The Northern California Wine Country and kids it seems are becoming fast friends. Plagued by an anti-family reputation for years, the area’s starting to score points with families. Case and point is the Silverado Resort and Spa, known as a leading destination in Napa Valley for adults to play golf and tennis. Starting this summer, kids get their own slice of the action, which makes Silverado Resort a great choice for families planning a Napa Valley family vacation.
Room to Run and Than Some
As you turn off the country lane, your first sight of the Resort will kick your vacation excitement into high gear. The Mansion, as it’s called, exudes a combination of Southern grandeur with California flair. You’ll check-in at the Mansion and receive a map so you can find your way to your home away from home.
The Resort is 1,200 acres. With 415 guest rooms, 10 swimming pools, 13 tennis courts and two PGA championship golf courses, saying there’s room for kids to run is somewhat of an understatement. The Resort area is also home to a number of private residences. A morning jog around the perimeter will run you 4.2 miles. If you’re a runner, I recommend it as a good way to get your bearings on the Resort grounds.
Room to move isn’t only found on the outside. Families have the option of booking 2-bedroom, 2-bath suites with full kitchens. Not being on top of each other is what can make a vacation truly a vacation, and with rooms set to be remodeled before the year’s out, Silverado and families have plenty of reasons to smile.
“Wherever that racquet face goes is where that ball’s going to go,” said tennis professional Casey Bishop-Yeakey to her group of 7 campers.
The Silverado Junior Excellence Tennis Program offers classes for beginners as young as 5, to competitive teens. My girls, ages 11 and 14 were a bit anxious about the camp. As competitive swimmers, being on a tennis court is like being a fish out of water. They came into the camp with far less experience than any of the other kids, but felt at ease within a few minutes of getting started.
After playing some games to get the kids warm and moving, a second professional joined them on the courts to help with drills and technique fundamentals. Learning a new sport can be frustrating no matter how old you are, but none of the kids seemed to be doing anything other than having fun, which is a credit to the professionals. They also did a great job keeping a couple of high energy boys who could have created camp chaos in check.
And then there’s Tex, Bishop-Yeakey’s English Labrador, and Silverado’s un-official Tennis Program mascot. His reward for resisting the urge to chase the many balls kids send flying off the courts during camp, is all the cuddling he can handle from future tennis super stars when they leave the courts.
Those not interested in hitting the courts have the option of hitting the links with the Silverado Junior Golf Academy. The Academy is open to kids as young as 3 and up. Silverado Adventure Camp is designed for kids ages 6 to 10 who are more interested in just going to camp than learning a sport. Think crafts, games and time at the pool. Parents hoping for a night out will be happy to know Night Camp is held Friday and Saturday nights throughout the summer.
Editorial Note: Dana and her family received one night’s complimentary accommodation at Silverado Resort and Spa. Her daughters’ morning at tennis camp was also hosted by the resort, but as always Dana’s thoughts and opinions are her own. Photos by Dana Rebmann