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The Perfect Weekend Guide to Napa Valley

A Weekend Guide to Napa Valley

Napa, California is one of our favorite weekend getaways to unwind, explore, and eat incredible food. Napa is a haven for foodies and wine lovers with amazing local restaurants, charming bakeries, and endless wineries. This year, we celebrated our first wedding anniversary in this special place and can't wait to return in the future.

How to Get to Napa

Napa Valley is located near multiple airports with San Fransisco International Airport (SFO), Oakland International Airport (OAK) and Sacramento International Airport (SMF) as convenient options. Our top recommendation is to fly into SFO and renting a car for your visit. Alternatively, you can reserve private transportation or rideshare options. Traveling from San Fransisco to Napa Valley by car typically takes around 1-2 hours, depending on traffic.

Getting Around Napa

Getting a rental car to explore Napa is your best bet. It's also a good idea to hire a driver for the day if you plan to do 2 or more wine tastings per day.

How Many Days to Spend in Napa

We think that a long weekend is a perfect amount of time to explore Napa Valley. In this time, you can explore different areas, try delicious restaurants, and sample a wide variety of wines all at a comfortable pace.

What to Wear in Napa

Napa is casual when it comes to winery tasting and tours. Comfortable shoes are a must for the extensive walking you will do. You can dress up for nicer dinners but many restaurants are also casual. Don't forget to pack a jacket or sweater as evenings can get chilly.

Where to Stay in Napa

Photo Credit: The Westin Verasa Napa via

Napa Valley Marriott Hotel and Spa

During our recent anniversary weekend, we stayed at the Napa Valley Marriott Hotel and Spa. This hotel is located near Robert Mondavi Winery, Castello Di Amorosa, and downtown Napa. The pool and outdoor spaces are a great place to relax after a full day of wine tastings. They also offer activities including Yoga, E-bike rentals, Wine Hour, and S'mores!

Photo Credit: Napa Valley Marriott Hotel and Spa via

The Westin Verasa Napa

Experience resort-style luxury at The Westin Verasa, located in Napa's riverbank district. Here you will find a fitness studio, outdoor pool, and French restaurant. The Westin Verasa is conveniently located across the street from the Napa Wine train and just down the street from the Oxbow Public Market making it a perfect home base in Napa!

Photo Credit: The Westin Verasa Napa via

Hotel Yountville Resort and Spa

Located in the quaint town of Yountville, this resort is just steps away from the famous Bouchon Bakery and Bistro, French Laundry, and so much more. The Hotel Yountville is a vineyard inspired luxury retreat with a pool courtyard and spa.

Photo Credit: Hotel Yountville Resort and Spa via

Where to Eat in Napa

Coffee and pastries at Bouchon Bakery

Bouchon Bakery in Yountville, California

Bouchon Bakery -$$

Located in Yountville, Bouchon Bakery is a must-visit for it's delicious bread and pastries. Arrive early to beat the lines and taste delicious treats like the kouign amann and strawberry cheesecake danish!

Brix - $$$

Brix is a farm-to-table restaurant in Yountville, CA with an expansive garden and breathtaking views. The menu offers creative, fresh options paired with an expansive wine list. Our personal favorites include the pan-seared alaskan halibut and the Kelleher braised short ribs. Make sure to explore the vineyard and gardens, or unwind by the fire pit while enjoying live music and a glass of wine after your meal!

Mini Model Bakery - $

If you know me, you know that I will always seek out the best breakfast spots (especially breakfast sandwiches). The breakfast sausage sandwich at Mini Model Bakery, featuring a homemade English muffin, is hands down my favorite. This sandwich was even featured on Food Network and Oprah’s Favorite Things in 2016.

The French Laundry - $$$$

The French Laundry is a three-Michelin-star fine dining restaurant in Yountville, CA led by Chef Thomas Keller. The restaurant serves classic French cuisine with a menu that changes daily. Reservations are hard to come by, but this is definitely a bucket-list worthy restaurant that offers an unforgettable culinary experience. If you want to include The French Laundry in your Napa itinerary, plan ahead as soon as you can. Reservations are released on the first of the month for the following month.

