The American state that has my heart after Texas is California. California is huge. And there are too many things to in California. I am making the best of the COVID19 times and reflecting on all my trips and writing about them. Last year, around the same time, I was in California for a fortnight. I explored a lot around the Bay area and promised myself that I will come back to explore the Napa Valley for a longer time! I spent a day in Napa Valley and here I am sharing a Napa Valley 1 Day Itinerary.
So, this is an ideal itinerary in my head. I regret not being able to take the Napa Valley Wine train. But honestly, I had a fun time exploring this place! Squeezing the Napa Valley trip during a business trip was the most badass thing I have done to bae.
I was in Cupertino as I said for a fortnight. I had fun exploring San Francisco, went to Yosemite, drove to Big Sur and even went to explore some local wineries. And after doing that for a week, I knew that I have to go to Napa Valley on the weekend. It was not planned.
Our Saturday started early. Though I wanted to take the wine train I knew that with two guys, my brother and bae, I will not be able to reach on time. So, I had shortlisted a few wineries for walk-in tours. We did not book anything in advance because we were not sure if we would reach on time – it was just a lazy weekend for us. Here’s what you can do
Napa Valley 1 Day Itinerary : Few things to remember
- The best time of the year is to go is August through October and March through May
- Carry a map – physical or digital, you will love exploring Napa Valley in the old school way
- Start early and do your research well. Go for prior bookings if you have some specific places in mind!
- If you are going in a group, don’t forget to check out the priority wine pass which gives you access to a lot of winery deals
- Don’t overwhelm yourself. Choose one winery and one wine tasting experience. You can not cover the whole valley of 400+ wineries in a day and you don’t have to either!
- Due to the present COVID19 situation, there are changes which are being made by individual owners – make sure to call and confirm. I don’t encourage anyone to travel right now and wait till the virus subsides or a vaccine is in place
- Keep some time for eating at the enchanting restaurants of the Centrally located St. Helena.
Let me tell you, Napa Valley 1 Day Itinerary is not an easy thing to do!
A peek into my day
We started off at around 11 in the morning. Napa Valley was around 100 miles from where I was staying (Main Street Cupertino). The drive on the California State Route 29, which passes through the 30 miles long Napa Valley, is beautiful and I enjoyed every bit of it. Known for its gourmet food and hillside vineyards, I was more than excited to be driving around this place.
The Wine Train
We passed the parked Wine Train and that is exactly when I knew that I have to be here again to learn everything about this valley around the Napa river while enjoying my food and wine on this train.
We had chosen the Castello di Amorosa to take our wine tour. It’s a 13th Century Tuscany- styled castle and just picturesque. I think the entry fee to the castle was around $30 with a tour of the two levels with five wines to taste. This might have changed, please check with them before visiting.
We stopped for an early dinner at St. Helena. I was in a completely Italian mode, so chose to go for pizza, wine and gelato. You can not go wrong in choosing a place here. Most places have vegetarian options too, so I don’t think its going to be difficult for anyone.
Ending the day..
Grab a bottle of wine and take a stroll along the Napa River. The reason we opted for an early dinner so that we can enjoy our wine and stroll and drive back sober!
Napa Valley is on my list – its definitely going to be the first place I will go after things are back to normal. The next time I go, I am going to stay there. And then come back here and write a really wonderful post!