Travel Bloggers’ Caravan Stops at Ciao Bambino

Laura Gable (@lgable) of Worldview Travel won this giveaway.  Congratulations Laura and enjoy your trip!


Welcome Travel Blogger’s Caravan! Today is Ciao Bambino’s big day. We’ve joined 15 fellow travel bloggers in a holiday giveaway featuring a wide assortment of fun prizes.

We’re giving away a night at The Westin Verasa Napa. Read our kid friendly hotel review of this fantastic wine country venue.  Enjoy a romantic escape or a family outing—we love that this property has rooms and amenities that work for a variety of getaways (pet friendly hotel too).

Our Napa Valley giveaway includes a one-night stay and a Gourmet Express Lunch for two on the Napa Valley Wine Train.  The value of our prize is $488.

How do you win?

Winning is simple, every comment made on this post on Monday, December 7th will be placed into a drawing and the winner will be announced here on Tuesday.  Comment on Napa Valley—have you been there, and if so, what is your favorite winery and/or other activities you like to enjoy. Please be sure and include your e-mail address so that we can contact you easily if you win.

Best of luck!

Relevant Links:

Activities in Napa Valley with kids


  1. The Napa valley has been a beloved getaway for a long time for me. Now that I am a mom, my solo treks and romantic weekends have now changed into family friendly excursions.

    I used to love taking back roads, exploring new wineries and finding beautiful spots to take photos and go hiking. Once, somewhere around Yountville I was purposely getting lost (one of my favorite travel pastimes) and I came across an oasis of tulips in bloom. It was a virtual carpet tucked within a forest, and luckily I had my camera with me to capture it. It was so beautiful that the aesthetic rush of the moment has stayed with me for many years to come.

    I still love exploring Calistoga and getting a massage, and going antiquing in St. Helena. I just now add in a stop at my son’s favorite toy store in Middletown as well.

    My favorite stop for wineries has always been Prager Winery and Port Works for their special yummy Port wines and for their general friendliness.

    More recently, we have been heading as a family to Geyserville and staying in a b&b there called Isis Oasis, which is home to many exotic animals. My son loves it there and they go out of their way to make it a memorable experience each time we come.

    My favorite restaurant in the area is the Rutherford grill, their roasted chicken and mashed potatoes colcannon, elevate those foods to new heights. After writing this, I think it may be time for a trip again soon.

  2. My family used to go to the wine country regularly when I was younger (in the 70’s) but I haven’t been for quite awhile. I’d love to share the experience with my own family … it is a beautiful part of California!

  3. Yes, I’ve been to Napa Valley. Winery tours are the best, even if you do not drink, since many offer non-alcoholic activities and attractions like art galleries, restaurants, tours, etc. My favorite tour is the Schramsberg Wine Cave Tour. While not the only tour (or cave tour) in Napa Valley, we found it to be well done and, if you don’t know much about how sparkling wine is made, a great learning experience.

  4. I’ve toured vineyards in the Livermore area, but I’ve never been to Napa. Looks like a lovely trip!

  5. Have not been back to Napa in about 8 years! But such a warm and inviting place. I remember the folks at Grgich Hills Winery being lovely!

  6. I have always loved Napa Valley! Driving the little roads, stopping at wineries to sample and picnic. It’s so beautiful there! I always liked Sterling and Rutherford. I have never done the wine train, though, so I’d love to win this prize!

  7. I went to the Napa Valley 30+ years ago and it was beautiful then. Now I’m sure it’s even better with all the places to see and the wineries to visit. I’d love to revist this wonderful part of our country.

  8. I have been to Napa just a few times. Loved having a mud bath in Calistoga and I really enjoyed riding bicycles near the wineries. I’ve never been on the wine train, but would love to try it!

  9. I have never been there but would love to go one day. After watching Sideways I think it would be a fun getaway!


  10. I miss Napa so much! When I lived in the Bay Area, I’d head up as often as time and budget permitted. We live in Denver now, and there are regions of Colorado that are ‘wine country,’ but nothing compares to the countryside, the beautiful light, the gorgeous wineries, and of course THE WINE of Napa.

    I can’t wait to take my husband on his first exploration.


  11. I love Napa. I’ve been there once and would love to go back. I was recently affected by the economic downturn as many others have. I would love to win the trip as a way to take my Fiance on a great trip, since I can’t really afford to otherwise.

    Hess was a great stop the one time I’ve been to Napa and would love to discover even more!

  12. Sounds like a really nice prize. I’ve never been to Napa and heard it is an amazing place to visit.
    On the most recent episode of Top Chef the final 4 had to cook a meal on the train. It looked totally amazing and would be a great experience for my wife and I!

