Though Napa Valley feels worlds away from the busy streets of nearby San Francisco, this is no remote or rustic hinterland. Napa offers world-class dining to pair beautifully with its premier bottles of wine. Whether you choose to hop from winery to winery on a tasting tour or spend a romantic weekend exploring the grounds of the property of your choice, any Napa Valley itinerary is a good one.
The area boasts more than 400 wineries, and Napa's out-of-this-world Cabernet Sauvignon and other vintages aren't the only things drawing visitors to Napa from near and far. The rolling, vineyard-dotted hills of the valley rival Tuscany and Bordeaux for scenic wine country vistas, which you can experience by bike, car, or even hot air balloon. You can pamper and please the senses beyond your palate with trips to the spa, Jacuzzi time, shopping, and much more, all without leaving the Valley.
Arts and cultural experiences include the Rail Arts District (RAD) in downtown Napa, where you can admire the murals that stretch along the Napa Valley Vine Trail bike path or visit the studio of renowned glass artist Gordon Huether. You'll discover exquisite artworks in other surprising places, like the huge gallery at the Robert Mondavi Winery or the world-class sculptures in the vineyards of HALL Wines in St. Helena.
In such a beautiful natural environment, some choose to focus on rejuvenating their spirit by getting in touch with the earth. That might look like outdoor yoga, paddle boarding down the Napa River, hiking under the moon with the Napa Land Trust or learning farm skills hands-on at Connolly Ranch. Take a mud bath at one of 15 area Calistoga spas, hit the links at one of five Napa Valley public courses. You can even kayak on Lake Berryessa.
If you're looking for an experience that sums up Napa Valley well, consider Calmere Estate Winery's popular brunch and yoga program, which brings together the best of Napa Valley: good food, good wine, and self-care, surrounded by the beauty of nature. Even those who don't love wine will find plenty to love in Napa, from brewery tours to cooking classes at the Culinary Institute of America at Copia.
Come for the good wine, the good food, or the good weather, and raise a toast to the good life in Napa Valley!
When to Visit Napa Valley, CA
Napa's enviable climate makes it a year-round destination for wine lovers, wine country weddings, girls' getaways, and romantic weekends. The area basks in more sunny days (and fewer rainy ones) that most places in the United States. Winters average in the 50s, but can dip into the low 30s, and Napa's warm summers hover in the mid-80s.
Visit from January through March if you're looking to snap some photos of the yellow mustard that blooms on the dormant vines. You can book a 3-hour guided tour with a photographer to ensure you get the perfect shot.
Everyone looks forward to Arts in April. The block of more than 50 events includes favorites like BottleRock and Festival Napa Valley. If you plan to visit for the events, be sure to book well in advance to secure accommodations. September and October is "crush" season when the vineyards pick the grapes and begin to craft the next new vintages. The air is said to smell of wine, so you can really soak it in!
Below is a chart of the current pricing seasonality of hotels and motels in Napa Valley, CA:
Napa Valley by Star Rating
Below we've posted 3 graphs demonstrating mean price patterns by star rating class in Napa Valley, CA. You can use these line graphs to determine the most cost effective time period to book in Napa Valley for your upcoming travels.
Luxury Hotels Near Napa Valley, CA
4 Star Average Prices: $283.25
Few destinations compare to Napa Valley's density of luxury resorts. The five-star Bardessono resort in Yountville offers privacy and sleek, modern style, yet it also lies within walking distance to major sites like the Napa Valley Museum and Napa Opera House. Its LEED platinum certified status makes Bardessono an appealing option for eco-conscious travelers.
Bardessono guests (and their pets) are treated like royalty with free pool cabana access and rooms equipped with such luxuries as personal fireplaces, secluded patios or balconies, and separate jetted bathtubs and showers. The fitness center opens to the fresh air, and the restaurant serves up farm-fresh fare and local wines. If you need anything during your stay, simply call on 24-hour room service.
If you are seeking rustic luxury that is more secluded, check out the five-star Calistoga Ranch, an Auberge Resort. Each of the 50 guest rooms features top-notch amenities like fireplaces, private, furnished balconies or patios, and complimentary Wi-Fi.
