30 Things to Do in Napa Valley Wine Country

what to do in Napa Valley

There are so many things to do in Napa Valley that I could have easily thought of more than 30. Napa Valley has a lot to be proud of. In addition to truly beautiful scenery, this small area of Northern California boasts some of the world’s best wine and food. The combination of excellent soil and weather conditions makes fertile ground for olives, nuts, fruit, and of course wine, including all the French varietals and the region’s prized grape, Cabernet Sauvignon.

I have a 3-day itinerary for Unanchor Travel Guides, which has everything you need to plan a wonderful stay in Napa Valley: maps, winery and restaurants suggestions, walking tours…all for just $4.99. And check out my 7 tips for wine tasting.

More resources for Napa Valley are at the bottom of this post. These good guidebooks for Napa Valley can also help:

Things to do in Napa Valley

During my last few trips to Napa Valley, I discovered so much great wine, food, natural beauty, and more worth sharing that I decided to put them together in one big post. So, here you go, my favorite things to do in Napa Valley, starting with the whole valley first and moving to the city of Napa second:

Things to Do in Napa Valley:

1. Leave the driving (and planning) to others: Because there are so many wineries to choose from, and no one likes to worry about driving while wine tasting, I suggest taking a wine tour through Napa Valley with Napa Wine Tours. They can plan the day for you, or you can create your own plan for the day and tell them where you want to go. Napa Wine Tours is a fast and easy online wine tour booking site–you can create custom tours in just a few clicks right from your computer. Tours start from just $52!

wine-glasses-with-iphones-001

2. Enjoy the views from a hilltop winery. This one is Signorello Estate, right off the Silverado Trail outside Napa, which is appointment only, but you can also try nearby Silveado Vineyards or Darioush for views.

Napa Valley views

3. Visit Clos Pegase. This unique winery showcases modern architecture, sculpture, and a drought-resistant garden.

clos-pegase-winery-2

4. Eat at Tra Vigne. Conveniently located right on Highway 29 between V. Sattui and Beringer, this restaurant is a convenient stop–it serves delicious Italian-inspired food at reasonable prices and has plenty of outdoor seating. Looking for something more upscale? Try Redd or Mustard’s Grill.

Tra Vigne

5. Stop at V. Sattui on Highway 29 just before St. Helena. This winery has an amazing deli. Try some cheeses before buying, choose a chutney or spread to go with it, grab a baguette and chocolates, and you have a great picnic. If you are really hungry, try one of their gourmet sandwiches.

V. Sattui

6. Experience Napa Valley in the fall. Napa Valley’s grape vines have some of the most striking fall colors anywhere (each varietal turns a different color) and makes it definitely worth a visit in November.

Napa Valley in fall

7. Take a winery tour. Choose a winery that has a tour that appeals to you. If you love caves, visit one. If you enjoy white wines, go to a winery that advertises whites in its tour. Even at the big wineries like Beringer, a tour is a great way to learn about the area and how wine is made. If you want a first-class tour, try Jarvis or Palmaz Vineyards.

wine barrels

8. See some of the valley’s unusual and striking architecture. Wineries like Darioush (below), Opus One, and Castello Di Amorosa will blow you away with their architecture. Unless the winery is open to the public only by appointment, it’s usually OK to walk around and look without tasting, so if you’ve had enough wine for the day, go ahead and stop at some wineries just to see the architecture and gardens.

winery architecture

9. Drive or bike the Silverado Trail. This small highway winds up the valley; its scenery makes the perfect place to explore wineries. It’s much prettier and less busy than Highway 29, but small roads conveniently connect it to Highway 29, which you may need to access for food and other wineries.

Silverado Trail

10. Try Napa Valley’s boutique wineries

Places like Bennett Lane Winery outside Calistoga have excellent wine, generally made with extra care in small quantities from estate vineyards.

30 Things to do in Napa Valley

And now: things to do in Napa (the city):

I’ve loved Napa Valley since my first trip there years ago but, like most visitors, bypassed the city of Napa on my way up the valley. There didn’t use to be much worth stopping for, but the city has transformed through an extensive revitalization project, and, despite the state’s economic woes, is thriving. I really enjoyed the city’s mix of hip, upscale restaurants and wine bars with small-town community activities like Shakespeare in the local park. There really is so much to do in Napa, yet you will feel totally at home.

