Napa Valley Wine Train
Just an hour from one of the largest metropolitan areas in the United States, the Napa Valley Wine Train in California distills the essence of the wine country into a single day of wining, dining, and riding through the countryside on an antique train.
Choose between 3-hour rides through the Napa countryside with onboard wining and dining or 5-hour excursions that also include stops at winery tasting rooms on the Napa Valley Wine Train. For a luxurious experience, book tickets for the Vista Dome upper deck or the Gourmet Express dining train.
Vineyard options include the Castle Winery tour, which stops at the Castello di Amorosa vineyard; the Raymond Vineyards tour; and the Grgich Hills Winery tour, which offers an evening option. The Ambassador Winery tour includes tastings at two wineries, while the Quattro Vino tour includes tastings at four.
Things to Know Before You Go
The wine train ride is a perfect romantic excursion for travelers 21 and up.
Dress for heat or wind (depending on the time of year) if you plan to sit on the deck.
Bring proper photo identification for wine tastings.
Dressing up is recommended, but many opt for more casual attire.
All Napa Valley Wine Train tours depart from downtown Napa, but some tour packages include round-trip transfers from San Francisco or Vallejo.
Look out for special tasting room events such as the Murder Mystery dinner tour.
How to Get There
Reaching historic Napa by car is relatively easy from anywhere in the Bay Area and the drive from San Francisco to Napa is roughly 52 miles (84 kilometers). As with most major metropolitan areas, leave plenty of time to account for traffic. Those without access to a car may prefer to rent one or opt for a tour that includes round-trip transportation from San Francisco or Vallejo, as public transportation options to Napa are severely limited.
When to Get There
Wildflowers are in full bloom from the end of February through April, adding delightful splashes of color to the landscape. November is the best time to see blond hills and flame-tipped leaves in the height of fall. Visit in summer for the warmest weather and most winery options.
Best Vineyards in Napa Valley
Napa Valley is dotted with vineyards but some stand out over the rest. The Chateau Montelena Winery is revered for its beautiful grounds, including ivy-covered facades, while Pine Ridge is beloved for its peace and quiet. Round Pond Estate, meanwhile, has a gorgeous terrace, perfect for long, wine-filled lunches.
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