Since its designation as California’s premier wine production area in 1881, Napa Valley has attracted visitors from all over the world. With hundreds of wineries and so many different things to do in the valley, it can be difficult to find the perfect combination of places to visit and activities to create the perfect Napa Valley getaway. The following are some of the top tips that will help turn your Napa Valley visit into the memorable experience of a lifetime.
1. Plan your trip in September and October
Northern California’s climate makes Napa Valley an all year-round vacation destination. But most people tend to plan their vacation there in the summer months. It’s important, however, to note that September and October might be the best times to visit the Valley, especially if you would want to experience the best of wine production. This is because Fall is the high point to harvest grapes, and many local wineries will have interactive wine experiences available during this time. So if you’re a real wino who’s interested in the details of wine production, then this time of the year should be in your plan.
2. Use the Train
One of the most popular ways to visit the valley and take in the scenery is on the Napa Valley Wine Train. The train route takes visitors through some of the best historic sites in the area, all while serving passengers gourmet, made-to-order lunch or dinner served with — you guessed it! — the best wines Napa Valley has to offer. It’s the ideal way to get around, especially if this is your first trip to Napa.
3. Make Reservations
The one thing that’s true about Napa Valley is that there are hundreds of wineries that offer wine tasting. And since we assume you’re on a wine tasting trip, be sure to make reservations well in advance in order to avoid missing out on some of the best tasting events. Keep in mind that while there are a lot of well-known large-scale wineries, there are also many hidden gems in the Valley. Select the upcoming events you want to be part of and make appointments well in advance, especially if you’ll be visiting Napa Valley during the summer months.
4. Don’t Over Do it
With so many excellent wineries in such a concentrated space, it can be tempting to visit as many as you possibly can. But it’s important to know your alcohol limit — you want to make sure you remember this experience! The general suggestion is to visit no more than three wineries a day. This way you’ll be able to do it all over again the next day, rather than staying inside and nursing a hangover.
5. Stay in a Vineyard Hotel
There are tons of hotels in Napa Valley, ranging from simple motels to luxury accomodations. But if you’re there to really experience Napa Valley at its best, you might want to choose a Vineyard hotel, which tends to offer free wine and unmatched views of the vineyard and outdoor spaces. Some great hotels include The Calistoga Ranch and the Auberge Resort, both of which have heated swimming pools.
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