11. Taste great wine in a stylish setting in Napa’s tasting rooms and wine bars. Try Taste at Oxbow for a great overall experience and John Anthony for excellent cabs.

Napa red wine

12. Have lunch at Ca’ Momi in the Oxbow Public Market. This restaurant specializes in authentic Italian food, including Neapolitan pizza, paninis, and organic pastries like bignes with chocolate and sea salt.

margherita pizza

13. Stop at Anette’s Chocolates to get vanilla ice cream with chocolate cabernet sauce and splurge on their fantastic chocolates and brittles.

old fashioned candy shop

14. Have breakfast at the homey and very popular Alexis Baking Company. These lemon ricotta blueberry pancakes were so, so good.

Napa breakfast

15. Eat tapas at ZuZu, an intimate restaurant with lots of character and great food made from authentic Spanish ingredients, like this perfect salad of local peaches, arugula, garroxta cheese, and orange blossom honey.

ZuZu

16. Treat yourself to the day spa experience at Spa Terra, in a beautiful cave at the Meritage Resort and Spa just outside Napa.

Napa spa

17. Explore the hills of Napa Valley. One easy place to hike is the vine-covered hills of the beautiful Meritage Resort and Spa.

Napa hiking

18. Stop at Bounty Hunter. Eat fantastic BBQ while choosing from their extensive list of rare wines available by the glass at this popular tasting bar.

BBQ restaurant

19. Take the Napa Art Walk. Walk the streets of downtown Napa and see the sculptures that make up the Napa Art Walk, a fun outdoor display of Northern California artists that changes every 18 months.

Napa art

20. Have fun and learn something while tasting wine at Back Room Wines. This wine shop and tasting bar has special themed tastings every day, including, as shown below, rare wines and comparison tastings of wines from various regions.

Napa tasting room

21. See a show at Uptown Theater or the Napa Valley Opera House. With acts like Wynton Marsalis and Ani di Franco, these beautiful venues have first-class offerings right in downtown Napa.

Uptown Theater

22. Have a drink at the bar at Morimoto. This restaurant is run by Iron Chef Morimoto. As you would expect, the food is excellent, but with so many great food options in Napa, you might opt for having a drink at the bar in this gorgeous restaurant.

Morimoto Napa

23. Stay at Andaz or the Napa River Inn. Both of these hotels offer something unique, are beautifully decorated, and are located right in the heart of downtown Napa, within walking distance of everything.

Avia hotel

24. Sit at the bar and watch the cooks at Tarla Grill, a Mediterranean restaurant that I loved for its friendly atmosphere and delicious food, including a chocolate crème brûlée!

Napa dining

25. Buy gifts at the Oxbow Public MarketOn my last visit, my favorite was the Olive Press, where you can try locally made olive oils and vinegars. The fig balsamic vinegar and kalamata olive spread are both excellent.

Oxbow Public Market

26. Walk the new Napa Riverfront. With the city’s ongoing flood control project, the riverfront is now a really nice place to walk.

napa riverfront

27. Watch live jazz at Silo’s. Napa’s nightlife scene is not big but with places like Silo’s, 1313 Main, and even a couple of tasting rooms staying open late, you will find plenty to do.

live jazz

28. Eat at Grace’s Table. I had the best breakfast I’ve ever had there, but they also serve lunch, dinner, and Happy Hour. The owner values food so fresh that he picks ingredients from his garden before coming to work. Local, sustainable, organic, and totally delicious!

Napa restaurant

29. Check out Napa’s funky, hip boutiques and art galleries.

Napa shopping

30. Last but definitely not least, take the Napa Wine Train! From good food to beautifully preserved historic rail cars, the Wine Train is a relaxing way to get an introduction to Napa Valley.

Wine Train

What would you recommend, or what would you like to do when you visit Napa Valley? 


(This post includes one sponsored link. Some of these ideas resulted from when I visited Napa as a guest of the Napa Downtown Association and the Napa Wine Train. As always, all opinions are my own.)

