North America

Denver Breweries to Napa Vineyards – SOLD OUT See our Sept 7 departure

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TRIP DATES AVAILABILITY PRICE SPOTS LEFT
August 4, 2024 - August 11, 2024 Guaranteed $2,995 USD
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Let’s meet in Denver for a guided tour of the incredible craft beer scene with a special guest, a local expert on Denver’s famous craft beers. Then we’ll board Amtrak’s California Zephyr for a ride across the Rockies to San Francisco in First Class sleeper accommodations. On the way we’ll have tastings and group lessons on the art of wine led by another special guest, a renowned wine expert with connections to the best exclusive wineries in Napa Valley where we’ll have tastings. Once we arrive in San Francisco, we’ll explore this magnificent city’s cultural highlights in our private van and driver. Before heading to wine country we’ll enjoy a visit to Muir Woods. Then on to Napa, with an overnight stay at a luxury boutique hotel in downtown Napa. We’re going in August during Crush Season so we can experience the region during harvest and grape processing!

Overview

Experienced travelers say the Amtrak California Zephyr is one of the most beautiful train trips in all of North America. As you climb through the heart of the Rockies, and further west through the snow-capped Sierra Nevadas, you’ll understand why. The Zephyr runs between Chicago and San Francisco, but we’ll be onboard through the most scenic part, starting in Denver! We’ll spend our first day upon arrival in Denver exploring the hip districts of LoDo to RiNo, checking out the cool art, craft brews, and eclectic cafes and shops. The next full day in Denver we’ll take a private van with local tour guide/driver to explore the scenic vistas at foothills of the Rockies, and maybe even get to see a concert at Red Rocks Ampitheater (pending future concert schedules TBD).  Since Denver is considered the Napa Valley of craft beer, we’ll fit in a microbrewery tour, and beer tastings at several places of course, led by our beer expert! We’ll get onboard the Zephyr early the next morning for a 33-hour train ride to San Francisco. We’ll have private room with sleeping berths, and access to bathroom with showers in our car. We can roam around the Zephyr, enjoying the views of the majestic Rockies and Sierra Nevada mountain ranges in the observation deck, or go to the lounges to enjoy beverages. All meals will be provided on the Zephyr with first class service! We’ll even get some wine tastings and wine education while on the train, led by our wine expert, to prepare us for Napa! We’ll arrive in San Francisco the next day, at 4 in the afternoon, ready for our San Francisco and Napa Valley adventures.

In San Francisco we’ll spend 2 nights in the city, exploring main city attractions such as Fisherman’s Wharf, Alcatraz, and ChinaTown. Then we’ll go in our private van with a driver to Napa Valley (stopping on the way at the Golden Gate Bridge and Muir Woods for a short hike). We’ll check into our lovely Napa Valley inn for 1 night and have the afternoon and following day to enjoy private tastings of wines at exclusive vineyards, led by our renowned wine expert Brad Morley (see the More About Brad tab for his bio). Brad has curated some amazing tastings we’ll be able to do these 2 days we’re in Napa, wineries/vineyards that aren’t on the standard Napa Wine Tasting track. We’ll have our farewell dinner in Napa Valley, then be transported back to San Francisco to check into our airport hotel to board our flights home the next day.

If you’re looking for a unique travel experience that offers breathtaking views of some of North America’s most beautiful landscapes, starting with Rocky Mountain Brews and ending with Napa Valley Wines, then this Zephyr trip is for you!

Trip Highlights

  • Denver hip districts of LoDo and RiNo for brews, arts, and eclectic cafes and shops, with optional bike tour
  • Scenic Foothills of the Rockies private half day tour
  • Possible Red Rocks Ampitheater concert depending on TBD schedule
  • Amtrak Zephyr Train Ride from Denver to San Franscisco, with private rooms with sleeping berths, access to bathrooms with showers, and all meals with first class service
  • San Francisco Fisherman's Wharf
  • Alcatraz Tour
  • Muir Woods Hike
  • Chinatown
  • Napa Valley private van with driver
  • Napa Valley private tastings in 6 or more exclusive vineyards

Itinerary

Today is the arrival day into Denver. We’ll begin activities in the late afternoon, after checking into our hotel. We’ll head off to two very cool neighborhoods. the LoDo and RiNo districts. There are all sorts of eclectic shops, cafes, and historic buildings to explore. We’ll provide access to an optional bike tour of these areas. We’ll have a welcome dinner in one of the cool speakeasies in one of these hip areas, and sample some craft beers Denver is famous for.

