A Guide to Napa Valley for First Timers
We get it. A trip to the Napa Valley has been on your bucket-list for a long time, but you just haven’t been able to find the time. But now you’re able to take a quick-getaway and want to maximize your time in the area. We know for sure you’re going to wish you had more time to spend. So what do you need to know?
When to Visit
While the summer months are nice, they’re also incredibly crowded – crowded like a baseball field on dollar dog night. There are lines everywhere. That’s not to say you can’t come, but be prepared with your highest level of patience and a few extra dollars in your wallet for the summer-season prices.
The spring months are gorgeous, most notably for the blooming mustard plants. It’s something you really do have to see to believe. But the absolute best time to visit is the fall. Not only are the crowds thinner, but the months of September and October are the busiest times for operating wineries. They’re busy harvesting and crushing grapes and you’ll actually get to see them in action. It’s an experience worth waiting for.
Make sure you do your homework before you book a hotel room in the Napa Valley. While Napa is the main attraction for tourists, the valley itself is actually very, very large. So yes, it is totally possible to find a Napa Valley hotel room for $79, but that room may be upwards of 50 miles away from Napa itself – not exactly the experience you’re looking for.
Visit Napa on a Budget
Before you begin your journey, make sure you visit the Napa Tourist Guide’s Napa on a Budget page. You can find incredible coupons, tips, and discounts on this site, including the occasional FREE winery coupon. You can also find out more about the Priority Wine Pass, a discount card that will get you free or reduced wine tastings at a series of local hot spots. Depending on where you go and whether or not you’ve found some coupons, you can expect to pay anywhere from $5 to $50 (sometimes more) per person for a tasting.
Don’t forget to plan for your meals, too. There are tons of incredible restaurants, some attached to wineries and some not. The average full-course dinner will cost you about $50 per person before wine. There are plenty of other inexpensive food options as well, though – including a series of food trucks you’ll find parked around the area.
Timing, location, and food (and wine) are everything when it comes to planning your Napa Valley trip. We’re sure you’ll love Napa so much you’ll probably be planning your trip back before you even leave!