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Napa Valley Photography

Maitland, Florida
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16 posts
8 reviews
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Napa Valley Photography

We are currently planning a trip to northern California for early to mid October. We would like to photograph the change of color of the leaves on the vines. I would appreciate any information as to the best time to visit-early or mid October and which vineyards are the best to photograph-some preferably panoramically. We are also interested in recommendations as to places to stay on a moderate budget.

Fremont, California
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
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27,645 posts
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1. Re: Napa Valley Photography

I'd probably stay at Healdsburg Dry Creek Inn or in Santa Rosa La Rose Hotel for inexpensive lodging....


Best Western is standard motel - but they leave a large bottle of wine as a present for you in the refrigerator in the room and has a continental breakfast. It is at a good location to photograph Napa as well as Alexander and Sonoma area.

Santa Rosa - Hotel La Rose


For photography, all 3 valleys are nice to photograph.

In particular, Sonooma/Russian River area also has several pumpkin farms...

I'd just plan on driving I-29 in Napa and look for best autumn foliage (especially around the 2 state parks), also drive out Westside Road from Healdsburg; and also drive north to Alexander Valley.

If you're coming in mid October, I highly recommend also a day trip to Half Moon Bay area. They have lots of pumpkins there and its an absolutely beautiful area to photograph in the fall.


If you are in Healdsburg, October 8 you may be interested in the Crush Festival also...


In addition Wildwood Farm - October 16 - 30 -- Fall Color Garden Tours - Kenwood

Art and nature collaborate for a fantastic show each fall in the sculpture gardens at Wildwood Farm. Gardens planted with rare Japanese maples and dogwood showcase original contemporary art by California's finest artists.


Destination Expert
for Sonoma
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2. Re: Napa Valley Photography

For Napa, as Mini stated, just drive Hwy. 29 bet. Calistoga and Napa, and then the Silverado Trail which parallels #29 to the east. You can make that loop easily in one day with enuf time to photograph. Sterling Vineyards has a tram up to their winery and from the top you'll have a gorgeous, pano view right down the Napa Valley.

In the Sonoma Valley, you drive thru the heart of it on Hwy 12 from the eastern city limits of Santa Rosa, thru the Kenwood area to so. of Glen Ellen and you'll be flanked by acres and acres of vineyards which are breathtaking during the Fall. If you have time, go also to the Jack London State Historical Park, just west of Glen Ellen--fantastic views and scenery. If you have the time, take Trinity Mtn. Rd. off Hwy 12 over to Napa Valley.

For the Russian River Valley, drive out River Rd. west from #101. Also, make the loop going no. on Wohler Rd. onto Westside Rd. to Healdsburg, and then back down on Eastside Rd. Armida Winery off Westside Rd. has a wonderful view down the valley.

From the Healdsburg area, take Dry Creek Rd. all the way to Lake Sonoma--along the way are absolutely fantastic views of the vineyards in full color. Then head over to Geyserville for a tour of the Alexander Valley down Hwy. 128--which will take you back to Calistoga and the Napa Valley.

Mid-Oct. would usually be better than early Oct. for the best Fall displays, but as it is with anything in nature, each yr. can be a bit different!