Dinner

Today we’ll enjoy the scenic vistas surrounding the city as we do a Foothills of the Rockies Tour. After lunch we’ll continue with exploring, with more beer tastings, and in the evening we may take in a concert at Red Rocks Ampitheater, schedule TBD.

Breakfast

Today we board the California Zephyr for our 33-hour train ride. But don’t worry, we’ll be entertained with majestic views for much of the morning and afternoon. We’ll get first class service with all meals provided, and we have access to lounges for drinks anytime we want. Our rooms contain sleeping berths, and the sleeping cars have bathrooms with showers.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

We’ll continue our train ride until late afternoon, with special entertainment just for our group. We’ll present a wine sommelier’s lessons in wine tasting, so we’ll be prepared to know how to properly taste wines like an expert!

Our Zephyr train ride ends at 4pm in Emeryville, CA, so we’ll take transportation to our San Francisco accommodations – the Hotel Zephyr!!!, for 2 nights. That evening we’ll go to Fisherman’s Wharf to walk along the piers and eat some great seafood in a restaurant on the wharf.

Breakfast, Lunch

This morning we head out to visit Alcatraz Island and tour the island and facilities, and learn the fascinating history of this iconic prison and its infamous inhabitants. Once we ferry back, we’ll take a street car to Chinatown, where we can enjoy a lunch of authentic Chinese food (dim-sum, anyone?). Then walk it off by exploring the unique shops and markets there. The evening will be yours to explore as you see fit.

Breakfast

We have a private driver and van lined up for these next two days as we venture out of San Francisco. We’ll stop at the Golden Gate Bridge to see the views and take obligatory pictures, then drive into the magnificent Muir Woods, where we can do an easy hike for about an hour. Then its back into the van, stopping at 2 exclusive wineries where we have private tastings booked.  We’ll check into our luxury boutique hotel in St. Helena for the night. We can take in the views at the incredible rooftop bar in our hotel, before heading out to one of the fine restaurants in the area for dinner.

Private Tastings at Hyde de Villaine and James Cole Winery (or similar)

 

Breakfast

We’ll continue with 4 more exclusive wine tours and tastings, in unique and luxury wineries. We’ll learn about the history of wine making in the area, and visit some historic places. We’ll have our farewell dinner tonight, included in the tour, at a very nice restaurant, to cap off our wonderful week. The van will then take us back to San Francisco to our airport hotel for our last night before we fly home in the morning.

Winery Cave Tour with Private Tasting at Pine Ridge Vineyards in Napa on the Silverado Trail (or similar)

Private Winery Tastings at Salvestrin Winery, Brand Napa Valley, Cardinale in St. Helena (or similar)

OPTIONAL – for dinner, we can have the tasting menu at the Michelin restaurant The French Laundry for an upcharge.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 8 :
Departure

After breakfast at our airport hotel we check out, then go to the San Francisco airport to fly home.

Breakfast

Cost Includes

  • Denver Private Vacation Home Accommodations for 2 nights
  • Denver Brewery Tour and Brewery Tastings
  • Scenic Tour of Denver's Surrounding Areas
  • Amtrak Zephyr Train Ride from Denver to San Francisco (Emeryville) with Private Rooms with Sleeping Berths
  • Meals as indicated in Itinerary
  • San Francisco Hotel Accommodations for 2 nights
  • Fisherman's Wharf, Alcatraz Tour, Chinatown
  • Private Van and Driver to Napa Valley
  • Muir Woods Hike
  • Napa Luxury Boutique Hotel Accommodations for 1 night
  • 5-6 Private Wine Tastings at Premier Wineries
  • San Francisco Airport Hotel Accommodations for last night

Where You'll Be Staying

Denver – 2 nights at a private vacation house

Located in Denver, 5 minutes to downtown, this 6-bedroom vacation home is modern and fun with a backyard garden and balcony.  With free Wifi, it has a flat-screen TV, washing machine and a kitchen with a dishwasher and oven.

Amtrak Zephyr – 1 night

We’ve booked Roomettes, which are 6’6″ – 6’8″ in length, and 3’6″ in width. They feature:

  • Two comfortable seats by day transformed into upper and lower beds by night
  • Newly upgraded bedding, pillows, towels and linens
  • Access to a restroom and shower in your car
  • A dedicated First Class attendant
  • Complimentary lounge access
  • Priority boarding
  • Complimentary meals

In addition to your roomette, you’ll also have access to other areas on the Zephyr, such as lounge/dining cars and observation cars.

