The Insider's Guide to Napa Valley

Updated 05/07/19

One of the perks of living in San Francisco is its close proximity to wine country. Drive out of the City by the Bay in virtually any direction and you’ll hit a wine-growing region, the most well known of which is Napa Valley. Located an hour and ten minutes northeast of San Francisco by car, Napa is a foodie mecca that’s both rustic and glamorous. With hundreds of wineries and just as many restaurants, the valley consists of five smaller cities: Napa proper, Yountville, Rutherford, St. Helena, and Calistoga, all of which are easily accessible by one highway, the 29.

When planning a visit to the area, it’s a good idea to select wineries that are a short distance from one another. It’s also worth pointing out that while Sonoma (including the regions that it encompasses, such as Healdsburg) is nearby, it warrants a separate trip. There’s simply too much to see—and taste!—in Napa that you won’t want to waste hours driving through the countryside to get from tasting room to tasting room. Additionally, planning your visit is crucial, as many restaurants and wineries require reservations.

Wondering where you should go? Here’s the ultimate insider’s guide to Napa.

Below, you’ll find books inspired by and about the Napa Valley.

In the Spirit of Napa by Assouline Publishing $50
A New Napa Cuisine by Christopher Kostow $20
Tangled Vines by Frances Dinkelspiel $16
Fodor's Napa & Sonoma by Fodor's $14

Have you been to Napa? What are your favorite spots to visit?

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