Have you been to Napa Valley? Napa is known worldwide for its wine; 3.3 million people visit Napa Valley each year! It is the perfect wedding destination, romantic retreat, girls weekend or mother daughter trip. Visiting Napa Valley Wine Country can be tricky and requires planning. First, Napa Valley is expensive. Search Air BnB for a deal on accommodations. Also, stop in the tourism office for 2 for 1 tasting cards and download the winery finder for promotions. Second, drinking and driving is not OK. Consider alternative transportation such as Uber, the Wine Train or an organized tour. If you do decide to drive, be sure to schedule time between tastings. Many of the large wineries are open to the public for tours of the grounds. There are hot springs in the area and many of the spas offer grape based treatments. Shopping is always a good way to spend an hour or two!
Napa Valley Itinerary: The Wineries
There are over 400 wineries in the Napa Valley. The wineries are spread throughout the area and many require reservations. Deciding how to spend your time in Napa is overwhelming and requires planning. Of course, you will want to pick wineries that produce your favorite wine. Consider visiting a combination of high end and family owned wineries. Take a class to learn about wine. Tour a large winery for an informative behind the scenes tour. Touring a barrel room is also fun. Not only is Napa Valley known worldwide for its wine, it is also a foodie destination and home to four star restaurants. Many wineries have incredible chefs and pair the wine with food. I highly recommend these pairings! Use my google map with web addresses and images to plan your perfect Napa Valley itinerary.
Napa Valley Itinerary: Yountville
Yountville is a great stop in Napa Valley. There are several tasting rooms, V Marketplace for shopping and incredible restaurants including French Laundry. Unfortunately, $550 for a meal is outside my price range but we did walk through the restaurant’s garden. While in Yountville I recommend a stop at Kollar Chocolates and Thomas Kellar’s Bouchan Bakery. Yountville is also the home of Napa Valley Aloft Balloon Rides.
Napa Valley Itinerary: Napa (the city)
Downtown Napa has shops along the waterfront. Oxbow Public Market has live music, cooking demonstrations, wine and beer tastings and a farmer’s market. Stop in the Olive Press for vinegar and olive oil tastings. Consider purchasing a Napa Tasting Card to enjoy the many wine bars and tasting rooms in the area. Check out the Napa Art Walk, go to the Opera House or see Shakespeare in the Park. Design your own blend at District 4 Wine or take a foodie tour of Downtown Napa with Gourmet Walks. This is also where you catch the Napa Valley Wine Train.
Napa Valley Wine Country is a 1.5 hour drive from San Francisco and 3 hour drive from Lake Tahoe. It is a perfect stop during a Northern California road trip.
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