Frommer's has been crafting road trip itineraries for California Wine Country since 1962's Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Las Vegas on $5 and $10 a Day. Back then, visiting the wineries of Napa and Sonoma didn't require reservations, and driving amid the "spacious valleys, lush green fields, and big farms" north of San Francisco was such a peaceful proposition, according to our guidebook, that a motorist could expect to hear virtually no noise apart from crop dusters and the "plaintive moan of an occasional cow."
Just as Wine Country has changed over the years while retaining certain essentials, Frommer's has continued to evolve and adapt, embracing new formats and technologies while keeping our core commitment to providing readers with useful, trustworthy, and accurate travel information.
A case (of cabernet) in point: our new, digital California wine country road trip guide created for mobile devices in partnership with Road.Travel, whose technology opens exciting possibilities in self-guided, Frommer's-assisted touring.
Our travel pros have assembled five California driving routes that, once purchased, you can open on your laptop or smartphone to access detailed itineraries and recommendations for where to stay, what to eat, and what to see. Once you're on the road, open the guide on a mobile device to get step-by-step navigation and expert commentary on the best places to stop along the way. Maps, photos, and a tool to help make reservations further enhance the experience.
Our 4-day California Wine Country trip covers a total of 29 attractions across about 150 miles in both Napa and Sonoma counties.
The route lets you take in the region's iconic vineyards, views, and varietals, as well as its storied culinary scene and unique natural setting. Our recommendations are cinematic in scope, ranging from the panoramic wide shots of a sunrise hot-air balloon ride over the Napa Valley to tight close-ups on the stony bark of the Petrified Forest in Calistoga.
You'll delve into 19th-century wine caves and taste the wares of cutting-edge vintners leading the way in sustainability.
Between tastings, there are plenty of cultural and pop-cultural points of interest, too, including sites celebrating hometown heroes like adventure novelist Jack London and cartoonist Charles Schulz, creators of noted canines White Fang and Snoopy, respectively.
The itinerary also supplies chances to learn about Spanish missions, Mexican heroes, and French cassoulet so sumptuous you'll swoon.
Frommer's local experts have mapped out and annotated the entire journey, pointing the way with tons of illuminating context and helpful tips of very recent vintage (wine pun intended).
For more information or to purchase our road trip showcasing California's top wine regions, go to Frommers.Road.Travel.