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Monday, December 25, 2023

5 days in napa valley | Napa valley travel guide

  Rajesh Kumar Rana       Monday, December 25, 2023

5 days in napa valley | Napa valley travel guide
Source: Flickr / Tony Webster

Napa valley travel guide

Wine, restaurants and hotels in the main wine region of the United States.

Napa Valley is one of the best wine regions in the world. However, in a valley with 400 wineries, 7 Michelin-starred restaurants, and a host of other attractions, it's hard to decide where to start.

This guide invites you to explore the valley from south to north, spending a day in the most popular locations: Napa, St. Helena and Calistoga. The most convenient way to do this is from Yountville, the center of the valley. You can come to California at any time of the year. In the spring, an abundance of wildflowers awaits you. In summer, you can go hiking and cycling. In the fall, you will see the wine-growing region in the midst of the harvest. And in the warm winter, you will have the chance to enjoy the cozy atmosphere of the restaurants and good wine.

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5 days Napa Valley itinerary

Day 1. Arrival:

Yountville is a convenient base for exploring the Napa Valley. Only 3 thousand people live in this town, but it is not devoid of its charms. It is in Yountville that Napa Valley Museum, which showcases a brief history of the region, from the first winemakers of the 19th century to the incredible development of the valley over the past 50 years. The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions of local artists.

Many wineries have opened tasting rooms in Yountville, so you can taste sparkling wine without leaving the city. Domaine Chandon or wine from a family winery Stewart Cellars. Local restaurants (Ciccio, Redd Wood or MustardsGrill )  offer excellent wood- fired pizza.

5 days in napa valley | Napa valley travel guide

The best accommodation option in Yountville is a hotel Bardessono, reflecting the spirit of the Napa Valley in every detail of its design and amenities. Even the smallest rooms have huge terraces, and the hotel spa complex offers treatments using wine ingredients.

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Day 2. Napa:

By the standards of the valley, Napa is a "big city" with a population of 80,000 inhabitants. Start your acquaintance with it from the market Oxbow, which sells local products and handicrafts. There are also branches of popular restaurants. Then take a walk along the waterfront Riverfront  The West Bank of the Napa River was converted into a public space 20 years ago and has become a favorite destination for residents and tourists. The waterfront has everything from trendy shops to small cafes.

5 days in napa valley | Napa valley travel guide
Source: Flickr / Jim G

After lunch, head to Oakville to visit wineries such as Opus One or Far Niente. It is also worth stopping by Rutherford for an olive oil tasting in Round Pond Estate.

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Day 3. St. Helina:

It was in St. Helena that the wine-making history of the Napa Valley began. Oldest winery Charles Krug, was founded in 1861. Guided tours take place every day at 10:30, but the tasting rooms are open until 17. After visiting the winery, you can taste some of the wines available only here. Although Charles Krug was founded before anyone else, it worked intermittently, which is why the title of the oldest permanent winery belongs to Beringer Vineyards, founded in 1879. In addition to grapes, the local mansion is also notable, a recreated copy of the house of the Boehringer family on the Rhine in Germany.

5 days in napa valley | Napa valley travel guide

Have a snack on the main street of the city for sandwiches in Harvest Table or bruschetta and salad in Clif Family Bruschetteria. Then - to the vineyards!

Most of them can be visited by appointment only. This is done to preserve the agricultural character of the region. There are two vineyards worth visiting not far from St Helina - Crocker & Starr  and Newton Vineyard. Visiting by appointment has its own charm, you can chat with the winemakers themselves. It is worth booking in advance as soon as you buy your plane tickets.

It is worth booking a table in advance in one of the valley's Michelin-starred restaurants (for example, French Laundry, Restaurant at Meadowood, La Toque, or Restaurant at Auberge ). The tasting menu in each of them will not be cheap, but will be remembered for a lifetime.

Day 4. Calistoga:

Head to the winery in the morning Chateau Montelena, the most important of California winemaking. Although it has been developing since the 19th century, its prestige has grown since 1976. Then a competition was organized in Paris between the wines of Bordeaux and California, the so-called "Court of Paris". It was the1973 Chateau Montelena chardonnay that was then recognized as the best among white wines. The Chateau Montelen's tasting room isopen daily, although the charming 19th century mansion with a Chinese garden is also worth a visit.

The next place for an exceptional North Californian experience is the Calistoga Mud Baths. This resort town has been attracting tourists with its hot springs since the 19th century. A variety of spas, from casual to luxurious, offer mud baths.

5 days in napa valley | Napa valley travel guide

In addition to the mud baths, Calistoga also has excellent dining restaurants. For example, Calistoga Kitchen with products from local farms or Evangeline, a distinctive Creole menu and orange tree patio.

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Day 5. Departure:

The stay in the Napa Valley is coming to an end, but you can have time to visit another city. American Canyon is located in the very south of the valley, where the Napa River and Trail Bay form a swampy backwater. This is a great birdwatching spot with about 180 bird species, from the acorn woodpecker to the myrtle songbird.

5 days in napa valley | Napa valley travel guide

You will hardly be able to see them all in one morning, just like visiting all 400 Napa Valley wineries in one go. The only way out is to plan your next trip.

Napa valley map:

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