Napa Valley Travel Tips
Keep in Mind...
- Leave the Kids at Home Because the region practically runs on wine, Napa Valley is not very kid-friendly. Many wineries even forbid children from coming onto the premises. Do your kids and yourself a favor and hire a babysitter.
- How to Get Around You'll need a car in Napa, which means you'll also need a designated driver to safely visit multiple wineries on the same day. Enrolling in a Napa Valley tour that includes shuttle service to several vineyards is a good option, but you'll usually encounter crowds. There is no easy answer, but whatever you choose, be safe and abide by the law.
- Tis the Season While summer is the most popular time to visit, winter might be the best for you and your pocketbook. Plus, you'll encounter the festive decorations and special room rates that many Napa visitors don't get to enjoy.
After a visit to Napa Valley in the 1880s, writer Robert Louis Stevenson pronounced, "Wine is bottled poetry." You'll see this quotation as you pass the area's landmark sign on Highway 29. Unfortunately, Stevenson was referring to French wine -- what Napa vintners should aspire to. But as the film Bottle Shock documents, California wineries have since risen to the level of their European predecessors. Now, both connoisseurs and amateurs savor the respected vintages from Napa.
With its rise in the wine industry, Napa Valley has also become a vacation hot spot. The tiered hillsides, wine caverns and illustrious estates make for stellar scenery, and top-class hotels have taken note. Scattered between the vineyards, sumptuous resorts cater to every indulgence -- golfing, spa pampering, gourmet dining, you name it. A trip to California wine country is made unforgettable by not only the life-changing Cabernet but also the intoxicating natural setting. And if you can afford it, you'll be back for more.