Travel Basics: Napa Valley, California

The infamous Napa Valley is located in northern California, just outside of the San Francisco area.  This picturesque region is known as the premier wine region in the United States among wine-loving travelers due to the number of famous vinyards that dot the area.  While Napa Valley is known for both wine and tasty food, visitors will love the charming atmosphere and natural setting; making for a relaxing vacation destination.

Get In/Get Out of Napa Valley

If you are planning on visiting this part of California, then you have a wide variety of airports to choose from. There are five airports within the vicinity of Napa Valley, of which, Napa County is the main functioning airport and closest (although, you may need to bring your own jet!).

San Francisco International

Located over 55 miles from the Napa Valley, http://www.flysfo.comSan Francisco International(SFO) is about an hour and half long drive (depending on traffic). The airport is known for its cleanliness and ease of use.  It’s also a popular international and domestic hub for flights from other major cities around the country.

Sacramento International

Located 60 miles from the Napa Valley region, the Sacramento Airport (SMF) serves as one of North California’s main airports. Sacramento saves you the hustle and bustle over San Francisco, allowing for easy navigation.  Many lower cost carriers use Sacramento as an alternative to San Francisco.

Oakland International

Oakland International (OAK) is just 30 minutes away from San Francisco and a 10 minute ride from downtown Oakland. Here, they offer a vast number of non-stop flights to some of your favorite destinations in Europe, North America, Mexico and Hawaii.

And, they also have an on site shuttle service to take visitors from the airport to the city of Napa.

Napa County Airport

The Skyport to Wine County,” that’s what they call the Napa County Airport (APC)! Though small physically, this airport still retains its reputation as Napa’s supreme stop for private and charter flights.

Get Around Napa Town

Though Napa Valley is more of a car-free tourist zone, that doesn’t stop you from moving around to join in on all the city’s action. There is a variety of public transportation available, ranging from trains and buses, or why not hop onto a bike or just foot it?!

Public Buses

The VINE public bus system is readily available to take you anywhere within Napa city and in between the main towns of Napa Valley. Their fixed route bus system provide transport services to areas such as the Napa Fairgrounds, shopping districts and more.


Ride your bike, explore wineries…and enjoy the fabulous scenery in Napa Valley!

Napa Valley is renowned for its luscious vineyards. The state seeks to keep its wineries as healthy as possible and recommends that visitors and locals alike, practice cycling and walking to keep the environment free of emissions, thus improving the existence of the Napa Valley. Bikes are available for rent at numerous lodgings and other rental companies. Just ask for a map and then you’ll be on your way!

Shuttle Services

There are three shuttle services open to the general public, which offer transit within the area. These three shuttle services are The Yountville Trolley, St. Helena Shuttle and Calistoga Shuttle. Services range from free cost to only a $1 per person. For further details, you may visit for scheduling and fares or contact them directly: Calistoga Shuttle 707-963-4229 The Yountville Trolley 707-312-1509 St. Helena Shuttle 707-963-3007

Safety for Tourists

Though danger is not much of an issue in this area, it is still necessary to use precaution. When visiting Napa, it may be wise to park in tow free zones and keep your car keys on your person at all times. If it is a must that you should travel with money, try to budget prior to leaving your lodge and never display money in public. When walking at nights, it is ideal to walk on well lit streets, keeping away from any alley or dark areas. Apart from all that, just go and have all the fun you deserve!

Browse & book tickets in advance for Napa Valley activities & tours!

Climate in Napa Valley

Napa experiences a dry Mediterranean climate all year round, with an average temperature of 21C. This is the major contributing factor to the flourishing of their grapes. Unlike most cities, towns or states in North America, Napa Valley’s winters are filled with nothing but a few cool rains and bright yellow mustards springing around the grape vines. Summer and spring are nothing but vivacious floristry amongst the golden hills; evenings in Summer are often cool too! And of course, Fall is the most popular time of year at Napa Valley as the bright gold and green grapes begin to pop out and oh yes, the smell of ”Crush” lurks in the air.

DSC20277-8_Panorama, Castello di Amorosa Winery, Napa Valley, California, USA
Creative Commons Castello di Amorosa Winery Napa Valley, California” via Jim G is licensed under CCBY2.0


Festivals/Events in Napa Valley

Napa Valley is home to quite a number of major festivities in California, and the US at large. Most of the major events are annual features, which are hosted mainly during the late Summer through to Fall. Nonetheless, there are a lot of occasions all year round, so you will never run out of options on your visits. Here are some popular events you may want to check out!

