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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Napa Valley, California (Dog friendly trip!)

Today is a sad day, 
we are at the last day of my California Road Trip post. 
A dog friendly trip up to very dog friendly, Napa Valley including amazing cheesburgers and lots of delicious California wine. 

After leaving Monterey, the plan was to head up to Napa Valley.  Instead of heading back along scenic Highway 1, we took the quicker route on the highway.  

Driving into Napa was quite quaint.  Things were a little browner than I expected, but California isn't known for its endless supply of water and I figured that was the reasoning. 

One of my favorite things about California was how some of the highways and roads, had these beautiful flowers in the median.  How pretty are the highways in CA?

En route to Napa Valley

The very first stop on our Napa tour was Gotts Roadside.  Who drives all the way to Napa and makes their first stop a cheeseburger?  We do.  I had planned a list of a few dog friendly vineyards and read about Gotts Roadside, virtually next door to one of the vineyards and also dog friendly. 

Gott's Roadside 

Gott’s Roadside (formerly Taylors) was featured in 7x7’s  100 Things to Eat+Drink Before You Die), Trust me when I say they got it right.  I am drooling and dreaming of those amazing cheeseburgers. 

Picnic Area at Gotts Roadside 

Gott's is so different from the fancy and wine centric fine dining of Napa Valley.  You can come to Gott's and enjoy wine in Nappa Valley while also enjoying an amazing burger (and fries, and milkshake, and beer) outside WITH YOUR DOG. 

 It has a fun a drive in vibe and be warned, a looooong line.  It is not cheap at about $ 10-12 for a lone cheeseburger with no sides, but in the realm of California prices it is fair and trust me when I say it is SO worth it.  We had been in the car for a while, we were exhausted and hungry so we went full monte here.  Two burgers, sweet potato fries, and a milk shake.  They also have beer wine and drinks, but I was saving that for the vineyards. 

Burgers and fries from Gotts

So, how was the burger I bet you are wondering as you stare down that western bacon blue burger?   Hands down one of the best burgers I have ever had.  And their dipping sauce for the sweet potato fries?  I think I could drink it.  

Western Bacon Blue Burger, Gotts Roadside 

Of course, the fact that they are dog friendly and you can enjoy your meal (AND WINE) in the sunshine of amazing California adds about 20 points to my book.  Wine, cheeseburgers, outdoor seating and pups- California has it all.

After we inhaled out burgers and reluctantly left Gott's behind in the rear view mirror, it was time to see some famous vineyards.   The first stop on our wine tour was Hall Vineyard.  This vineyard is right off St/ Helena Highway in St. Helena in Napa Valley.  I knew it was a dog friendly vineyard right next to Gotts and the perfect way to start seeing Napa.

One of the really unique things about this vineyard was all of the art around the property.  We were told the owners mother was an art teacher, and art was an integral part of the families lifestyle and also, their vineyard.  There are various sculptures around the property, and art around the buildings.  Some of the wine labels are even drawings that his mother created. 

Another really cute feature was the instant greeting. The second we walked up to the building we were greeting by someone at the vineyard, who walked us up to the tasting area and gave Olive this adorable Hall Dog Treat.  It smelled so good I thought about taking a bite. 

The tasting room had a deck and an indoor area, with glass paneling overlooking the vineyard.  This was a perfect spot to sit in the shade and sample wine.  Their standard tasting of 4 wines off their list ran for about $35.  I thought it was a little pricey for a tasting but when in Napa!  They even brought out a large dog bowl for Olive and we relaxed in the shade.

They are known for their red wines, but I have to say, for the price of some of the bottles, I was not blown away.  Our favorite wine actually ended up being the first one we tried and a white, sauvignon blanc.  After a few glasses and a walk around the vineyard, it was time to stop at another vineyard.  

If you are planning on heading to Napa, make sure you check out the visiting hours of the vineyards.  Most close sometime between 4:30 and 6:00.  It was about 4:00 by the time we left Hall and headed to Peju, just down the road a little way.  

Peju was a fun place and had a totally different vibe from Hall.  It was much more laid back and casual than the fancier Hall Vineyard.  It was a castle like building with a bridge and water.  It was quite cute.  

Instead of paying for another tasting, we decided to buy a bottle of rose to enjoy outside on their patio.  They had a chilled bottle we purchased and brought outside for a fair price to enjoy in the sunshine.  It was cheaper than the tastings and far better wine in my opinion.  We had a great time enjoying the scenery while talking to a nice couple from Manhattan, looking to buy a summer house in my hometown. 

Napa was such a beautiful quaint area.  It wasn't what I had envisioned in my head when I pictures NAPA, but it was a beautiful area with hundreds of dog friendly vineyards.  Check out this link for a list of dog friendly vineyards if you are going wining and dining with your pooch.  After Napa, it was a short drive to Sacramento where we stayed the night, before heading back "East" to Salt Lake City. 

A short trip, but with so many wonderful and amazing sites.  It was a ton of driving and exhausting at times, but worth every mile to enjoy beautiful California with great company and my dog. 


  1. This looks like so much fun! I'm always looking for dog friendly trips :)

    1. It was a blast! Its so nice how dog friendly Napa is!

  2. We didn't make it Hall when I went, but I also loved Peju! I would have loved to have done vineyard with our dog in tow, what a fun trip! And those burgers look AMAZING!

    1. Peju was definitely my favorite! Hall was gorgeous but a little too stuffy for me! I loved how dog friendly everything was. And yes, Gotts is amazinggggg!

  3. If you ever return to Napa, then I highly recommend checking out Andretti Winery. It's a bit more "off the beaten path," but the service is like their Cabernet Sauvignon ... AMAZING! Plus, it's not nearly as expensive as the other big name wineries in the Valley, like Robert Mondavi.

    1. I will definitely be returning to Napa, I need more time there! Andretti is officially on the list. Thanks for the tip!

  4. Wow! That's wonderful. For roadside assistance motorcycle towing vancouver is also great for the city Vancouver. Its service criteria are many and does its work with proper responsibility.


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