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Napa Valley Holidays

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Napa Valley? Nothing to it.

Verdant Napa Valley is the jewel of California’s Wine Country. It’s a 50-kilometre area of lush land in northern California, just north of San Francisco and the Bay Area. Napa Valley is known for producing exceptional wines that are loved across the world – so you should certainly try a tipple or two on your holiday. More than 400 vineyards are open for tastings across the region and even more private wineries spend the year growing, harvesting and bottling the world’s best tipples. The climate here is said to be the secret – the Valley has fertile, volcanic soils, steady rainfall throughout the year and sunny days.  

Not far from the shores of the Napa River, you’ll find the main city, Napa, where most travellers stay on their Napa Valley holiday. Over the years, it’s grown into a vibrant hub of culture, excellent food and, of course, wine. Many of the world’s top chefs have opened upmarket restaurants in the city, and everything from Michelin-starred gastronomy to delicious street-food bites are waiting to be sampled here. Even smaller towns like St. Helena, Yountville and Calistoga have plenty of things to see and do, including art galleries, historic mills and even volcanic mud baths.

Life runs at a slower pace here. On your holiday to Napa Valley you can look forward to endless sunny days, greenery as far as the eye can see, and healthy doses of wine, cheese and local culture. Breaks here are best suited to adults, as so much of the region’s attractions centre on its wine scene, but there are farms, ranches and museums to keep little ones occupied too. If you can, save Napa Valley for a romantic break or a getaway with friends to enjoy everything it has to offer.

 

Wine

Things to do

Nature

Best time to go

Napa Valley wine

It’s almost impossible to pick from Napa Valley’s exceptional vineyards, but many offer more than just wine. The family-owned V. Sattui Winery has been open since 1885, and is now home to an artisan deli. Join a wine pairing or blending seminar, or visit at the weekend for a wood-fired barbecue. Lovers of red or sparkling wines should head to the grand Domaine Carneros – a French-inspired château that pairs Carneros wines with caviar and artisan cheeses.

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If modern tipples are more your thing, Luna Vineyards has grown into one of Napa Valley’s largest Pinot Grigio and Sangiovese producers in just 25 years. Meanwhile, Castello di Amorosa, which takes inspiration from Tuscany’s medieval castles, specialises in Italian-style wines. And if you want to try some of the best Cabernet Sauvignon – Napa’s signature grape – the Screaming Eagle Vineyard is a must-visit. Take the Napa Valley Wine Train through the rolling hills and hop off anywhere that takes your fancy.

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Things to do in Napa Valley

Even if you’re not drawn in by its famous wine scene, there’s plenty to do in Napa Valley. Visit Napa City’s Oxbow Public Market and try delicious street food, like fresh oysters, wood-fired pizza and handmade truffles and caramels. When the sun goes down, watch a show at Napa Valley Opera House or listen to some of the best jazz at Blue Note, an offshoot of the NYC institution. If you’re here during summer, you might also catch one of the annual Napa City Nights concerts, held at the Veterans Memorial Park Amphitheatre.

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St. Helena is another bustling town nearby, centred mostly on its wineries. It’s home to a 12-acre park, where you can take in Napa Valley’s beautiful landscape, and California’s last water-powered mill from the 19th century. And if you fancy unwinding, visit Calistoga’s hot springs and volcanic mud baths, or take a trip out to Old Faithful geyser nearby.

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Napa Valley’s nature

Bothe-Napa Valley State Park, just north of St. Helena, has more than 16 kilometres of trails to explore. Wander through vast Redwood forests or bring a picnic to share by Ritchey Creek – though it may disappear after long dry spells. If you’re staying in Napa itself, the city’s Westwood Hills are a great place to wander. The Land Trust of Napa Country runs regular guided hikes through the area, so sign up to get access to some of the prettiest private reserves.

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More adventurous hikers should head north of Calistoga to Robert Louis Stevenson State Park. The five-mile hike can be steep in places, but you’ll be rewarded with unparalleled views across San Francisco’s Bay area from the top. And if you love to sail, Lake Hennessey, just north of the city, is open for fishing and boating during the warmer months.

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Show Less

Best time to visit Napa Valley

Holidays to Napa Valley are most popular during autumn’s harvest season. Book your trip between late August and October and you’ll get the full wine-making experience, from harvest to bottling, as the leaves turn amber. The region is packed with eager wine enthusiasts looking for a spot on the best tasting tours around this time.

