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Best Cities for a Short Getaway in Wine Country
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Best Cities for a Short Getaway in Wine Country

Planning a sweet escape from everyday routine? The best cities for a short getaway in Wine Country are just what you need.

Roubina Al Abashian

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5 min read

February 20, 2022

Between Sonoma and Napa Counties, you have a myriad of cities and charming little towns to choose from for a short getaway in Wine Country. Where you choose to stay depends on what kind of vacation you’re looking for and who you’re planning to spend it with. From the luxurious cities of Napa County to the laid-back towns of Sonoma, you’re guaranteed fun and relaxation no matter where you end up heading.

Romantic Getaways in Wine Country

There's no denying the romance of Napa Valley in Wine Country. Create an unforgettable intimate escape with luxurious hotels and restaurants.

Napa 

When it comes to romantic getaways in Wine Country, nothing beats Napa—it’s charming, exciting, and fairytale-esque. For a super fun first date, paddle a boat across the 50-mile long Napa River. Pass under four bridges, admire the scenic landscape of the city, and snap a picture or two for the ‘gram. If you’re looking to impress, take the Napa Valley Wine Train and enjoy a romantic dinner as you tour the region. Don’t forget to attend a show at the Napa Valley Opera House—it’s the perfect ending to a perfect Wine Country getaway.

Healdsburg

If you’re looking for a quiet and peaceful romantic getaway in Wine Country, head to Healdsburg. The captivating city is full of open spaces and activities that’ll make you fall in love even harder. Start off your trip by taking a stroll around the Healdsburg Plaza; the grassy square features plenty of shops, which give it a small-town charm. Don’t forget to take a walking tour either—strolling or biking through the city’s vineyards will make you feel alive. Before you leave the area, treat yourself to a good cup of tea and spa treatment at The Taste of Tea. Everything you eat, drink, and put on your body here is made of tea.

Boasting more Michelin stars per capita than anywhere else in North America, Yountville is a food lover's dream come true.

Yountville

What better way to celebrate an occasion than by giving your significant other an unforgettable experience in California? A hot air balloon ride during sunrise in Yountville is the best present you could ever think of. And for a post-ride gift, head to Yountville’s Art Walk for a celebration of art and color. Start your guided tour at Washington Road and search for the 40 sculptures scattered all over the town. If you’re still looking for more fun, show off your skills at one of Northern California’s best golf courses, Vintner's Golf Club. 

Best Wine Country Cities To Visit With The Family

Calistoga

Calistoga serves big time when it comes to family vacations. Between all the kid-friendly getaway resorts, restaurants, parks, and tourist attractions, you’ll want to extend your stay. Check in at Calistoga Motor Lodge and Spa—every room is road-trip-themed and includes board games and hula hoops. While you explore the city, stop at two of the weirdest attractions in California, the Petrified Forest and the Old Faithful Geyser. The Petrified Forest features the world’s largest petrified redwood trees, which date back 3.4 million years, while the Old Faithful Geyser shoots steam and hot water into the sky at least once every hour. 

With the aroma of redwoods and undertones of a pebbly Pacific coastline, Sonoma County is the quintessential weekend getaway destination.

Sonoma

Sonoma Valley is one of  Wine Country, California’s coolest places for getaways, especially if the kids are tagging along. Take them to Sonoma Traintown Railroad, enjoy the four-mile train ride, admire the miniature town and petting zoo of Lakeview, and experience an adrenaline rush on the rides. Later on, pay a visit to Sonoma Raceway and join them as they get a behind-the-scenes look at the race tracks—the parent of the year award will go straight to you. 

Santa Rosa

Thanks to its year-round great weather and breathtaking open spaces, Santa Rosa is the destination of choice for most families. And why wouldn’t it be when one of California’s best zoos, Safari West, is located right there! This isn’t your average zoo—it’s a wildlife preserve, where you’ll encounter cheetahs, wildebeests, and Cape buffalos. Afterwards, you’ll love going to Spring Lake Regional Park, where you can kayak, canoe, and paddleboat with the young ones. But if your kids are fascinated by airplanes, make visiting the Pacific Coast Air Museum a priority. Checking out the state-of-the-art 3D flight simulators will be the most unforgettable experience you share as a family. 

Wine Country Cities Perfect For A Getaway With Friends

Guerneville has long been a weekend getaway and summer vacation spot for Californians looking for fun.

Guerneville

Guerneville is the perfect place for a fun Wine Country getaway with your friends, especially if you're outdoor enthusiasts. No matter how short your trip is, splashing around in the Russian River is a no-miss. Canoe, kayak, paddleboard, and even tube your way across the river and bask in the breathtaking views that follow you along the way. Another experience to have with your friends is hiking the trails of Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve—the giant trees have been around for thousands of years. And if you like old-school fun, play miniature golf and arcade games at the Guerneville Pee Wee Golf.

Glen Ellen is tucked into the narrow canyon between Sonoma Mountain and the Mayacamas Mountain range in southern Sonoma County.

Glen Ellen

Despite being home to dozens of wineries, the most popular attraction in Glen Ellen is Jack London State Historic Park. Bring your friends along as you hike and bike the trails at the historic California landmark and explore the author’s Wolf House. Afterwards, head to the Sonoma Botanical Garden, where you’ll find one of the world’s largest wild-sourced Asian plant collections. To have more outdoor experiences on your getaway in Wine Country, make your way to Sonoma Valley Regional Park to trek a trail or two—most hikes are suitable for all skill levels and highlight the beauty of Glen Ellen’s pristine nature.

St. Helena

As soon as you arrive in St. Helena, you’ll realize that the town has a lot more to offer than just vineyards and wineries. First, check out the trails at Bale Grist Mill Historic Park and search for the famous old mill. The can’t-miss state historic park exposes you to how life was like in the region in the 1800s. If you’re into art, make your way to The Christopher Hill Gallery to admire the beautiful work of 20th and 21st-century artists from the area and beyond. And don’t leave St. Helena before you treat yourself at one of California’s best wellness retreats, the Health Spa Napa Valley

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