla in flavor and topped with strawberries.

Brannan's Restaurant

Brannan’s Grill has an extensive wine list with many wines being available by the glass as well as by the bottle. They also offer different flights of wine that allow you to sample 3 different wines at one time.

We will definitely be returning to Brannan’s Grill next time we are doing a wine tour in Napa. It is a great restaurant. Next time we plan to visit on a Friday or Saturday evening so we can also enjoy live jazz performers. If you are looking for a Calistoga restaurant that serves American cuisine in a casual, friendly atmosphere; Brannan’s Grill is the place for you.

Fun Things to Do in Calistoga

Bothe Napa State Park Calistoga, CAMost people who find their way to Calistoga are here for wine tasting. This section of the Napa Valley has many fantastic wineries. You’ll find both small and large wineries. People also visit Calistoga to experience a hot mineral springs mud bath or other spa treatment. Everyone needs to have a mud bath at least once! Check out Dr. Wilkinson’s Hot Springs Resortfor more information about mud baths, massages, and other spa services.

Hike along a creek through the redwoods at Bothe-Napa Valley State Park This state park is located just off Highway 29 right in Calistoga. Take a hike, picnic, or even camp at the beautiful park. It’s a great place to stretch your legs and get a some fresh air!

Brannans Grill – Contact Information

Contact Information:
Brannan’s Grill
Address: 1374 Lincoln Avenue, Calistoga, CA 94515
Telephone: (707) 942-2233
Directions: Calistoga is on the north end of the Napa Valley. From Highway 29 turn onto Lincoln Avenue into downtown Calistoga. The restaurant will be on the right-hand side of the street.

Learn About Calistoga Wineries

Sterling Winery

Ride the tram up the hill to the tasting room at Sterling Vineyards.

Calistoga is the most western town in the Napa Valley. It tends to be a little more laid back than other parts of Napa. You might find more smaller wineries in this area. Don’t miss the scenic ride up the tram at Sterling Cellars. Tour the castle at Castello di Amorosa. Explore the wine caves and art at Clos Pegase Winery. Enjoy lunch or dinner at Brannans Grill. There’s a lot going on in Calistoga!

If you have dined at Brannan’s Grill, we would love to hear from you. Leave a comment below telling us about your dining experience.

Bistro Jeanty

A Fabulous French Bistro in the Heart of Napa Valley

Bistro JeantyWe recently enjoyed lunch at Bistro Jeanty during a wine tour of the Napa Valley. This French bistro is located in downtown Yountville in the heart of the valley. The owner and chef, Philippe Jeanty, came from France to help open Chandon Restaurant where he later served as Executive Chef until leaving in 1998 to open up his own restaurant.

When you walk into the restaurant, you feel at home. The atmosphere is casual and intimate. The yellow walls, soft French music, and blazing fire in the fireplace create a feeling of warmth and intimacy.

Steve ordered the Cassoulet, a hearty meal of sausage and duck served with French white beans. It was a great combination. The sausage was delicious and the duck was moist and tender. I decided on Coq au Vin. The chicken and mushrooms were covered in a rich bacon and red wine stew. It was delicious.

Yountville Restaurant The food at this French bistro is hearty and filling. The meals are prepared using fresh quality ingredients. Everyone was friendly and the service was excellent. We never ran out of water or bread. They have a nice wine list and also serve wine by the glass and beer.

We return to this Bistro Jeanty again and again for both lunch and dinner. We always feel that we have come home as we enter the front door. They do such a great job creating an authentic bistro atmosphere that is welcoming. The food is outstanding. This is the place to stop for lunch or dinner while on a California wine tour. We often will share an entrée so we will have room for dessert.

Other Things to do in Yountville

Napa Valley Cooking SchoolThe Napa Valley is famous for the world class wines produced here. Napa, and particularly Yountville, is also famous for its exceptional restaurants. The valley attracts visitors who appreciate both fine wines and gourmet food. Many great chefs live and work the Napa Valley. It’s a great place to take a cooking class. Find the Best Napa Valley Cooking School

Bell Wine Cellars Yountville Napa Valley Plan to go wine tasting at the many wonderful Yountville Wineries. Some wineries have tasting rooms conveniently located in Yountville’s charming downtown area. Wineries are also scattered around the scenic area surrounded by rolling hills of vineyards.

