Getting Out of Arizona – Napa & Sonoma Valley


In an effort to spice things up (again) on SMB we’re launching a brand new series – Getting Out of Arizona!  Can we all say in unison “YES, please!?”  Although we had a ton of fun doing our Steph vs Joy posts we thought it was time to change things up and talk a little about all of the great places you can go to beat the heat!

On each Getting Out of Arizona post we’ll highlight our specific trips and give you a few suggestions of things to do in the area so if you too decide to get out of the 100+ degree heat, you’ll know what to do! 🙂

For this week, what better area to highlight than Wine Country?!

A couple of weeks back my hubby and I took a fabulous weekend retreat (our very first getaway w/o Nora) to Wine Country. I can just hear your envious remarks. And yes – it was that great! We were celebrating both of our birthdays, our anniversary and a graduation so it was a much-anticipated event. It was like a dream come true! Wine tasting, exceptional restaurants, luxurious hotels and alone time – what momma wouldn’t love it??!!

While in Napa and Sonoma, we spent our days exploring various wineries, tasting their powerful Cabernet Sauvignon’s and buttery Chardonnay’s and simply savoring our time away. I’m sure you can picture us now – my hubby and I sitting on a beautiful porch with four glasses of various wines to taste before us.  It was heavenly!

So now that I have you sold on booking your trip (hehe) let me give you what I’ll from now on refer to as “Steph’s Top Picks”

Steph’s Top Picks – Napa and Sonoma Valley

1. Frogs Leap WineryFrog’s Leap was our favorite winery we visited – hands down! This winery is a very quaint and serene property tucked away from the hustle and bustle of Highway 29. Keep an eye out though, it’s easy to miss. Don’t count on a huge sign to lead you to your destination, instead, look for a white picket fence with the words “Frog’s Leap” etched on it.  Upon arrival we were led to our own little table on the back patio where our flights of 4 wines (1 white and 3 reds) were awaiting us. Included was a small plate of aged gouda, bread sticks, dried almonds and dried fruits.

2. Fremont Diner. Whenever we go on vacation I’m always on the hunt for the hidden gem.  For our trip to Napa/Sonoma – the Fremont Diner was it! This diner is a great hipster-meets-country-diner atmosphere with a great outdoor area and delicious food!  Just my kind of place!  It’s easy to miss – but a MUST see (and eat!)

3. Benziger Winery. At what we thought was our last winery of our trip we met an older gentleman who “showed us the ropes” of sorts.  He told us that his favorite winery tour (at that time we had yet to go on a tour – I’ll admit – we kind of thought tours were for old people) was back in Glen Ellen at the Benziger Family Winery.  So we hoped in our car and headed back to catch the last tour of the day.  Boy are we glad we did!  Our tour guide was clearly intimately involved in the every day functioning of the winery – was super friendly, very knowledgeable, and happy to answer any questions.   Plus, we got to ride around the beautiful grounds on a tram, which is a step above most other tours. How cool is that??!!!  It really was a great end to a perfect trip.

Now I’ll leave ya’ll with a little video I shot (well – the hubby shot it of me – obviously) while in Sonoma.  While not the best videography, I’m pretty confident it will make you want to pack your sweaters and scarves and head out of this desert! 🙂


  1. Thank you Steph! This has been a dream of mine! I have never gone and my hubby and I need a much needed alone vacation. I was going to email you about your trip when we can go so very glad you posted info about it!
    Living in AZ for 3 years I love hearing about little trips to take!

  2. Hey Steph, if you ever return to Sonoma, take an afternoon to visit Lambert Bridge in Healdsburg. Great spot, with picnic area, wonderful gardens, and very high quality low production wines.


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