  13. Recent favorites in the wine country:
    Lunch at Bottega in Yountville
    Dinner at Ad Hoc in Yountville

  14. I loved my visit to Napa. We stayed in Healdsburg. It was fantastic.

    We only got to see a fraction of the wineries we wanted to visit, but I’m sure we’ll be back again soon. Two wineries in particular definitely stuck out in my head. Ravenswood, for its down to Earth, rustic feel; very unpretentious. I also enjoyed Sterling because of the ride on the air trams they have to take you up to the winery, and they had the best Pinot Gris I’ve ever tasted.

  15. We have been through Napa since we had kids but did not realize there were so many great things to do with them there. We will have to rethink our itinerary for our next trip north.

  16. Hold me back! I would absolutely LOVE to visit Napa again (and I’d blog about my visit on too!).

    We lived in Palo Alto for a year when we first moved to the US (from Ireland). We visited Napa and Sonoma a couple of times during that year but we’ve only been back once since for a family wedding in 2006.
    On that visit I took my parents on the tour of the Mondavi vineyard and then for lunch at Mumm. I know there are plenty of other fabulous wineries and vineyards we could visit in the Napa area.
    The wedding was held at the Harvest Inn in Napa so since it was a quick trip, we stayed there also. It was quite luxurious – and very family-friendly.

  17. I moved to San Francisco in July and I am yet to make it up to Napa. I’m keen to go and winning this prize would be a great excuse!

  18. I went to Napa for my 10 yr wedding anniversary in Sept. and had a great time. We actually had a kid-free weekend, for once!

    I think my favorite wineries were Silver Oak, Kelham and Stags Leap. The restaurant “Cook” is great in St Helena we also enjoyed grazing our way through the “Oakville Grocery.”

    My trip details are here:

  19. We love wines from Napa…have not been in 15 years but everytime we open a Napa vintage..were transported back. Wes

  20. It’s been years since I have enjoyed Napa..Look forward to going back soon.

  21. A trip to the Napa Valley can’t be beat!. One reason is the restaurant, Mustard’s. Their Mongolian Pork Chop is “to die for.” Checking out the art and the wineries is a wonderful way to experience all that the Valley has to offer. I’ll go anytime.

  22. I have been to San Francisco a number of times and to winerys up through Mendocino and back down. I have unfortunately never made it to Napa, but had reservations last spring to do so and a family emergency prevented us from taking the trip. Heartbroken we were. What a great prize it would be to take that trip we’ve dreamed of. We are loyal wine drinkers and love California wines and would love to travel to that part of California. Good Luck to all.

  23. I went to Napa a few years ago for a friends wedding. It was warm (July wedding) but absolutely beautiful. I didn’t realize how hilly it would be. I wasn’t a big fan of wine at the time so I didn’t take advantage of the situation as I should have. I’m ready to make up for my mistake.

  24. I have been fortunate enough to visit Napa Valley. I must say it is some of the most beautiful county I have seen in California. I visited several wineries while there and my favorite would be ZD Winery. The family atmosphere and great hospitality was something we will always remember.

    We enjoyed great food at different restaurants and would love the opportunity to visit Napa again.

    Thank you for this opportunity

  25. Wow, this looks amazing! Last time I was in the area was as a child but I have often dreamed of going back to experience the area as an adult! I’m positive my husband hasn’t been there either. We love to travel and time away together is an amazing treasure…with 3 teenagers!!

  26. Never been to napa, winning this price would be a great excuse for us to go…..

  27. Love Napa. Its absolutely beautiful. We have family in Sonoma County and went to Napa on a visit out to see them. My favorite winery was Hall! It was so tiny and quiet. We brought lunch from D&D and picnic at Hall (of course while they were bringing us our tasting!!!).

    This is an amazing giveaway!!!

  28. One of my favorite Napa stories involves being on cruise ship (odd, I know) at the dinner table discussing wine. I was by far the youngest person at the table and one of two Americans. As soon as I said, “I live an hour away from Napa” everyone gasped and exclaimed then it was up to me to pick the wine for the evening (a semi daunting task!).

    Stayed at the Old World Inn in Napa once for an anniversary. Fun place, with every room having a different theme.

    I’m due for a Napa trip soon…

  29. Traveling to Napa with my sweet little 17 month old Avery and my Husband Kevin would be such a treat. We met in Napa Valley out on a beautiful lake and got engaged exactly 6 years ago today on The Big Island of Hawaii. I do miss Napa… Wow how time flies when you are having fun and raising a family.

