No matter what time of year you choose to visit Napa Valley, the benefits from amazingly temperate weather, sunshine, and beautiful views are endless. Whether you’re a wine connoisseur, simply looking to plan a romantic getaway, or anything in between, Napa invites visitors from all over the world to sample the flavors and sights of Northern California.
With over 400 beautiful wineries that cover the valley, any wine enthusiast, no matter their expertise level is bound to enjoy this region. If you’re lucky, you might catch hot air balloons beckoning travelers to explore the beauty of this exciting area. Don’t forget fine food and beautiful accommodations, along with the many exciting things to do on this trip. Read on for tips on planning a perfect Napa trip and exciting activities in the world-famous California Wine Country.
Napa Valley Lodging
The best types of vacation rentals around the Napa area are private homes, hotels, or resorts. Thankfully, you’ll find all of the above on VacationRenter. With over 300+ private rentals in the Valley alone, you are sure to find the perfect accommodations that will make your trip exciting and memorable. Keep in mind that Napa Valley spans roughly 30 miles in length, so make sure your rental is close to the wineries and attractions that you hope to see. Here are a few other things to consider on your Napa vacation rental hunt.
Scope Out the Towns within Napa Valley
Napa Valley’s region includes several distinct towns that offer a variety of entertainment options outside of exploring wineries and wine tasting. These towns include Calistoga, St. Helena, and Yountville, aside from Napa itself. A vacation in St. Helena gives you direct access to three-star Michelin rated restaurants such as The Restaurant at Meadowood, while a Calistoga vacation rental puts you in spa heaven, offering a huge selection of full-service spas. Yountville offers easy access to the neighboring communities, along with many local attractions. If film is your thing, don’t miss the Annual Yountville International Short Film Festival every February.
While it is important to do a bit of research to make sure the right location is booked, don’t sweat it too hard. Napa Valley is one of the most beautiful areas in the United States and the internal communities all have their own personal charm. There is no wrong place to stay while vacationing in Napa Valley.
Pick Your Season
Full disclosure: Napa is beautiful during any time of year. The fall colors make Napa a perfect place to enjoy the grape harvest and the picturesque landscape. Springtime is a busy season for the vineyards, but visitors get a chance to see the budding vines before the grapes are mature. Winter in Napa Valley is cozy and quiet, while the summers offer warm temperatures for enjoying a glass of wine outdoors.
The wonderful part about the months going by of course ties back to the food in this heavenly California region. As we would expect, most upscale restaurants offer seasonal menus to celebrate the produce of each individual season. Many of the farm to table restaurants have strong relationships with local farms. This makes for an exciting dining experience, it’s always interesting to know where your food comes from.
Napa Valley Experiences
This fine destination is action packed and loaded with things to do. Napa can be as exciting or as relaxing as you’d like. Whether you want to go ATVing, or enjoy the spa, followed by curling up by the pool with a nice book. Whatever your thing is, Napa has it.
Napa Valley Wine Train
A great way to visit some of the most famous and historic wineries is by climbing aboard the Napa Valley Wine Train. The vintage rail cars have been restored, featuring plush interiors to reflect the luxurious style of train travel back in the early 1900s. This is far from an ordinary train, equipped with three kitchens that offer an onboard dining experience. The entire train route spans 36 miles, but you can select from a variety of tours, ranging from 2 to 6 hours! Embark on this winery experience to get a complete taste of Napa in one unique tour.
Sightseeing from a Different Perspective
If you’ve already seen Napa Valley from the ground, why not see the sights from the air? Take a gentle ride in a colorful hot-air balloon and drift peacefully over the colorful vineyards, estates, and mountains. Go for an early start and watch the sunrise. Then, enjoy a late breakfast with some sparkling wine when you land. For a faster pace, take a helicopter ride. If your vacation rental is in San Francisco, you can start with aerial views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz before flying over vineyards and landing at a winery for some wine tasting and lunch.
Relax in a Spa
Treat yourself to a relaxing afternoon of pampering while indulging in a glass of bubbly. Select from roughly 50 different spas scattered throughout Napa, or head to Calistoga where you’ll find geothermal hot springs filled with healing mineral waters. Calistoga also offers a host of spas ranging from historic homes like the Roman Spa, classic bathhouses, and luxury resorts. Pamper yourself with a holistic treatment, a massage, a facial, or relax in a mineral pool that’s naturally heated.
Dine in Style
Aside from its wine-making traditions, Napa is also known for its thriving food culture, with culinary experiences that suit everyone’s taste buds. Indulge in a substantial selection of mouthwatering Michelin star restaurants, or opt for a more laid-back local dining experience at places like Ad Hoc + Addendum.
Since the two things that make Napa so special are wine and food, you can also have the best of both worlds by attending a wine and food pairing experience. Scroll through Napa’s official website for the city’s top wine and food pairing recommendations, which includes the Poppers tasting at Piazza del Dotto and Sunday Brunch at Round Pound Estate.
No trip to Napa is complete without a visit to the celebrated French Laundry. The Thomas Keller restaurant is of course world known and features 3 Michelin Stars! Enjoy a tasting menu paired with fine wine for one of the most memorable meals of your life!
Cycle or Drive in the Countryside
Join a bike tour and cycle along trails that take you deeper into the countryside to see the lush scenery and panoramic views. If you’re planning to bike on your own, a good choice is the Silverado Trail, which takes you along the valley floor’s eastern edge. Admire the rolling hills and test your stamina along the winding trails in Carneros. Pop into a local winery along the way and take a break for lunch in one of the many restaurants and cafés dotted along the various routes.
Alternatively, if you’re feeling less energetic, take a drive through Napa Valley, stopping off at museums and wineries. If you’re really looking to enjoy the wine-tasting opportunities in Napa Valley, hire a private car and designated driver instead.
All Aboard to Napa Valley
Ready to plan a Napa Valley escape? Find a trendy place to stay on VacationRenter. Your next visit to Napa will be filled with exciting memories and we are sure you will be looking into your next trip before the first one ends.