How to Tour Napa Valley

How to Tour Napa Valley
Touring the Napa Valley means visitors have a surplus of wine to taste and experience. Consider some of the other activities the area has to offer. Spend the afternoon kayaking the Napa River or take an evening cruise, enjoying the wildlife in its natural surroundings. Plan a morning golf outing to one of the local courses. Pack your gear and hike some of the trails in the Napa Valley. After a long day of hiking, relax with a bottle of wine from one of the local wineries.


Difficulty: Moderate

Step 1
Make reservations early. The Napa Valley is a popular tourist destination, especially during the summer and harvest time. Book flight reservations and lodging accommodations early, obtaining confirmation numbers for both. Confirm these 2 weeks before your trip.
Step 2
Select wineries to visit. Compile a list of wineries you'd like to visit while touring the Napa Valley. Contact these wineries to inquire about tours and appointments for a wine tasting. Some wineries offer special events such as dinners or classes about wine; check with the winery about any special opportunities. Ask about tasting fees and hours of operation. Confirm the address of the winery.
Step 3
Schedule appointments. Create an itinerary of wineries to visit on each day. Select wineries near each other so you are not driving from one side of the valley to the other. Call and make appointments. Try to schedule three to five appointments per day depending on what time you start and finish tasting and if you are taking the full tour at each winery. Remember to leave time in between appointments for travel and taking in the sites. There is no need to feel rushed.
Step 4
Plan a guided tour. Take a bicycle tour of Calistoga, pedaling from winery to winery. Plan a hot-air balloon ride and watch the sunrise over Napa Valley, enjoying breathtaking views from the sky. Explore the valley by train. Ride the Napa Valley Wine Train, in which you'll dine on a three course gourmet lunch as the vineyards zip by. Get off the train and enjoy a private tour at one of the valley's wineries. Consider one or more of these tours to enhance your wine tasting experiences.
Step 5
Consider transportation. Tasting wine all day and driving can make a dangerous combination. Tour the Napa Valley in style. Think about booking a town car or limo with a driver. Select a company offering planned itineraries of wineries in the valley or have the driver take you to your own appointments. Consider this option if traveling with a group, instead of renting several cars.

Article Written By Erica Green

Erica Green has been a freelance journalist since 2008. She has contributed to the Atlantic Publishing Company, Texas Sports, Confessions of a Homeowner and more. Green is currently pursuing a degree in Spanish, and she tutors English Language Learner students. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Texas and is a certified middle school teacher.

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