San Francisco – 2 nights at the Hotel Zephyr

Hotel Zephyr is located in the heart of Fisherman’s Wharf.  Its “ship-yard chic” feel pays perfect homage to the neighborhood, while bringing a totally new dimension to this unique part of town. Designed using materials such as recycled cargo containers and upcycled nautical goods, Hotel Zephyr is recognized for its unique, bold and distinctive style. Each of the stylish guest quarters give the experience of staying in a captain’s suite – where the very best accommodations onboard offer vistas of San Francisco Bay and the iconic Golden Gate Bridge.

Napa Valley – 1 nights at the Archer Hotel Napa

Archer Hotel Napa serves up an elevated wine country experience in the heart of its urban, walkable downtown Napa neighborhood, First Street Napa — downtown’s buzzy district with a bevy of innovative merchants, eateries and tasting rooms.

Melding the casually elegant, always-welcoming sensibility of downtown Napa with viticulturally inspired design, five-star comfort and the valley’s favorite open-air, destination rooftop, Archer Hotel Napa offers luxe guest rooms and balcony-clad suites, curated touches and treats, local-favorites Charlie Palmer SteakSky & Vine Rooftop Bar and the reservation-only Whiskey Bar, an intimate rooftop spa plus a sincere staff always at your service.

San Francisco – 1 night at the Regency Inn at San Francisco Airport

Last night accommodations, conveniently located 2 miles from SFO.

 

Depending on interest, there may be bike/e-bike tours for additional cost.

Napa’s French Laundry Restaurant Tasting Menu Dinner for additional cost.

Downtown Denver

Downtown Denver at Night by Union Station

Denver’s Big Blue Bear

Rockies

The Royal Gorge

Sierra Nevadas

Fisherman’s Wharf

Golden Gate Bridge

Chinatown

Street in Chinatown

Pier 39

San Francisco’s Iconic Streetcars

Napa Valley

Muir Woods

Wine Tasting

Joyce Grizzle

I had so much fun putting this trip together, and I can’t wait to go on it with you! We’ll explore 2 fun cities, Denver & San Francisco, complete with breathtaking views in between as we ride the Zephyr train. In Denver we’ll get a blend of the Wild West and hip urban scene, and sample local craft beers (Denver IS considered the Napa Valley of beer, after all!). Then we’ll check out all the highlights of San Francisco, continuing onto Muir Woods, and ending with the best – Napa Valley. Sooo many great wines await our tasting there!

Me at a Vineyard Wine Tasting!

Travel Avidly is happy to introduce Brad Morley, who will be traveling with us on the Denver to San Francisco Zephyr Train Trip. Brad will be our wine expert, to educate us in fine wines, and with his connections we’ll get tastings at some very exclusive high-end wineries/vineyards in Napa Valley that aren’t on the usual wine tasting circuit.

Brad is the founder and CEO of Cana Wine Company, Nashville Wine Storage, and his most recent venture Red Line Whiskey Company. With over 30 years experience in the wine industry, Brad traveled the world to study under some of the great names in the wine world. He started Cana Wine in 2012, an online premium wine & spirits retail business which specializes in rare wines and bourbons. He saw a need for a licensed wine storage facility in middle TN so in 2018 he opened the doors to Nashville Wine Storage. He and his son Taylor, combining their passion for premium spirits, then founded Red Line Whiskey Company. Their first products, hand selected single barrel offerings, launched in 2021. With Brad as CEO and Taylor as master blender, the brand now offers a full line of whiskeys with unique flavor profiles, and has garnered awards such as Double Gold medal for their Cask Strength 6 year Straight Bourbon from the wine and spirits industry’s most trusted authorities. Brad is a valued addition to Travel Avidly’s team of collaborators, and his expertise on this trip will make the wine tastings spectacular!

From $2,995 USD
/ Shared Room (Double Occupancy)
From $3,595 USD
/ Private Room (Single Occupancy)
  • Small Groups of 8 - 15 people
  • Flexible Payments
  • Pre-trip Educational/Preparation Meetings
  • TravelAvidly Trip Leader
  • Immersive Experiences

Trip Information

Activity Level: Moderate (see all ratings)

Curator: Joyce Grizzle

Trip Leader/CSR: Brad Morley