Napa Valley is California’s famous wine country. With over 400 wineries, you can stroll through vineyards, sip on wine, indulge in top-rated restaurants, relax in resorts and spas, and so much more! With everything there is to do, I go over how to spend a weekend in Napa Valley, hitting all its popular attractions.
As someone who isn’t a big wine drinker, I still love visiting Napa for its feel and atmosphere. The relaxing vibe and weather make it a great romantic getaway, a fun girl’s trip, or even an unwinding solo trip. This weekend itinerary incorporates more than just wineries and tastings. It explores the towns that make up Napa Valley and has experiences outside of wineries.
I’ve organized the days based on location; it’s easier to spend a day in one place rather than driving between towns, as traffic can take a while to reach between towns.
See below for how to spend a weekend in Napa Valley!
Day 1 - Rutherford & St. Helena
For your first day in Napa Valley, you can spend the day at what it’s the most famous for, wineries! Typically you can visit 3-5 wineries in the day, with five being at the high end. These wineries included are ones I’ve visited and enjoyed. Feel free to add more or less or change the wineries based on the ones you want to see!
Start in Rutherford around 10 AM and enjoy a tasting or tour here. A popular winery to visit is Frog’s Leap Winery.
Head to St. Helena around noon for lunch. V. Sattui is a winery and deli in one. Enjoy a tasting (or, if you want, buy a bottle of wine), get delicious food from the deli, and enjoy lunch on their picnic grounds.
After lunch, head to your next winery tasting, which we reserved for 1:30. We chose to do the tour at Del Dotto the building had stunning Italian architecture and the unique experience of barrel tastings in their wine caves.
Following your third winery, head to Cakbread or Charles Krug to add another winery. If you want a change from wineries, head to the town of St. Helena, and enjoy walking around. There are breweries and shops if you want to take a break from the wine.
For dinner, make reservations at Farmstead. A farm-to-table New American fare.
If you want to spend a little more and have a unique experience, take the Napa Valley Train to experience wine tastings. Check out this website to see the wineries included on their routes.
If you don’t want to spend the whole day drinking wine, you can do fewer wineries and head to Calistoga for a spa day (Calistoga is famous for its mud baths). I prefer to include time in Calistoga as I don’t enjoy doing too many wineries in a day. Also, since we typically stay in Calistoga, it’s easy to add this at the end of the day (make sure you’re not too tipsy before your spa treatment!)
Day 2 - Yountville
Yountville is my favorite town in Napa Valley, so I’ve included a whole day here. It’s a cute, walkable town with fine shops, restaurants, galleries, and wineries. (Also, a great girl’s trip location). I could spend my whole weekend here exploring Yountville, even though it’s not that large. It’s the perfect place to wear your cute dress and knock about the town.
Rather than driving around and experiencing tours and tastings at wineries, day 2 in Yountville is focused on walking around and visiting the restaurants and shops that are famous here, along with visiting a nice winery or two.
Start the day at Bouchon Bakery. There’s usually a line, but it moves quickly. You can grab a pastry to eat now or save for later and coffee to start the day. Then, if you want, head to brunch before or after at one of the famous restaurants.
After brunch and pastries, stroll around with your coffee along the Yountville Art Walk. Continue to walk around browsing shops and enjoying the scenery.
If you’re feeling for wine at this point, make reservations at RH Yountville Wine Vault, followed by reservations at the restaurant R&H Yountville. Restoration hardware has several locations across the U.S., and the Yountville location is gorgeous to visit.
Head to Domain Chandon in the afternoon, and enjoy the bubbly tasting in the beautiful setting.
Enjoy the French Laundry Gardens during sunset, where you can browse this Michelin star’s restaurant gardens open to the public. The gardens showcase the vegetables that the restaurant uses for its dishes. If you can make reservations (typically booked 3-6 months in advance) and want to splurge at this famous restaurant, go to French Laundry for dinner after exploring the gardens. You can still roam the gardens for free if you can’t get reservations!
If you can’t get a reservation for The French Laundry, head to another one of Yountville’s famous restaurants for dinner.
Napa Valley is one of the top places in the United States to take a hot air balloon ride. If you want to splurge on this experience, you can take a hot air balloon in the morning and start your day in Yountville.
If you’re looking for a more active day, rent a bike and bike along some of the trails from Yountville, where you can also visit wineries.
Day 3 - Downtown Napa
Spend your last day in Downtown Napa. Also, a great walkable town filled with wine bars, restaurants, tasting rooms, breweries, and beautiful river walks.
Start your day walking along the Napa Art Walk and check out the murals.
You can take an Uber or your car, but we had reservations for Domain Carneros around this time, a popular winery in the area.
Once you’ve built up an appetite, make your way to Oxbow Public Market. You’re sure to find something that interests you from many different vendors. It’s a great place to knock about as well.
Stroll around the waterfront to work off your food and drinks. You can also take a Gondola for a romantic ride (great to do this in the evening).
Napa has several breweries worth a try if you’re into craft beer. Or continue onto wine-tasting rooms, all within walking distance of each other.
A cooking class is the only thing I could not experience on my last trip, but I would love to take one on my next visit to downtown Napa. CIA at Copia is in downtown Napa which has a cooking class, or you can enjoy dinner at the restaurant or the wine bar.
If you want to include some active activities, rent a bike and bike the Napa Valley Trail (this trail also goes through other towns). Or rent a kayak or paddleboard for a fun experience on the water.
Bonus Day - Sonoma or Calistoga
If you have an extra day, don’t rule out Sonoma! You can spend a day visiting wineries and restaurants here as well.
I usually include Calistoga in my main trip as I love a spa day. Calistoga is known for its mud baths and mineral pools and is a great place to indulge in a spa day to relax.