Bistro Jeanty Restaurant

The Bistro’s Website
Address: 6510 Washington St., Yountville, CA 94599
Telephone: (707) 944-0103

If you have eaten at this restaurant, please scroll down and leave a comment. We would love to hear from you!

From Highway 29 take the Yountville exit. Drive east on to California Drive. Turn left on to Washington Street. It will be on the right side of the road.

Have you dined at Bistro Jeanty Restaurant? If you have, let us know how you enjoyed your dining experience.

Napa Fun – Bothe Napa Valley State Park

Bothe Napa Valley State ParkDiscover 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.

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. 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. Both RVs and tent camping are allowed here. They have a limited number of walk-in sites where you will find even more privacy.

Napa CampingSome of the sites are situated right next to the creek. 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 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.

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!

Auberge du Soleil Restaurant

Auberge du Soleil Napa ValleyAuberge du Soleil Napa Valley Restaurant offers fine dining in a romantic setting in Rutherford, California. Whenever we are asked where to go for the best view in Napa, we recommend this restaurant.

This is the ideal place to sip wine and enjoy a meal overlooking the lush vineyards and rolling hills of Napa. With one of the best views of the valley; you will need to call ahead for reservations to dine outside on the terrace during your next wine tour.

Napa DiningWe spent a gorgeous summer afternoon eating lunch at this Rutherford Restaurant. As we walked through the restaurant, we admired the rich interiors with exposed beams and abstract paintings.

However, it was the view from the deck though that soon captured our attention. The panoramic view of olive gardens, vineyards, and hills is truly spectacular.

The new Executive Chef, Robert Curry, brings experience and creativity that shows in the food we enjoyed. Robert Curry formerly served as Executive Chef at Domaine Chandon and at Wine Spectator Greystone Restaurant at Culinary Institute of America.

The award winning wine list is extensive. They also offer 35 different wines by the glass. I enjoyed a wonderful glass of Cabernet Sauvignon while Steve chose a glass of Chardonnay.

Auberge du Soleil Restaurant The food was excellent. Steve ordered Roasted Chicken with Fingerling Potatoes and Baby Potatoes. The chicken was nice and tender. My Prime New York Beef was full of flavors and cooked just right. It was served with Baby Carrots, Potato Risotto, and Bordelaise Sauce. The Crisp Filo Wrapped Chocolate Dumplings with Tarragon Ice Cream made a great finale to a wonderful meal.

The servers were attentive. Bread and water appeared throughout the meal, as if by magic, just before we ran out. The waiter was knowledgeable about the food and the wines. With great food, great service, and fabulous views this is a romantic restaurant that we highly recommend. Make at stop at Auberge du Soleil the next time you are enjoying a Napa Wine Tour.

grapes growing in a vineyardThe Napa Valley is the place to go for world class wines. It is the premier wine destination for the United States. Napa is known for its many world class wineries and outstanding wines. It is a major destination for tourist to visit. You can learn everything you need to know about Napa by
Clicking Here.

Contact Information:
Auberge Restaurant
Address: 180 Rutherford Road, Rutherford, CA 94573
Telephone: (800) 348-5406
Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily.

This Napa restaurant is located just off the Silverado Trail in Rutherford. You need to watch closely for the small sign advertising Auberge du Soleil. Turn north onto Rutherford Road until you get to the restaurant.

Please Note: This establishment also offers luxury 5 star accommodations ranging from $450 to $3500 per night.

If you have eaten at Auberge du Soleil, please scroll down to comment. We would love to hear about your experience.

Napa Valley Vacations – Top 10 Things to Do in Napa

Napa Valley Vacations
As the premier wine region of the United States, the Napa Valley is a popular tourist destination. Visitors find that Napa Valley vacations offer many choices for fun. Wine tasting is undoubtedly the main reason people visit the Valley, but there are lots of other fun things happening here.

Plan a wine tasting tour of the Napa Valley, but also check out the other exciting things to do!