Napa Valley’s rolling hills are at their beautiful best during spring, when its fragrant lavender fields bloom under the warm sun. Summer is also picture-perfect and not too warm by Californian standards – expect temperatures in the low-mid twenties. It’s also when most outdoor events and festivals are held, so the region often gets busy between June and August.

Show More
Show Less

Winter is Napa Valley’s quietest season, but most of its wineries remain open and you’ll have the countryside all to yourself for relaxing walks. Pack some layers for a winter trip, though, as temperatures can drop into single figures.

Show More
Show Less

Wine

Napa Valley wine

It’s almost impossible to pick from Napa Valley’s exceptional vineyards, but many offer more than just wine. The family-owned V. Sattui Winery has been open since 1885, and is now home to an artisan deli. Join a wine pairing or blending seminar, or visit at the weekend for a wood-fired barbecue. Lovers of red or sparkling wines should head to the grand Domaine Carneros – a French-inspired château that pairs Carneros wines with caviar and artisan cheeses.

Show More
Show Less

If modern tipples are more your thing, Luna Vineyards has grown into one of Napa Valley’s largest Pinot Grigio and Sangiovese producers in just 25 years. Meanwhile, Castello di Amorosa, which takes inspiration from Tuscany’s medieval castles, specialises in Italian-style wines. And if you want to try some of the best Cabernet Sauvignon – Napa’s signature grape – the Screaming Eagle Vineyard is a must-visit. Take the Napa Valley Wine Train through the rolling hills and hop off anywhere that takes your fancy.

Show More
Show Less

Things to do

Things to do in Napa Valley

Even if you’re not drawn in by its famous wine scene, there’s plenty to do in Napa Valley. Visit Napa City’s Oxbow Public Market and try delicious street food, like fresh oysters, wood-fired pizza and handmade truffles and caramels. When the sun goes down, watch a show at Napa Valley Opera House or listen to some of the best jazz at Blue Note, an offshoot of the NYC institution. If you’re here during summer, you might also catch one of the annual Napa City Nights concerts, held at the Veterans Memorial Park Amphitheatre.

Show More
Show Less

St. Helena is another bustling town nearby, centred mostly on its wineries. It’s home to a 12-acre park, where you can take in Napa Valley’s beautiful landscape, and California’s last water-powered mill from the 19th century. And if you fancy unwinding, visit Calistoga’s hot springs and volcanic mud baths, or take a trip out to Old Faithful geyser nearby.

Show More
Show Less

Nature

Napa Valley’s nature

Bothe-Napa Valley State Park, just north of St. Helena, has more than 16 kilometres of trails to explore. Wander through vast Redwood forests or bring a picnic to share by Ritchey Creek – though it may disappear after long dry spells. If you’re staying in Napa itself, the city’s Westwood Hills are a great place to wander. The Land Trust of Napa Country runs regular guided hikes through the area, so sign up to get access to some of the prettiest private reserves.

Show More
Show Less

More adventurous hikers should head north of Calistoga to Robert Louis Stevenson State Park. The five-mile hike can be steep in places, but you’ll be rewarded with unparalleled views across San Francisco’s Bay area from the top. And if you love to sail, Lake Hennessey, just north of the city, is open for fishing and boating during the warmer months.

Show More
Show Less

Best time to go

Best time to visit Napa Valley

Holidays to Napa Valley are most popular during autumn’s harvest season. Book your trip between late August and October and you’ll get the full wine-making experience, from harvest to bottling, as the leaves turn amber. The region is packed with eager wine enthusiasts looking for a spot on the best tasting tours around this time.

Napa Valley’s rolling hills are at their beautiful best during spring, when its fragrant lavender fields bloom under the warm sun. Summer is also picture-perfect and not too warm by Californian standards – expect temperatures in the low-mid twenties. It’s also when most outdoor events and festivals are held, so the region often gets busy between June and August.

Show More
Show Less

Winter is Napa Valley’s quietest season, but most of its wineries remain open and you’ll have the countryside all to yourself for relaxing walks. Pack some layers for a winter trip, though, as temperatures can drop into single figures.

Show More
Show Less

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