Napa Valley Travel Guide

Napa Valley Travel Guide

Getty Images

Napa Valley is more than just excellent wines—its history has roots as deep as those of the region’s old Cabernet vines. In downtown Napa, 19th-centu... Read More

Napa Valley is more than just excellent wines—its history has roots as deep as those of the region’s old Cabernet vines. In downtown Napa, 19th-century architecture and Queen Anne mansions still populate the riverfront, though new hotels, tasting rooms, and restaurants are transforming the town into a cool, walkable hub.

On the southern end of the valley, Carneros shows off the county’s rustic roots with boutique wineries and elegantly understated hotels modeled after farmhouses. Central Napa is as chic as ever, with Michelin-starred restaurants and winery design inspired by French châteaux constantly one-upping one another. In this region, more than 400 wineries crush, age, and pour California’s best wines, making Napa a must-visit for oenophiles.

Read Less

Visit Napa Valley

Best Time To Go

Napa is a good destination year-round, with each season offering something different. In summer, groups in sundresses and collared shirts pack themselves into limos to zip through the valley. Come fall, wine geeks emerge for the beginning of harvest season, when Cabernet, Chardonnay, and Pinot grapes are picked, crushed, and aged. Go in November and you’ll miss the harvest madness and catch the hills brightened with grape leaves turning orange and red. Winter is the quietest time of year, and also one of the most underrated—fewer visitors means more one-on-one time with vintners and long evenings drinking Cab by the fire at one of the area’s many stylish hotels.

Transportation

The best way to traverse this 30-mile-long valley is with a designated driver—be it a car service like Napa Shuttle & Limousines, My Napa Valley Driver, or Uber—or by hitching a ride on the Napa Valley Wine Train.

Weather

July is usually the hottest month, with an average high of 83°F (28°C). January is the coldest month, with an average high of 57°F (14°C).

Know Before You Go

Traffic can clog wine country’s narrow roads pretty quickly during peak season. If you don’t want to waste precious time sitting in gridlock, head out early or go during low season. Also, while some wineries take walk-ins, many are by appointment only, so always check before you go.

Language

English

Electric

Type A (two-prong plug) or Type B (three-prong plug)

Currency

United States Dollar ($)

Advertisement
Advertisement