Are you feeling completely overwhelmed planning a visit to Napa Valley? Trust me, I've been there! Just like you, I too was in charge of ”planning” and I was having the some issues figuring out what was a “YAY” and what was a “NO WAY!” — Here are some of the questions I bet you‘re starting to ask yourself:
1. I don't want to visit ALL touristy spots. Ugh, are these all touristy?
2. Do I need to make appointments everywhere I want to go?
3. How many wineries should I plan to visit in a day? 4? 5? 6?
4. How will I get to each winery? Is there Uber? Is that lame?
5. This is getting expensive........
6. Why is my hotel so expensive?
7. Stag's Leap? Stags' Leap or Stags Leap AVA? What's the difference between the 3?
8. Oh no, I have to make all those dinner reservations too! But where should we eat?
9. What was the name of that one winery my co-worker told me about?
10. Wait, what about spending a day in Sonoma?
First things first: Relax! Seriously, take a breath because I promise you there is no wrong way to plan your visit. Here's the thing, you can google for hours, search for the best things to do or the most recent "top 10" list but they'll all usually lead you to the same places and same old things to do. Napa Valley consists of 400+ wineries but come on, give yourself a break... if you've gotten this far and have your dates booked you've done well. Napa Valley is one of the world’s premier wine regions the views alone will give you all the feels. Yes, Napa Valley is absolutely GORGEOUS.
Here are a few pointers to help you avoid anymore unnecessary stress and you can actually start planning what you're going to wear...
1. DON'T overbook, 2-3 wineries a day is plenty. TRUST ME! After #3 you're ready for a cocktail. Not to mention, if you find there IS time for more then 3 then you haven't had those really good, intimate, personalized wine tasting experiences.
2. DO consider locations between each winery. Napa spans north/ south 50+ miles so just because it's in Napa Valley does not mean they're anywhere near one another. Let's not forget the unfortunate thing we all hate: TRAFFIC
3. DON'T think because you found it on google, it's worth going to. Decide first what kind of wineries you want to visit. If you want to visit wineries based on google you WILL end up at the most crowded touristy spots in the valley. Make sure you pick 2 classic wineries and ask around for what they call "boutique" wineries, this is where you'll start to find the good stuff.
4. DO a LACES & LIMOS ”safari” style tour, this will check the box for one of your days and I promise this will be the BEST day of your trip. We'll visit some exclusive wineries, what they call "hidden gems" and see/do what you probably won't find on your own.
5. DON'T WORRY!!! You're going to Napa! If you have any questions feel free to email me - firstname.lastname@example.org, I will happily give you my honest opinion, personal recommendations and any advice I have to give.
There you have it, now get packing and leave the heels at home. Ok, pack one pair but I'm pretty confident they won't be joining you in the vineyards but then again, maybe you want to extend your visit to check out the surrounding areas, learn more here.