It’s good to be a kid on a family vacation in Napa. That’s right. Northern California Wine Country is scoring points with milk drinkers and more importantly, their wine-loving parents. Visiting Napa Valley with kids is more the norm than the exception to the rule here.
Why Napa? Why Not Napa?
The award winning wine is obvious. Then there’s fun family destinations like Oxbow Public Market and the Scientopia Discovery Center. Factor in a downtown that’s undergone an amazing transformation in recent years and a family getaway is born.
Home Away From Home
But in between the sipping and the playing, families need a place to catch their breath and that’s where The Meritage Resort and Spa comes in. Located off-the-beaten path, about five minutes from downtown Napa, The Meritage has something many other Napa hotels don’t – space – and they’re not letting any of it go to waste.
Soak up some sun while wandering through nine acres of vineyards. It’s an easy walk from The Meritage lobby through a backyard of vines to the Grape Crusher Statue. (You saw it as you drove into the resort.) The kids should get a kick out of the fact that those grapes are the living roof of the Trinitas Tasting Room. Families are welcome in the Estate Cave.
While parents are sipping wine, kids can sip Vignette Wine Country Soda or smile from ear to ear as they devour a piece of artisanal chocolate truffles from Napa based Anette’s Chocolates. (In case you need to convince the kids why you should visit Oxbow Public Market, telling them there is also an Anette’s there might help your case.) If the kids need room to move, the bocce ball court is outside the tasting room.
Play Crush Style
If bocce ball was a hit, be sure to save time for a stop at Crush Ultra Lounge for some friendly family togetherness, game style. It’s all about sports here. There’s a dozen big screen televisions showing the days sporting events and highlights, pool tables, tabletop shuffleboard and six bowling lanes.
If you haven’t taken the family bowling in a while – maybe even ever – this is the place to do it. High-tech, sleek and pretty, not words often associated with bowling alleys. The overhead monitors use entertaining graphics to keep score. While you wait your turn to strike, you can relax on a cushy couch or munch on menu options like pulled pork sliders and french fries with rosemary sea salt. This is not your average bowling food. Crush is open to all ages until 7pm, the lounge is 21 and over from 7pm to close, so plan your strikes accordingly.
The Meritage main pool is an adults only pool, but chances are you won’t hear any kids complaining. Meritage families have full use of the pool area at the neighboring Vino Bello Resort. Along with the large pool and hot tub, there’s a kids pool, splash pad and fire pit. It’s a perfect place for parents to let kids to be kids.
There are lots of them. 322 to be exact and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how big they are. A family of four can get comfy here without feeling like they’re on top of each other. Add in perks like oversized bathrooms with double sinks and separate toilet areas, refrigerators, and a private patio or balcony off of every room and well, you get to feel like you’re on vacation.
All the guest rooms are also equipped with a dvd player, a nice perk for families. The front desk has a complimentary lending library of current hits and classics, and when they deliver the dvd to your room, they’ll also deliver some popcorn. If the kids have their heart set on a certain movie from the resort library, it’s worth requesting early. Popular titles go fast.
If the family’s up for a night on the town, The Meritage has an evening shuttle that offers complimentary transportation to Downtown Napa’s restaurants, tasting rooms and theaters. No worrying about parking or directions, takes the worrying out of wandering.
Dana’s trip was hosted by The Meritage Resort & Spa, but as always her thoughts and opinions are her own.