More about Napa Valley:

A 3-Day Itinerary for Napa Valley

Art in Napa Valley

A Romantic Getaway in Napa Valley

Winter in Napa Valley Wine Country

7 Tips for Wine Tasting

The Perfect Day-Trip to Napa Valley

A California Castle Winery

Clos Pegase photo credit: The Napa Wine Project

Pin it for later:

What to do in Napa Valley    What to do in Napa Valley

94 Comments

  • Barbara says:

    Absolutely gorgeous pictures!! I love Napa valley, especially the spas. Your pizza looks so authentic Neapolitan too. Thanks!
    Barbara recently posted..Photo Friday: Sundial BridgeMy Profile

  • I know it may be blasphemous to say this but I don’t care a lot about the food or wine. However, you know how much I love Fall colors and hiking. I would love to hike the area to experience the peace, quiet, beauty, and colors of the outdoors there.
    Jeremy Branham recently posted..A state capitol building love affair and my Occupy Denver experienceMy Profile

  • I have basically spent zero time in Napa – which I obviously need to change, especially since I’m so close!
    Ashley at No Onions Extra Pickles recently posted..Thrifty San FranciscoMy Profile

  • Fabulous tips! We took a tour of one of the wineries when we visited Napa – I can’t remember which one, but it was definitely one of our highlights. Fascinating to learn about the process and see it in action.
    Christy @ Technosyncratic recently posted..B&B Review: Marian Lodge Guesthouse in GalwayMy Profile

  • Gena says:

    I have been to or done everything on your list! I love visiting Napa. We do so4 times or more a year. Fall is by far our favorite time to visit. The colors beautiful. The only thing I would disagree with you on is the Napa River Inn. We stayed there in May. The room we were in was sub par at best. The bowl of the sink in the bath was cracked and had obviously been so for some time. The carpet that led to the bathroom was separated from tile the that led to the tub and I caught my foot in it and took a tumble. The closet door was stained by all the hairspray and products used at the sink. I was very disappointed and would not choose to stay there again. But hey 29 out of 30 is not bad. I would add Goosecross Winery to my list to make 30. It is a small winery with great wine and a small but welcoming tasting room.

    • Jenna says:

      I am sorry to hear about your experience at the Napa River Inn. I hope you were able to speak with someone about the issues so that they could take care of them. I have only seen and heard good things about the inn and really liked the fact that it is a historical building, on the National Historic Registry, and that it’s the only 3 star Michelin hotel in Napa. Thanks for your suggestion of Goosecross Cellars. I haven’t been there yet.

  • Jeff Johnson says:

    Good Morning..Loved your article..be sure to log on or get Napa Valley MarketPlace Magazine inn the coming months to read my article “Yountville by Foot for Free” by Jeff Johnson…should be in next month or September issue

  • Suzanna says:

    Jenna, we are flattered you made pizza and bignes one of your 30 recommended things to do in Napa. Thanks for the nice mention! Sincerely, Suzanna

    • Jenna says:

      So glad you stopped by! I look forward to trying more of your food on my next visit. I am a sucker for authentic Italian food!

  • Joe Becerra says:

    Very nice photos!

  • Angela says:

    Seems like a great place to visit, and food looks delicious!
    Angela recently posted..A trip, a photo – The wooden angels of Ignazio Mura, OristanoMy Profile

  • I knew I shouldn’t have read this post. Now I am STARVING! So many delicious food options and here I am miles away. You’ve got me trying to carve out some time between travels to get down there in November to see the fall colors for sure. Thanks for a little more travel inspiration in my day!
    Keryn @ walkingon travels recently posted..5 Reasons I Love A Good Mother Son DanceMy Profile

    • Jenna says:

      So glad you liked it. It really is great in November unless you get an unlucky rainy day. Let me know if you make it down this way!

