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How scenic is Napa?

New York City, New...
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How scenic is Napa?

We are a young couple traveling to California in mid-august. We are not heavy wine drinkers but like to go to wineries which are scenic. Given that, trying to decide if we should visit Napa at all. Even if we decide to visit Napa, that will be as a day trip from SF to Napa on a Saturday in mid-August. Traffic is also a consideration to see if it would be worth it.

Thanks everyone in advance

Napa, CA
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1. Re: How scenic is Napa?

Maybe you should go on a tour? Some begin with a scenic ferry ride up to the Napa River and then a bus takes you to wineries like Robert Mondavi or Andretti. You'll get to see some of the scenery and enjoy the wines without driving. You also don't have to worry about the traffic.

Here's one company but there are others.

http://www.winecountrytourshuttle.com/

Menlo Park...
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2. Re: How scenic is Napa?

Napa is gorgeous even by our very strict california standards. The prettiest part of the valley is well north of Napa. The upper part of the valley (the part from Oakville to Calistoga) is fairly tight so you can see both ranges that define the valley. Contrast between the golden grass and the bright greens of the vineyards and some redwood clumps. The towns are nicely dressed up and of course all those high end restaurants. Don't spend all your time on highway 29; explore the Silverado Trail as well. I think that, for beauty, the Dry Creek area of Sonoma is as lovely, but that would be a lot of driving. The best way to see the valley is from the air, maybe a hot air balloon, but those typically launch right after sunrise.

Washington, DC
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3. Re: How scenic is Napa?

It is gorgeous. I really didn't anticipate how pretty it would be. We went once, and were hooked. It's one of the few places we could happily return to year after year. Currently planning our third trip in four years - from the East Coast.

Edited: 16 July 2012, 02:51
New Jersey
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4. Re: How scenic is Napa?

Just to clarify: There is a town called Napa and an area called Napa Valley. A few sections of Napa are pretty, but the rest looks like any other town in California. Napa is part of Napa Valley and is on the southern tip of the valley while Calistoga is on the northern tip. I think from Yountville and north is the wine country that most people imagine it to be.

Is it worth a day trip? It depends on how much time you have. If you only have 3 days in SF, then I wouldn't do it. Five? Maybe. Seven? Then I'd spend 2 nights in Napa Valley, or if you aren't really wine drinkers, then I'd probably head south to Carmel. It's equally scenic and fun area. Driving to either Napa Valley or Carmel on a Saturday is horrendous. Leave very early as in don't have breakfast until you get to your destination.

Napa, CA
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5. Re: How scenic is Napa?

Traffic isn't too bad coming into the Napa Valley on a Saturday. It's pretty spread out but, of course, it's lighter earlier in the morning. The traffic to watch out for is the 5 - 6 pm exiting traffic on weekends especially if headed towards Marin County on Hwy 121. That's a narrow two lane road and traffic can back up a long ways at the stop sign in Schellville. If you leave the Valley after 6, it's not usually a problem.

Still, if it's your first time, and you don't want to hassle with renting a car and also want to enjoy the wine tastings, then take a tour.

Roseville...
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6. Re: How scenic is Napa?

Yes, it is worth a visit, imo. Yountville and north is beautiful. Stop at Sterling Winery..tram ride is fun & view from top of hill looking south over the valley is great.

7. Re: How scenic is Napa?

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