Great ideas for first time travelers to the Napa Valley
Top ten tips for enjoying the Napa valley
- Tasting room fees can add up quickly. Average tasting fee for a basic tasting is $20 to $25. Ask your hotel for discount coupons. Go to the tourist office and ask for Two-for-One Coupons. Or buy Priority Wine Pass (use our promo code "Winecountry") for amazing discounts on tasting, touring, and more.
- Tasting Room Only Venues. You’ll find these types of tasting rooms and wine bars in the Napa Valley towns. We encourage you to visit a working winery with a tasting room. This way, you’ll get the total winemaking experience.
- Use a Designated Driver. This just might be the most important tip. The CHP and the Sheriff’s Department are on patrol in the Napa Valley. They want to make the roads safe for everyone.
- Popular wineries have big crowds at the tasting room. Avoid them by going to smaller wineries or hidden wineries. Go off season or during the week.
- Experience a mix of wineries. Go to big, small, funky, artsy, and family-owned wineries. See our excellent Wine Trail Guide to the Napa Valley
- Pace yourself. We like to visit three wineries in one day. Late morning, mid afternoon, and late afternoon. Take time out for lunch, especially a picnic lunch at a winery.
- Make your reservations early. Once you decide where to stay and select restaurants, book them well before you trip. Many travelers wait to the last minute and are disappointed when a restaurant or an accommodation is booked solid.
- Put the wine club on hold. You will be tempted to join a wine club. Wine always tastes better at the winery. It is just the environment. Wine clubs are not all they are cracked up to be.
- Direct your limo driver. Should you hire a limo, hand them your itinerary in advance. Limo drivers like to take you where they want to go. There are incentives for limo drivers to go to certain places.
- Study our entire Napa Valley Wine Country Planning Guide and then plan your trip.