  • Lisa says:

    What an incredible list of things to do in Napa Valley – I hope to get there some day to experience it for myself. All your food photos look so delicious – particularly the lemon ricotta blueberry pancakes – yum!
    Lisa recently posted..Capture The Colour Photo ContestMy Profile

  • Leigh says:

    What a fantastic list and anything with wine strikes a chord with me. We had a FABULOUS barrel tasting and biked away pretty looped from del Dotto. In fact I had written a post – Blotto at Del Dotto – I can’t recommend that tour enough.
    Biking the backroads of Napa is great fun too – and I have a free biking guide on my website if anyone is interested.
    Leigh recently posted..A Hike to the Plain of Six Glaciers & Lake Louise Tea HouseMy Profile

    • Jenna says:

      Ooh, I will check out your bike tour information because that is something I will enjoy doing. I haven’t biked there though I know the roads are perfect for it and my mom has done it a few times. Please add the links if you can 🙂

  • What a great list! I love all your suggestions and photos. I really need to spend more time in Napa instead of doing a day trip from San Francisco to enjoy everything it has to offer. Thanks for inspiring me to visit again soon.
    Mary @ The World Is A Book recently posted..Grandeur of Denmark’s Frederiksborg CastleMy Profile

  • maq203 says:

    What a great itinerary! I’m going to Napa during Crush in September for a wedding and will definitely be visiting some of these spots. Thanks for sharing!!
    maq203 recently posted..How is the Tourism Industry in Koh SamuiMy Profile

    • Jenna says:

      FUN! I haven’t been there during crush but will probably head to Lodi this year just to mix it up.

      • Lori says:

        Which event did you do on the wine train? Thinking of going in a few weeks

        • Jenna says:

          Hi Lori, I took just the regular train rides, not one of the themed train rides…I think it was the Gourmet Express. I liked the one we did because we had a long lunch and then had the chance to hang out in one of the other cars. Here’s a more detailed post on the Napa Wine Train: http://thisismyhappiness.com/2015/02/13/date-day-on-the-napa-wine-train/

          • Lori says:

            Thank you! We booked the four stop day tour. I called them it sounds wonderful. Now I’m looking for hotel in the downtown area that is not $400 a night having a hard time. Thinking it would be nice to stay in that area with all the attractions close by. Any suggestions. Only staying two nights then heading to Sonoma

          • Jenna says:

            Good question. That downtown area is really handy–you can walk to all the tasting rooms and restaurants. The Westin may have some smaller rooms that are less expensive. There’s also a more inexpensive option near downtown (I think it’s Best Western). I stayed in the guest house at Beazley House a few years ago–the room was very nice (the guest house has nice, large rooms behind the main house of the B&B), but I have no idea about the price. This is high season because it’s harvest/crush time. I always recommend calling the tourism office since they have all the latest information to help you set up your trip. Have fun! It should be beautiful then.

  • And I thought I knew a lot about Napa! Thanks for some great new ideas. I took the wine train a long time ago — think it’s time to give it another ride.
    Cathy Sweeney recently posted..Lauren’s GardenMy Profile

  • There is nothing like Napa in the Fall! Even though I live in the area, every November the colors make me pull my car over to gawk.
    Annette | Bucket List Journey recently posted..A Passionate Flamenco Dance in BarcelonaMy Profile

  • Sophie says:

    OK, definitely saving this post for our California trip. The wine train tops my list.
    Sophie recently posted..Cape Byron LighthouseMy Profile

  • Sabrina says:

    Sign me up! This looks amazing and sounds like so much fun. Definitely something to go on my travel wishlist.
    Sabrina recently posted..Monte San Vito – Tiny Town in Le Marche Region in ItalyMy Profile

  • I was just in Napa and managed to do 5 of the things you list. Of course, we stayed in Yountville and only made it to Napa proper for a short time. Just means there’s plenty to see next time…
    D.J. – The World of Deej recently posted..The San Francisco – Oakland Bay BridgeMy Profile

    • Jenna says:

      True! Always good to save some things for next time. It is impossible to do everything because there is SO much to do in Napa Valley!

  • So much to see! We have only visited once, the highlight of which was lunch at the French Laundry but we need to return now I have your list!
    jenny@atasteoftravel recently posted..Postcard from……..New YorkMy Profile

    • Jenna says:

      Well, I can imagine that lunch was quite a highlight! I haven’t been there, but there are so many good restaurants in the area!

