Holy crap, I cannot believe we're already halfway through August. I had planned to write this blog post as soon as we got home, but I'm JUST sitting down to write it now. Life has been an absolute freakin' whirlwind post-wedding, we've been busy figuring out our careers and future plans. As well as hosting celebrations leading up to our friend's weddings! I put this blog post together to share some of the details of our honeymoon - specifically our favorite sites, restaurants and wineries that we visited. Justin and I flew out to San Francisco for the first couple days of our honeymoon and to be completely honest, we didn't really love it. It was busy and seemingly overcrowded. I also never want to hear people complain about Boston drivers after driving there! We did however stay in a cute little air BNB and near the city. There were definitely some cool things to see but we just preferred the weather and vibes up in the Napa + Sonoma.
One of my favorite places that we visited while in San Francisco was the Palace of Fine Arts. My Dad (who travels to California often for work) recommended that we check it out and I'm so glad we did, it is absolutely beautiful. The architecture will blow you away if you're into that sort of thing, everything is so detailed despite being so large. We didn't actually go into the Palace, we simply enjoyed the views from outside as we walked around. There is a theater inside that is used for performances, which you can also check out while you're there. We meant to go back to see it lit up at night, but completely forgot to. I would definitely recommend going back at night! Another fun thing to do if you're in San Fran is to go to a baseball at AT&T park. Justin is a huge baseball fan so of course we had to check out the stadium. It's completely different than Fenway, its actually located right by the water. Another thing I was impressed by was the food choices inside, they had organic options which I was shocked by and pumped about.
Next up is the Golden Gate Bridge, it's just something you have to see while you're visiting. It was beautiful, but it was also a bit foggy the days we were there. One tip I will give you guys if you're traveling here in the month of June is to bring warm clothes with you and wear layers! It was much colder than we expected and we definitely weren't prepared for the wind. I would've loved to just sit or even have a picnic on the beach more if it weren't so windy. Now we know for next time!
The next day we slept in and took our time getting out the door. The night before we googled the top sites to see and things to do in San Fran and stumbled upon the Doubtfire House, I don't know about you guys, but I absolutely love Robin Williams and the movie Mrs. Doubtfire. I don't even know how many times I watched it as a kid (and will still watch it any time I see it on TV even now). We stopped by the house and it looks just like it did in the movie, it's just painted a different color and there is a large tree growing out front. I did my best to get a good picture!
Another place I would definitely recommend if you LOVE plants or flowers is the Conservatory of Flowers. Justin doesn't love them as much as I do, but happy wife, happy life right? ;) He was such a trooper and explored with me for at least an hour. It's located in Golden Gate Park, along with an INCREDIBLE Rose garden nearby. The day we went, there wasn't an admission fee for some reason, but even if you go and you do have to pay, it's $10 or less! There were three different areas of the conservatory to explore, one of the rooms was warmer, one was cooler and the other area was the gift shop which featured a luscious, leafy green wall and stunning fountain.
After taking as many photos as possible of ALL of the plants within the conservatory, we headed over to the rose garden. If you don't already know this about me, Roses, are easily my favorite flower. Not sure if it's because "Rose" is my middle name or that my grandmother always taught me to stop and smell the roses, but I seriously can't get enough of them. All the different types, colors, scents, etc. I think they're beauty is breathtaking and yes, I will ALWAYS stop to smell them, even if I'm rushing. This garden was so impressive, they had a HUGE variety of colors and types. And OH MY GOD they smelled divine. I seriously had never smelt roses like that in my life. I wish it was possible to save the scent in a photo so you guys could smell them too.
Our last couple stops of the day included Ghirardelli Square and Fisherman's Wharf. These two places are right down the street from each other and are jam packed full of restaurants and shops. Ghirardelli Square obviously includes a store with all chocolate your heart desires. Unfortunately, I can't eat it because it contains soy, BUT if you can - go for it. There is also a brewery in the square, called San Francisco Brewing Co, that has an awesome outdoor seating set up. Along Fisherman's Wharf you can find TONS of souvenir shops and a food options. And if you walk all the way to the end, you can see the sea lions! They were hilarious to watch, with all of their goofy behaviors and sounds.
Just realized that I haven't mentioned our FAVORITE breakfast spot in San Francisco yet - The Plant Cafe Organic. My friend Aileen told us we HAD to go and man, am I glad we listened. Their food is not only freakin' delicious, but it is also organic and uses locally sourced produce. We literally went every morning during our stay in the city. My favorite thing was the breakfast burrito and their fresh pressed juices. Justin liked making his own little breakfast combo and the avocado toast. HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend this spot, I would literally fly there just to eat breakfast.
On Wednesday, we began our journey up to Sonoma. In order to get there, we crossed the Golden Gate bridge and drove through a sweet little town called Sausalito (another spot my Dad told us to check out). It had a bunch of restaurants and shops right along the water. We walked around for a bit to explore. I got some INCREDIBLE chocolate from a local, organic chocolate shop. They had Taza chocolate and HU Kitchen as well, I was so excited to see local brands all the way out in California! I also found an adorable little boutique called 2Bella. They have multiple locations and a huge selection of women's clothes, I found the best linen pants and an awesome jumpsuit for our trip!
