What is Napa Valley?
The legendary Napa Valley is the heart and soul of America's fine wines and winemakers. In fact, there are more world renowned wineries here in this gorgeous swath of land than in any other single region in North America. And although the spectacular wines steal the show, the area also entices visitors with its exquisite cuisine, spas, golf, outdoor recreation, and vibrant arts scene. And if that weren't enough, many say the Mediterranean climate is near perfect year-round.
So where exactly is this enchanted land?
The Napa Valley is a strip of land in Napa County about 30 miles in length and 5 miles across at its widest point. This area is bordered by two mountain ranges: the Vaca Range, to the east, which protects the region from the sweltering heat of the Central Valley; and the Mayacamas Mountains, to the west, which shield the area from the cooler marine currents. The region is home to many different microclimates and some of the most diverse soils in the world, all of which are optimal for the cultivation of a variety of grapes. Many wines of international acclaim are produced here, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, and Zinfandel.
How Do I Get There?
Depending where you are coming from, travelling by car is always a popular option. If you will be heading in from San Francisco, you'll find an array of shuttle providers in that city. In addition, there are numerous bus and limousine tours based in both San Francisco and the various towns in the Napa Valley. If you prefer, you may use your own vehicle and hire a driver for a day or more.
Flying in, the nearest international airports are located in San Francisco (SFO), Oakland (OAK), San Jose (SJC), and Sacramento (SMF). Each is roughly 60 miles away.
Public transportation is another travel option, with the Napa County Transportation Planning Agency (NCTPA) providing service in the city of Napa, as well as between several towns. American Canyon Transit (ACT) provides deviated fixed-route bus services. Other shuttles farther up the valley include Calistoga Shuttle, St. Helena Shuttle, and the Yountville Trolley.
Now, let's take a look at the wonderful cities and towns that comprise the Napa Valley. We have also included a few of the most popular area stops, according to travlers.