  • Ayngelina says:

    Amazing list. I’ve bookmarked this for when I eventually find a reason to head down there – but you just gave me 30 reasons!
    Ayngelina recently posted..Learning how to scuba diveMy Profile

  • What a great list! Fingers crossed I make it there one day 🙂

  • Nancie says:

    Everything looks fabulous. I did a wine train tour here in Korea last fall and we had a blast.
    Nancie recently posted..Travel Photo Thursday — July 19, 2012 — A Hill With a View — Czech’s Kutna HoraMy Profile

    • Jenna says:

      I wouldn’t have thought of a wine train in Korea. In fact, I didn’t even know they made wine there. Thanks for sharing about that!

  • Wines. TICK!

    However, that pizza and plate of pancakes has to take the best prize of what to do in Napa. Yummy!!
    Chasing the Donkey recently posted..All things Croatian Part 1My Profile

    • Jenna says:

      Yes, those were pretty YUM! Thanks for stopping by. I’m heading over to check out all your Croatia info now! 🙂

  • Bob Reed says:

    Just spent the day in Napa with family and did six things off your list. Thanks so much for this! It was a totally awesome day.

  • Scarlett says:

    Fab pictures! I would love to go wine tasting… and that pizza looks AMAZING xx
    Scarlett recently posted..Four things you probably didn’t know about Scarlett…My Profile

  • Jenna,
    Thrilled you enjoyed Signorello Estate! As a very small boutique winery, we pride ourselves on our great wine, epicurean experiences and wonderful views. I hope you can make it back soon and thanks for spreading the word! Welcome everyone — come on up and see us at Signorello!

    • Jenna says:

      Thank you for stopping by, Judd! I hope to visit again soon and experience more of what makes your winery so nice.

  • Mike Meisner says:

    Wow – nice write up about the Valley! I have lived here three years and think you nailed most of the best things. Love love love Ca momi pizza (and their crazy good desserts). Also, if you haven’t been, check out Chappellet Winery and perhaps Terra Valentine on Spring Mountain and Outpost on Howell Mountain. Some truly spectacular experiences to be had at those places. But with 400+ wineries, it’s always hard to pick a few to recommend.
    Mike Meisner recently posted..The key to more winery visits: local search marketingMy Profile

    • Jenna says:

      Thank you for the additional suggestions. There are so many wineries to choose from, and it is a bit overwhelming, so I always appreciate personal recommendations.

  • Holly says:

    I love this list! It has so many of the things I love to do here in Napa. I would recommend Twenty Rows in Downtown Napa. It’s a small, family-run winery in a cool, somewhat industrial space. It’s the only full working winery in downtown. It’s welcoming and a great place to go with a group.

  • Kathy says:

    I haven’t been to Napa for 5 years now (time flies!!). I did not know they were redoing the downtown riverfront area. It left much to be desired in ’07. Looking forward to seeing what they’ve done!

  • Thanks so much for sharing this! Heading to Napa tomorrow with a whole list of things to do!!!

  • Michi says:

    I’m totally having a second honeymoon in Napa then. The Ca’ Momi pizza looks scrumptious!!!
    Michi recently posted..Snowy days, burning cars, and a bit of history on Northern Ireland.My Profile

  • NapaCasual says:

    I love biking through Carneros in Fall. The open landscape, the rolling hills covered with golden vines with San Pablo Bay in the background is stunning. I love Zuzu for nibbles and Morimoto for cocktails, too! And the Thomas/Fagiani’s for late night cocktails upstairs where you can look out onto the Napa River.

    • Jenna says:

      Thanks for the tips. I haven’t been to Fagiani’s yet but have heard only good things about it. I can imagine that biking through Carneros in fall would be really beautiful. Can you tell me specific roads you bike on?

  • Awesome list! We got to spend a couple of days in Napa during our honeymoon road trip. Not nearly enough time in my opinion. We will definitely have to get back and try some things off your list. Thanks so much for sharing!

    • Jenna says:

      You’re welcome! I agree, a couple of days isn’t enough time to do a whole lot there because there is so much. I think a lot of people don’t realize how much there really is to do there. Plus, who wants to be in a rush when they’re wine tasting? 😉

  • Jan says:

    Well done. This is a great list and I concur with all that I have visited/tried. I can cross 18 out of 30 as of my trip in April.

