Discover the BEST time to visit Napa Valley! I'll take you through each season and month so you can enjoy the perfect mix of good weather and fewer crowds.
Napa Valley is a special getaway for Jake and me. One we try to make at least once or twice a year. There's something about the beauty of the vineyards, cozy restaurants, and charming bed and breakfasts. We have the best time seeking out our next favorite winery...one that isn't known to the masses.
Some people avoid Napa Valley as it's become extremely touristy. I won't disagree that tourism has made certain months almost unbearable. If you plan your trip right and pick just the right time to visit you may be surprised at the lack of crowds and how easy it is to find a quiet tasting. Continue reading to learn the BEST time to visit Napa Valley!
short and sweet: The best time to visit Napa Valley is Spring and Fall
April and November are my favorite months to visit
Spring in Napa: March – May
Spring is the best time to visit Napa Valley for decent weather, lower prices/crowds, and colorful blooms
Spring is the best season to visit Napa Valley for those looking for decent weather, crowds, and prices. April happens to be one of my favorite months to go to Napa. March can be a bit on the cold end with highs in the low to mid 60s. May gets a little warmer with highs in the low 70s, but this is also the wettest month of spring.
April is the sweet spot with the least amount of rain and highs in the high 60s.
April is also the best month to visit Napa Valley if you're looking for decent hotel rates. Prices are low (for Napa standards) this time of year since there typically aren't many, if any, festivals or events going on this month.
May and March have several big events like Bottle Rock, Flavor! Napa Valley, CabFest, Napa Valley Marathon, and more.
April focuses more on the arts scene in Napa. These events are smaller in scale and held at galleries and homes, which means you won't be seeing an influx of travelers during April.
Visit Napa Valley lists pretty much every event in Napa.
Napa in Fall: September – November
Fall is the best time to visit napa if you want to experience harvest season...which means ideal weather, fun events, and high prices.
Visit Napa during the fall season if you want to experience harvest season (and are willing to pay the price). Visitors flock during this busy season as the valley seems to come alive. Many wineries host events like crush parties, special tastings, live music events, and more. It's a really fun time to visit and get in on the action.
October is typically the busiest month as that's when harvest is in full swing. Prices will be steap for both September and October not only because of harvest season but because the weather is beautiful with highs in the mid to upper 70s.
If you're visiting this time of year make your reservations as far in advance as possible for everything...hotels, restaurants, wineries, etc.
Hotels start booking up a good 4 to 6 months out, earlier if you don't want to be robbed on price, and it's common for restaurants to be full a month out.
November is the best month to visit Napa Valley in fall if you don't mind missing the harvest and are looking for cooler weather and lower crowds. Temperatures range from the high 30s to mid 60s.
November also has the lowest chance of rain during fall. The colors are a beautiful gold this time of year, crowds are low for Napa standards, and you'll have a pretty good chance at finding a hotel deal.
Napa Valley in winter: December – February
Winter is the best time to visit Napa Valley for low crowds and prices
Winter in Napa Valley may be on the chilly side with lows in 30s and highs in the 50s, but the upsides are worth packing a coat. You'll be rewarded with slim crowds, lowest hotel rates of the year, and more attentive service at the wineries.
December is a fun time to visit with wineries hosting special Christmas events and decorating their tasting rooms in holiday cheer. Christmas and New Years Eve surprisingly don't get overly crowded, but be careful, because many wineries close their tasting rooms or have limited hours.
January is a must for truffle lovers as Napa hosts its annual Napa Truffle Festival with tastings, pairings, classes, and more. Napa restaurant week is also held in January.
February can be hit or miss with weather. It's not uncommon for there to be short spells of warmer temperatures. The last time we visited in February it was actually quite comfortable. We wore light jackets, if any at all, and even had some moments in the sun when a sleeveless sweater (picture above) was plenty warm.
The positive of February is that it's actually the driest month of the year and sees the least amount of rain.
You'll also find the vineyards and fields ablaze in yellow tones. Between January and March is when bright yellow mustard flowers all over the valley reach full bloom. There's a good chance you'll see these in February and it makes for a spectacular sight.
February will be pretty quiet with a bump of visitors over Valentine's Day weekend.
Summer in Napa: June – August
Summer is NOT the best time to visit Napa Valley. It's crowded, expensive, and wet.
The summer months not only bring warmer temperatures in the mid to high 70s, but also plenty of rain. This is Napa Valley's wettest season, July and August being the worst.
Pair that with heavy summer crowds, steep hotel prices, and the necessity to book reservations for restaurants and wine tours far in advance makes this one of my least favorite times to visit.
Save yourself some money and a headache from the hordes of crowds and visit in late fall or spring instead.
I hope this post helps you decide the best month to visit Napa Valley for your upcoming trip! April and November are favorite months. I can usually find a good hotel deal, the weather is nice, and it's not too crowded.
If visiting during harvest season is on your bucket list, then head to Napa in October...otherwise...November is a goregous (and much cheaper) time to visit in the fall.
Summer will be expensive and crowded and winter will be chilly with some wineries offering limited hours during the holiday season.
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