The Grove at Copia - $$

Located near the Oxbow Public Market in downtown Napa, is the Culinary Institute of America. Dine in their signature restaurant, The Grove, and try their menu inspired by their on-site gardens. The glazed lamb ribs were our favorite and we would come back just to order it again!

Wineries in Napa

The beautiful Domaine Carneros winery landscape

Photo Credit: Domaine Carneros Winery via

No trip to Napa is complete without a tasting or tour at some of the best wineries in the world. Most of the wineries require reservations for wine tastings and don't forget to look at the tasting fees when booking. Tasting fees range from $25-$100+ per person, which can add up when you visit 2 or more wineries a day. We recommend taking one vineyard tour during your trip to learn about the wine making process and 2-3 wine tastings per day.

Domaine Carneros

Visit this stunning Château with an elegant patio for a beautiful place to relax with charcuterie and a glass of bubbly. Domaine Carneros is known for their sparkling wine and we recommend trying (or even splitting) their sparkling wine sampler and pairing it with their cheese and charcuterie selection.


Explore the family-owned, sustainably-farmed Trefethen Winery, nestled in Napa's oak knoll district. Our vineyard tour and tasting, guided by Michael Baldini, offered an unforgettable experience through the vineyard and cellar. This experience truly became the highlight of our trip and we couldn't recommend it enough.

Castello Di Amorosa

For a unique experience, head to the Castello Di Amorosa in Calistoga, CA. This is an authentically built, 14th-century inspired Tuscan castle and winery that offers Italian style wines. We enjoyed the seated reserve tasting that included 5 wines and allows you to explore the castle and grounds on your own.

Robert Mondavi

Robert Mondavi established this winery in 1966 with a goal to create Napa Valley wines that would compete with the world's best wines. Located in Oakville, this mission-style winery offers some of the finest Cabernet Sauvignon. We enjoyed a tasting at this winery back in 2020. This location is temporally closed (2023) but tastings are available at their other locations in the Napa Valley area.

Sterling Vineyards

Take an aerial tram at Sterling Vineyards for unbelievable views of Napa Valley. We visited Sterling Vineyards in 2016 and had so much fun exploring this unique winery and taking in the stunning views. This location is currently closed (August 2023) due to renovations after the 2020 Glass fire and is not open for tastings.

Things to Do in Napa

Oxbow Public Market

Located in the heart of downtown Napa, Oxbow Public Market is an energetic spot that's home to over 20 artisanal vendors offering a wide array of goods from unique gifts to an oyster bar!

Ride the Napa Valley Wine Train

Take a scenic and relaxing ride through Napa Valley on the historic Napa Valley Wine Train. Enjoy views of Napa Valley wineries, vineyards, and mountains while enjoying a multi-course meal with amazing wine pairings.

Ride the Napa Valley Wine Train

Photo Credit: Napa Valley Wine Train via

Explore Yountville

In the heart of Napa Valley, Yountville is a quaint town with bakeries, Michelin starred restaurants, and award-winning tasting rooms. We loved coming here for breakfast and a nice walk every morning.

Example Weekend Itinerary

Day 1: Yountville, CA
  • Pastries and coffee at Bouchon Bakery

  • Explore the art and shops in town

  • Take a tour of Trefethen winery to learn about the wine making process and even add a food pairing for lunch

  • Enjoy dinner at one of the many Yountville restaurants (Bouchon Bistro, French Laundry, Ad Hoc, etc.)

Day 2:
  • Breakfast at the Mini Model Bakery to try the famous English muffin breakfast sandwich

  • Visit Castello Di Amorosa for a wine tasting

  • Enjoy dinner at Brix

  • Exploring the gardens at Brix, and enjoy live music with a glass of wine after dinner.

Day 3: Downtown Napa
  • Walk and shop around Downtown Napa

  • Explore and eat lunch at the Oxbow Public Market

  • Visit Domain Carneros for a sparkling wine tasting

  • Ride the historic Napa Valley Wine Train with a multi-course dinner and wine pairing

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