    • Jenna says:

      Wow! Sounds like you’ve been fortunate to do quite a bit in the Napa Valley area. I hope you’ll check out my next 30 things to do in Napa Valley post coming in the next couple of months.

  • Carol Wright says:

    Making my first trip to Napa Valley in a few weeks… so this site is extremely helpful and makes our planning so much easier. Thanks. Can’t wait.

    Carol H. Wright
    Urban Living the Wright Way

    • Jenna says:

      Fun! I hope you have a great time. Let me know if you have any questions I can answer for you.

  • Dora says:

    Going back to Napa with two newbies in late October. I love your blog. I’m going to look for your Napa Part 2!

    • Jenna says:

      I have gotten behind due to moving but will try to get that Part 2 done by the end of Sept. or early Oct.! 🙂

      • Laraine says:

        I live in Texas, I’m planning a trip in November, can you suggest lodging I orignally thinking about Mondocino, staying at the Stanford Inn. This will be a time of renewal and my first long trip by myself as my husband passed away a year ago. I want a place where I can relect, think about renewal, but also absorb the beauty.

        • Jenna says:

          Hi Laraine, Thanks for stopping by. I actually have not been to Mendocino, so I cannot advise you specifically about that area. The coast can be a bit harsh (cool, windy) in terms of weather, so I hope you are ready for that. I will email you when I think of other suggestions.

  • Very Nice! I’m going back to Napa and Sonoma in 2 weeks.
    KATE @KKMLT’s Travel Journal recently posted..I’m A Traveler, not A TouristMy Profile

  • Cherry says:

    Hi Jenna! what a perfect list you got here! I’m scheduled to visit my sister and family at American Canyon so I’m looking forward to trying out some of the things in this list. May I know how much was the Napa Wine Train?

  • Nancy says:

    Traveling from L.A. to Napa in April. Any last minute additional recommendations? Not sure where to stay with 23 year old twin girls….

    • Jenna says:

      Hi Nancy,
      I haven’t been to Napa Valley in the last few months, so I’m not sure what’s new there. A few favorites of mine are Cornerstone Gardens (actually outside Sonoma, about a 20 minute drive from Napa), and for restaurants in Napa Valley, I like Gott’s Roadside and these in Downtown Napa: Carpe Diem, Zuzu, Oentori, Tarla, and Grace’s Table. The twin girls might also like the scene in Downtown Napa at night including Bounty Hunter, Carpe Diem wine bar, and having a cocktail at Morimoto. About where to stay, I like places in Downtown Napa because you can walk to everything such as the Westin, Napa River Inn, and Inn on First (the last one is a very nice B&B with a modern, younger feel). I am not very familiar with hotels farther up the valley. Try the Visit Napa Valley offices for more advice. They are always happy to help! Have fun!

  • Tamara says:

    Hi Jenna,

    Your blog is fantastic and offers great tips for the Napa Valley. My name is Tamara and I am a consultant with Flight Centre in Australia. I am hoping you could please recommend a great winery tour for passengers I have staying for a night in the Napa Valley. Also would they be able to just turn up at a winery or must we prebook winery tours?

    Thanks Tamara

    • Jenna says:

      Good question about the tours. I actually haven’t done many, and two that I remember well I didn’t like! Robert Mondavi has a variety of tours you can choose from, and they’re supposed to be well done. I liked Cliff Lede, and I know they do tours. Try asking the Napa Valley Visitors Center for further suggestions.

  • Don Williams says:

    Napa Valley is really a great spot to unwind and hang out with friends. With the beautiful scenery, great food, exquisite wine and friendly locals, you will surely fall in love with this place. I’m very proud to say that this is my hometown. If you ever need a transportation service, I highly recommend Cook Limousine Services. Check out their website at http://www.limowinetoursnapasonoma.com/.

  • Natalie says:

    This is definitely a great list of things to do. Having lived in Napa my whole life, I still enjoy doing a lot of these things on my days off. Also, I thought I should mention that this year was the first year that Napa didn’t have their May-Sep run of Chef’s Market. I’m guessing it may only be temporary due to all the remodeling construction that has been going on downtown.

