Flying is so convenient nowadays. A trip from Orange County SNA to Norcal takes less time than a rush hour traffic through Los Angeles. Hence, Paul is no stranger to the NorCal Bay Area. On his last 10 hour layover trip there, we decided to change it up and do a road trip challenge to Napa Valley! Uh oh… will he make it to his flight back to O.C.?
He barely made it on his plane to OAK… not to a good start!
To optimize time, we head directly to Napa Valley from OAK international airport. Typically, a complete road trip to Napa will take 90 mins – 120 mins depending on traffic, but what most people don’t know is that if you just visit the Southern vineyards, it’ll take less than an hour to get there 🙂
Domaine Carneros is a winery specializing in sparkling wines and it’s one of the most picturesque destinations in the valley.
Wine tastings range from $35-$45. Reservations are required, but if you go on a weekday, they’ll let you in without one. Services tend to be more personal too since it’s less busy.
Just look at this view… the ambiance feels like you’re coming straight out of a postcard from a French chateau.
If you have time, you can visit other vineyards in the area. Another option is to visit Artesa Winery, which is on a hilltop overlooking Domaine Carneros just about a mile away.
So did Paul make it to his flight back?
Yes! In fact, he even had time to visit the AMEX Centurion Lounge in SFO 😉
Entrance is complimentary for AMEX Business/Personal Platinum cardholders. It’s one of the best perks in having this card. They are located in select domestic/international locations. Here are some of the ones we featured…
The San Francisco location gives a nod to its region and has assorted complimentary wine tastings for its members. With so much wine in Paul already, he decided to opt out….
Overall, this was an exceptionally rewarding 10-hour layover. With proper planning, it’s possible to see a world renowned destination in less than half a day, which normally take others a whole weekend to plan.
Do you guys ever do these last-minute adventures too? Would love to hear your stories and thoughts!