Travel Tips

5 min read

Best Time to Visit Napa (Wine Country)

Plan your perfect Napa getaway! Learn the ideal times for wine tasting, sightseeing, and outdoor adventures in Wine Country. Avoid crowds & save on travel.

Tobi Miles
July 12, 2022
Best Time to Visit Napa (Wine Country)

Napa Valley in California is famously regarded as Wine Country. The city is known for its exquisite collection of world-class wineries and fascinating scenery. So when is the best time to visit Napa?  

The best time to visit Napa is between March and October (Spring and Fall). The weather is most ideal in Spring, between April and May. These months have warm days for wine tasting tours and colorful landscapes for sightseeing. The average Fall temperature of 75°F creates comfortable weather for hiking or biking between August and October.

While the city boasts exceptional wineries, it's also home to some luxurious spas, unique art and culture, and some top-rated restaurants. The region undoubtedly has a lot of exciting treats in store for visitors any time of the year. Here we'll walk you through the best time to enjoy all the fascinating activities in the city all year round. 

Stroll through the vineyards, talk with the winemaker, or sip award-winning Napa Valley wines with dramatic views of the valley floor.

When Should You Not Visit Napa?

The month of February is the least preferable time to visit the city of Napa. It is the rainiest month of the year in Napa. This heavy rise in precipitation levels prevents visitors from getting the whole quality experience of the city. 

The weather in Napa is generally quite good all through the year, and there are activities you can enjoy each month. However, February offers the least experience of all the months in the year. With the "bud break" coming later in the year, wineries aren't usually quite active.  

Unfortunately, this means you'll miss seeing grapes on the vines and wineries turning these grapes into quality wine. There are also fewer events during this period due to the rainy weather and occasional crowd tours.  

What is the Cheapest Time to Visit Napa?

The cheapest time to visit Napa is during the winter. November to mid-February sees fewer visitations to the city every year. These winter months present the best time to enjoy discounts on hotel fees, gift shops, and spas.  

Unlike during the summer, accommodation fee in Napa valley suddenly becomes very affordable, with hotels offering as much as a 50% discount. You can get low rates on accommodations in popular locations like Yountville or downtown the city. 

These months provide the perfect opportunity to experience the beautiful Wine Country even on a budget. The off-season rates on hotels and low visitation make Napa an alluring time to visit.  

Related Read: 15 Best Romantic Getaways in California

Best Weather & Popular Activities in Napa: Monthly Breakdown

January: Best Time to Avoid Crowds

January is a great time to take a trip down to the Wine Country without worrying about any crowd. Visitation to Napa is often relatively low during this time due to the winter season.
This makes the city a crowd-free environment, a perfect look for those seeking to avoid the typical congestion.

The weather in Napa during this time is also pretty mild, with the temperature usually between 50 to 63 degrees F. It is often sunny with clear skies; an excellent period to go hiking across Napa Valley, where the trails are less busy. The low turnout of visitation is also a massive advantage for tourists who wish to visit the city on a budget. 

February: Visit The Inglenook Chateau

With most days in February being largely sunny, this is an excellent time to visit the Inglenook Chateau.
The historic winery is less crowded during this time of the year. Enjoy an exclusive tour of the winery with a knowledgeable guide.

Get information and insight on exotic wines. Enjoy a vineyard tour as you explore the unique characteristics that make up the excellent taste of Inglenook wines. There are also other attractions which include gift shops, Michelin restaurants, exquisite boutiques, and museums. 

Spend your afternoon visiting the Chateau— enjoy wine tasting tours around the historic winery. You get to do some bistro tasting, including bread and cheese, to help tantalize your taste buds. 

  • Visit the Inglenook Chateau on the Napa Valley White train

Related Read: Best Time to Visit Sonoma

March: Explore The Famous Culinary Institute of America

As the spring season rejuvenates in March, the city comes alive. Napa Valley is home to two campuses, one of them being—The Culinary Institute of America.
Here, avid food lovers have the opportunity to savor some of the most irresistible treats and meals you'll ever find.

