James Dean looking like a meat and potatoes kinda man.
When you think of wine country vacations, lazy days of wine tastings, Michelin-starred meals and gatherings at art bars might come to mind. This is what my U.S. Marine husband thought and why he distinctly did not want to go – at first. After I promised to create an itinerary designed to please his “down-to-earth, I’m a simple man” temperament, he relented and decided to look forward to a vacation sans children. And I eagerly went about researching the various ways a man, who does not like wine, loves comfort food, has a fetish for log cabins, and would rather join a pickup game of basketball than rub shoulders with elegantly dressed aficionados of the grape, could have a good time.
Yes, this is what the Napa Valley looks like – gorgeous views everywhere.
First and foremost, where to stay? There are literally hundreds of locations to choose from, bed and breakfasts with gingham curtains to sleek resorts with the latest gadgetry and everything in between. When I did my research for my trip with my husband, I considered his likes and dislikes. His dislikes? Granny-inspired decor, bright, busy colors, crowded spaces and anything screaming of pretentiousness.
James Dean looking like a meat and potatoes kind of man.
The Napa Valley has an abundance of dining establishments to select from, rather it be a diner, a pizzeria or an elegant steakhouse. But for my husband who seriously loves his meat and potatoes, I researched extensively to find the best of the best in comfort food and hearty fare. Here are the restaurants I found for him. And I think your hunk of burning love will also appreciate them.
I’ve italicized my personal favorites with a note here and there. But as always, do your due diligence and check review sites like Yelp.com or TripAdvisor to get a more rounded perspective. By the way, most places take reservations. OpenTable.com is your friend in Napa Valley. I used it every day and for almost every single meal.
Start the day with a hearty home style breakfast
Homemade English muffin at The Model Bakery.
You’d think there was nothing else to do in the Napa Valley but drink wine and tour vineyards, right? And yeah, you could spend all of your time only doing that, but like most tourist destinations there are plenty of fun, adrenaline pumping activities for the man who lives to feel the blood coursing through his veins:
I feel the need…the need for speed
Here are a few top-rated, fun activities that do not include sipping and swirling:
- Car Racing Experience -Audi Sportscar Experience, Sonoma or Sonoma Raceway, Sonoma
- Hiking - Skyline Wilderness Park, Napa
- Ballooning - Balloons Above the Valley, Napa
- Biking - Napa Valley Bike Tours, Yountville
- Moped or Harley? You can choose at NVR Adventures, Napa
- Kayaking - Kayak Napa Valley, Napa Valley
- Trapezing - Trapeze Pro, Sonoma
- Crossfit – Gotta get your fix, even on vacation? Try these locations: EA’s Crossfit, Sonoma and Crossfit Napa Valley, Napa