Plan an amazing Napa Valley wine tour. Learn about Napa wineries, gourmet restaurants, and unique accommodations. Discover fun and exciting things to do in this popular destination.
Located an hour’s drive north of San Francisco, there are more than 400 Napa Valley wineries producing world class wines surrounded by breathtaking scenery. Wine tasting is the main reason people visit the Napa Valley. However, there are many other fun things to do while on a Napa Valley Wine tour.
Check out this video: Have Fun in the Napa Valley
When to Visit the Napa Valley
A Napa Valley wine tour is fun any time of the year, though summers can be hot. If you like mild weather, spring and fall are the perfect time to plan a tasting visit. However, a winter trip can be a real treat; especially if you pamper yourself with a Calistoga mud bath and massage.
Navigating the Valley
The valley is only 30 miles long and ranges from 1 to 5 miles wide. There are two main routes through the valley: Highway 29 and the Silverado Trail. On your Napa Valley Wine Tour you may want to take Highway 29 in one direction and return via the Silverado Trail.
Highway 29 is the main road running through all the valley towns. This highway takes you right past some of the area’s most famous wineries and restaurants. It’s a beautiful drive; but it can be crowded, especially on weekends during the summer or early fall.
The Silverado Trail is another main road running parallel to Highway 29, but further to the east. There’s less traffic on the Silverado Trail because this route does not go through the towns of the Napa Valley. There are many wineries along this route as well and you will find that traffic moves faster.
There are numerous small roads that connect Highway 29 with the Silverado Trail. Depending on which wineries you plan to visit, use this Napa Valley Winery Map to plan your route.
Towns to Explore on Your Napa Valley Wine Tour
Be sure to make a stop in the town of Napa,
the commercial center of the valley and home to many wineries. Napa is the largest town in the valley. You’ll find lots of shopping, restaurants, lodging, and other things to do in the this town. Learn More
Yountville is a charming little town well known for being home to a number of world class restaurants including The French Laundry, Bouchon, Ad Hoc, and Bistro Jeanty. It’s also a great stop for shopping, wine tasting, and lodging.
Oakville is famous for the fabulous Cabernet Sauvignon produced in the area. Oakville does not have a retail area except for the historic Oakville Grovery Store. This is the place to go to purchase picnic supplies as you meander through the valley enjoy the scenery and the wine.
The wineries of Rutherford are known for their high quality Cabernet Sauvignon.
The town of Rutherford is not really a destination, but you want to make sure you visit some of the wonderful California wineries scattered around Hwy. 29, the Silverado Trail, and all the crossroads during your Napa Valley wine tour. Learn More
In addition to fantastic wineries, St. Helena is the place to go in Napa for shopping. There are many unique upscale shops in downtown St. Helena. The St. Helena Premier Outlets is located a few miles north of downtown. You’ll also find restaurants and lodging opportunities.
In addition to wine tasting, people travel to this laid-back community to relax and unwind in the mineral waters, mud baths, and spa treatments that Calistoga is famous for. There are restaurants and great places to stay as well.
Best Napa Valley Restaurants
Auberge Du Soleil
Auberge Du Soleil is the best restaurant in Napa Valley if you are looking for a stunning view. Make reservations to dine on the outdoor patio overlooking the vineyard covered hills and orange groves. Enjoy incredible food, attentive service, and a panoramic view of the Napa Valley.
Bistro Don Giovanni
Enjoy Italian and Country French cuisine at Bistro Don Giovanni. This is a local’s favorite with excellent food at prices that are reasonable for Napa. Make reservations to dine outside or on the small patio by the fireplace.
This French bistro is located in downtown Yountville in the heart of the valley. When you walk into the restaurant, you feel at home. The atmosphere is casual and intimate. The yellow walls, soft French music, and blazing fire in the fireplace create a feeling of warmth and intimacy. And. . . the food is great.
Brannan’s Grill is cozy restaurant located in downtown Calistoga. Enjoy casual dining, live jazz music, and great food. A huge 19th century handcrafted bar, tall ceilings with redwood beams, and skylights all create a the spacious ambiance of an elegant hunting lodge.
This romantic restaurant is located right on Highway 29 in St. Helena. A popular restaurant, Tra Vigne, has a lovely Tuscan atmosphere. You can dine indoors, on the beautiful patios, or even arrange for a candlelight dinner in the vineyard. The Italian cuisine is delightful and the service is outstanding. This restaurant is a great place to dine during your Napa Valley wine tour.
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