The Ultimate Napa Valley Travel Guide

napa-valley-travel-guide-pin.jpgSo I know I’ve posted a few blog posts regarding Napa to highlight some of the bigger things we did BUT the time is now for….drumroll, please…the Ultimate Napa Valley Travel Guide! I am so excited to share this with you all finally! I knew even two years ago that Napa is a place I could travel to over and over again. We were lucky enough to go back for a weekend and you can find all of the good stuff on all things Napa Valley below, including tips on how to get to Napa! So keep on readin’!


THE ULTIMATE NAPA VALLEY TRAVEL GUIDE: HOW TO GET TO NAPA


To start off with, a big step some might not realize when planning a Napa Valley is you need to take into consideration how you are going to get from point A to point B! A being the airport (either SFO, Oakland, or Sacramento) and B being Napa Valley! Below are some options that we considered before we landed on renting a car for the weekend. It turned out to be the least expensive option overall for just us two.

  • CAR RENTAL *Number One Recommendation*
    • I’ve used rentalcars.com twice now and feel like I get such a great deal. It was about $75 for the entire weekend!
  • EVANS TRANSPORTATION: AIRPORT CHARTER BUS OR CAR SERVICE
    • They run 7 days a week with 6 or 7 different times per day for both SFO and Oakland airports. It’s $40 per person one way that takes you to a station in Napa close to Downtown (a quick 5 minute Uber)
    • Evans Transportation also has other options such as booking a private car service for airport pick up.
  • BOOKING A SUPER SHUTTLE
    • We did this two years ago when it was 6 of us girls. It worked out being cheaper than a rental car because we all split the cost of the Super Shuttle between us!
  • UBER/LYFT
    • This isn’t the cheapest option by any means. One way from SFO to Downtown Napa was giving us an estimate of about $100 but if it’s your last resort, then it’s still an option! Not my first recommendation though.

 


THE ULTIMATE NAPA VALLEY TRAVEL GUIDE: WHAT TO DO



  • NAPA VALLEY WINE TROLLEY
    • You can find my full recap of our experience with the Napa Valley Wine Trolley HERE. Seriously, it’s my TOP recommendation for anyone who is planning on heading to Napa Valley! A fun, full day of wine tasting, meeting new friends, and experiencing true Napa life. 10/10 for Napa Valley Wine Trolley
  • NAPA VALLEY BIKE TOURS *ELECTRIC BIKE RENTALS*
    • Find my recap HERE! These Napa Valley Bike Tour bikes made us feel like giddy little kids but also classy adults who love a good glass of red.
  • DOWNTOWN NAPA TASTING ROOM HOPPING
    • There are SO many great little tasting rooms all along First Street to pop into. Conveniently, we were right next door to JaM Cellars Tasting Room and a quick walk to others near by.
  • NAPA VALLEY WINE TRAIN
    • I did the Napa Valley Wine Train two years ago with the girls. I feel like it’s the iconic thing to do in Napa and it was a great experience. It’s definitely on the pricier side and I feel like you can get the same experience from the Napa Valley Wine Trolley for a cheaper price tag! The Wine Train does include a gourmet 5 course meal on board the vintage train though which is an incredible touch! They do sunset rides for dinner as well that I feel like would be really memorable and amazing to do!
  • HOT AIR BALLOON RIDE
    • This is something I thought would be so fun! A sunrise hot air balloon ride followed with champagne and brunch. In reality, I think both Den and I are too afraid of heights to actually book something like this! Haha. But for those who aren’t afraid, please book Hot Air Ballon Ride and tell me how it is! It looks insanely beautiful.
  • GROUP/BOOKED WINE TOURS
    • This one is an obvious option, duh. The Wine Trolley & Train both fall under this category. But there are so many different companies in the Napa Valley area that I feel like you really need to do your research to find out what you want out of the trip. Group tours (van style) like Platypus are available that I’ve heard good things about and also booking private car services are available, too. The options are truly endless.
  • GETTING A PRIORITY WINE PASS
    • This ended up being a huge money saver for us! The Priority Wine Pass is a pass that lasts 12 months to wineries and tasting rooms in California-both Northern regions and Southern regions. We were able to do a handful of tastings at a 2 for 1 deal. Who doesn’t love saving money!?
    • You can find the details here and use code REA20 for $20 off! It takes down the yearly priority wine pass down to only $40! We saved that in one tasting!