  30. My wife and I have always loved our Napa excursions. Since the arrival of our little one, we have not had the chance to head back there. But now that he is almost 2-1/2, I think we are ready to get back there for a little visit.

    I am often reminded of how fortunate we are to live so close to Napa Valley. There really are few places like it in the world. Napa has such grace and charm, not to mention all the wonderful wineries.

    We have very fond memories of the area. We had our wedding on a hilltop in nearby Sonoma Valley…truly a perfect day indeed.

    Despite the close proximity (45 minute drive), we seldom find ourselves in Napa…certainly not as often as we would like. One of our favorite things to do used to be to spend a weekend in Napa/Sonoma and book wine tastings and spa treatments…quite the romantic weekend.

    Cheers to whomever has the good fortune to get back there soon. What a treat it would be!

  31. In my 20s we would drive a Volkswagen and stop at every winery for free tasting.

    In my 30s we would drive the sports car to Calistoga to fly gliders and take mud baths.

    In my 40s I would hire a limo for a day of tasting, a great dinner, and a safe drive back.

    Now I order wine on the Internet. I think it’s time I go back.

  32. I love the Napa Valley from fields of grapes in the brilliant sun, the decadent mud baths of Calistoga and leisurely drives around the valley, especially the Silverado Trail. My favorite winery is Opus One for a good red on a cold winter’s day, best spa is any I can get into at the last minute.

    I would love to win this prize because the last time I was on the wine train was for my first anniversary and I could return for my 16th coming in early spring. The kids can stay home with the grandparents and I can relive some romantic and sweet memories.

  33. Napa with kids? I confess, I haven’t really considered it since I became a mom, but now I’m thinking about it a lot! They’re pretty happy to explore. Perhaps we’d find a gentle river raft trip to take on the Russian River, and in Napa, tour a winery, shop, and sit by the pretty pool. Fun to dream about! We’re planning a June California trip (going from So. CA to No. CA), so this would fit in nicely. I hope I win it!

    Lisa @TheWorldCalls

  34. My boyfriend and I are long distance while he attends grad school at UCSB for a PhD in Chemistry. When I fly out to visit him in California we sleep in a kitchen! Yes a kitchen which is both the house kitchen and now his bedroom as rent is pretty expensive. He and I love to travel together and find that nothing is more romantic than an evening where we can share conversation over wine and cheese. I would LOVE to be able to visit him and take him to this gorgeous hotel if picked for the drawing. What an incredible treat it would be!

  35. We have been through Napa twice and thought it beautiful and fun. We did stop at the Sterling Winery with friends and really enjoyed the visit. We would love to go back again.
    Thanks for giving us and others an opportunity to win this .

  36. Napa is our romantic escape (all too rarely, however!). Our favorite spots to visit are Oxbow Public Market and downtown Yountville. Would love to win a night away!

  37. Definitely want to try Press Restaurant (next to Dean & DeLuca) next time I’m in Napa. Mustards for lunch. One of my favorite memories was barrel tasting Cask 23 at Stags Leap Wine cellars and meeting Warren Winiarski.

  38. I’ve been to Napa twice and it is one of those places I could visit again and again, and never tire of it! I loved visiting Benziger Winery during a trip with the kids because it is so family-friendly and just downright beautiful. I have always wanted to go on the Napa Valley Wine Train! In fact, I just watched an episode of Top Chef on which the Wine Train was featured and I thought, “I REALLY have ride that train someday!”

    What a great giveaway!

  39. Napa in fall and early winter is beautiful. The colors of the grape vines and trees mixed in the with green valley is something to behold. The valley changes as you travel from lower Napa valley to the north. You feel like you’ve gone through whole different regions just in one day. From sophisticated to funky NorCal – it can’t be beat!

  40. I like a rainy day in Napa…when the clouds hug the valley tops and you can taste the wine in the air. Doing it from a nice winery or Calistoga only make sit better!!!

  41. I know it’s not exactly Napa: The Gloria Ferrer tasting room makes a fabulous end of day stop if you are day tripping from SF. Last wine service available at 4:45pm and complimentary great views as the sun goes down.

  42. Who doesn’t love Napa Valley? It’s one of the best romantic vacation spots in the US. Now, I SHOULD say my favorite winery is Miner Family Vineyards, out of some strange allegiance to my last name. Truth is, though, the Joseph Phelps Vineyards and winery has everything that a romantic wine-heavy getaway would want; superb setting with views of rolling hills, wine-tasting by appointment, and some great reds.

