Travel: January 2011 Archives

Message Boards: Wine Tasting Without a Car?

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platypusToursShuttle.jpgRecent question in the Napa Valley message boards:
Hi!! My husband and I are planning a much needed vacation from the east coast. I know nothing about Napa...are there places to stay where you will not need your car? Planning on REALLY and safely enjoying the vineyards! Thanks!!

Answers from one of our members:

yesilovewine:
Several options are available to you- book a tour with one of the reputable companies such as Platypus ( there are many out there, they just came to mind first) and plan to spend this time on a bus filled with a variety of folks who may or may not share your wine preferences. My experience is that the wineries to be visited are determined by a collective decision ( read: "majority rules").

You can hire a private driver/limo service to take you around and either leave it to them or share in the decision-making of where to visit, you can use a service called Napa Bee Driven and they will drive you in your vehicle to wherever you choose to visit.

In downtown Napa, there is a burgeoning collection of tasting rooms that would be within walking distance to several hotels and B&B's so you could taste there.


CLICK HERE to read the other responses!

See other tours & sightseeing transportation companies in Napa Valley.


Maximize Your Vacation Dollars in Virginia

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Hillsborough_View2.jpgNo need to break the bank when planning a trip to Virginia Wine Country. We found a recent article from "Virginia is for Lovers" that schools visitors on how to stretch your dollar as far as possible when you vacation in the area. Many of these travel tips can be applied to any Wine Country region you planning to visit!

1.Shop Smart. Check out the latest discounts and promotions.

2.Plan Ahead. Advance bookings yield huge savings.

3.Stay longer. Extend your stay and many accommodations will offer you a cheaper nightly rate. One B&B is offering 33% off a second night when you book online and 66% on your third night.

4.Think outside your accommodation. Save money on things to do and find ticket and dining savings in addition to your room night(s).

5.Consider your fuel costs. Many accommodations are still using gas cards to attract visitors. Be sure to inquire and look for these savings specifically.

6.Leverage your status. Are you a senior citizen? Did you serve or are you actively serving in the military? What memberships do you hold? All of these should be considered when making travel arrangements.

7.Travel mid-week. If you're looking for a good deal at a B&B or cabin, try booking your visit in the middle of the week. Not only do your odds of availability skyrocket, but the rates plummet.

Read the full post HERE.

Ready to travel? See special deals and packages on hotel stays in Virginia!

Restaurant Month in California

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All around California, restaurants are celebrating the month of January with fabulous dining specials and savings for lunch and/or dinner. Splurge, savor, and save is the name of the game. See if your favorite restaurant or one you always wanted to try is on the list in the regions below.

Gold Country. You may not find gold, but with savings on food like these, you might as well have! Restaurant Week in Gold Country is January 32-30 with a grand finale on January 30th where the area's finest chefs will offer a unique opportunity to be an El Dorado Epicurean in a countywide progressive dinner. More Details

Monterey County. Catch some fresh seafood in Monterey during Restaurant Month. Participating restaurants are offering prix fixe dinner menus for $20.11 all month long. More Details.

Napa Valley - see our Food Writer's top restaurant picks for deals and steals. Or see the full list of Napa Valley restaurants and their specials here.

Santa Barbara Wine Country
  • Santa Barbara -Dubbed "Film Feast", the prix fixe restaurant program coincides with the Santa Barbara International Film Festival all happening January 27-Feb 6, 2011. Film goers and foodies are invited to choose from "Short" (two-course), "Feature" (three-course) and "Epic" (four-course) length seasonal menus at participating restaurants. MORE DETAILS.
  • Santa Ynez Valley - The foodie fun begins January 23rd and ends January 29th. It's this region's first time participating in Restaurant Month and they will be featuring special 3-course tasting menus for $20.11. A list of participating restaurants is listed, but you will need to contact restaurants directly for specific days, dining hours and to make reservations. MORE DETAILS.

Restaurant Week in Tri-Valley/Livermore

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2011RestaurantWeek.jpgEnjoy a true culinary extravaganza-Taste of Tri-Valley Restaurant Week between January 23rd - January 30th!  During this fabulous event ,  food lovers will have the opportunity to enjoy a prix fixe meal, specialty dish or special offer at Tri-Valley restaurants. Some of the finest, most renowned chefs and restaurants in the Tri-Valley will showcase their culinary styles for diners. The event will feature an array of well-known restaurants, casual dining establishments and local purveyors that will provide one of a kind dining experiences offered during this week only.  

Participating Restaurants include Terra Mia, The Peasant and the Pear, The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards, The Farmer Restaurant at the Pleasanton Hotel, Blue Agave Grill, Eddie Papa's American Hangout, Campo Di Bocce, Swirl on the Square, Porters Restaurant at Poppy Ridge.

No tickets or passes are required for Taste of Tri-Valley Restaurant Week. Diners simply dine out at as many participating restaurants as they like all week.

Visit www.trivalleycvb.com/tasteoftrivalley to download and print restaurant coupons for Tri-Valley Restaurant Week!

Hotel 2.0

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h2hotel.jpgThis summer, the owners of the upscale Hotel Healdsburg unveiled the h2hotel--where eco-chic meets user-friendly.

by Ethan Fletcher

Designed by renowned San Francisco architect David Baker and packed with contemporary art, the hotel feels urban, hip, modern, and, most of all, open. On the ground floor, the hotel's excellent restaurant, Spoonbar, expands onto the sidewalk, creating a fun intermingling between people indoors and out. Inside, the hotel's "recepto bar" serves Flying Goat espresso on one side while guests check in on the other.

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Read About Spoonbar Restaurant

Read More about h2hotel

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