Enjoy a lifetime experience of exotic wine tasting and dining tours of one of the world's finest restaurants. Meet restaurant owners, master sommeliers, and master chefs— as you watch them create heavenly dishes. Those interested in the food program will also learn more about the process and the available academic training. 

  • Wine and food tasting 
  • Culinary academic programs

April: Visit The Napa Valley Museum  

The city of Napa boasts a fascinating art and cultural system. The month of April is the best time to explore the city's beautiful culture and designs.
Discover many art exhibits, musical works, galleries, and historical sites in the Napa Valley.

There are several excellent spots for exploring the city's fantastic art and culture. Visit the Napa Valley Museum in Yountville to discover some stunning works that portray local culture and history. Visitors can explore the exquisite artworks, architectural designs, and films of local talents and artists in the city's museums and galleries.

Other museums in the Wine Country include the Sharpsteen Museum in Calistoga and the Robert Louis Stevenson Museum in St. Helena. Museums open Thursdays-Sundays from 10 am to 4 pm. 

  • Napa Valley Museum at Yountville
  • Gift shops
  • Art Exhibits
  • Sharpsteen Museum in Calistoga

Related Read: 40 BEST Things to Do in Solvang, CA

May: Enjoy Outdoor Activities 

As many tourists warm up to make the trip to the city for summer vacation, May is a fantastic time to experience the outdoor life of Napa.
The Wine Country isn't restricted to a wine tasting but also boasts beautiful scenery suitable for many activities.

It's a great time to hike along Skyline park's trails in Napa Valley. Give yourself a quality treat at St. Helena as you Munch on the world's finest English muffins. For more tasty treats, check out Yountville to satisfy your taste buds with the most scrumptious fried chicken from world-class restaurants. 

The relatively serene environment makes the city ideal

  • Wine tasting
  • Hiking along Skyline park trails
  • Boot camps

June: Calistoga Concerts in The Park 

Credit: Visit Calistoga / Facebook

The summer mount of June is filled with various events in Napa. The most notable events during this period are Calistoga concerts scheduled for Thursday nights in the park.
It's the perfect getaway to enjoy your favorite music with a couple of friends and family in a unique environment.

Different days are set up for various kinds of music depending on the genre. Check out the schedule to know the dates for each genre and bands available for the concerts. Spice up the experience with a picnic in the park and a couple of fine wine 

  • Calistoga Concerts in Napa Valley Park

July: Visit Breweries and Distilleries 

As summer peaks in July, it becomes harder to avoid the typical large crowd in town. The vineyards, breweries, and distilleries are usually quite active this month.
Discover how grapes are plucked from the vines and crushed to create lovely wines. 

Summer is typically the harvest season for wineries when the clusters of grapes become ripe and ready for brewing. Winemakers prepare to harvest these grapes to create sparkling wine. The weather is sunny with low rain chances— with temperatures at 74 to 85 degrees F.

You get to watch how winemakers turn these fruits into the world's finest wines as the fermentation aroma fills the winery. Visit these breweries and enjoy the pleasure of trying out various wine products. 

  • Napa Valley Breweries
  • Napa Valley Distilleries- Oxbow tasting bar

August: Play Golf in Napa Valley

Napa Valley has some great spots for casual sporting events and activities. The chance of rain in Napa is at its lowest in August. This means the weather during the period is ideal for some activities like golf. 

August is known to have pleasant, sunny days and cool nights in Napa. If you're a fan of golf, then you'd enjoy the excellent golf courses in California's Wine Country. Spend time playing golf with friends at Silverado resort golf or Mount St. Helena Golf Course at Napa Valley. 

A gold ticket also grants you access to exclusive "after golf" concerts. 

  • Silverado resort golf 
  • Mount St. Helena Golf Course

September: Wine Tours and Sightseeing   

Napa is always filled with many activities, especially, and September is a good time to go on Wine Country excursions.
It has some stunning attractions that depict the city's culture and a massive winery collection. 