After that, we drove straight to our Air BNB and holy crap, I couldn't believe how freakin' cute it was. It was basically a Spanish villa in the middle of a neighborhood in Sonoma. You never would have known it was there! We were greeted by our hosts with a sign that said "Welcome Newlyweds", fresh flowers and a bottle of champagne. The grounds there are just stunning. They have their home, the Casita (which we stayed in), a studio, a pool, a barn and an awesome outdoor seating area, with a little fountain and fire pit! After we got settled, we got changed and ready for the afternoon.
I'm going to list the wineries that we visited while in Napa and Sonoma Valley below. Our honeymoon was 10 days long and I'm sure you're not looking for a play-by-play of each day. Over the next week, we visited a total of seven wineries and did tastings at each one. Check them out:
This was yet another spot HIGHLY recommended by my Dad and let me tell you guys, it did not disappoint. Their food is out of this world and the wine, also absolutely delicious. Another bonus, their food is local and organic as well. The ambiance here was just perfect. They also have a beautiful patio area and gift shop you can explore. We started off with Warm Burrata and also shared a cheese board. If you haven't experienced Burrata, please go here and try it. After devouring both of those, I got the Salad of Garden Greens and Justin got the grass-fed cheese burger. I seriously wish we could have eaten here every day, it was THAT good. Pictures below so you can drool.
2. V.Sattui Winery:
We stopped here right after we had stuffed our faces with food and wine at Farmstead so we didn't end up doing a tasting. They have a beautiful outdoor seating area with plenty of picnic tables. You can also taste wine and purchase food inside their gift shop. We ended up bringing home a bottle of their Pinot Noir to drink later that night.
This was another recommendation from my Dad (shocker, I know) but ever since I googled it before our honyemoon, I desperately wanted to go. When you click on the link above, you'll see why. This winery was absolutely AMAZING - the views, the history, the tour, the wine; I loved it all. It is a replica of a castle in Italy and actually used materials that were imported from Italy or made by local artisans in California. We got to try a special type of red wine that hadn't been released just yet as well as doing a tasting with some chocolate. And yes, we bought more wine to bring home - two bottles actually.
4. Jacuzzi Winery:
This winery was BY FAR our absolute favorite, we fell in love with the views, the ambiance and MY GOD, the wine. Their wine is out of this world, especially the Sagratino. Another thing we really loved about Jacuzzi was that you can bring your own food, buy a bottle of wine, sit outside and relax. After our first visit here, we came back three times afterwards. We also ordered 4 bottles of their wine as soon as we got home. It's THAT GOOD. This one wasn't recommended by anyone, we simply stumbled upon it and are so glad we did.
This was another winery we found on our own. I'm a fan of the more historic and beautiful wineries so as soon as I saw it online I wanted to go. It also wasn't too far from where we were staying. We did a tasting inside with some delicious cheese that I wish I remembered the name of. We ended up buying a bottle of their Pinot Noir to sip on while we sat outside and took in the views.
6. Ledson Winery:
Absolutely LOVED the scenery here. This winery originally was just a mansion for a man and his family. He and his wife ended up getting divorced and he realized he needed to do something with all the space he had. We did a tasting inside, got a cheese board and sat outside to enjoy the wine, cheese and views.
We discovered this winery simply because it was located right across the street from Jacuzzi. I also loved that they follow a sustainable farming practice. Cline reminded me of a family ranch. The wine tasting was held in a big old farm house that had a wrap around porch. We ended up buying a bottle of the Mourvedre and sat out on the porch to enjoy it together.
1. Red Grape:
Yet another restaurant in Sonoma that had an awesome outdoor seating area featuring a little fountain. They have indoor seating as well, but we chose to sit outside because it was so nice out that night. I had the summer corn ravioli, which was so good I had it twice during our stay. This is a casual restaurant, great for a night out where you don't have to dress up but still want to have good food.
2. Della Santina's :
The food here is classic Italian and is so freakin' good. While we were staying in Sonoma, we ordered in a couple nights because my allergies were acting up. So we got to experience both take out and the dining in from here and they didn't disappoint. Their tortellini soup is delicious and perfect for when you're feeling under the weather. When we actually went to the restaurant, we shared a Caprese salad, I had an incredible, homemade pesto pasta and Justin had a grilled chicken dish with veggies. Not only did I love the food here, but their outdoor dining set up is quiet and romantic. The employees also treated us to some wine and dessert since we were on our honeymoon. Definitely would go back here in a heartbeat.
They offer local and organic breakfast and lunch choices as well as wine, beer and cocktails. They also have a beautiful outdoor seating set up out back that features flowers, a pergola and a fountain in the middle, LOVED IT. I got the Avocado Goat cheese sandwich and Justin got the Chicken Salad. Definitely recommend stopping by if you're looking for healthy choices while in town.
4. Sol bar:
After we did the wine tasting at Castelo di Amorosa we were ready to eat. We did a quick google search for healthy restaurants nearby and this one popped up. This restaurant is located in a beautiful resort in Napa. Not only was the food incredible, but the outdoor seating area was also amazing. Definitely recommend stopping by if you're in the area!
We had such a lovely honeymoon, it was really hard to come back to reality. The only thing we really missed were our pups. We easily could have stayed out there for another week (or potentially moved there) if we had Baxter and Rosie with us! I hope you guys enjoyed reading this blog as much as I enjoyed writing it. If you're planning a trip to San Fran, Napa or Sonoma, you should definitely check out the places above!