Toasting the Moon in Napa Valley

Travel for 2 cost breakdown (at the time of writing this post):

  • Silverado Resort and Spa: $190 per night
    • (A Toast the Moon Favorite!! It feels like you’re checking into the set for Dirty Dancing with all the upgrades and amenities circa 2020.)
  • Food/Entertainment/Transportation/Souvenirs: $1400
  • GRAND TOTAL FOR 2 TRAVELERS – 4 days: $2160

***At this time, we are not endorsed by any outside affiliates. That said – when booking our trips, we have had a lot of success with, Skyskanner, and Tripmasters.


Toast the Moon always recommends using a passport. We also recommend TSA Pre-Check and Global Entry, because who wants to waste their vacation time in an airport line, am I right? Traveling around the United States is not difficult, but changes are in the air. Please be advised that as-of October 1, 2020 – basic drivers’ licenses will no longer be valid for identification in airports. Sign up for a passport or Real ID now to avoid complications later!

Napa Valley – The Most Beautiful Version of Vegas on Earth

Our first trip to Napa Valley was in 2010. It was our honeymoon. We were two kids from the midwest who loved California, food, and wine. Why not Napa?

Upon entering the valley from Napa city center, we drove Highway 29 north through wine country. This is the most common route for tourists, busses, limos, etc. It’s also where GPS will likely take you.

Highway 29 has beautiful scenery, massive buildings, estates and chateaus that you have only dreamed of seeing in your life. This is NOT the down-home Napa Valley of the 1960s.

Do you ever have one of those thoughts so strong in your mind that you find yourself saying it out loud without even realizing it? This first drive through Napa Valley on Highway 29 gave me one of those moments. “This is the Vegas Strip of Wineries,” I blurted out of nowhere.

Noah busted into laughter, “I wouldn’t have said it quite like that, but, yes, you’re right.”

It’s simply overwhelming…In Millennial speak – completely extra! Vineyard after vineyard. Row and row of mesmerizing lines. Mega winery after mega winery – as far as the eye can see…. Not a dot of imperfection….

Ah….But then….We discovered the Silverado Trail. Like Audrey Hepburn to Marilyn Monroe, Blair Waldorf to Serena van der Woodsen, Klay Thompson to Steph Curry, or Dwight Shrute to Jim Halpert — the Silverado Trail is the unsung road-style frenemy of Napa Valley (can roads be frenemies? Who knows…but, I’m going with it) and the locals will quickly agree, if you ask.

The Silverado trail takes a more leisurely stroll through the vineyards with a curvy route, slightly smaller venues, and more family-style flair. If you have a choice to take one path or another, I think you’d find the Napa Valley you’d imagined on the Silverado Trail.

What to do?

There are a myriad of things to do in Napa Valley! Nightlife is slim because of the day drinking culture. Most tourists find themselves snuggled into their rooms by 10 p.m., but there a few recommendations…

  • Sightseeing If you’re in Napa – chances are you came for food and drink!
    • Napa Valley Wine Train – totally a tourist thing to do, but it does offer amazing views of the valley and a really fun lunch/dinner event!
    • Culinary Institute of America – Taste the flavors of upcoming top-named chefs at the Gatehouse Restaurant! If you like to hunt out celebrity chefs, this is a must-see/must-taste for you!
    • Oxbow Market – A great market for all of the flavors of Napa Valley from pizzas to seafood to cheese to wine to cupcakes and ice cream and even a local brewery!
    • Goose and Gander – Our favorite hang in St. Helena – go for the history, the garden and the mushroom bisque (Majhon’s recommendation) or the bone marrow and stay for the cocktails (Noah’s recommendation)!
    • Auberge du Soleil – a Michelin-starred restaurant that has a boozy brunch with the most beautiful view in the area!

Top 5 Wineries to Visit:

This is incredibly difficult to write. Noah and I have visited around 50 of the more than 400 wineries in Napa Valley. So, we’ve barely scratched the surface of what is available. These are our favorites…but…that’s because of our preferences, our tastes, our budget, our loyalties, and our vibe. Yours will likely be different. I will say that every winery in Napa Valley brings something special to the table. There’s just too many for “mediocre” to survive.

  • Duckhorn Vineyards (alongside their partner wineries of Paraduxx and Migration) – Whites and Reds, but mainly reds…
  • Howell Mountain – anywhere you can reserve, as reservations are difficult to secure because of the road conditions and guest count limits…
  • Frank Family Vineyards – Bubbles and Reds
  • Domaine Chandon – Bubbles!!!
  • Castello di Amorosa – I mean Italian wines in an Italian replica castle? Yes, please!
  • Bonus:
    • The 1976 Judgement of Paris put Napa on the world map. Are you curious about the history and the wine tasted at this event? If so, check out these wineries – still active today!

Toast the Moon Rating:

  • Food and Drink: 10/10
  • Culture/Locals: 10/10
  • Things to Do: 9/10
  • Adventure Opportunities: 8/10
  • Cost: 8/10
  • Total: 9.0/10 – Cheers!

Enjoy your adventure!

Toast the Moon – Cheers,

Noah and Majhon

Leave a Reply