When visiting Napa Valley, there’s no doubt that most travelers want to try out a few restaurants. After all, Napa Valley is almost as famous for the food as they are the wine. But, it doesn’t hurt to keep things simple for at least one of your meals. Picnicking is very popular in Wine Country, and for good reason. The weather is warm, sunny and (usually!) predictable, and there are dozens of beautiful spots to lay a picnic blanket and sip on wine, cheese and other goodies.
Here’s your guide to having a great picnic when visiting Napa Valley. This could be perfect for a birthday, romantic getaway or Father’s Day (hint, hint).
Choose Your Location
There is no shortage of picnic spots in Napa. Kennedy Park, Skyline Park, Yountville Park, Pioneer Park, Lyman Park and Robert Louis Stevenson Park are a few options. Be mindful that many of these parks do not technically allow alcohol, but as long as you are being respectful, you shouldn’t be bothered. In addition to parks, there are plenty of wineries that will allow you to have a picnic, providing that you purchase a bottle of wine. Be sure to call ahead for reservations.
Plan Your Menu
What type of food and beverages do you plan to have? To help complete your menu, Napa Valley has gourmet markets, food stores and delis that will provide food for your small event. You can even talk to your hotel or a local restaurant to see if they can provide you with a complete picnic basket. Some favorite picks for outdoor picnics include fresh fruits and vegetables, sandwiches, cheese and crackers and desserts. Ironically, these are the types of foods that Napa is best known for.
Pack Your Accessories
Where will you and your guests sit? Do you have plates, cups, napkins and silverware? Do you need flat trays to serve the foods? How will you keep the food and drinks cool? Don’t forget the small details that people enjoy when dining out, such as salt, pepper and ketchup. In addition to food, you’ll also need sunscreen, insect repellent and hand sanitizer. A pop-up tent or umbrella will offer shade and some privacy.