First Time Visitor's Guide to Napa Valley
Planning your first trip to Napa Valley is a fun and rewarding experience! It can get confusing since everyone has an opinion on where to go and what to do, but rest assured that there’s something for everyone, which means you can easily plan a trip around your own hobbies and interests. From wine tastings to outdoor activities to spa days, Wine Country is built around relaxation, enjoyment and the simple life!
Here are helpful tips for planning your first visit to Napa Valley.
When to Visit
The most popular time to visit Napa is during the summer. There’s nothing wrong with visiting at this time of the year, but do expect the temperatures to be warm and the crowds to be large. We think the best time to visit is right now, in the fall! September and October is crush time when the grapes are being harvested, the temperatures are cooler and the crowds are much smaller. Spring is also a great time to visit because the weather is warm, possibly a bit rainy, and the mustard plants are in full bloom.
Where to Stay
There are several areas that are suitable for staying at, including Yountville or Calistoga. But, the BEST place to stay is in Downtown Napa – hands down. Downtown Napa is trendy and quaint, with plenty of great restaurants and shopping. It’s also one of the less expensive places to stay, and you get all the convenience of the downtown area. Check out Napa Valley Hotel and Suites that is in the heart of it all and offers great rates.
What to Do
Like we said before, Napa Valley has a little something for everyone. An outdoor enthusiast will love hiking or biking through the valleys. A foodie will enjoy the seasonal menus at the local restaurants that offer fresh produce and seafood. There’s also shopping, spas and golf to pass the afternoon. Perhaps the one thing that everyone does enjoy is a visit to a winery.
You may hear people tell you that certain wineries are ‘too touristy’, but don’t take that to heart. Just because some wineries attract more tourists than others doesn’t mean they’re not worth seeing. Some of these wineries are what made Napa famous in the beginning! Choose 3-4 wineries to visit in a day, and be sure to call ahead if you need special accommodations. Most wineries are very accommodating and even welcome children and pets!