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THE ULTIMATE NAPA VALLEY TRAVEL GUIDE: WHERE TO EAT


  • NORMAN ROSE TAVERN
    • I’ve eaten here both times I’ve visited Napa and have loved it each time! The ribeye and mashed potatoes were AMAZING! So great after a day of wine tastings. *Website here*
  • OXBOW MARKET: C CASA, FIVE DOT RANCH & COOKHOUSE, HUDSON GREENS & GOODS
    • The Oxbow Market is a large warehouse style food court with a ton of great options. We went two out of the three days and had some dang good food. You can find breakfast, lunch, dinner, and treats here. They have it all. *Website Here*
  • ANDAZ FARMER’S TABLE
    • We ordered room service from the Andaz restaurant and were not disappointed by any means! They know how to do a classic breakfast with a little bit of a flare. Seriously SO good! *Website Here*
  • MERCANTILE TERRACE 
    • This is the terrace restaurant option for Andaz Napa. Due to poor air quality, we didn’t get to hang out much up there this time. However, my first trip us girls had a yummy charcuterie board and enjoyed some wine on the terrace. *Website Here*
  • BOUNTY HUNTER
    • If you want some down home bbq, this is your spot. Their pulled pork sandwich and baked mac and cheese are out of this world! You can always use a little bbq in your life, especially after a full day of wine! *Website Here*
  • ANETTE’S CHOCOLATE & ICE CREAM
    • If anyone knows me, they know I am have a total sweet tooth. The upscale chocolates here were literally speaking to me! We stopped in after our dinner one night and I stocked up on some chocolates. Their chocolate caramel squares are a definite 10/10. *Note: there’s also a location at the Oxbow Market. *Website Here*
  • FEAST IT FORWARD
    • This is the one place we didn’t make it to that’s on this list. BUT it honestly looked so intriguing when we walked by each time. Music, outdoor patios, lights, the whole 9 yards. I believe it’s newer to Downtown Napa but it just seemed really great! So if anyone has already tried it, I’d love to hear how you liked it! *Website Here*
  • PLATFORM 8 (Yountville)
    • We wanted to stop somewhere quick before heading home on our electric bikes so we stumbled across Platform 8 for a quick burger. We didn’t talk much once our food came, that’s how good those dang burgers were! Along with the fries. It’s a solid burger. Totally recommend for an affordable option in Yountville! *Website Here*

Essentially, there are DOZENS of restaurants in Napa Valley that are note worthy, but we just didn’t make it to all of them! Haha. And I don’t feel like throwing up a recommendation for food if I haven’t even walked by it or eaten there!

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THE ULTIMATE NAPA VALLEY TRAVEL GUIDE: WHERE TO DRINK



WHERE DO I EVEN START! The list is endless and below are some of my top favorites.

  • JAM CELLARS
    • #1 Downtown Napa Tasting Room Recommendation
  • MERCANTILE SOCIAL
    • The cozy and local bar inside of Andaz Napa
  • MARK HEROLD WINES
    • Recently remodeled/renovated and the whole style is on point. Tasting room only.
  • LAIRD FAMILY ESTATE
    • Large winery with rows and rows of vineyards and patio with great view of the grounds
  • HILL FAMILY ESTATE
    • Tasting room in Yountville
  • PESTONI FAMILY ESTATE WINERY
    • Our first stop on the Napa Valley Wine Trolley
  • WHITEHALL LANE WINERY
    • 2nd stop on the Napa Valley Wine Trolley
    • The most beautiful entrance and grounds. The fall colors were epic
  • COSENTINO WINERY
    • 3rd stop on the Napa Valley Wine Trolley
    • Intimate tasting room along with a little gift shop and pretty outdoor patio in the front
  • ANDRETTI WINERY
    • 4th stop on the Napa Valley Wine Trolley
    • Vineyards for days. Consequently, a great tasting room with little gourmet snacks and products to purchase. Actually two tasting rooms now that I think of it correctly!
  • ROBERT MONDAVI 
    • I feel like this one is a given. We stopped here on the Wine Train two years ago and it was truly breathtaking. A really cool barrel cellar, too where we did the tasting
  • V. SATTUI WINERY
    • This is probably one of my favorite wineries in all of the Napa Valley region. From the amazing story with all of the family that is involved, the adorable picnic grounds, the gourmet cheese and meat selection, along with great wine. If you can, add this stop to your list of wineries to visit!

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THE ULTIMATE NAPA VALLEY TRAVEL GUIDE: WHERE TO STAY


  • ANDAZ NAPA
    • As you know, we stayed at the Andaz Napa for our time in Napa. The Downtown location, amazing hotel amenities, a great staff, an eclectic true Napa vibe, and the best bath tub I’ve ever seen! Haha. You can read more about our time at Andaz Napa HERE!
  • HOTEL INDIGO *Less Expensive Route*
    • On the other hand, this is where we stayed 2 years ago as a much(and I mean much much much haha) less expensive option for accommodations in Napa. It wasn’t located right Downtown, but was a quick Uber ride into Downtown. Subsequently, this is a good alternative if you are trying to stick to a budget when visiting Napa.

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Okay so I know I just hit y’all with a TON of information when it comes to Napa. However, I promise you this is the Ultimate Napa Valley Travel Guide you have been looking for and needing! As a result, you have options to take up a short weekend or a long extended weekend. The possibilities are endless when it comes to exploring Napa Valley. If we had more time, we would have taken our rental car on a drive all the way up to Calistoga for some sight seeing of other vineyards since we didn’t quite make it up that far during our stay!

Lastly, a quick recap of other posts relating to Napa that you will find helpful! Even though I’ve linked them all above, it’s easiest for you all to have them in one place to look back on!

Our stay with Andaz Napa

A day on the Napa Valley Wine Trolley

Exploring Napa on electric Bikes

As always, be sure to subscribe so you can stay in the loop with the latest travel guides, travel tips, and all of the other goodies I write about here.

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