Napa Valley

Travel Guide North America USA Western United States California Napa Valley

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Introduction

Napa Valley, in the Bay Area in California, is the main wine growing region of the United States and one of the major wine regions of the world. It is also known for its gourmet restaurants, cafes, and spa-treatment centers.

Napa Valley, a world famous wine area, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in California. More than three million visitors come each year, often overcrowding the roadways on summer weekends. Peak times are the summer months and the harvest "crush" during September and October. Napa Valley is home to more than four hundred wineries. With wine as a focus, great dining naturally emerged to complement it. The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena supplies a steady stream of well-trained chefs, supplementing the already prestigious chefs drawn by Napa Valley's reputation and locale.

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Cities

From north to south the main towns are:

  • Calistoga
  • St. Helena
  • Rutherford
  • Oakville
  • Yountville
  • Napa
  • American Canyon

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Sights and Activities

There are many other leisure activities in Napa Valley to complement fine dining and wine tours. If you are an early riser, you can take a hot air balloon ride. There is also horseback riding, boating, fishing, gliding, golfing, bicycling and spa treatments.

  • The Napa Valley Wine Train. In Napa. Napa Valley Wine Train (Q6964806) on Wikidata Napa Valley Wine Train on Wikipedia
  • Bathe in the hot springs and/or have a mud bath in Calistoga.
  • Bonaventura Balloon Company. Phone 1-800-FLY-NAPA. Balloon flights from wherever the wind is best in the north valley.
  • Golf - There are 10 golf courses located at towns throughout the valley.

Wine Tours and tasting are the main reason why people go to Napa Valley. To see how their favorite wine is made from stem to bottle is often the pasion the drives people to Napa. People may go to Napa valley to taste wines before they invest in them.

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Events and Festivals

Holidays

  • New Year’s Eve - The US celebrates the outgoing of the old year and incoming of the New Year quite dramatically. Every state boasts its own parties to ring in the New Year, but none is more extravagant than New York’s Time Square, which sees people overflowing into the neighboring restaurants, bars, parks, beaches, and neighborhoods.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day (officially Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. and sometimes referred to as MLK Day) is an American federal holiday marking the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. It is observed on the third Monday of January each year, which is around King's birthday, January 15. The holiday is similar to holidays set under the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. The earliest Monday for this holiday is January 15 and the latest is January 21. King was the chief spokesperson for nonviolent activism in the Civil Rights Movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law.
  • St Patrick’s Day - March 17 celebrates the US’s large Irish population. Many cities around the country boast boisterous parades and Irish-themed parties, especially New York and Chicago, where the river is dyed green. Be wary of the drunkenness that dominates as this is definitely a party-day.
  • Memorial Day - Memorial Day is an important holiday throughout the United States, but not for crazy festivities. Parades commemorating wartime heroes are often held and the day is also the ‘unofficial’ start of summer. Most visitors follow the crowds to parks and beaches, which are capped off with informal BBQs.
  • Independence Day - Also known as the Fourth of July, Independence Day celebrates the US’s break from the British during the 18th century. Barbecues, street parties, beach trips, and weekend getaways are commonplace to appreciate freedom.
  • Labor Day is a public holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September. It honors the American labor movement and the contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity, laws, and well-being of the country. It is the Monday of the long weekend known as Labor Day Weekend. It is recognized as a federal holiday. Beginning in the late 19th century, as the trade union and labor movements grew, trade unionists proposed that a day be set aside to celebrate labor.
  • Halloween - Halloween is a fun holiday on October 31 for all generations to dress up in costumes and relive their youth. Children walk around the neighborhood trick-or-treating for candy, while adults attend parties. Other seasonal events include haunted houses, pumpkin farms and carving, and corn mazes.
  • Thanksgiving - On the fourth Thursday in November, Thanksgiving is held in almost every home in the US. Tourists will have a hard time finding anything to do as the country essentially shuts down in observation. A typical Thanksgiving meal consists of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie commemorating the original Pilgrim’s feast at Plymouth Rock.
  • Christmas - On December 25, Christians celebrate Christmas as the pinnacle of their calendar by attending church and opening gifts from Santa Claus. Almost everything shuts down to promote family togetherness. The northern regions hope to experience a “white Christmas,” with trees and festive lights blanketed by snow.

Sport

  • Super Bowl Sunday - the world’s most watched sporting event and one of the highest grossing TV days of the year, Superbowl Sunday is a spectacular extravaganza. Held the first Sunday in February, the Superbowl is the final playoff game between the NFL’s top two teams. The venue rotates every year around America, yet the local parties seem to remain. Pubs, bars and restaurants are great places to enjoy the Superbowl or locals throw their own parties with different variations of betting.
  • The World Series is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball (MLB) in North America, contested since 1903 between the American League (AL) champion team and the National League (NL) champion team. The winner of the World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven playoff, and the winning team is awarded the Commissioner's Trophy. As the series is played during the fall season in North America, it is sometimes referred to as the Fall Classic.

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Weather

The Napa Valley enjoys a Mediterranean climate. Summer is marked by warm to hot, sunny days, cool nights, and little to no rain. Winter is mild, and is characterized by occasional rain interspersed with bright, sunny days, and occasional frosts. Snow is very uncommon, however.

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Getting There

By Plane

The nearest international airports are in San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, and Sacramento. San Francisco is the largest airport of the group presented. Here, a traveler arriving at San Francisco Airport can easily rent a car or reserve a limo to take them to Napa Valley.The trip is about an hour and a half long over the Golden Gate Bridge to scenic Route 37.

By Car

From San Francisco:

  • Highway 101 North over the Golden Gate Bridge, to Highway 37;
  • Highway 37 East towards Vallejo/Napa, to Highway 121;
  • Highway 121 North towards Napa to Highway 29 North.

Use Highway 29 or Silverado Trail to see the valley. They run north-south along the valley.

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Eat

The thing about wine, of course, is that it has a synergy with food; they enhance each other. Accordingly, food is elevated here. There are many excellent chefs in this area and many great dining facilities. One most famous place that must be mentioned is 'French Laundry' in Yountville. It is very famous, very expensive and very hard to get a reservation. Reservations open two months in advance and you must be right on top of it. Try if you must, but there are many other delicious options.

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Drink

Most wineries offer tastings and/or tours of their products. The form this takes varies greatly. The largest, most well known wineries such as Mondavi and Beringer are open daily with large hosting facilities, guided tours of the operation and reserve rooms for tasting select, more expensive wines. The many smaller wineries may offer tastings only by appointment, but your tour or tasting may be conducted by the owner. Most vineyards charge a small fee for the tastings, especially at the more popular vineyards, perhaps $5-$10. Winery tours are generally very interesting and informative. Reserve room tastings provide an opportunity to sample expensive wines without having to spend a larger amount for a bottle. Sometimes the tasting fee can be applied to the cost of a bottle purchased.

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This is version 5. Last edited at 9:42 on Jun 14, 19 by Utrecht. 2 articles link to this page.

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