Napa City Nights Summer Concert Series

This music festival is held from June through to September, and is tradition in Napa Valley. Shows kick off at 6pm every Friday evening and Napa Valley locals and visitors gather to celebrate fine art, food, culture and music. The series of events include the Bottlerock Napa Valley which starts the summer, the Napa County Fair & Fireworks and the infamous Festival del Sole. So when planning your trip, be sure to check out the links to get all the scoop on these events:

Napa Valley’s Premier Food Tour

This event is held from March to November and offers tourists and residents the opportunity to dine in fine style and sip on the best of the Napa wineries. To top it off, you are even enlightened with the rich history of Napa Valley’s agricultural growth. For sure you won’t only be leaving with a full tummy, but also a brain full of knowledge! If you wish to know more on this event, visit or contact 800-979-3370.

Castello di Amorosa Winery, Napa Valley, California, USA
Creative Commons Castello di Amorosa Winery, Napa Valley, California, USA” via Jim G is licensed under CCBY2.0

Calistoga Farmers Market

The Calistoga Farmers Market is an ongoing event, which happens on each and every Saturday of the year. From 9am, the local farmers or food purveyors set up their booths to showcase the very best of fresh produce for sale. Not to worry about seeing just food, there’s live music and a diversity of artisans and crafters present too if you’re looking for more.

PEJU Grape Stomp

PEJU Grape Stomp is one of those must attend events of Napa Valley. Whether you’re with a friend, your spouse, family or on a solo par, head to the HB Vineyard to join in on the action of stomping grapes with your feet.

There are also live competitions for best costumes and prizes for teams with T-shirts. Here, you also get to indulge in some of the finest cheese and delectable cuisine from the Peju Kitchen. Gates open at 10am!

Baloon ride
Creative Commons Balloon Ride” via Gunther Hagleitner is licensed under CCBY2.0

Major Areas / Things to Do in Napa Valley

Napa Valley is legendary for its vineyards and very warm atmosphere. It is composed of about nine towns, namely Calistoga, St. Helena, Yountville, Napa, Oakville, Rutherford, Angwin, American Canyon and Lake Berryess, which all feature numerous attractions, including the Napa Valley Wine Train! While there are many tours of Napa Valley, here are the most popular and major areas that take the spotlight:


Angwin is one of Napa Valley’s nine towns, which is decked right under the peak of the Howell Mountain, hence why it is often referred to as “The Gateway to Howell Mountain.” It is the home to some of Napa’s best wineries and offers the perfect trails for an adventurous hike or stroll in the hills, with a breath-taking view of lush forestry.

Sterling Vineyards in Calistoga

If you have never travelled on an aerial tram before, then visiting Sterling Vineyards will grant you that awesome experience. Travel to the grounds via aerial tram to have a self-paced tour of the entire vineyard, so no rush. The tour also includes a winemaker’s video tour and during all the fun, you are allowed to do some tasting yourself.

Atkinson House-St. Supery Vineyards and Winery in St. Helena

Discover the life of a vintner at the newly renovated Atkinson house, or more popularly called St. Supery Vineyard. It is open to the public on appointments and boasts a living museum on site.


Napa sits at Napa Valley’s south end and is a world class host of numerous attractions for that region. It is home to the Michael Mondavi Family Estate and Domaine Carneros wineries. There are also hotels and exquisite restaurants decked all over to suit the needs of visitors.


Oakville is a legendary wine territory in Napa Valley. Over a century of progress, Oakville has transformed to become the heartbeat of Cabernet lovers. It produces the best grapes for the Robert Mondavi, Plumbjack, Groth, Folie a Deux and Opus One wineries, which are all situated here.

American Canyon

If you wish to enjoy some cool breeze from off the bay while cycling, then American Canyon is just that place. Its rolling hills are the home for the legendary Carneros wine-growing region, where you may enjoy sipping on fine wines!

DSC02870, Beringer Vineyards, Napa Valley, California, USACreative Commons Beringer Vineyards, Napa Valley, California, USA” via Jim G is licensed under CCBY2.0

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