Top 10 Things to Do in the Napa Valley

Castello di Amorosa winery Napa Valley#1 – Go Wine Tasting at World Class Wineries
The valley is 30 miles long and consists of six unique towns. Wineries are scattered throughout the valley. Some are small family owned wineries while others are large wineries with luxurious tasting rooms. Some have wine caves to explore. Others have art collections to browse. You can hike around a vineyard, ride an outdoor tram up to a hilltop tasting room, or tour an Italian castle. Plan to visit the wineries that appeal to you.
Learn More About Napa Valley Wineries

Artesa Winery sculpture#2 – Explore Art in the Valley
Many of the wineries display fabulous works of art. There are galleries scattered throughout the valley. Take a look at the outdoor art on display in downtown Napa and Yountville. Enjoy both art and nature at the highly acclaimed di Rosa Preserve. There’s over 200 acres of art displayed both indoors and outside featuring the art of Northern California artists.

Art exhibits in the valley include paintings, drawings, sculpture, and photographs. Some are permanent collection while others are resolving exhibitions.
Find Art throughout the Valley

Hot Air Balloon #3 – Soar Over the Valley in a Hot Air Balloon
A hot air balloon offers the very best view of Napa. Glide over vineyards 500 to 1500 feet above the ground. It’s a unique experience that is both exciting and relaxing at the same time. On a clear day you can even see the Pacific Ocean and buildings in San Francisco.

Book a flight soon and create memories you will never forget. Businesses offer a variety of packages to fit your needs. Many will pick you up and your hotel and transport you to the launching site. Exciting fun for Napa Valley Vacations!
More Information

BotheNapaPark#4 – Hike Through the Redwoods
Bothe Napa Valley State Park has over 10 miles of hiking trails. It’s the perfect place for a break from wine tasting. Hike along a creek through the majestic redwoods. Picnic and camping facilities are available. Choose a campsite close to the creek so you can listen to the sound of the water as you sleep.

This state park is a very short drive off of Highway 29 near Calistoga. Yet, most people don’t seem to know about this park. It truly is a hidden gem worth exploring.
Learn More

Cooking#5 – Take a Cooking Class
The Napa Valley has an abundance of world class restaurants and top chefs. It’s the place to go for a cooking class. Whether you are an experienced cook or a novice, there are classes that will meet your needs. Classes range from a few hours to week long workshops. Some are demonstrations while others are “hands on”.
Find the Best Cooking School

Play a Round of Golf#6 – Play a Round of Golf
Head to the links to play golf at one of the many courses in the valley. There are courses for all ability levels. Learn about upcoming golf specials and reserve a tee time soon.
More Information

# 7 – Pamper Yourself With a Massage
Napa Valley Vacations are not complete without a spa treatment. This is the place to indulge yourself in a mud bath, couple’s massage, mineral bath, facial, or other spa treatment. Discover a unique spa where you relax and get re-energized.
Guide to Spas

Couple Dining at Restaurant#8 – Dine at a World Class Restaurant
Napa has far more than its share of outstanding restaurants. Enjoy fabulous food at both casual and fine dining at the best Napa Valley restaurants. The choices can be overwhelming. This guide will help you find those unique restaurants you do not want to miss on your visit to the valley.
More Information

Napa Wine Train#9 – Ride the Napa Wine Train
Board the wine train for a thirty-six mile round trip excursion from Napa to Yountville. While the train does not actually stop at wineries, there’s a large selection of wine available on the train. Enjoy a gourmet meal as you pass through the beautiful Napa Valley.

Make plans to attend one of the exciting special events such as Murder Dinners, Santa Trains, New Year’s Party, and Valentine Rides. If you’re looking for something unique and fun, the wine train is a great choice.
More Information

Bride and Groom#10 – Get Married in the Napa Valley
The natural beauty of the valley makes it a popular choice to get married. Find both large elegant venues and small intimate settings for a romantic wedding. You are sure to find the perfect wedding location. And your guests will be thrilled to attend a destination wedding in the Napa Valley!
More Information on Napa Weddings

Have you been to the Napa Valley? If so, please share your Napa Valley Vacations experiences with us below. If we’ve left out something that’s fun to do, please let us know.