    • Jenna says:

      Hi Natalie,
      Thanks for your comment. I checked with the Downtown Napa Association, and it seems that Chef’s Market is not going to continue.

  • Jrod says:

    Hot air ballooning needs to be on the list. Travel + Leisure ranked Napa Valley top places in WORLD to enjoy balloon ride. nvaloft.com

  • David says:

    My 2 1/2 pence. Napa is slightly over-rated, the surrounding areas (Yountville, Rutherford, etc) are under-rated. Venture out. If you are a photographer, you’ll need to come visit in all seasons. Yes, Unlike California in general, Napa Valley actually has seasons, sans the snow. Also, take the pics early and late day. Spend the midday inside some of the little known wineries. The big wineries cater to the wine-snobs.

    If you are not a wine-snob, you can study these animals in action, in their natural environment. Be sure to stand back and stay quiet, as to not disturb them during feeding hours. Be prepared for the constant stare we locals call, The-Look-Down-One’s-Nose, or the LDON. These crafty snobs can spot a non-snob a mile away, so beware and be forewarned. Do not let the Ferrari fool you, it’s rented (just like the limo). Real rich wine snobs drive a Prius. The punishment for beer drinkers entering these facilities are unknown. Enter with caution! Beer-related T-shirts will be replaced with a tie. Just a tie. Your shirt will be removed, and you will be given only a tie.

    Seriously, don’t think Napa, think Napa Valley and the other surrounding valleys. Try to get lost, then try to get un-lost. Lastly, special thoughts on the Wine Train. I guess the WT can be considered a must for some. I believe all things that are not harmful, like art, have a place. However, don’t tell any locals you went on the WT. They a really hate that thing. There was a big showdown many years ago that was worthy of it’s own docu-series. People laid across the tracks, etc. It was wild.

    The locals thought, perhaps wrongfully, that the WT would keep people from seeing the wineries. In reality, I think it’s probably had the opposite effect. I am sure there are thousands of people that took the WT, thinking that was going to be all the wine stuff they would do, only to want more.

    Travel Tip: If you take the WT, call it the “WT”, not the Wine Train, while conversing with your fellow travellers about the WT. This will ensure you are not a victim of the LDON.

    Otherwise, have a safe trip and thank you for coming to see one of the most beautiful regions in California. We love our visitors. Even the ones that ride the WT. Really.

    Travel Tip 2: And, please don’t call us Cali. We really, really, really hate that. And, don’t call it Frisco. Call it SF or San Fran, or The City, or San Francisco. Follow these simple rules and you will be LDON-free. Locals call it the City, ie: “I gotta go into the City and score some sweet Cab.”

    • Jenna says:

      Thanks for the tips! I personally love the city of Napa but agree that some of the less-visited areas are great choices.

  • Lon says:

    Have you posted the second half yet?

    • Jenna says:

      Hi Lon, Thanks for asking. Unfortunately, I haven’t posted it yet because I realized I needed to do more research first. There are a lot of new places, especially in Downtown Napa, so I want to check out some of them before giving advice about what to do. I’ll be going there this summer, so the next 30 things should be up soon. Any particular tips you’re looking for? I may be able to help now.

  • Ebbie Koelle says:

    Great post!

    Just had a fabulous trip to Napa and stay at The Carneros Inn – check out tips and pics in the link

    http://www.theparttimeenthusiast.com/blog/2015/5/three-days-in-napa

  • I love to go kayaking in Napa Valley too! It is so beautiful!

  • Glen Main says:

    Thank you for sharing this. You shot some great pictures of Napa. I love our wine and art tours as well. Coupled with food exploration, that will be so perfect. Looking forward to more people visiting Napa Valley.
    Glen Main recently posted..Welcome to Napa ToursMy Profile

  • John Pavon says:

    Great website and photos! Its more than just a place to go its and experience!

  • noel says:

    Awesome post, I plan on visiting soon this week since I’m back in the Bay Area, great tips

  • noel says:

    I only did a few things on your list Jenna, but I definitely have to go back again and visit more often

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *