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Napa Valley: the ultimate wine lover's guide

Updated: Jan 30

Napa Valley: a dream destination for wine lovers

Napa Valley is a paradise for those who love wine, gastronomy, and beautiful landscapes. Located in California, Napa Valley is home to nearly 300 wineries, producing some of the best wines in the world. It's hard to decide which one to visit from all the options. Take a look at the map below.

Napa Valley is more affluent and sophisticated than Sonoma Valley. The destination offers a variety of award-winning restaurants and stunning landscapes.

Please be cautious when planning your trip to Napa Valley, as it is a highly sought-after destination. It is recommended that you book your trip in advance to ensure availability.

Napa City

We preferred to stay in Napa City and have not regretted. It is the region's most lively and bustling city and the starting point for various excursions.

For wine lovers, the city offers a variety of bars and restaurants offering wine tastings from small and large producers. Some highlights include Carpe Diem, Back, and Oxbow Public Market. One can experience wine from small and large producers before visiting them.

The Oxbow Public Market offers countless local and artisanal food options, such as fruits, cheeses, breads, and delicious desserts!

The city also offers a variety of dining options, from Michelin-starred restaurants to neighborhood restaurants. Some highlights include LA Toque, the sensational Morimoto, Pizza Azzurro, and Norman Rose.

Do you prefer to eat outside, enjoying the beautiful view of Rio? Try Angele or Fish Story.

But since not everything is gastronomy, the Opera House, built in 1879, hosts jazz, blues, theater, and contemporary dance shows.

Sports and Adventures

For sports lovers, we suggest hiking or biking 16.5 km round trip in Skyline Wilderness Park and Napa Solano Ridge Trail.

For those who like adventure, we recommend the balloon ride that flies over the entire Napa Valley vineyard region in almost 1 hour. You can even combine a balloon ride and a bike ride.

Early morning, the responsible company will pick you up at your hotel. After the flight, they will take you to the bike tour starting point. The tour generally takes 3 hours along local roads and stops at some wineries with the possibility of tasting (not included in the tour price).

Our balloon ride was so stressful! The pilot could not land. It took him something like 2 hours to succeed. And the only place he could was in the middle of the airport. I was calling my family to say goodbye!

But nothing as Champanhe to let go the fear!

At the end of the day go relax at the Napa River Inn at the Historic Mill.

Wine Tasting at Napa Valley

Very close to Napa are the Michael Mondavi Family Estate and the terraces and gardens of the Domaine Carneros winery.

Domaine Carneros was founded by the Taittinger Champagne family and produces the well-known sparkling wine with the same name. The tasting is one of the best we did there.

The Napa Valley Wine antique Train, with restaurant and tasting onboard with cars separated by different types of grape.

Other Napa Valley Cities and Attractions

Yountville: is picturesque, known for its haute cuisine, and earned the nickname of the Culinary Capital of Napa Valley. The French Laundry, a restaurant with three Michelin stars, is one of the city's highlights. That's where producer Chandon is.

St. Helena: visit The Culinary Institute of America, which offers cooking and wine courses for laypeople in addition to offering a wine list with more than 500 labels.

A few kilometers after St. Helena, is the Castello Di Amorosa, a reproduction of an authentic medieval Tuscan castle from the 13th century. Its construction began in 1994 but only opened to the public in 2007.

Calistoga: at the base of Mount St. Helens, it offers all the rustic charm of a 19th-century Western town.

Among the many wineries in Calistoga is Chateau Montelena. This winery put Napa Valley wines on the map by defeating France in the 1976 Paris Tasting.

At Sterling Vineyards, the cable car ride is attractive for the views on the hill.

Lunch at a picnic table at Busters Southern BBQ & Bakery is the perfect midday stop. At the other end of town, Michelin-starred Solbar offers creative food and cocktails in the Valley amid the palm trees and fountains of the Solage resort.

Nearby natural wonders include a geyser and petrified forest, and the trails at Robert Louis Stevenson State Park offer picnic and hiking opportunities.

Travel tips for a perfect trip:

Combine a trip to sophisticated Napa Valley with a visit to rustic Sonoma Valley!

Breakfast - Alexis Baking Company - 1517 3rd Street

Oxbow Pulic Market - 610 & 644 1st St

Andaz Hotel: modern, comfortable, good service, great location - 1450 First Street.

Napa Valley Map


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