Getting Around Napa Valley
The best way to get around Napa Valley is by car. Many of Napa's wineries and vineyards are spread out among the 30-mile-long, 5-mile-wide valley, making getting to and from the area's more remote wine establishments a challenge without your own set of wheels. However, if you plan on sticking around Napa and its downtown area, getting around Napa without a car is possible. The Vine Transit, the valley's bus transportation, offers lines throughout central Napa as well as a bus service that takes you all the way to Vallejo, where you can catch the ferry to San Francisco.
San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and Oakland International Airport (OAK) are the closest international airports to Napa Valley, both sitting about 60 miles south. Sonoma County Airport (STS) is the nearest regional airport, sitting about 30 miles northwest of Napa. You can find rental cars at the airports or in central Napa, specifically along the Napa-Vallejo Highway. If you plan to drive from vineyard to vineyard, you should have a designated driver ready. Taxis, ride-hailing services, such as Lyft and Uber, and private chauffeurs are available in the Napa region, just bear in mind that utilizing these services for your wine adventures will cost you. Consider joining a public organized wine tour, such as the popular Napa Valley Wine Train, to avoid the high cost. For more information on tours, check out the Visit Napa Valley website.
To have the traditional Napa experience, complete with rides through the country to remote vineyards, you're going to need a car. You can rent one from the airport, or you could try to save some green by waiting until you get into downtown Napa. Shuttles to Napa Valley are available from both nearby international airports. Several companies, including the Napa Airporter and Evans Transportation, offer shuttle service between San Francisco and Oakland airports and Napa.
The bus is ideal for travelers looking to stay in central Napa, as the Vine Transit primarily services this area of the valley. The Vine Transit is made up of eight routes that service central Napa and five regional routes. The Route 10 bus goes all the way up to Calistoga, passing Yountville and St. Helena while the Route 11 bus travels from Napa to Vallejo. If you're a daytripper coming up from San Francisco, the No. 11 is a great option as the city's ferry system goes to Vallejo. Route 29, an inter-county route provided by the Vine Transit, goes from Napa down to El Cerrito, where you'll find a BART station (commuter train) that connects to both San Francisco and Oakland.
Fares for the bus, including routes 1 through 8, 10 and 11, are $1.60 one way. If you know you'll be taking the bus frequently in Napa, consider purchasing a day pass for $6.50. You can get tickets on the bus (be prepared to have exact change) or at the Soscol Gateway Transit Center, Napa's main bus transport hub. Hours and frequency vary by line, but you can expect buses to start running between 6:30 or 7 a.m. and ending before 7 p.m. Most buses run every half hour.
Taxis are available in Napa and serve the greater valley region. Fares depend on distance traveled as well as the number of passengers. Ride-hailing services, such as Lyft and Uber, also service the area. If you're thinking of taking a taxi from the airport, you might want to opt for a shuttle. The flat rate from Oakland to Napa is $150; the flat rate from San Francisco is $175.
Explore More of Napa Valley
When purchasing from our site, we may earn commissions. This does not affect the quality or independence of our editorial content.
Lyn MettlerAugust 22, 2019
Holly JohnsonAugust 21, 2019
Gwen PratesiAugust 19, 2019
Holly JohnsonAugust 8, 2019
Erin ShieldsAugust 6, 2019
Christine SmithAugust 6, 2019
Lyn MettlerJuly 26, 2019
Kyle McCarthyJuly 25, 2019
Kim Foley MacKinnonJuly 25, 2019