    …Then again, the Frank Family Vineyard up in Calistoga’s pretty nice too…Hmm, I gotta get back to Napa. 🙂

  43. can you believe – NOT been to napa yet?? it’s on my to-go list! your review was fantastic. thanks for hosting this giveaway!

  44. I used to live less than an hour from Napa and have been there many times. Sterling Vineyards is a good place to go with kids near St Helena. There is an aerial tram to please them, a winery tour to educate them, and grape juice to make help them enjoy an little non alcoholic grapey goodness.

  45. Been to Napa several times, and still not in the slightest bit done with it. Each time, we try to hit up 2 new wineries, and some, though not big names, have been very pleasant surprises! Chateau Montelena, Kuleto Estate, Ballentine, Charles Krug, Pine Ridge, Darioush, Joseph Phelps, Frank family… all well worth a visit! V. Sattui wines may not be the ones with the loftiest reviews, but their picnic space is well worth a visit. Grab a bottle of their rose, some salads from Dean & Deluca across the street, and you’re set for lunch. I could go on & on… this is one of my favorite places to visit 🙂

  46. I have been so close to visiting Napa on my trips to Cali, but have yet to make it out there. It looks absolutely beautiful there. While my preggo wife cant drink the fine wines, I surely can make up for it. =)

  47. Went to Napa 2 years ago w/ friends that do not drink. We went to Mondavi’s tour which was educational, but you have to pay to taste at the end, not cheap.

    At COPIA, the exhibits were educational and nice. We went to eat at the restaurant. Food was good for my companions. I wanted to try the tribute plate for Julia Child, but it needed more than 1 person at the table.

    Scenery is still beautiful once you get out of the commercial center.

    Nice place to start a trip.

  48. Six weeks after having my eldest daughter, we took the baby up to Napa for her first trip to wine country. I couldn’t enjoy the wines like I used to, but we loved Silver Oak, Grgich Hills, Sterling, and St. Supery. We stayed in a house on a vineyard in the Sonoma Valley, which was much more comfortable for our new little family than a hotel or inn. And, it was so easy to put the wee one in the Baby Bjorn and carry her around the wineries!

    But my all-time favorite memory of wine country is of my family’s trip when I was in high school. We stopped at the Old Faithful Geyser in Calistoga, home to the infamous “fainting goats.” Quite possibly the best tourist trap on the west coast. The geyser kinda reminded me of that clown hat sprinkler I had in my backyard as a kid, and those goats could not have looked more bored as my little brothers screamed at them to faint. Twenty years later, we still talk about that trip…

  49. Love to win this trip as it is actually nearby and I’ve never stayed at this hotel!! Love the Napa Valley Wine Train.

    Black Stallion Winery, Twomey Cellars and Castellano Di Amorosa are all new discoveries for me.

    Happy Birthday to me. Pick me!

  50. On my first visit to Napa Valley, I had not reserved for any winery tours or sampling events — I just planned to explore. When I stopped by Caymus, which is the type of winery where RSVP’s are a must, I asked if there were any cancellations for their afternoon tasting. Sure enough, there were two cancellations, so I was able to take part. Bottom line — it can’t hurt to ask about availability if there’s a tour, activity or tasting that you really want to do in Napa Valley. While there are no guarantees, you may discover the pleasant surprise of your vacation.

  51. I’ve visited Napa Valley several times, and always enjoy trying out new wineries. The day my family spent at Sterling Vineyards was so special- I would go back in a heart beat. The gondola ride to the winery, the informative tour, delicious wine and the gorgeous views made the somewhat pricey entrance fee well worth it. I definitely recommend Sterling Vineyards.

  52. Wow! It sounds like a lovely place and I’m thrilled that it’s a kid-friendly hotel. Keeping my fingers crossed!!

  53. Our family has shared wonderful adventures in Napa! An ideal day in Napa Valley with the kids consists of lunch in Calistoga at the festive Mexican restaurant Puerto Vallarta, a swim at the Calistoga Spa and Hot Springs and then a tour and wine tasting at Castello di Amorosa where the kids can run around a remarkable example of an italian castle. I hope to head to Napa Valley for even more adventure!!

  54. My one stay in Napa Valley was at the Silverado Hotel many years ago. My husband and I enjoyed a day of golfing and a beautiful stay in the hotel. I even made it to a wonderful massage in Calistoga during the day. I am hopeful that I can make it back there for a wonderful weekend again soon.

  55. My travel-loving kitten would just love a weekend in the Napa Valley. She even knows her wines, prefers Pinot Noir to Cabernet. Napa’s a fantastic place.

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