We arrived to California’s premiere wine destination on a road trip between Lake Tahoe and San Francisco. It was a perfect break point on the drive because we arrived just around lunch time when the wineries were opening.
Napa has a small town feel to it but there are so many wineries, restaurants and attractions it could easily take months to eat, drink and discover your way through them all. We think a day trip can be just as fulfilling. To avoid the crowds its ideal to go on a weekday and preferably not when one of the major festivals is going on.
How to move about:
The Napa Valley Wine Train is a tourist favorite for those wanting to avoid a drive and have a scenic tour along various vineyard stops. It can be fun but maybe not ideal for a day trip or if you have specific vineyards you wish to see.
If you are driving yourself you can stick to two main roads which will be your key to unlocking most vineyards: Silverado trail and St. Helena Highway. As you move out of Napa the town proper northwards you’ll start seeing the names of many familiar wine labels.
Vineyards to See:
The visitation culture here in Napa is such that most places have tastings open from 10am-5pm and most wineries are open to the public. We especially enjoyed our time at Mondavi Vineyard because of its beautiful layout and wine shop. Just nearby is award winning Alpha Omega which was a fun place to explore and the most historic property with a golden age tasting room was Beringer Brothers. Most properties except this one (on weekdays) have discontinued the allowance of bringing your own picnic lunch.