September 21 is a day for lovers...well at least a day to celebrate Billy & my wedding anniversary. We decided to head to Northern California to enjoy some wine, take in some views, and relax as we celebrated our five year anniversary. As things turned out we did enjoy a lot of delicious wines, we also found a ton of awesome breweries, we explored beaches, Vinyards, Marinas, amazing food, and frequented several fun coffee shops.
We flew into Oakland where we were picked up by Go Rentals. Go Rentals was awesome to work with and they offer high end rentals such as Land Rover, Ferrari, Porche, and of course Jeep Wranglers. Naturally we selected the Jeep and hit the road with the top down.
We couldn’t help but notice minimal visibility near the bridge, we learned this is a Marine Layer. A marine layer is an air mass that develops over the surface of a large body of water in the presence of a temperature inversion. In America, this commonly occurs on the West Coast, where the offshore marine layer moves inland and blankets coastal communities in cooler air which, if saturated, contains fog. This haze lingers until the temperature rises enough to evaporate it, which usually occurs in the afternoon. This combines with the abundant pollutants in the air around large cities, creating smog. While “marine layer” is a common term on the West Coast, most people back east would probably think it’s something in the ocean. (Bunch of dummies..)
We continued north and the drive to Stinson Beach did not disappoint. We loved this little beach town, we relied on Google to lead us to the best local spots along our journey. We headed straight to Stinson Beach Market Coffee where we learned the locals call this area the Golden Hills. Noted. They also had Coconut Lattes, score.
Our Jeep Adventure led us straight to Petaluma, California. Another perfect little town. We took in the sites and found ourselves at Lagunitas Brewing Company to enjoy live music on the patio and some ice cold brews. Lagunitas offers a full menu but we were craving sushi from O! Sushi. We may have been drawn to O! Sushi because we liked the name, but the online reviews sealed the deal. We loved the garlic edamame, miso soup, and all of the rolls, the Caterpiller Roll was our favorite.
Next stop Napa. Coffee from Napa Valley Roasting Company killed some time until the wineries opened at 10 am. The coffee shop was really cute with a lot of selections. It’s located in Downtown Napa which is a fun area with shopping, dining, hotels, bars, and Napa ARTwalk. The ARTwalk features more than a dozen sculptures scattered throughout the city. The works and arts change every couple years, so there’s always something new to see.
There are so many so many wineries in Napa. Just start driving and the possibilities are endless! Wine Country is so beautiful, a definite must for anyone who enjoys the finer things in life.
in addition to checking out wineries we also went to Yountville, multiple people recommended this area and we loved it. Yountville is very quaint and has a really casual vibe. We will stay here next time we visit Napa.
We ended up spending sometime at Wine Country Connection. Kevin Vogt is the Master Sommelier who makes this a must while visiting. You may recognize his name as he was the wine director for Emeril Lagasse's Las Vegas restaurant Delmonico, who left after a successful 20 year stint to open a wine store in Napa Valley.
Don’t forget to eat, go to Yountville Deli for an amazing sandwich.
Later in the day we decided to take a break from Wine at Downtown Joes, a cool restaurant and brewery in Napa. Patio seating looks over the water, it’s really relaxing and perfect for a beer break.
After our beer break we headed to Hog Island Oyster Co. for a midday snack. We knew this was a must while visiting and we are so happy we checked it out. Their oysters are hand raised and amazing! We ordered the Oyster Bar Mix which featured fresh oysters from Washington, California, and Massachusetts. The best oysters in the half shell I’ve ever had!
More wineries, then to a late dinner at Oenotri, a Southern Italian restaurant featuring handmade pizzas and pastas. We really enjoyed the food and the wine, and the service was excellent.
Late dinner = food coma.
After a good nights sleep we got up early the next morning and we were Lake Tahoe bound!
Lake Tahoe is the most incredible place, there are vibrant colored water, trees, and mountain skies. We arrived in Tahoe City and decided to checkout a beer flight at Tahoe Mountain Brewing Company. The waiter recommended fish and chips, he said they are so good he had them for breakfast. We were intrigued and the fish and chips did not disappoint.
We stayed at Basecamp Hotel in Tahoe City. We selected the hotel because it is located in walking distance of the Marina. This hotel was our favorite place we stayed during our trip. There are locations in Tahoe City, South Tahoe, and Boulder, Colorado. Check this place out!
Tahoe Sailing Charter is located across the street from the Basecamp Hotel. We booked a 2 hour sunset cruise with snacks, beer and wine. The sailing was my favorite part of the entire trip. Pictures can’t capture the breathtaking views of the mountains and the lake.
We made friends on the sailing adventure so we all grabbed a table at Jakes on the Lake where we ordered scallops, short ribs, and wine. We laughed a lot and topped off an amazing day in Lake Tahoe.
The following morning Billy and I decided to hike Eagles Rock. This was a really short hike but worked out well for our full schedule. The goal of the hike was to take in the view. We nailed that!
Next stop Emerald Bay State Park!
Emerald Bay has alot of hikes nearby. Visitors can hike one mile down to kaiaking & paddle boarding. There are helicopter rides and much more, just remember cash for parking.
We decided to see what Basecamp South Tahoe was like. It was much larger than our quaint hotel in Tahoe City. The South Tahoe location included a brewery, Outpost Brewing Co. Yard games, ping pong, a giant hot tub, and live music every night. We preferred staying at the smaller hotel but had a blast checking out the flagship location!
Dont miss the art along the streets in Tahoe City.
Before we started to make our way south we popped into Revive, a one stop shop for Coffee and Wine. Locally sourced and crafted with love, naturally.
Our destination for our last night in Northern California was Berkeley. As it so happened, we stumbled upon a couple of unique breweries.
Gilman Brewing Company had a wide variety of beers to choose from. It felt good to stretch our legs and enjoy some people watching. The brewery was pretty quiet so we decided to head a couple of blocks over to the next stop.
We may have accidentally started a brewery crawl.
Fieldwork Brewing Company was packed. There was a much different scene here, the beer selection favored IPAs but I ordered the Etta and it was delish. I just say no to IPAs. Billy was in heaven, he could have ordered 8 different IPAs! Thankfully Billy did not order 8 different IPAs.
Not a bad view from our plane. Holla to Southwest Airlines! We managed to do so much in our five day adventure. We are already planning our next trip out!
Cheers to 5 years!