The Ultimate 3-Day Napa Itinerary

September 26, 2020Two Plane Girls

Napa is such a fun one to share because not only was it was our first TPG trip, but the very beginning of our friendship! Our husbands are lifelong friends and introduced us to one another, but we were practically strangers before we booked this trip. At Abi’s wedding reception (and one very open bar later) we decided we should 1. Become friends 2. Go to Napa. We made it happen and eight months later had the trip of a lifetime. Moral of the story: Always follow up on your crazy ideas induced by one too many glasses of champagne- you might just meet your BFF!

We made the perfect itinerary filled with all the wineries we love most. It can take hours of planning and researching the wineries if you aren’t familiar with the area, so this itinerary can be replicated for your own trip. We are big Cab drinkers, so some of our favorite wineries are not only for the views but the also the quality of the Cabernet Sauvignon.

**All winery offerings/prices listed are up to date with the new COVID changes as of September 2020. This information is subject to change at any time, be sure to check with wineries/hotels for updates before booking**

Let’s start with some important things to note about Napa:

  • If you don’t live in or near California, you’ll want to fly into either San Francisco or Sacramento for the best prices and shortest travel time. Oakland is another option and technically the closest (difference of 5-10 miles) but flights may be more expensive depending on where you live. All three are over an hour drive to Napa. We flew into SFO and stayed the night which allowed us to add a day to our trip and explore SF!
  • The wineries in Napa are spread out and are not always near one another. We recommend planning each day by region to limit cost of Ubers and reduce travel time. One of my best friends gave me this tip and it is a game changer for planning (thanks, Bec!)
  • Speaking of Ubers, this is the way to go! Renting a car might sound like the most cost-effective option, but it is definitely not the safest (unless you have a D.D. of course!).
  • Napa can be done on a budget. This itinerary reflects our favorite places (not all were visited on the same trip), and there are plenty of options that are friendly for all budgets.     
  • August/September is a great time to visit Napa. The weather is fantastic (sunny and 75 during the day, need a sweater at dinner) and the wine is best this time of year as it is close to harvest season.
  • We capped it at 4 wineries a day. The day goes by quickly and the wine catches up to you 😉

Where to stay:

Bed and breakfast ALL. THE. WAY. We cannot say enough about the Candlelight Inn. It was the perfect, most charming bed and breakfast and they made us feel right at home. The inn is located closer to the actual city of Napa, about a 20 minute drive from the wineries. Compared to other options in the area it was the most reasonably priced (around $220/night) and we got more than our money’s worth. We enjoyed the delicious 3-course breakfast each morning as well as the complimentary wine available at all times (yes, ALL times), the individually made and wrapped cheese plates (need we say more!?) and the chocolate covered strawberries upon arrival (literal perfection). The backyard is secluded with towering redwood trees, has a gorgeous pool, covered seating and lounge chairs, and the most beautiful garden. Truly a dream.

3-Day Itinerary

Day One: St. Helena

12:30 Clos Pegase: Picnic Lunch |Starts at $80/couple + your wine of choice sold separately |Reservation Required

2:00 PM Charles Krug | $45/person tasting | Reservation Required

3:30 PM Spring Mountain| $40/person for 45-60 min tasting | Reservation Required

6:00 PM Dinner at Angele

Day Two: Oakville/Rutherford

10:30 AM-12:00 PM Far Niente|90 Minute tour and tasting | $95/ person | Reservation Required

12:15 Lunch at Oakville Grocery-A quick and easy stop at a local deli market

1:30 Opus One | $60/person for one 4oz tasting | Reservation Required

3:15 PM Mumm Napa | Patio Tasting for $40/person | Reservation Required

7:45 Dinner at Bottega

Day 3: Oakville/Rutherford

10:30 Grgich Hills Estate | $50/person for 5-flight tasting | Reservation Required

11:30 Inglenook | $60/person | Reservation Required

12:45: Lunch Stop (We went back to Oakville Grocery)

2:00 PM Silver Oak Napa Valley | $30/person for seated tasting | Reservation Required

Dinner at Brix

Other Options:

Beringer | 3 Wine Tasting is $30/person, or one glass is $15/person | Reservations Required

Chandon | Outdoor tastings only due to COVID | Tastings start at $15/person | Reservations Encouraged  

Castello Di Amorosa | Outdoor tasting only due to COVID | Inquire for pricing | Reservations Required

Rutherford Hill Winery | Outdoor tastings only due to COVID |$45/person | Reservations Required

If you have made it this far without a glass in hand, get to pouring and start planning! It’s bad manners to keep a Cab waiting 😉

Happy Travels!


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