Napa Valley – California’s Wine Country


Come visit this iconic wine country in northern California and enjoy everything this region has to offer. From fancy wine tastings and five star meals, to rustic vineyards and outdoor activities, Napa has something for everyone!

Need to Know:

Currency: USD

Language: English


San Francisco – SFO

Sacramento – SMF

Oakland – OAK

Sonoma – STS

Napa County – APC

Electrical Outlets: 120V supply voltage and 60Hz, plug types A and B.

Planning Your Trip

Accommodation: I love staying in a cute little Airbnb when I go to Napa, but there is no shortage of nice hotels as well. One of my go-to spots is the Embassy Suites Napa Valley. I often day trip up to Napa from Silicon Valley because the lodging can get quite expensive in this area.

Getting Around: My general recommendation for Napa is to have a car. Using a car is really the only way to get from the airports to Napa. Once you get to Napa, there are a few other options you can consider.

  • A Wine Tour Driver: My favorite is Wine Tasting Driver
  • Napa Valley Wine Train: This tourist favorite has a bunch of experience options for food and wine packages.
  • Uber: Not the most reliable, but it is available in most parts of Napa
  • Biking: Some vineyards are really spread out, but you can bike around if you plan accordingly.

From San Francisco: There are also tours on Airbnb or other tour sites that will take you to Napa, around to vineyards, and back in one day from San Francisco!

Location: There are countless wineries and vineyards in this area and people define the area differently. When you say “Napa” you could mean Napa the city, Napa Valley, or Napa County. For this guide, I’m assuming Napa Valley which includes cities beyond Napa proper like Yountville, Calistoga, St. Helena, and more.

Napa Valley from above
Wine Tasting Driver Napa
Ashes and Diamonds Napa

Restaurants: There are so many incredible restaurants in Napa, so here are a few I’ve tried over the years:

  1. Gott’s ($) – No frills, roadside burger spot. Gott’s is a Napa institution that hits the spot after a few wine tastings.
  2. Bouchon Napa ($$$) – Actually eating at the bistro is quite expensive, but if you just want to try it, I recommend going to the bakery.
  3. Eiko’s Sushi ($$) – Low key Japanese and sushi restaurant*I have not eaten in Napa much so I don’t have a ton of recommendations*
Gott's Roadside
Bouchon Bakery
Eiko's Japanese Napa

Bigger Vineyards to Visit:

For the pricing classification, I wanted to give you an idea of how much these places cost, but I don’t remember exactly. I generally put $$ if I remember the tasting being between $20-$50, and I put $$$ if it was between $50-$100 per person. For the size, this is just how it felt when I visited, not any exact metric on cases of wine produced or anything. 

  Beringer ($$): One of my favorite wine tasting experiences in Napa was Beringer. The estate wines are so elegant and you get time to wander around the beautiful property. Beringer also has a range of visit options, including some very affordable selections (As low as $20 per person for the sip and roam package). 

 Kendall Jackson ($$): To be honest, this is not really in Napa, it’s in Santa Rosa and it is about an hour out of the way. One of my favorite commercial wines is the Kendall Jackson Grand Reserve Chardonnay, so I had to come check out the vineyard! A little further away over in Fulton, this is definitely worth a bit of a drive. They offer great tasting tours, as well as a lovely patio to enjoy a glass after exploring the grounds.

Domaine Chandon ($$): One of the most popular stops in Napa, I would definitely recommend checking out Domaine Chandon. They maintain a beautiful vineyard and tasting room open to the public for walk-ins. This is a much less personalized experience, but I prefer to grab a glass of sparkling wine and roam around the lush and beautiful grounds.


Beringer Vineyard
Kendall Jackson Winery
Chandon Vineyard Napa

Medium Vineyards to Visit:

Mumm Napa ($$): Who doesn’t love to end the day with a little bubbly? A great way to close out your day in Napa is to swing by Mumm and enjoy their wonderful collection of sparkling wines. Mumm is a more popular brand with their bottles being available in most California grocery stores and liquor stores. My absolute favorite that you must try is the DVX! 

Ashes and Diamonds ($$$): One of my favorite Napa experiences, Ashes and Diamonds focuses on Old World style wines mixed with mid-century modern design. We loved the wine and cheese pairing we did here, and I heard incredible things about the food and wine pairing!

 Schramsberg ($$$): A bubbly forward winery and one of the most popular in the Valley, Schramsberg was an awesome tasting experience. The tastings aren’t cheap, but they give decent pours of all their best wines. They also offer cave tours, but to stay on the cheaper side, we loved our tasting experience in their courtyard.

Mumm Napa
Ashes and Diamonds Napa
Schramsberg Winery

Smaller Vineyards to Visit:

Allora Vineyards ($$$): One of my favorite tasting experiences I’ve had to date, be sure to stop in at Allora Vineyards for a private tasting in their beautiful library/cellar. Their wines are absolutely stunning, with so much story and history. These wines are definitely more expensive, but worth the price tag for a luxury wine experience.

Fortunati Vineyards ($$$): We loved the private and personalized experience at Fortunati Vineyards. We tasted a variety of their small batch wines, accompanied with cheese and dry fruit pairings. I was impressed with their natural and sustainable farming practices as well as their gorgeous vineyard and outdoor seating area. Tastings are by reservation only so make sure you book in advance!

  Redmon Wines ($$$): Another great small vineyard to check out, head up to St. Helena and visit Redmon Wines.  We loved this personalized experience with this family owned establishment. Go try their stunning collection of reds as well as their chardonnay. 

Allora Vineyard Napa
Fortunati Vineyard Napa
Redmon Vineyard Napa

Other Things to do in Napa:

Bike the Vine Trail: This scenic bike trail stretches 47 miles through sprawling Napa Valley vineyards. I love biking, so I convinced my partner to bike 11 miles out to a winery, do a wine tasting, then bike back. Not gonna lie, it wasn’t the best idea to leave so much biking for after the wine tasting. Be sure to factor that into your ride plans, and don’t be too ambitious, you’re there to enjoy yourself!

Hot Air Balloon Ride: If you’re up for a bit of an adventure try booking a hot air balloon ride. Be warned that you will have to get up very early (try 4 a.m.) to meet up with your group for the ride. It is also very weather dependent for safety reasons, so there is a good chance that even if you schedule a flight, it could get cancelled due to wind. If you do get the chance to go, it is a majestic and peaceful experience. Not nearly as thrilling as I expected, but incredible nonetheless.

  Oxbow Public Market:A market packed full of food vendors of all kinds. This is a great place to swing by to grab a quick dinner, try a local beer, or indulge in something sweet. You can’t miss checking out this market while in Napa. You can also checkout Gott’s Roadside, a classic Napa institution of delicious fast food.  I stopped at the one up in St. Helena for some fish tacos and it was the perfect meal between wine tastings.

Vine Trail Biking Napa
Hot air balloon ride in Napa
Napa Vineyard Vines

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