With summer ushering in warm temps and sunny, dry conditions along the west coast, the month of August is smack in the middle of high season for California wine country, making this one of the best times to visit the region. But Napa and Sonoma don’t have a lock on romantic weekend escapes in these parts. A hundred or so miles to the northeast of Napa Valley, Placerville offers an idyllic wine country alternative with over 90 boutique and family-run wineries, all nestled quietly in the heart of the state’s Gold Country.
This week’s hotel pick is the petite Eden Vale Inn, a charming bed and breakfast in the Sierra Foothill Wine region that was recently named one of “America’s Top 10 Romantic Inns” for 2012 by iLoveInns.com. The manicured property provides a serene backdrop to the luxury inn itself, a classic hay barn circa 1919 that, following years of meticulous renovations, today houses seven guest suites with a laundry list of contemporary hotel amenities: luxurious linens, plush furnishings with rich wood accents, and indulgent outdoor soaking tubs. Rooms at the inn include complimentary gourmet breakfast for two, and rates (which vary by room) start as low as $149 per night in August. Even better, a variety of airlines offer direct flights between Denver and Sacramento – just a 50-minute drive from Placerville – with round trip fares on United, Frontier, US Airlines and Southwest priced under $300 per person (as of this post). With rates and fares this low, you can treat your sweetheart to a few extra bottles of your favorite vintage and score some extra romance points along the way.