In October I took a girls trip to San Francisco and Napa. We had a great time and I learned a lot planning this trip. Before sharing the adventure I want to provide these tips that either helped in the planning or I learned while on the trip.
Looking to go on a budget?
Research the most popular times of the year and go in the off season. We went in October, it is a very popular time. Thankfully we were able to split everything 4 ways and it made things more reasonably priced.
Are you flying in to San Francisco?
If yes, considered arriving a day early. With the current flight issues if you fly in the day of it is possible to miss a pre-paid tour. Napa is about an hour’s drive from the airport and that doesn’t include how long it take to get checked luggage or pickup rental vehicles. We arrived a full day ahead with the intention of exploring San Francisco.
Who is driving?
If you are touring wine country you do not want to get in trouble by not having a DD. There are driving services that provide vehicles or who are insured to drive your car or rental vehicle. These are not cheep services but they are better that a DUI or wreck and they know the area well. We went with Simply Driven and they did a wonderful job.
Have a schedule for visiting the wineries and pre-book.
If you have a driver they will know the schedule but if you are doing everything yourself then map out the wineries you want to go to and the best way to get to each to optimize your time at each. Since covid most wineries now require reservations. Since we booked a driving service we paid a small extra fee and they booked all the Wineries for us. This was a game changer since some of the bookings only open 30 days before or so and we didn’t have to monitor everything.
Visit no more that 3 wineries per day.
When you get to a winery or tasting room you really just want to relax and enjoy the flavors of the wine. Any more than three wineries and you spend more time driving than you do enjoying the reason you are in Napa. Personally, I recommend no more than two per day and then go enjoy the wonderful Michelin Star restaurants in the area for dinner.
Have you ever been to Napa Valley or the wine part of your country or state? If so, what did you think? I will see you in the comments. Safe travels and drink responsibly.
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