This property is a family favorite because kids get spoiled by supervised child care and activities at their own children's pool, while parents can dine at The Lakehouse restaurant or head to neighboring vineyards like Hans Kornell Champagne Cellars.
Affordable Hotel Options in Napa Valley, CA
3 Star Average Prices: $205.05
Those seeking affordable hotels near Napa Valley may need to drive a few miles outside of downtown Napa and look at communities like Fairfield, California, where you'll find the Staybridge Suites Fairfield Napa Valley Area. You'll still be just under 14 miles from the Napa Valley Wine Train and key local wineries, all without the Napa luxury price tag. Families love this property because rooms come with kitchens stocked with fridges and microwaves. Kids love watching the premium channels, logging onto the free Wi-Fi, and splashing in the indoor pool, while parents appreciate the daily housekeeping and the value of a complimentary breakfast buffet.
2 Star Average Prices: $152.88
Napa Valley: Real Discounts
Military and government workers will find special discounts at Hotel Indigo Napa Valley, located just minutes from the Oxbow Public Market and Robert Mondavi Winery. The spacious contemporary hotel can accommodate large groups, too. You'll get the best group discounts here during July and from January to February.
Guests love Hotel Indigo's cleanliness and conveniences, from its pet-friendly property to the in-room fridges and flat-screen televisions and free Wi-Fi. Guest rooms also come equipped with safes, desks, and phones with free local calls. Dine on-site at the hotel restaurant or bar and lounge, and be sure to check out the outdoor pool, spa tub, and fitness center.
Best Value Hotels in Napa Valley, CA
If you're looking for a cozy, well-rounded hotel near downtown Napa, consider the Napa Winery Inn. The air-conditioned guest rooms feature refrigerators, free Wi-Fi, and cable television, as well as your own coffee and tea maker and daily housekeeping service. During your stay, you can also look forward to dips in the spa tub and seasonal outdoor pool and the daily complimentary cocktail reception. You can also wake up to a hot and cold buffet breakfast each morning to fortify you for a day full of wine tastings in Napa Valley.
Wine Tastings and Education in Napa Valley, CA
If you're in Napa Valley for the wine, you won't have to go far to find it. To help you map your tasting route during your visit to Napa Valley, stop into the Napa Valley Welcome Center in downtown Napa to pick up free maps, guidebooks, and a few word-of-mouth tips from the Center's friendly concierge team.
Starting in Yountville, you won't want to miss a stop at Domaine Chandon for some sparkling wine and family-owned Stewart Cellars. On your way to Napa, stop into Oxbow Market to shop for local gifts and enjoy lunch before checking out Opus One, Duckhorn, Nickel & Nickel, and Far Niente, each of which displays old-fashioned wooden barrels in their impressive tasting rooms. To visit other area vineyards, be sure to call ahead or check online for tour times as many are open by appointment only to allow ample time for growing and wine production.
Don't miss a visit to Berringer Vineyards, the oldest vineyard to operate continuously in the area, starting in 1879. The oldest winery title goes to Charles Krug, founded in 1861. Chateau Montelena Winery is another famous vineyard well known for its award-winning Chardonnay, which historically has outperformed French competitors. If you'd like to know more about these forerunners of the area and how Napa evolved over the years, visit the Napa Valley Museum in Yountville.
If you only have time to book a single excursion, you might consider the Napa Valley Wine Train, which takes passengers on a magical six-hour journey by rail to visit three well-known wineries. Along the way, you'll enjoy a four-course meal, tours, and tastings.
If you've ever dreamed of becoming a sommelier or running your own winery, you can learn how to do that at the Napa Valley Wine Academy. Here, you can earn WSET certifications (Wine and Spirits Education Trust) or simply take a course or two geared to the enthusiast. You'll be learning from the best!
Come for the wine, the award-winning food, a wedding, or a weekend in the beauty of nature. Indulgent experiences await in Napa Valley, the destination for the traveler with a taste for the best.