Why (and where) you should spend the weekend in wine country

Wine country vineyards

While the wildfires that ravaged Northern California's wine country last month have died down, the damage that was done remains. Thousands of homes, businesses, farms and wineries were destroyed. People were displaced and lives were turned upside down. But the biggest loss going forward to the region could be a downturn in visitors.

Fall harvest is peak season for wine country. And despite the damage, the region is still as beautiful as ever. Most hotels, restaurants and wineries are still standing, and they’re begging you: come visit.

Alyssia, a friend from Napa’s the Inn on Randolph, which was spared, said that beyond donating funds to places like the Napa Valley Community Foundation, a little business would go a long way.  

“We have so much to be thankful for,” she said. “Our town is built on its hospitality, and it is really hard for spirits to remain high when visitors have chosen to cancel trips (understandably so!).  A little boost in business and moral would go a long way for our restaurants, wineries, and hotels.”

With that, here’s a short list of just a few of my favorite places to visit this month in wine country (I'll keep updating as I get more pics): 


The Inn on Randolph: Napa

This sweet little Bed & Breakfast tucked away on the corner of Randolph and Laurel Streets in Napa Valley is a renovated 19th century estate. Intimate, cozy and calm, Lulu and I spent a weekend here enjoying breakfast on the terrace, exploring the little gardens and relaxing in the room. The food was the biggest draw, as the chef has a completely gluten-free kitchen, with recipes that focus on wholesome, seasonal ingredients

Now is a great time to visit, as they're currently running a wildfire donation special, which include 20 percent off your stay — 5 percent of which will be donated to the Napa Valley Community Foundation.


Health Spa Napa Valley: St. Helena

This place is a hidden gem. I recently visited with some girlfriends for a baby "sprinkle" (for the uninitiated, that's what you call a baby shower for number two). After a stop for the most incredible breakfast pastries from Bouchon Bakery, we spent the day here getting massages and lounging by the heated pool. I took a dip, then baked in the late October sun that was still shining bright and hot. With a gym, spa facilities and a full kitchen, you could spend all day here working out, eating, getting treatments and relaxing. 


The Shed: Healdsburg

A cafe, market and curated kitchen goods shop, the Shed is always one of our first stops when in Healdsburg. Right off the square, it's perfect for a juice in the morning, a healthy lunch in the afternoon and snacks throughout the day. It's literally a one-stop shop for anything you need.