15 Tips & Tricks - Napa Valley - California - Dream the Day Away

15 Tips & Tricks When Visiting Napa Valley

Heading to Napa Valley? Here are 15 of my favorite tips & tricks to help make your Napa Valley trip memorable! Looking for ideas on what to do in Napa Valley? Check out my Napa Valley day trip itinerary or 3 Days in Napa article.

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  • Smaller wineries take reservations and reservations can be limited, so make sure to call and book your favorites ahead of time.  Also go to your favorite/most expensive first while your palette is fresh.
  • Ask for a winery map when you check into your hotel or ask at local shops/restaurants. You will find that certain areas have the same soils and climate, which affect the taste of the wine, so you will probably like multiple wineries in the same region.
  • Take a Lyft or a bus tour so you don’t have to worry about driving.
  • If you do decide to drive, it is super easy, almost all the wineries are off St. Helena Highway, but everyone is taking the same highway, so there will be slow downs, so just enjoy the scenery.
Napa Valley - California - Dream the Day Away
  • Many wineries will let you split a tasting, so this is a great way to save some money and try multiple wines.
  • Each winery has different tasting menus, some are reds only/whites only, some are a mix and the prices range from $25-50+ depending on the winery, so make sure to check ahead before you go if you only want to try specific wines or are on a budget.
  • Get an early start! Many people wait to go later in the day, so head to your favorite first when they first open. You will have incredible service and the beautiful gardens all to yourself.
Napa Valley - California - Dream the Day Away
  • Take your time to enjoy. Almost every winery has beautiful gardens, so make sure to take your time walking around and enjoy the beautiful vineyards and gardens. (The picture above is from Caymus)
  • Most of the wineries close early in the afternoon, so make sure to get an early start and check each wineries hours.
  • Local restaurants & bars usually have a great Napa Valley wine selection, so this is a great way to try some more wine.  Also make reservations for your favorite restaurants as most will fill up in advance.
Napa Valley - California - Dream the Day Away
  • Make sure to spend time checking out the different towns near the wineries, they all have great dining and shopping options. Yountville, Oxbow Public Market, and St. Helens were the three towns we made it to. Many of these towns/restaurants also have beautiful gardens and views, so make sure to enjoy.
  • Many of the wineries have special release wines that are only sold at the wineries and not in stores. So make sure to try these and if you like them, buy a bottle to take home.
  • Wondering how to get your wine home? Most of the shipping places in town will have a wine shipper $10-20, which will hold 6 bottles of wine.  You can ship your bottles from there, or if you are flying Southwest, you can check it at the airport as one of your free checked bags. Flying a different airline? Check their website, but most will let you take the box as one of your checked bags (Reddit generally has pretty good answers on this).
Napa Valley - California - Dream the Day Away
  • Take time to drive around looking at the gorgeous wineries and landscape, everything is so pretty!
  • Need a break from wine, did you know San Francisco is a short drive away? San Francisco is a short 2 hour drive from Napa Valley, making it perfect for a day trip and the best part, is the drive there is BEAUTIFUL. Check out my combined Napa Valley and San Francisco Itinerary.
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15 Napa Valley Tips & Tricks - California - Dream the Day Away
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