So you've planned the ultimate Napa Valley vacation, now you need to figure out what to pack and how to prep for days filled with world-class wines, vineyard-view hikes, and farm-fresh cuisine. Here are a few travel tips and some ideas for what you should have in your suitcase, no matter the season. Also, be sure to check out our Napa Valley Style Pinterest board for more ideas, and peep our Instagram to see how others rock the signature wine country-casual look.
Napa Valley Weather
The Mediterranean climate of the Napa Valley not only allows for optimal grape growing conditions, it also provides near-perfect weather year-round. The southern part of the valley is much cooler than the northern part and temperatures can vary widely from day to night. Because of current Covid regulations, wineries are open for outdoor tastings only and restaurants have limited indoor capacity, so check the weather in advance and pack accordingly.
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View more information on Napa Valley weather.
Year-Round Napa Valley Fashion and Packing Tips
- Safety first! Don't forget your face mask and hand sanitizer. It's also a good idea to keep a back-up pack of disposable face masks in the car.
- Layer, layer, layer – since the temperature varies throughout the day, layering is your best bet for staying comfortable.
- Spring/summer – sundress with a cardigan and sandals.
- Fall/winter – scarf, denim, sweater and boots.
- Denim is acceptable year-round; in a more upscale setting, opt for dark denim.
- Always bring a light jacket for the nighttime breeze from the bay.
- Flats or wedges – when visiting wineries, there is often a lot of walking around outdoors on unpaved surfaces – be safe and comfortable and wear low wedges or flats.
- Carry a light crossbody purse with essentials (ID, cash, cards, small brush, lip gloss, phone – leave the rest in the car). If you are at an outdoor wine tasting, there likely won't be hooks for your purse and you don’t want to put this season’s it-bag on the ground or in a wine puddle!
- Pack a nice outfit if you plan on eating at one of Napa Valley's more upscale restaurants or hitting up a rooftop bar.
- If you want to dress like a local vintner, bring a vest. If you don’t have one, not to worry – it’s a popular item that many wineries sell in their gift shops.
- Don’t forget your camera, sunglasses, sunhat, umbrella/raincoat during winter and spring, and sunblock during spring and summer.
- Last but not least, don’t wear perfumes or heavy lotions when wine tasting as it can muddle your sense of smell and affect your ability to fully enjoy the flavors of the wine. (It can also detract from the tasting experience of those around you.)
INSIDER TIP: If you forget any essentials, not to worry! There are plenty of shopping destinations to pick up a few items. Check out Napa Valley Premium Outlets, First Street Napa clothing boutiques, plenty of local boutiques dotting Downtown St. Helena and Calistoga, and V Marketplace in Yountville.
Just like grapes on the vine, Napa Valley has only grown better with time. When you're ready to pack your bags and head to wine country, we'll be ready to raise a glass to your long-awaited return or your very first visit. Find more inspiration for planning your perfect trip, and we'll see you soon!