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The Meritage Resort and Spa

USA TODAY - The views, the food, the tours, the history. They’re almost as famous as the wine in Northern California’s Napa and Sonoma valleys.

With about 600 different wineries, and their corresponding tasting rooms, in the valleys, there are a number of ways to plan a road trip through this hilly, beautiful region. But because of that, it can also be hard to narrow it down.

Here are our 10 favorite stops on a looping road trip from Southern Napa up California State Route 29 or the Silverado Trail, through Yountville, Oakville, Rutherford, St. Helena, Calistoga and up to Geyserville. Then wind down south on Highway 101 into Sonoma Valley.

The key to this road trip is whimsy and flexibility. Hit your main points of interest, but stay open to explore whatever stops catch your eye.

The best time for this road trip is August through October, during harvest, although the weather is lovely most of the year. Oh, and it goes withouYou can find a full spectrum of lodging options in Napa Valley, from exquisite accommodations to an inexpensive room above a bar, but the Meritage Resort and Spa is a great starting point. Located just south of Napa, this resort is a destination in and of itself, with wine tastings, Tuscan decor and a full-service spa, complete with rocky steam grottos, waterfalls and soaking pools to start your trip out on the right foot. t saying: Designate a sober driver.

The Meritage Resort and Spa

You can find a full spectrum of lodging options in Napa Valley, from exquisite accommodations to an inexpensive room above a bar, but the Meritage Resort and Spa is a great starting point. Located just south of Napa, this resort is a destination in and of itself, with wine tastings, Tuscan decor and a full-service spa, complete with rocky steam grottos, waterfalls and soaking pools to start your trip out on the right foot.

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