Go on a small-group wine tasting trip along Napa Valley. You can choose to go with a paid tour guide and sample some of the city's best wines. Wineries are usually busy with the harvest, attracting various wine tasting tours. 

Take some time to explore the gorgeous, natural environment. There are over 30 wine tasting events this month. Visit places like Inglenook Vineyard and Beringer on scheduled dates for premium live entertainment and wine tasting ventures.

These events require a ticket purchase to get access to this experience.  

October: Enjoy Balloon Above The Valley (BATV)

With the endless list of activities in Napa, the BATV is another sight to behold. October in Napa takes us on another blissful experience with balloons in the sky just above Napa Valley's wine country.

Feed your eyes with the scintillating experience of hot air balloons rising high into the beautiful sky of Napa. You can also be a part of this extraordinary experience. Embark on a sky-high adventure, literally as you soar over the plains of Napa Valley. 

The BATV package costs about $299. Make your experience memorable with a glass of fine champagne for $20. 

  • BATV over the plains of Napa Valley

November: Visit The Oxbow Public Market

Credit: Oxbow Public Market / Facebook

November in Napa is always great for market and restaurant visits. The Oxbow public market offers the most delicious treats and meals that leave you craving more.
Get the best variety of exotic and traditional dishes and tasty English muffins in a centralized area.

The Oxbow market comprises bakeries, restaurants, and gift shops. Here you'll find various stores that offer delectable treats, including cupcakes, ice cream, chocolate, spices, Mexican food, oysters, wine, and many more. 

December: Enjoy The Annual Pauper’s Feast 

Credit: Calistoga Restaurant & Brewery / Facebook

December is an exciting time to make a getaway trip down to Napa for one of its famous traditions. During this period (mid-December), locals come together to celebrate the annual Pauper's feast.
And lots of planning goes into the celebration to make it a memorable event.

The annual Pauper's feast takes place at Calistoga Inn, one of the finest restaurants in the city. The festivity has become a long tradition in Napa and features various country food and some live music for entertainment. Make a dinner reservation to be part of this event. 

  • Dinner at Calistoga Inn

Related Read: 30 Things To Do In Santa Cruz

Best Time for Visiting Napa to Avoid Crowds

Many tourist visitations occur during summer and fall due to the many activities and events available. January to March are the best time to visit Napa and avoid the crowded life.
Nonetheless, you can still spend quality time hiking the city's Skyline park trails and enjoy crowd-free wine tasting tours.

Is December a Good Time to Visit Napa?

December is a great time to visit Napa. The weather is usually mild during this winter period. This unusual weather allows for a few celebrations like the annual Pauper's feast. It is also an excellent time to visit the city and enjoy the off-season discount rates on hotel fees and spas.

How Many Days Do You Need in Napa Valley? 

Ideally, it would be best if you planned on spending at least three nights at Napa Valley to enjoy a complete experience. This gives you enough time to immerse yourself in the city's richness and enjoy many of its amazing activities.

Best Time to Visit Napa for Hot Air Balloons?

The best time to visit Napa for its famous Hot air balloons is in October.
Floating in the balloon above the valley(BATV)will mesmerize you. The calm weather during this time of the year is simply perfect for this breathtaking experience.

Tobi Miles
Article updated:
March 28, 2024
A nomadic wordsmith savoring the world's flavors and penning stories that turn every journey into an epic.
Find me on Twitter

Win a $500 Flight!

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
*Terms apply. To participate, enter your email to sign up for the newsletter . You must be 18+ and be a resident of the US. No purchase necessary. Begins January 1st  and ends February 28th, 2024. Winner announced on March 31st. For full rules and regulations, visit our Terms & Conditions page. Data  processed according to our Privacy Policy.
Enter Sweepstakes

You may also like...


Win a $500 Flight!

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
*Terms apply. To participate, enter your email to sign up for the newsletter . You must be 18+ and be a resident of the US. No purchase necessary. Begins January 1st  and ends February 28th, 2024. Winner announced on March 31st. For full rules and regulations, visit our Terms & Conditions page. Data  processed according to our Privacy Policy.
Enter Sweepstakes